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Thread: What is your favorite grinder?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    618

    What is your favorite grinder?

    I've been using a Tormek to do my sharpening but am wondering if I should get a dry grinder as well? The Tormek works very well and puts a great edge on the chisels but seems very SLOW. I finally have purchased a few HSS chisels and am amazed at how much longer it takes to sharpen them than the carbon steel chisels I've been using.

    So what grinder do you use and are you happy with it? Would you buy it again? Do I need a slow grinder? Are there 2-speed grinders?

    Also, what jig(s) would you suggest to go with it?

    I only want to buy a grinder once so I'd appreciate any advice you can give.

    Thanks,
    .....Gord

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
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    15,585
    Hey Gord!

    I guess as you put this in the Turner's corner, you are talking about turning tools, right?

    I'm happy with my Woodcraft Slow Speed grinder, but a couple of upgrades were needed to get there. One, I had to replace the stock wheels, I got the Oneway 120 grit and 80 grid wheels, this was a huge improvement, but when I do it again, I'll not be getting the 120 grit wheel, but the 80 grit and the 54 grits, the 120 is too fine. The second upgrade, was done at the same time, that is the Oneway balancing kit for the wheels, I cannot stress how much better the grinder runs with this set up.

    I built my own version of the Wolverine Vari-grind set up, but I understand that it is a very good system.

    All said and done, I'm very curious about the use of a belt sander to sharpen tools, I understand that you use a different belt, something blue in color and that it is a very good system, with a few homemade jigs etc.

    I'd take a hard look at the belt sanders, maybe someone here can chime in on that subject?

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ozarks
    Posts
    4,992
    baldor hands down!
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Constantine, MI
    Posts
    6,975

    My favorite grinder?

    Attachment 10860

    Sorry, couldn't resist.
    Same word, different meaning.
    We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will. - Chuck Palahniuk

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,697
    Anything but the ones I have now. My 80 grit came from source wobbly and out of round. My old Craftsman coarse wheel has gone out of round from many years of use. (I don't understand how that can happen) Both nearly take the house off the foundation in use.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    The Woodlands, Texas
    Posts
    83

    Great question Gord...

    Hello,

    There is an article on my website about setting up a grinder and my recommendations for wheels, etc. I have several grinders in my studio, including five electric dry grinders and three Tormeks.

    With the dry grinders, I prefer my two 8" Industrial Baldors the best, but they are none too cheap at $850.00 or so each. One is a slow speed and the other is a high speed unit. I also have a Jet high speed 8" grinder that has worked well through the years and a couple of no-names in 6" and 8".

    I prefer the slow speed for sharpening and the high speed models for reshaping the bevel, changing the bevel angle and establishing a bevel on a new tool. There are variable speed grinder models available, Delta has one that I demonstrated on for a year or two at The Woodworking Shows. The first one did not last too long, but the second one worked fine.

    I have three Tormeks and use them regularly in my production studio. If you're trying to remove a lot of metal, they can be slow, but when the bevel is established and you're just resharpening the edge, they are very fast when using the Tormek jigs.

    So to sum up, if price is no object then go with a big Baldor, you will never regret it! If you're on a tighter budget, take a look at the Woodcraft, or Jet 8" grinders and maybe a look at the Delta variable speed. You can also get along with a no-name grinder, as long as the bearings are good and you put good wheels on it.

    I used a Sam's club 6" grinder when I first opened my studio 12 years ago, so I know that it can be done on the cheap. Make sure you get some good wheels on your grinder and consider getting a jig system to sharpen your tools on the dry grinder. Kelton, Oneway and Woodcut all offer excellent jigs for dry grinders. Good luck to you and best wishes in all of your woodturning endeavors!
    Better Woodturning and Finishing Through Chemistry...

    Steve Russell
    Eurowood Werks Studio
    Professional Studio Woodturner

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Goodland, Kansas
    Posts
    4,834
    I have the Woodcraft grinder and am completely satisfied with it. Right out of the box smooth and quiet.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
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    I'm another Woodcraft slow-speed grinder owner, but I went with Penn State Industries' knockoff of the Wolverine jig (at about 2/3 the price by the time you get the full setup). I'll also second Stu's recommendations for buying better wheels and a balancing kit. Pricy, but it sure helped. I went with the 80 and 120 grit wheels, and they suit my needs fine. If I've got something I want to take a lot of metal off of, I'll pull out my regular speed grinder. It's a Wilton from Costco, but it spins and grinds.

    I've still got a slight bit of shake on one of my wheels, but tonight I plan to take it off and re-balance it.

    Frank, if your wheels are out of round, they can be made round pretty easily with an inexpensive ($15 or so) wheel dresser.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    618
    Thanks for the replies, everybody. I've checked out the Woodcraft grinder and they have the slow-speed grinder and also a two-speed grinder. Does anyone use the two-speed? Does it work as well as the slow-speed? It may be advantageous to have the high-speed as long as the grinder runs as smoothly as the dedicated slow-speed unit. Any comments on this? The advice is much appreciated.
    Thanks!!

    .....Gord

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
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    Gord, the Oneway wheels that I have, are for slow speed grinders, they also have a set for high speed grinders, so, I wonder if that would be an issue?
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

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