Grinder Review

I picked up a new 8" "slow speed" (1725 RPM) grinder from Woodcraft on sale for $74.95 off their web site. It comes equipped with 1" x 8" 120 grit and 60 grit white aluminum oxide grinding wheels. It has a 3/4 HP induction motor. I already had a Makita blade grinder as well as myriad files and Arkansas stones but I lacked a regular style grinder... this one peaked my interest due to the 8" wheels and the lower RPMs so I ordered it.
Assembly of the two piece cast tool rests went very smoothly as did assembly of the eye shields. The motor is quiet. There was trivial vibration when I first turned the grinder on but after grinding an old Stanley chisel, that had huge chunks out of the edge, the vibration went away. It appears that the wheels needed to be dressed a bit as they were mildly out of balance. I was very pleased to find that I could grind the chisel edge back to true with no overheating. It definitely fills a gap I had in my sharpening tool assortment. The Makita blade grinder or the Arkansas stones would have taken forever and using a file on that hard old chisel probably would have ruined the file.
Overall I'd give this grinder a buy recommendation if you are in the market for a serviceable 8" "slow speed" grinder. It is built far better than any of the Craftsman or low end Delta grinders I've seen or used and I suspect it will last me forever as I'm not using it commercially.
I don't know how long the sale lasts but the URL is below if you want to check it out.
http://shop.woodcraft.com/Woodcraft/product_family.asp?family_idF05&refcode IN10NL&URLCheck=1
BTW, I'm only a customer... I have no other stakeholder position in Woodcraft.
John
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<Grammar 102> Sorry for the picking of nits here, John, but I think the word you had in mind was "piqued". </Grammar 102>

This grinder gets very favorable comments over on the r.c.woodturning group. Many folks have relegated their old ones to grinding mower blades and gotten this one for tool sharpening.
Compared to the slow speed Delta (at $180-ish) or a Baldor at $250'n'up, the Woodcraft's a great buy.
--
Owen Lowe and his Fly-by-Night Copper Company
Offering a shim for the Porter-Cable 557 type 2 fence design.
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The Woodcraft grinder has consistently received high marks. A couple words of caution. Over on Woodcentral there has been a thead about the new grinders not being as good as the older ones. One purchaser bought one that was so out of balance she returned it (I think she tried dressing the wheels). She took it back for exchange but after trying two or three in the store and they all had the same problem she gave up. However, in the same thread another purchaser tried one in the store and it had no problems. Someone said Woodcraft had changed manufacturers and was in the process of changing again. I guess it is possible the sale is a way to reduce inventory. Anyway, the grinder is a good price but be sure you try it out. I know if I had the bucks I would take a look.
Stuart Johnson Red Oak, Texas
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Just a little gloat. I got one of these slow speed grinders from Woodcraft at their Basement Sale (at Parkersburgh Corporate headquaters store) for $20 a couple of years ago. It was brand new, but did not run. A new $2 switch and away it went.
Dave Hall
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wrote:

I keep telling myself I should not get on this thing when I'm tired... ;-)
Anyhow, it's a nice grinder!
John
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