Good bench grinder for sharpening tools

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

  1. odie

    odie

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    Eileen.....

    I agree with Bill, that in the long run, you'll be much happier, and better served with a slow speed (@1800 +/-rpm) 8" grinder.

    Prior to my retirement, I had experience with Baldor buffer motors, and to tell you the truth, I think they are a little overrated. Although the company I worked for originally bought Baldor motors, they eventually bought the Dayton line. Dayton is not quite as expensive, but just as good. I suspect, since other manufacturers have entered the market in the past couple decades, that other motor manufacturers would be in consideration these days.

    I originally used a 6", 3450rpm grinder. It works, and like you, I originally started sharpening on a budget. If I could go back and change that, I would start with a better, more appropriate grinder.
    6 inch grinder.jpg

    I believe Bill Boehme and I have the exact same grinder. This older Delta is 8", 3/4hp, and about 1800rpm. It's a good one, but sadly, it went out of production 10-15 years ago. I wish I'd started out with this grinder. As you can see, the jigs and accessories have evolved quite a bit.......and, your grinder will evolve similarly, too! If at all possible, the grinder is not the place to cut corners......but, it's understood you have to do what you have to do, because very few of us have an unlimited budget to work with. :D

    -----odie-----
    IMG_3204 (2).JPG
     
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  2. Tom Gall

    Tom Gall

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    Eileen, ... I have a 7" - 1/2hp - 3600 rpm Wissota grinder (made in Minnesota, USA) that I purchased 27 years ago. More than four years ago I put on an 8" CBN (D-Way) with no problems. Of course, I had to remove the guard but the guards aren't really needed with a steel CBN wheel. Two years later I bought another steel CBN (WoodturnersWonders) for the other side. Still no problems...except that it takes about 4-5 seconds to come up to speed instead of the 1-3 seconds it used to take for the 7" matrix wheels. However, it does take a lot longer to come to a stop with those two steel "flywheels" on it! :D You will probably have to remove the wheel guards anyway because the CBN's are too wide for the guards on most grinders. I have seen some 1" wheels on the market somewhere, but I much prefer the wider 1-1/2" wheels.

    A slow speed (1750-1800 rpm) grinder is probably your best bet. I'm thinking of getting a second (slow speed) grinder to swap out my CBN wheels, and then re-install my old 7" matrix wheels for sharpening some of my old carbon steel tools and for general shop grinding.
     
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  3. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Yes, I do and I wouldn't trade it for anything. It is big and heavy ... and too bad that Delta quit making them because it was one of the best grinders ever made. Also the wheel guards are wide enough to accommodate the 1½" CBN wheels and there are ports on the back side of the guards so that it can be connection to a shop vac.
     
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  4. Eileen Stephens

    Eileen Stephens

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    Well, again, gentlemen, thank you very much for the continuing food for thought. Slow speed it will be, most definitely...I'll just have to make my decision as to WHAT. I will post back with what I end up getting. Thanks again for steering me away from potential disaster with the belted grinders!
     
  5. Eileen Stephens

    Eileen Stephens

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    Folks, I am back with my report on what I ended up buying. I scored a brand new but bare (no wheels, no guards) 1HP Rikon on ebay for $50 +$50 shipping. I just took it to my local club yesterday to check to see that it functioned correctly, and was told that it is in tip top shape (phew! I was worried that I might have gotten taken for a ride, you never know with ebay.)

    As I've mentioned before, I now want to get CBN wheels. D-way has individual CBN wheels, Ken/Woodturners Wonders and Hurricane have pairs with differing grits. There are also features like radius edge /4-in-1 edge, 1.5" width and side walls. I also remember someone recommending one CBN and one friable. So what grits/features/types do you use and why?

    Thanks as always!!! Eileen
     
  6. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    With no wheel guards you are committed to only using CBN wheels because it would be extremely hazardous to use a matrix wheel without a guard. Additionally, an unguarded matrix wheel would be throwing high velocity grit in all directions. I would guess that most people don't have guards on their CBN wheels because the standard guards are only wide enough to accommodate 1" wheels.

    Choosing which wheel to get has no easy answer. There's probably no wrong choice ... just a bunch of right choices. If you had a Tormek I could give you my recommendation, but I'm still using matrix wheels on my dry grinder.
     
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  7. Eileen Stephens

    Eileen Stephens

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    Thanks for the quick response, Bill.

    Couldn't I purchase a guard directly from Rikon for a friable wheel if necessary?
     
  8. john lucas

    john lucas

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    You probably could or you might be able to make on out of wood. Wouldn't even be too hard to make one out of sheet metal. I wonder why the other owner tossed the guards. CBN wheels are so nice the only reason I would not use them is if I had some carbon steel tools to sharpen. Matrix wheels wear so you need to adjust the V arm of your jig if you use a jig, to allow for the shrinking wheel. They also have to be trued frequently which also shrinks the wheel. CBN wheels have neither of those problems.
     
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  9. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Most likely you would do fine with Two CBNs maybe - 80 and 180.

    CBNs are slow at reshaping a tool. But this is usually something I do only once with a new tool.
    So if it takes 20 minutes instead of 10 it is not a big deal.

    Today most bowl gouges are sold with a side ground profile so the required reshaping is much much less than it was when all gouges were sold with a square cut front end and a lot of reshaping was needed.
     
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  10. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Al I wouldn't say CBN wheels are slow grinding, only CBN with fine grit. I find my 180 grit CBN will take away metal faster than my 120 Aluminum oxide wheel. Now granted neither one is good for reshaping although I did that to new turners gouge the other day since we only had the CBN on the club grinder. Ideally I would have an 80 or 60 CBN for reshaping. What I use at home is a very course gray wheel that I've had for 20 years. It hogs metal so I can get pretty close to the final shape with that and then go to the 180 CBN and fine tune it.
     
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  11. Eileen Stephens

    Eileen Stephens

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    John, are you the John Lucas with a Youtube channel to whom Reed refers in his article? "radius edge version...scratched my head to wonder why this was done...David Ellsworth wanted...for sharpening hollowing tips...I had seen a John Lucas You Tube clip about doing it this way with a more standard wheel, and after thinking about it, it made more sense to me."

    If so, to which video is Reed referring? What are hollow tips used for?

    For that matter, what kinds of tools are made of soft carbon steel that I would want a friable wheel for? Am I losing out on a lot of functionality by purchasing 2 CBN wheels? [BTW, no idea where the guards/stones went...but the original owner did not use the machine. It was sold as "brand new".]
     
  12. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    eBay brand new doesn't necessarily mean the same thing as buying something in a real store. :D It's more like the item sort of looks brand new if you don't count some obvious things that tell you otherwise.

    Friable aluminum oxide wheels (as well as ceramic matrix wheels) are for sharpening hard high speed steel tools. Friable wheels cut cleanly and faster than silicon carbide wheels. Silicon carbide grit gets dull and then just slowly abrades and heats the steel rather than cutting it.

    Hollowing tips are made from high speed steel and not soft carbon steel. They are used to hollow out wood vases and other hollow forms that don't permit the use of other tools because they are either deep or have small openings or both.

    Many turners use two CBN wheels and there is no loss of capability. The big advantage of CBN is smooth vibration free sharpening. If you have a matrix wheel on one side, you might lose some of that advantage unless you carefully balance and true up the matrix wheel.

    As far as as I know there is only one John Lucas. They broke the mold after that. :D He's a true Renascence man who is a master of many things.
     
  13. Eileen Stephens

    Eileen Stephens

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    Absolutely true, which is why I didn't even post about my grinder until I got a chance to take it to my local woodturner's meeting and have several folks look at it. They all said it was clearly brand new. Which hugely put my mind at ease....I was definitely poised andready to return it if they had reservations about it!

    I see. Are there other ways to sharpen hollowing tips other than using a radius edge? I guess that's what John's video is about?

    That is wonderful to hear! I was hoping to go CBN because 1) I didn't want to have to replace down the road and 2) I didn't want to have to dress. This is great news that double CBN is just fine.

    Well I am humbled that he took time to reply to several of my posts then!!!!

    What about sidewall? Reed mentioned something about "carvers or those who prefer no bevel on skew chisels, some hollowing bits". Is a sidewall highly preferable (Ken's Mega Square 1" or Optrigrind's 5/8")?

    Finally, I assume an 80/180 2 pack would be a good choice?

    Thanks for your continuing guidance, Bill!
    Eileen
     
  14. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Yes, it's just a convenience that many turners prefer because it means less swinging the handle of the hollowing tool around. If you have a hollowing tool with a long handle then you would need to do a bit of dancing around to stay out of the way as the handle is being swung around to sharpen the edge. In many types of hollowing tools the tool shank can be removed from the handle to make the sharpening situation less cumbersome. I don't do a lot of hollowforms so the rounded edge isn't what I want.

    I don't understand what it means to not have a bevel and I don't know what the term sidewall means. Maybe if I saw it in context I might understand.

    That seems to be the most popular combination although some turners are going for a finer grit than 180.
     
  15. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    The flat sidewall will make a flat bevel.
    The round wheel wants to make a concave bevel. There are ways make a near flat bevel on a round wheel.
    The Michelson grind is a convex vevel,and his jig makes the convex bevel on a round wheel.
    Flat and convex bevels are not used by most Woodturners.
    The Michelson grind is a great grind.
     
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  16. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Yes. However I like sharpening on the radius. edge. IMHO the radius makes it really easy.

    Lots of alternatives.
    John Jordan sells a little jig to sharpen his hollowing tips with.

    You can also just roll the bevel on a wheel free hand our using a platform

    Carbide hollowing tips are available. They are not sharpened just replaced.
    They are rotated a couple of times to use a fresh edge that has not been used.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2017
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  17. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Well there are a lot of John Lucas's out there. So many in fact that it's always a pain to try and sign in to a new site because most of the time someone else has used my name. As far as I know I'm the only woodturner named John Lucas. Glen Lucas of course is the other lucas woodturner. Sound like everyone else has answered your questions.
     
  18. Jesse Tutterrow

    Jesse Tutterrow

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    Amazon has a discount site called Woot.com. I found a 1/2 HP grinder with two white Silicon Carbide wheels for $55 including shipping. The tool rests were poor but turners normally replace tool rests with some kind of jig.
     
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  19. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Woodcraft has a grinder on sale right now for $99. That's a good buy and a good grinder.
     
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  20. Jesse Tutterrow

    Jesse Tutterrow

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    I started shying away from Woodcraft power tools when I found out that they don't accept returns of power tools.

    If you are referring to a Ricon grinder there are some reviews that say that shafts are bent. I looked at this grinder and once I found out that I could not return it if there was a problem I went elsewhere.
     

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