Any decent choices I'm overlooking besides Delta's 8" variable speed
(1725-3450) bench grinder (Model #GR450). I'd buy this one one blind
except the reviews I read were sort of disappointing. I believe I want
the slow speed option to help me avoid burning anything up.
What's a "slow speed" ? Half-speed of the usual fast (same mech,
differently wound motor), or else a worm-geared 10" diameter wet
I'm using a horribly cheap geared wet wheel for HSS lathe tools.
Crude, but does the job. So much cheaper than the other alternatives
for wood turning. Cabinetry tools I do by hand, or sometimes with an
angle grinder (tool held in a vice!) for resurrections and rough
My "biggest task" for the grinder, is to put a 3" camber on a plane
iron. Any thoughts on how you would you approach that sharpening task?
I guess I should learn what types of vices may be helpful with this. I
hadn't considered using one up to now.
Intuitively, it seems that the way to do this is to:
1) Scribe the right arc on the back of the plane
2) Grind to the arc, or almost to it, at 90 degrees
3) Grind a "crown" (is that the right word?) to the edge by raising the
angle of the tool rests.
I've read that one should grind "into", rather than "out of" the metal
so that the iron can absorb part of the heat. I can't seem to decide
in (3) if the angle/crown should vary as one goes around the arc and the
best way to accomplish this.
Japanese 250 grit waterstone. It has quite an appetite 8-)
Failing that, the big wet wheel.
I just don't get these "half speed" white & pink wheel grinders.
They're probably great for HSS and turning tools, but for something
like a plane iron (thin, narrow angle, a steel that will burn easily,
especially if laminated) they're still going to be too fast & too hot.
Especially considering that you can get a usable Tormek clone for a
hundred bucks from Grizzly (Harbor Fright seems to have discontinued
I've got a variable-speed bench grinder but the only time I turn it on
is when something needs some serious reshaping. Half-speed and friable
wheels were a good solution when the alternatives were either crappy or
expensive but that's no longer the case.
As I get older though my approach to sharpening gets more and more
pragmatic--I don't even bother getting out the stones for the kitchen
knives anymore--the bottom of a coffee mug puts as good an edge on them
as I need. I dunno if that's because I've had enough practice that it's
easy or that I'm less finicky about having some kind of impractically
I've had the 6" model for about a year and a half and it's been working fine
for me. The tool rests aren't too bad - at least they have machined surfaces
instead of being just stamped steel - and it comes with reasonably decent
wheels. It's worth it to me just for the tool-less wheel changing feature
The wheel is important, too. Coarse, friable bond, white vitrified
aluminum oxide cuts fast and cool, because the dull grains
fall off under pressure, making the wheel somewhat self-dressing.
Cheap grinders probably need a tool rest upgrade. The Veritas
works fine, but you can make your own easily if you're cheap.
Yes, as you may know Lowes seems to be clearing Delta out (and replacing
with Porter-Cable goods). I may drive to a few stores and see if I can find
the GR450--maybe even at a clearance price. I found out tonight that my
closest store has already cleared this model out.
I have that grinder, and like it. I use it for putting initial grinds
on plane blades, chisels and lathe tool sharpening.
Out of the box you may be initially disappointed though. When I
fired mine up the first time, it practically shook everything off the
bench. The fix for this was to use the Oneway balancing system to get
the wheels balanced properly.
I read your message and took it as a prompt. I went out and found "one
at my second closest Lowes store--my usual store had already cleared them
For $118, I don't think it has competition. I didn't like the tool rests on
the new Porter-Cable
model because they have "fixed positions", also the Delta unit is 5 Amps,
instead of 4 Amps for the
Porter Cable. I suspect this unit will last me a long while. I will look
into the Oneway balancing
system if necessary (thanks for the suggestion!).
On the way home I was thinking about how I was going to rationalize my
this tool to you folks... and when I stopped to realize what I was thinking
it made me laugh!
I hope you don't mind that I splurged a little! ; )
I got mine from Lee Valley.
Here's a couple more bits about this grinder, I've learned from
o) Don't use regular light bulbs in the stalk light. Just about
any vibration and a regular light bulb will shake the filament apart.
Instead get "fan bulbs"; these are designed for ceiling fans and can
withstand some vibration.
o) If you get the Oneway balancing system, you'll find that you
have to either modify the wheels that come with the grinder, or buy
new ones. The Oneway system uses hubs, the grinding wheels are
mounted in these hubs, and then the hub/wheel combo is mounted in
the grinder. Since the hubs are now sitting on the grinder's shafts,
the grinding wheels need to have a larger diameter center hole to fit
on the hubs. The wheels that come with the Delta grinder have a
plastic insert that is glued in. To get one to fit on a Oneway hub I
had to drill that plastic insert out. I don't remember the diameter I
had to drill it out to, but I did that with these set of bits from
o) You might also need to get some washers to help with the fit
of the Oneway hubs, on the grinder's shafts.
o) The finish on the tool rests is a little lumpy/uneven. This
is easily fixed by running a file over the rests. You'll feel this
when you slide a plane blade back and forth over one.
Once I got mine tweaked and dialed in, it's been great. Having the
ability to vary the speed via a dial is especially nice.
I noticed that at the link you provided, they have multiple shaft sizes.
I believe the Delta grinder has 5/8" shaft. But as you point out, if the
wheels that come with the grinder have inserts because they are realy
cut larger, then I'll have to decide what to do. I'd be more tempted to buy
the 5/8" Oneway balance system and use the wheels as they are (unless
this is dangerous) or buy new wheels.
Slightly larger. They're not like the wheels you might buy new. I
think most new wheels have something like a 1" center hole, and then
typically come with a variety of plastic/rubber inserts to accomodate
the different shaft sizes.
You buy the Oneway kit based upon the shaft size of the grinder--not
the diameter of the grinding wheels. As I recall 5/8" sounds right
for the shaft size of the Delta.
Once the Oneway system is in use, the grinding wheels need to fit
a larger diameter shaft (i.e., that of the hub). If you want to
use the grinding wheels that come with the Delta and the Oneway
hubs--you MUST bore out the centers of the wheels.
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