Woodcraft Grinder Makes Loud Noise when Turned On

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Pat Moy, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. Pat Moy

    Pat Moy

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    I bought a Woodcraft slowspeed grinder via their website and just received it today. When the grinder is turned on, it makes a very loud screeching noise right before it comes up to full speed. Noise only last for around 5 seconds or so, and goes away as soon as wheels are up to speed. I spoke to a technician from Woodcraft and had him listen to the noise over telephone. He says all their current batch of grinders made that noise, and that it shouldn't affect functionality. He says I can return the grinder for refund if I want, or he can send me a replacement, which will most likely make the same noise. I asked whether other people had called to complaint about this; his reply was that a small pecentage (relative to the number sold) called. He also told me they've made minor modifications to these grinders recently, and he speculates noise is caused by the capacitors they're currently using. Apparently, someone from Woodcraft HQ evaluated this issue and decided to continue selling the grinders as is.

    Has anyone on this forum purchased one of these grinders recently, and experienced the same problem? Did you keep the grinder?
     
  2. john lucas

    john lucas

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    No they should not make that noise and I would take it back. If all of his grinders make that noise (which I doubt) then he should also send them back. Grinders don't make noises or something is wrong. I have owned close to a dozen over the years and none of them have ever made noises like that unless they are worn out. I do have a Woodcraft slow speed grinder and I'm very pleased with it. It does not make that noise.
     
  3. Pat Moy

    Pat Moy

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    Woodcraft Grinder Noise

    The guy at Woodcraft said noise only happens with the current batch of grinders (whatever "current batch" means; I should have asked him how many grinders are involved). He acknowledged something's not right but says grinder stil should work fine. I'm tempted to ask for a replacement. John, how long ago did you purchase yours?
     
  4. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Ditto what John said.
    I bought mine in 2006.
    It makes a normal whirring sound.

    I normally recommend woodcraft as the best buy in grinders.
    I would ask them to give you a quiet one.


    al
     
  5. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Woodcraft had a batch a year or so ago that all ran very hot as in you could barely keep your hand on the grinder as it ran. At first they said, it was no problem, then they pulled them off the market. Sounds like another quality control problem. They should start up run with the same noise levels. I would send it back, and make sure they test run the next one before they send it out to you. I have one of the older (10 years plus) blue ones, and it runs fine, but I never ran it very hard or heavy.

    robo hippy
     
  6. Pat Moy

    Pat Moy

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    I think I'll ask for a replacement. If replacement is also noisy, I'll probably send it back for a refund.

    What's disappointing is that the technician I spoke to doesn't seem to want to make the effort to solve the problem. The choices he gave me was: sent grinder back for a refund, or sent me a replacement that will most likely have the same problem. Forget about doing a test run in attempt to find me a unit that doesn't have the problem.

    I like the Woodcraft grinder mainly because of the turner-friendly sharpening wheels; it's also currently on sale for $99. I may try the new Delta (23-199) if this doesn't work out.

    I'm still wondering whether others who bought this grinder recently are having this same problem.
     
  7. odie

    odie

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    Someone else who knows more about the technical aspects of a "capacitor start motor", can give a more informed comment, but I don't see how the electrical current changes during start-up is likely to make a loud "screeching" noise. You can hear the relay switch trip and there is an obvious difference in power output, but no screeching noise that I've ever heard.

    Is it possible the sheet metal guards around the wheels are vibrating? As a quick test, you might try removing the grind wheels and try a start up.....just to see if there is any change in the noise........

    ......or, if you have a dial indicator, you could check to see if the main shaft is running true.

    ooc
     
  8. Pat Moy

    Pat Moy

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    Ok. I tried with both grinding wheels and outter guards removed. Motor still makes the noise. I haven't checked shaft runout with a dial indicator, but shaft looks to run fairly true. Something is definately wrong with the motor. In testing, I ended up flipping the switch on and off around 12 times or so. Twice when I flipped the switch to on from off, the motor just hums and not turn. Motor works (with the noise) the other times.

    I'll ask for a replacement tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
  9. Larry Presnell

    Larry Presnell

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    I just bought one,turned it on, 2 revolutions is all it made, tried it on 3 circuits. Took it back to WoodCraft, they plugged it up & it ran fine! Can't explain it, but they gave me another one & it's running fine, no noise other than startup.
     
  10. Pat:

    My friend Roger (our Chapter's Vice-President) also bought one of the recent batch of Woodcraft 8" slow-speed grinders, and it also makes a horrible screeching noise when coming up to speed, and a very annoying whine when it has reached speed; it does this with or without the grinding wheels installed, as you described. Roger also allowed the Woodcraft "technician" to listen to the grinder on the telephone as it started up and ran, and was told that the grinder was "supposed to sound like that" which is a a pile of horse pucky. I am extremely disappointed at Woodcraft for not having adequate QC for these popular grinders, or checking the grinders that they stock for correct function before they are shipped. Thank you for reporting this; I'll let Roger know that his is not an isolated case of the "screaming grinder syndrome".

    I own TWO of these 8" slow speed grinders, one purchased about 16 or 17 years ago, and another purchased about 2.5 years ago (my traveling grinder for doing demos), and neither of them make this kind of noise. They both run quiet and cool, as they should.

    The whole concept of knowingly selling and shipping defective grinders is deplorable, and an indication that Woodcraft's corporate attitude is no-longer customer centered as it was years ago. I suggest that you request that a pre-tested replacement be sent, or get a full refund. Do not pay for return shipping of the defective unit, or additional shipping for the replacement.

    Good luck with trying to resolve this situation.

    Rob Wallace
     
  11. Ken Kimbrell

    Ken Kimbrell

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    Had to wait several weeks before my local WC was able to stock this current batch. Had the staff plug it in and noticed the sound that others are reporting... the staff guy said that it was nothing to worry about so I took it home. Big mistake.

    The drive from my house to the WC store is about 1 hour so I worked with the grinder for a couple of days before taking it back, but I could never get all of the vibration out of the wheels, so trying to do a fine touch up on a tool was out of the question.

    Too bad this grinder didn't work out, the Delta I had to buy cost lots more.
     
  12. odie

    odie

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    For those of you who are experiencing problems with this grinder, why not log on to Woodcraft and write a review right now?.......so, that Woodcraft resolves the problem, instead of selling the remaining grinders to unsuspecting woodworkers.

    I'm a long term customer of Woodcraft, and am a little disappointed to see what's happening here. This could be an employee problem, or a corporate decision......either way, not good.

    One thing about it, Woodcraft does give prompt refunds........

    ooc

    Link to review:
    http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2080939/29437/8in-Slow-Speed-Grinder.aspx
     
  13. Pat Moy

    Pat Moy

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    I think anyone with a recently purchased Woodcraft grinder that makes this screeching noise should ask for a replacement or refund ASAP. As mentioned in one of my earlier post, now around 3 out of 10 times, my brand new grinder just makes a humming noise and not rotate at all when turned on; it certainly degenerated massively from just a few hours ago. If the grinder makes the noise, I think it's just a matter of time before motor stops working altogether.

    Maybe this is why they're having a sale on this grinder for $99!
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
  14. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Pat, Woodcraft puts that grinder on sale a couple of times a year.
    Must have gone up in price, used to be $80 on sale regular $100
    Now 99 is the sale price -:(

    Wish you luck ....

    Al
     
  15. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Get your money back and buy a grinder someplace else. I certainly would not ask to exchange it for another because it appears that the odds of getting another lemon is very high. There are all sorts of possible reasons for the noise, but whatever the actual cause may be, it certainly isn't acceptable. And, it sounds like the technical support was just plain pitiful if that was all that they had to offer for a "solution". It ranks right up there with my technical support experience yesterday for an external hard drive for a computer that I am building. It was obvious from the berginning that the "expert" on the other end of the line didn't know half as much as I've forgotten.

    I remember the problem that Reed mentioned regarding Woodcraft grinders about a year ago. The recommendation from the Woodcraft technical support back then was essentially the same as it is now. Apparently, they are buying these things from the cheapest sources that they can find around the Pacific Rim.
     
  16. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    "They all sound like that."
    I would ask the CSR if they have one.
    Return it, get a refund and buy another brand. Customer service seems to be a problem with a lot of companies these days.
     
  17. Bill Weaver

    Bill Weaver

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    I have two that i have had for over a year and both are fine.
     
  18. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Mine is about 7 year old. No problems. As a demonstrator I frequently use those at other venues and they all work fine with no noises. We have 2 in our club and I'll bet I know a dozen or more people that have them. The Woodcraft grinder is a good grinder. some aren't however. The most common problem is not running true. Your noise problem is the first time I've heard of this.
    Tell them you read it on the internet and the internet doesn't lie. :) No seriously I would tell them that you talked to people on the AAW Forum and there are many of us who have many many years of experience with those grinders and we all agree, noise is not good on any motor. Personally I've worked on mechanical things my whole life and properly running electric motors do not make those noises.
     
  19. Gretch Flo

    Gretch Flo

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    changing quality of the "same item"

    I think with many, many products, (cars to tractors to grinders and widgets) companies are trying to keep prices down, so they try to make an existing item less costly for them and change suppliers of parts where they can get them cheaper. So the grinder of 3 years ago is not the "same" on the inside. Sometimes I guess the change is for the better!!!,Gretch
     
  20. Response from Woodcraft...

    I posted a question on Woodcraft's Facebook page, asking what the official word is regarding the selling and shipping of defective slow speed grinders.

    I received the following response:

    "Thanks for your input Rob, the engineers with the company making the grinders attribute the "start up" noise to voltage surge. The noise dissipates quickly as the grinder comes up to speed, and does not affect the grinders performance. Our tech support team here at Woodcraft have tested a number of grinders doing both multiple starts as well as running the grinders well beyond the recommended run time of ½ hour. The grinders operated as expected without incident."

    When asked if I could post the response (above), they replied:

    "You may post to the AAW Forum, and I will take your additional comments to the sources here for further review and get back to you."

    Perhaps they are not aware that in at least one grinder that I know about (!), the screeching noise continues while it is at speed. This is unacceptable.

    I think they are well aware of the problem. We'll see if any additional changes take place in Customer Service, Technical Support, and an exchange/return policy. Clearly these screaming grinders are not what they used to supply for this item!

    For those of you on Facebook, the thread might (?) be reachable at:
    http://www.facebook.com/WoodcraftWoodworking?ref=ts&fref=ts

    Rob Wallace
     

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