Suggestions for a decent shop bench grinder

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I'm in my early twenties and I've already learned it's best, when it comes to tools, to get the right tool, which will last you thirty years.
I don't want to buy more than one bench grinder.
I can find a bunch on Harbor Freight and at Sears and Home Depot, etc., but I don't know WHAT to look for.
Any suggestions?
I'm sure you'll ask WHAT I need to do with it. What I need right now it so shape some Delrin and HDPE plastic but in the future, it would be used for regular home use - whatever purpose that would be (metal, wood, plastic).
Any pointers as to either WHERE to get the best price best bench grinder, or what size or wheels to get? (Seems like that buffing wheel would be useless but maybe it has a use; otherwise I'd just get two different grit stones).
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Baldor is top of the line and well balanced. I keep my really good stone on the Baldor and it is used only for drill bits and other fine sharpening tasks. I have some coarser wheels on an arbor shaft driven by a slower motor that are used for heavy grinding and shaping.
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On 10/27/2010 10:14 PM, Mel Knight wrote:

I don't know who makes the best grinder itself, but my advice to you is to not mount it on a bench at all, but on a pedestal. Got one at HF on sale a couple years ago for $30 but I think that I will replace the vertical bit with some sprinkler pipe because it's a little wobbly, and the clamp screws are some really cheezy bits that I'll have to replace with 8.8 at the same time.
My point being, however, that a grinder is much more useful when you aren't limited by a bench. even more so if you think you may be using it for buffing. (the buffing wheels are used for stuff like polishing stainless trim; something you may not have a need for unless you're, say, restoring old cars...)
My personal bench grinder is a Delta brand one that I bought maybe 10-15 years ago at some big box store; I don't know if it's that great, but I don't use it that often, either.
nate
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On Wed, 27 Oct 2010 22:25:52 -0400, Nate Nagel wrote:

I previously bought the package of something like 200 assorted bits for my dremel tool and it seems like almost 199 of the bits in that package are those white cotton useless buffing wheels!). :(
Since I don't think I'll need the buffing wheel, may I ask what GRIT you guys go for when you buy a wheel?
And, do you think it's a good idea to get a combination belt sander (maybe 2 inches wide?) with the grinder instead of the buffing wheel?
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On Wed, 27 Oct 2010 19:54:40 -0700, Smitty Two wrote:

At http://www.baldor.com , I see Baldor has 6, 7, 10, 12, and 14-inch wheels.
What size wheel do most people recommend for the next twenty years' worth of occasional grinding at home?
The speed seems to vary from 1500, 1800, 3000, and 3600 rpm; should the speed I opt for be much of a concern to me?
And the horsepower seems to vary from 1/2, 1/3, 1 1/2, 2, 3, 5, and 7 1/2 HP (although most of the 110 volt ones seem to be in the 1/2 to 3/4 HP range). Is 1/2HP reasonable for a shop grinder?
Lastly, I will most likely opt for single-phase 110 volts (because I don't know if I'll always have dual-phase 220 available) but is there any really good reason for 220 volts (which I do currently have available) for "normal" shop grinder use?
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On 10/27/2010 9:21 PM Mel Knight spake thus:
I'll just answer these two:

Yes. Unless you set up a welding shop and need to grind really big pieces of metal, 1/2 horse is *plenty*. 1/4 would work fine.

Forget three-phase (and it's generally referred to as 240 volts nominal, twice 120). Regular old 120 is fine.
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On Wed, 27 Oct 2010 22:25:03 -0700, David Nebenzahl wrote:

Thanks. I'm going to go with 120volts.
One thing confuses me about the "functional" difference of a motor under 120 versus 220 volts.
When I look at the specs for dual-voltage single-phase motors, the horsepower is the same for both voltages. So is the RPM. The "only" thing in the specs that's different is the current halves.
What's the "effective" difference in function of a dual-voltage grinder if it's set up at 115 versus 220? Anything meaningful?
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Mel Knight wrote: ...

Only meaningful difference is that the supply current is halved as said. Makes supply voltage drop/losses smaller and avoids potential for circuit overload/trip on smaller (15A) circuits.
Other than that, the difference is inconsequential.
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220 V has slightly greater efficiency, less start up draw, and 220 inherently "balances" the load across the hot service wires entering the house, spares the neutral load. A motor wired for 220 might last a little longer, ito motor windings. The greater efficiency at 220V also means the motor should run a little cooler, esp. in multiple start/stop situations.
Becomes more important as motor size increases, but for what you are talking about, is pretty much moot.
Also, I suspect any grinder wired for 220 will be much higher bucks, as you start entering the "industrial" class. -- EA

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They use the same watts (you pay for watts). With the 220 VAC, you can run smaller wire to power the unit. Half the amps.
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On 10/28/2010 7:03 AM Mel Knight spake thus:

First of all, think 120 and 240. Still dunno why folks use "220".
But to answer your question, there's effectively no difference, since it's such a small load. If you were talking about a 1-2 horse motor, then it would be better to run it on 240 instead of 120 (less I^2R losses at higher voltage). But for your little grinder motor? Don't sweat it.
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On 10/28/2010 10:03 AM, Mel Knight wrote:

Nothing. 240V is useful if you need lots of power; that is, more than you can get out of a typical 15A or 20A 120V circuit.
nate
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Like during start up. I had a 9.5CFM air compressor wired for 240. It also included instruction for rewiring the swith/motor for 120, which on one occasion had to do. Ran fine, but could barely get past a cold oil start-up. Always made it, eventually, but was iffy a couple times. Hadda turn on/off/on/off couple times to get it past start-up. Many 15A motors are like that. Run ok, but draw twice the max amperage to get started. That the reason for slow blow fuses.
nb
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On 10/28/2010 08:52 PM, notbob wrote:

What these "fuses" you speak of? :)
seriously, they seem to have fallen out of favor at least everywhere I've lived around the early 70's. I know my parents' first house was built around 1972ish and it had a fuse box and I remember my dad complaining about it; he thought that it was "cheap" on the part of the builders that they didn't put in a breaker box.
nate
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OK, OK, so I'm dating myself. Yes, I meant breakers. A senior moment. ;)
nb
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wrote:

Just get a cheap 110v 1/2 hp grinder if you're using it for occasional home use. 6" wheels will do fine. I prefer a flex light, but don't have one on my current grinder. I prefer a quench "bucket" but don't have one on my current grinder. You can rig a light if you need it, and get a container of water for quenching. Make sure it has decent tool rests.
Don't bother with a pedestal if you have 5-6' feet on each side of the grinder at its height.. Just takes up floor space. In my last house I put a shelf on a brick wall to hold the grinder. Now I have one lag screwed on the corner of a workbench. Last was 8", now I have a 6". No difference for what I do with it. I use it mostly for sharpening shovels, mower blades and chisels. But it serves other purposes once in a while. Great for dressing screwdrivers, deburring, etc. I keep coarse and fine wheels on it.
Somebody said have 2 grinders, and that's not a bad idea if you use a grinder a lot. A grinder wire wheel comes in real handy, but I've taken to using a drill wire wheel when I need wire. Mostly because I don't want to change wheels. I'd never put wood or soft metal on a grinder wheel - anymore. But if you're going to clog up the wheel, or wear it down unevenly, maybe get yourself a dressing tool. Might be cheaper to just buy a new wheel though. Only wheel dresser I had I got free.
You don't want to "overbuy" on a grinder for home use. Because it just doesn't get used much.
--Vic
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On Thu, 28 Oct 2010 00:49:51 -0500, Vic Smith wrote:

I have a drill wire wheel but I've never used it. I guess if I polished or cleaned metal, it could be useful. I can't think of any other use for the wire brush; so I wasn't thinking of putting one on the grinder.
What's a good "grit" for household use for a grinding wheel?

In my searches, I saw multi-tool combination grinders with belt sanders (1", 2", and 4" belts) which seem ideal for wood. I generally avoid a tool that tries to do too much because it doesn't do any job well; but for a grinder, which I admit, is used probably once a month for a few minutes, maybe a combination tool is usable.
Do people recommend these combination tools? - Wheel grinder + belt sander (+ some even have disc sanders with miter trays).
The combination tool I'm looking at currently has this spec: - Wheel = 8" x 1 5/8", 60 grit medium - Belt = 4" x 48" (or 36"), 5300 SFM - Motor = 3/4 HP, 115/230Volts, 3450 RPM
Do folks recommend combination tools? What's a good grit if you have only one grinding wheel?
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Sounds perty neat. Got a link? I know the sanders with the side sanding wheel/miter ditty, but I've never seen one with a sep. grinding wheel. Seems like it might be great for you.

Why, medium, of course.
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On Thu, 28 Oct 2010 10:07:38 -0400, Existential Angst wrote:

It's a JET Tools bench grinder & belt sander, Model 2685-0702, $500
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I have a drill wire wheel but I've never used it. I guess if I polished or cleaned metal, it could be useful. I can't think of any other use for the wire brush; so I wasn't thinking of putting one on the grinder.
CY: As a locksmith, I use the bench grinder wire wheel for taking burrs off cut keys. I've also found it handy for taking rust off of tools, etc.
What's a good "grit" for household use for a grinding wheel?
CY: I don't know the numbers, but fine grit works well for most things. My grinder is from BJ's Wholesale club, from about 1985. I'd have to look see if I can tell what brand it is. I think it is 1/3 HP. I use it for burrs on keys, and sharpening t hings like drill bits.

CY: Naah, wood is for wood shaping equipment. Grinders also don't do soft metal. Iron, or steel only please.
In my searches, I saw multi-tool combination grinders with belt sanders (1", 2", and 4" belts) which seem ideal for wood. I generally avoid a tool that tries to do too much because it doesn't do any job well; but for a grinder, which I admit, is used probably once a month for a few minutes, maybe a combination tool is usable.
CY: I've never had a belt sander. I'm with you, keep tools simple.
Do people recommend these combination tools? - Wheel grinder + belt sander (+ some even have disc sanders with miter trays).
The combination tool I'm looking at currently has this spec: - Wheel = 8" x 1 5/8", 60 grit medium - Belt = 4" x 48" (or 36"), 5300 SFM - Motor = 3/4 HP, 115/230Volts, 3450 RPM
Do folks recommend combination tools? What's a good grit if you have only one grinding wheel?
CY: That may work well for you. Since you mention doing wood and plastic. 3/4 is plenty of HP for most jobs. I'd go with the 115 volt model, only about 600 watts or so.
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