Suggestions for a decent shop bench grinder

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Good response from Vic.
Cupla things, tho.
A pedestal grinder is just a bench grinder on its own stand. What hasn't been mentioned is the VIBRATION, which is due to wheels and their bushings, NOT the grinder itself, even a crappy grinder. And once these goddamm wheels go out of balance, it's difficult to fix. This vibration can shake every tool off the bench onto the floor, unless the bench is VERY heavy, solid, and even THEN it's very disconcerting and annoying.
Now, the smaller the grinder, the less of an issue this is, but it is almost NEVER a non-issue.
Heh, and the pedestals are consderably more expensive than the grinder itself. But, my best pedestal I made myself, out of a good-sized plate (mebbe 1/4" x 18 x 14 or sumpn), that I can actually *step* on, for stabilization. The vertical was just angle iron, the top a smaller plate, with a gusset or two. Put rubber/cork underneath.
If you can't weld this, get plumbing pipe and plumbing flanges, screwed to a good section of 3/4 ply. Pedestals have the advantage of being movable, for awkward stuff, as well.
I take alladat shit off grinders: lights, which never work anyway, tool rests, guards -- which I know many will caution against.
If you want accurate sharpening, get a slow-rpm "wet wheel", $30 from sears. THIS can stay on a bench, is really handy for small drill bits, scissors, things that a bench grinder would just eat up.
Get a separate goose-neck lite, or even a cheap magnifying lamp, from Staples. Have an extra switch handy, cuz the operative word is CHEAP, from effing staples.
I use just a coarse wheel, for most stuff, altho I have three grinders. If your stuff is going to be drill bits, screwdriver tips, lite stuff, get a fine or med wheel, but if you just want to remove material, shitty welds, etc, coarse is good. I use a coarse wheel on screwdriver tips as well, often using the side of the wheel for lite stuff, which most will caution against, but which is OK imo for very lite stuff.
Vic's right about wire wheels -- great to have. I bought three coarse wire wheels, ganged them on one arbor for more area. Sears, of course, and not cheap.
You can also mount two diff. grit wheels on the same arbor.
8" is about the biggest grinder you will find. Bigger than that will be $$, as will the wheels. Definitely put an 8" on a pedestal. rpms and 110V are standard, not much choice there.
A combo belt sander is a good idea, and generally IS bench mounted. Not a "replacement" for buffing wheels, per se, but certainly will give more uniform finishes over wider areas, AND is more versatile, material-wise. Get a 4", Sears again. Or HF, if you feel like gambling.
Like outlets, most shops can't have enough grinders. But one is certainly a start.
Oh, the 30 year thing.... forget about dat. Just get through the day.
Here's an option: You may be able to get away with a benchtop drill press (some are pretty substantial, with 5/8 chucks), and mount a grinding wheel on an arbor. Ditto wire wheels. You can also buy a wide variety of these with integral shafts, basically like super-big dremel stuff.
You could then have a whole selection of quickly changeable wheels, AND with variable rpm! You could even get the wheel to spin like a trad'l bench grinder by just tipping over the drill press.
--
EA



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The other day, I had to make a 4" wide scraper to weld on to an SDS bit for floor scraping of old grout. It was 3/8" x 2" flat bar. I adjusted the rest, and went to grinding an edge. Put it right in the wheel and came up with a nice looking hollow ground effect.
I COULD NOT CHOKE DOWN THE GRINDER. It is a two wheel Skil, an old one. First grinder I have used in a very long time that I could not make stop by pushing metal in there.
I say don't underbuy and have some wimpy POS that won't do that occasional job where nothing else will work. Plus burning it up from overloading.
Steve
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On 10/27/2010 11:21 PM, Mel Knight wrote:

What is "dual-phase 220" ?
--
Steve Barker
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wrote:

Otherwise know as "split-phase 240".
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wrote:

The de-industrialization of the U.S. has put a lot of pedestal grinders out of work. You may pick up a heavy duty used one at places like this:
http://www.maynards.com/index.php?section_idF5&section_type=template
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<everything else snipped except for my self-important opinion>
I currently have a nice Skil two wheel grinder, which I can not choke down as much as I have tried. It has a wire wheel on one end, and a grinding stone on the other.
I suppose that a guy could get by with ONE, but I'm watching for another, and will put a various combination of grits on there.
I currently have six angle grinders. Five are set up, one's a spare. When I go to do something, I can grab a grinder, stringer wire wheel, wire cup, paddle sander, or flat sander, and not have to stop and change things, starting with findin the parts to change it all over. I have done metal work for a long time, and I really like that convenience.
For bench grinders, I think that having two would provide the same convenience.
Steve
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Baldor
nb
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Better yet, buy a Baldor 3" vert belt sander. You'll use it more and on more different applications. We called ours the Mexican milling machine. If you still need a grinder for some obscure reason, jes get a cheapy from HF. It can gather cobwebs while you work the crap outta the belt sander.
nb
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wrote:

Obscure reason??!!
I agree you can do a lot of nice stuff on a belt, but an 8" coarse wheel on a pedestal lets you do the shit work, and spare the belt -- grinding down screw heads, welds, chamfering 1/8 HRS, etc.
I've had the same 8" coarse wheel for over 10 years! I go through belts like paper towels.
Baldor is too high-end for the OP, unless he really is insistent on that 30 years thing.
--
EA

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If the OP doesn't already have a good platform sander- belt or disc- I'd probably go with NB on this one. Buy a good used sander-- and the best belts you can find.
'mexican milling machine, indeed- a good coarse belt can cut 2x mild steel angle iron in no time.
And I'm with Steve on not skimping on good tools- especially while you're in your 20s. Lots of good used tools out there if you shop around a bit. Get a beast that 40 years from now your grand kids will be drooling over.
Not because you'll wear it out- but because you can do things to and with it that you can't do with a cheap grinder or sander.
Jim
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Also, alum, brass, copper, and plastic. Try that on a stone wheel. I was a R&D machinist for 8 yrs in shops with everything. The only thing we used our wheel grinders for was touching up carbide lathe bits on a green wheel or cutting a chip breaker groove in a lathe bit so we wouldn't get long strands of SS coming off 20" flange plates. In fact, if you haven't got a green wheel, a belt will do in a pinch. Even hand sharpening a drill bit is easier on a belt sander. That Baldor was damn near the most used machine in the shop. I won't go into the lawsuit my buddy faced when he let a buddy use his commercial grade pedestal grinder and the wheel shattered and took out half the guy's face.
The OP and my detractor are certainly free to buy anything they like. I know what I'd buy, right after a drill press, and it sure wouldn't be a bench grinder.
nb
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Mel Knight wrote:

I've read some of your thread and from your comments I'm not sure if you are looking for a grinder or a sander. __________________
To me, a bench grinder is a motor with an abrasive wheel on each side of the shaft. The wheels are usually between 6" and 10" in diameter and 1/2" or 3/4" thick. They don't need a particularly powerful motor, all they have to do is spin the grinding wheels. Their primary purpose is to grind steel. Generally, they have one coarse grit wheel (36-40) and a finer one (80, maybe); very fine would be 120. It's called a "bench" grinder because it remains stationary and the work is brought to it as opposed to something like an angle grinder which is held by hand.
In a woodshop their biggest use would be to sharpen/grind cutting tool edges and for that purpose one needs a *good* tool rest...one with which you can maintain a continuous attitude between what is being ground and the wheel. Most grinders have lousy tool rests, too small. One can buy (expensive) after market ones or rig their own.
If this is what you are looking for I would - and did - buy one of these... http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result?category=&qnch+grinder ______________________
OTOH, if you are looking for a stationary sander - a tool to use with wood/plastic/soft metal - they often have a disk to which you afix sand paper and a belt or spindle; I've never seen a bench grinder with such. You can grind steel but that is not their purpose and doing so wears out the abrasive quickly. They look like these... http://www.grizzly.com/products/category.aspx?keyU0001
If that's the sort of tool you are looking for then you want at least a 9" diameter disc. Bigger is better because you can use only 1/2 of the disc diameter but I'm not sure the increased size is worth the increased expense. A belt size of 6"x48" is reasonable for woodwork. You can use any grit on both disc and belt but they are a bit of a nuisance to change; IME, #80 is good for both as much finer will tend to burn - especially on the disc; especially if the RPM is in the 3500 range. _________________________
My advice is this:
1. Decide on what you want to do with the tool and get one to suit that purpose.
2. Don't lay out big bucks; a cheaper one will do just fine for years for a non-production shop and after using one for a while you will have an understanding of which features are important to you and which aren't. A combo sander like this works just fine: http://www.harborfreight.com/6-inch-x-48-inch-belt-and-9-inch-disc-combination-sander-6852.html
3. Ultimately, you'll probably wind up with both.
--

dadiOH
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I hear Craftsman isnt as good as it used to be but mine is about 30 years old. When I first got it I didnt have much room in my storage shed/ shop for a pedistal or any kind of permanent mount so I bolted it to a piece of plywood a little larger than the base. On the bottom of the plywood I bolted a 2 X 2 inch piece of square tubular steel. When I get ready to use it I clamp it in my vice via the piece of square tubing. Have since moved to better digs with 3 car garage for a shop but still use it the same way.
Jimmie
Jimmie
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