Good bench grinder for sharpening tools

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Eileen Stephens, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. Eileen Stephens

    Eileen Stephens

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    Hi, am trying to get started on a budget. I could purchase a $99 grinder from Woodcraft, or I am wondering about buying a vintage motor + belted bench grinder pair at auction, since I had heard that ole time tools are much higher in quality than recent cheap entries.

    Are there any cons to the belted setup? ie, belt could slip, making grinder speed variable or choppy, etc?
     
  2. Eileen Stephens

    Eileen Stephens

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    Sorry, I realized after the fact what a crappy title I had picked out for the thread, but can't find a way to change it.
     
  3. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Whatever setup you end up with that turns a grinding wheel make sure you have a way
    of mounting a grinding jig under the wheels. Most wood turners end up using a jig to get
    consistent grinds on the tools and speed up the time it takes to sharpen each tool.
     
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  4. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Tell me what title you would like and I'll change it.

    I think that you would be much better served by buying the $99 bench grinder. An old motor may have sleeve bearings that are badly worn and replacements not available. If the sleeve bearings are worn the motor shaft will also be worn and can't be repaired. And you can't use just any old motor. It would need to be an AC induction capacitor start 4-pole TENV type (totally enclosed non-vented). It should be rated ½ to ¾ HP.
     
  5. john lucas

    john lucas

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    I'm with Bill. Much better to just buy what works instead of trying to coble together parts. I've done the cobble together and in the long run ended up buying the Woodcraft Grinder and it's served me well for many years. Another plus is the woodcraft grinder comes with good quality wheels for sharpening the tools we use. If you buy a cobbled together system it won't have the right wheels and you'll have to spend more money trying to get those. The two most valuable functions of a sharpening system are true running wheels and the proper wheels. If you get the Woodcraft grinder and the wheels don't run true it's pretty easy to fix that. If you buy a cobbled together system, good luck.
     
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  6. Eileen Stephens

    Eileen Stephens

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    Bill,
    I thought I should at least put "belt" or "pulley" in there...so like "New import bench grinder vs vintage motor/belt-driven grinder combo?" or something similar?

    What is that motor type you're talking about? The motors I saw were per attached photos...I know you have advised against them, but out of curiosity, are these the type you mention? Just for kicks I included photos of the grinders as well. Which, they are actually buffers, aren't they? What is the difference between buffers and grinders, anyway? 1) no tool rests, which would be ameliorated by the jig Mike mentioned above (I have my eye on the Wolverine Vari); 2) the guards; 3) longer axes so more flex if the wheels are placed at the ends; 4) anything else?
    Thanks for your expertise!
    Packard with Sears.jpg Craftsman with belt sander big.jpeg Sears with Packard.jpg Unknown with unknown.jpg
     
  7. Eileen Stephens

    Eileen Stephens

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    Thanks for your insights. Believe it or not, I wanted to put CBN wheels on (D-way/Woodturners Wonders). I wanted to save $ on the grinder and invest it in the wheels.
     
  8. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    I have the Rikon low speed grinder and love it!!! Buy it!!! Spend a few extra shekels and get the Wolverine Grinding Jig to go with it. Another good investment. It took a while to get it lined up with the base centered to the wheels but worth the time. I secured the grinder to a piece of plywood so I could place it on my TS near the lathe. Looking for room to set it up permanently so I don't have to keep shuffling it around.
    I also have a regular grinder but don't want to take a chance on getting heavy-handed and have the high speed generating heat and ruining a good tool. That grinder is used for the lawn mower blades or any other sharpening.
     
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  9. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Short answer is to forget about those separate heads ... they're just junk. And those motors pictured are are precisely the wrong type. They have open frames that will allow grit to get inside.
     
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  10. Eileen Stephens

    Eileen Stephens

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    Thanks Bill, saved me a trip across town! I will learn more about the AC induction capacitor start 4-pole TENV type motor, just to get educated.
     
  11. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    In other words, just buy a bench grinder and you're likely to have the right motor. The Rikon grinders are good. The Horrible Freight grinders aren't because they are 2-pole and under powered despite what the label might say. Four pole motors run at a speed of 1700 - 1800 RPM. They run smoother than two pole motors which run at 3500 - 3600 RPM. Bench grinder motors are totally enclosed to keep dust and grit out and don't require an external cooling fan. If you want to use CBN wheels, I recommend getting a ¾ HP grinder.
     
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  12. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    The Rikon 1/2 hp motor will spin the aluminum wheels from Ken Rizza, but would struggle a bit with the steel D Way wheels. I have one of the 1 hp Rikon grinders and had to tweak/fine tune it a bit for my purposes, but it has plenty of power for either set of wheels. I tend to be hard on my tools and want heavy duty....

    robo hippy
     
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  13. john lucas

    john lucas

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    This is somewhere you really don't want to pinch your money too much. You will love and use a good grinder for you lifetime. A crappy one will constantly frustrate you. They Woodcraft grinders are well worth the money. Sure they aren't top of the line like Baldor Which would be my choice if money rolls our of your pocket. Ideally you want a good sharpening system to go along with it which is why we often suggest the Woodcraft grinders along with the Oneway sharpning system. It will cost several hundred dollars to get those 2 but the learning curve on sharpening will be greatly shortened and your enjoyment of the grinder and sharp tools will last a long time.
     
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  14. diverjoe

    diverjoe

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    Eileen, you have gotten some good advice about the Woodcraft grinder. I have the 1/2 hp one with D-Way CBN wheels mounted on it. Granted, it starts a little slow, but I am a hobbist so I don't mind. I use the Wolverine system and it works great. I have the vari-grind one and the vari-grind 2. A lot of people dislike the vari-grind2, but, it works good for me. I have the vari-grind 1 set upper my spindle gouges. I slide a short piece of pvc pipe over the vee-arm to keep my distance from the wheel constant. The same way works for my bowl gouges except that I use the vari-grind 2 for them. I have my grinder set up on a tall cabinet so that my grinder is almost at eye level. This make it easier for me to sharpen. The grinder is also close to my lathe and I can resharpen often. Put some magnets in a plastic bag and place the bag near your grinder discharge chute. This will catch a lot of the grinding dust.
    Joe
     
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  15. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    I am a hobbyist and I purchased the 1HP Rikon grinder. Was more money than I wanted to spend, but I went with the stock wheel for a while to save at first. I finally purchased 2 CBN wheels from woodturning wonders last month. You could go with stock wheels until you can afford CBN ones.
     
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  16. Eileen Stephens

    Eileen Stephens

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    All, wanted to thank you ALL for your great advice and support!!!!!!

    So, based on your feedback (and also, I have to say, the selection of low-end 3/4 HP slow speed grinders is frustratingly small from what I can see), I am now considering swinging the other way. My usual tendency is to buy once for life - I had wanted to invest first in wheels, but maybe I'll switch the order of investment. So what if I were to go to a Baldor?

    There is available a New In Box 7306 (7" 1/2 HP 1800RPM single phase) that was manufactured in 1995. Incredible, I know. Never been used. Guards still in package.
    1) Is 1800RPM ok? 2) Is 1/2 HP ok? Robo hippy, esp, since I know that you are a CBN aficionado - would a Baldor 1/2 HP spin a 7" CBN adequately, or would I need a 3/4 HP?
    3) Are there parts on a grinder that would go bad over that period of time (ie like rubber pieces on cars that would harden/crack?) People USE these things for decades so I wouldn't think so, but wanted to ask just in case.
    4) At what price would that be a good value? It's listed at $300.

    There is also a New in Box JET JWBG8 (8" 1/2HP 1725RPM single phase) listed for $225.
    And of course there is the Rikon 80-808 mentioned above which is $217 on Amazon.

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUING INPUT!!!!!
     
  17. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Seven inch wheels are sort of an oddball size and might limit your choices for getting a CBN wheel. I would go for 8 inch low speed (1700 - 1800 RPM) and 3/4 or 1 HP if you plan to get CBN wheels. Baldor is the Cadillac of grinders, but the 1 HP Rikon is more than sufficient. I think that the 1/2 HP Rikon would be fine with aluminum CBN wheels from Woodturners Wonders. Things that wear out: start capacitor after many years (I've never had to replace one yet) and shaft bearings (maybe once in a lifetime). Other than the initial start-up load to accelerate those heavy CBN wheels the grinder motor is basically just loafing along so they will usually never need any maintenance.
     
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  18. john lucas

    john lucas

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    I'll agree with what Bill just said.
     
  19. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Eileen, I have 2 Baldor grinders, and the older one is 10 years old. I expect my birth certificate will expire before they do. I am 67, and my dad is 95 and still goes into work every day... I don't think Ken makes 7 inch wheels, but maybe. Not a high demand product. I do know that Dave at D Way has a couple of CBN grinding wheels for the Oregon Chainsaw sharpening set up. Guess I have to get one of them first....

    robo hippy
     
  20. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    I have no economic interest, but happened to have recently looked into various CBN wheels. Ken at Woodturner Wonders does have a radius edge 7" wheel, presumably in several grit sizes.
     
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