CRATEX GRINDING WHEELS
Grinding (or abrasive cutting) is a machining operation that results in light cuts made by different abrasives. The tools used the most for grinding is a grinding wheel.
Grinding wheel is an abrasive cutting tool used to grind down, polish or cut different material, like metal or glass. It is composed of an abrasive compound, so it uses thousands of small abrasive grains distributed across the wheel and held together by a certain bonding material to wear away the surface. Each abrasive grain acts like a small cutting tool that passes over the workpiece and leaves a smooth surface. Dull abrasive grains break away from the bonding material, so the process of grinding sharpens the wheel. That way new sharp points are exposed, and a new cycle starts.
Grinding is used as a finishing process, and different grit sizes are responsible for finer or rougher grinding passes. The wheel you will use depends on the metalwork in question. Choosing the right wheel is essential, because if the chosen wheel is wrong for your project, you’ll end up losing time and money.
Chapter 1 of this article will present different grinding wheels and their basic applications, which should help choose the right tool for the job.
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CRATEX Abrasive Cutting Grinding Products
Dressing of Grinding Wheels
How Grinding Wheels Are Made
In this chapter will talk about various CRATEX grinding wheels, including the Spedecut cut-off and grinding wheels, and MX abrasives. The products presented are available for online purchase, but in case there is a need for non-standard size, shape or composition, contact us here and we’ll do our best to meet all your special requirement
CRATEX Rubber Abrasive Wheels
CRATEX grinding wheels are rubber-bonded, premium-quality silicon carbide abrasives of maximum endurance. They are produced in two types of bonds: standard and hard bond. The standard bond has a unique cushioning action, it provides smooth and soft cut without digging into the surface of the workpiece. It is ideal for smoothing and polishing metallic or non-metallic surfaces. It resists smearing or clogging and provides a perfect finish without losing dimensional tolerance and control. Hard-bond wheels have higher cutting power than the standard-bond wheels and are perfect for removing burrs on hard metals, like stainless steel. They can also be used for light metal removal. Hard bond (HB) is not available in kits and minimum quantities are required.
All grinding wheels come in four grits: Coarse (green), Medium (dark brown), fine (reddish brown) and Extra Fine (grey green). The grit depends on the metal and desired finishing action.
CRATEX large straight-edge wheels are perfect for removing rust, heat marks, tarnish, scratches, corrosion and excess solder.
Order Large Wheels
CRATEX small grinding wheels have either a tapered or straight edge. Tapered or shaped wheels are extremely versatile which makes them ideal for fine operations on small and delicate parts. Straight wheels can be mounted on conventional portable motor tools. They are used on operations that require control of metal removal.
CRATEX MX Abrasives
MX products are made of premium brown aluminum-oxide. They are cotton-backed laminate-bond abrasives are much more aggressive and firmer than CRATEX rubber bond products. The difference between the two abrasives is that MX bond holds abrasive grains until they are won while abrasive grains get pushed back into the rubber material during use and they fall out as the rubber gets worn away.
The unique construction of MX abrasives gives them an amazing ability to grind, deburr and finish in one operation, because they contain characteristics of three types of abrasives: resinoid, vitrified and rubber-bonded. They do an amazing job with edge breaking, cleaning welds and blending machine lines, and can reduce finishing steps by half.
MX abrasives are available in two different bonds. latex and resin. Latex bonds are typically used for light deburring, blending, and finishing and they come in two grades – soft bond (for general purpose) and medium bond (medium-aggressive). Resin-bonded abrasives are used for light to medium stock removal and they also come in two grades – hard bond (aggressive) and extra bond (very aggressive).
CRATEX offers unmounted and mounted MX wheels of different sizes, grits and bonds, as well as Mounted MX wheels kit, so make sure you check out the offer below!
There are grinders for round parts and grinders for flat surfaces. Those for round parts include machines like cylindrical and centerless grinders, and those for flat surfaces are called surface grinders. There are also form grinders (they move the workpiece and the wheel or just the wheel along different axes to grind precisely contoured surfaces) and tool cutter grinders (for production and sharpening of cutting tools).
Various machines can be used for abrasive cutting such as bench grinders, industrial grinding machines, different hand power tools (such as die grinders or angle grinders) or grindstones.
Grindstones are round sharpening stones typically made from sandstone, mounted on grindstone machines that have speed-control pedals.
Angle or side grinder is used both for abrasive cutting and polishing. The angles grinders are powered by either an electric motor, compressed air or petrol engine. They are made with an adjustable guard for safety and additional side-handle for operations that require the usage of both hands.
There are a wide variety of side grinders on the market, so you’ll be able to find the perfect one for the project you’re working on. One of the main things to consider is the motor strength and the disc size, and the rule is – the greater the power, the bigger the disc. Common angle grinder discs are 4″, 4.5″, 5″, 6″, 7″, 9″ and 12″.
Other specifications that could make a lot of difference are the power source, rpm and the size of the mandrel. Depending on the power source, angle grinders can be pneumatic, which have much smaller discs and are generally used for easier, more precise work, and electric, which are used for heavy-duty jobs. Although small electric and large pneumatic grinders do exist, smaller electric grinders have a tougher time maintaining adequate power, whereas pneumatic grinders can be both small and light, but equally powerful.
Depending on the operation, different kinds of discs can be used on these grinders, such as diamond-blade cut-off discs, abrasive grinding wheels, grinding stones, sanding discs, polishing pads and wire brush wheels.
Die grinders and rotary tools and can be used for grinding (with bonded abrasive stones called mounted points/stones or grinding points), but sanding (with coated abrasives like mounted sand paper drums), honing (with fine-grit mounted points), polishing or buffing (with cloth or fiber drums and polishing compound), lapping (with mounted lap and lapping compound) and machining (with drill bits, end mills or burrs) as well, and there is no conceptual difference between the two tools. However, over time their names started to refer more to two same tools used for two different operations: die grinder refer more to the pneumatic, heavy-duty tools, while rotary tools refer more the electric tools used for lighter tasks.
CRATEX Rotary Hand-piece CTX-800 is a precision air tool with different speed options. It has a high torque and construction made from rugged stainless-steel which makes it extremely light and perfect for all kinds of precision grinding, polishing and finishing operations. The tool has a collet that can be changed easily and that can take 1/8” and 3/32” diameter shanks and mandrels.
Bench grinders are most commonly seen in residential basements and garages and are standard equipment in machine shops. The name tells us a lot about the way the tool is being used – it is a bench-top type grinder that can be used for different operations depending on the type of wheels that are mounted.
/4″ SMALL WHEEL for Knife Grinder Stainless, Knife Making, For KMG Knifedogs
This wheel works just like the high dollar small wheels but it is about 1/3 to 1/2 the price of the rubber coated wheels of the same size (being that it is solid steel you will feel the seam in your belt more than you would if it was rubber coated)
This roller is very functional and will give you very nice looking finger grooves and notches on your knives.
This wheel fits both the Beaumont style small wheel holder and the usa knifemaker knifedogs style holders as well as my own.
Bearings assure that this wheel runs smooth But it is important to note that all small wheels regardless
of manufacturer must be run at lower RPMs so you don’t overheat the bearings Operate at a speed that keeps the bearings cool enough to comfortably touch !
If you are looking to get a good range of small wheels for your grinder, this is a great way to go without spending 60-70.00 each.
Check my other listing for other sizes. I have the following sizes available:.25″.375″, 1/2″ (.5″), 5/8″ (.625″), 3/4″ (.75″), 7/8″ (.875″), and 1″ (1.0″)
1″ SMALL WHEEL for Knife Grinder Solid Steel, Knife Making,For KMG Knifedogs
This listing includes One 1″ small wheel roller. This roller is made out of solid cold rolled steel and will last a very long time. This wheel works just like the.
3/4″ SMALL WHEEL for Knife Grinder Solid Steel, Knife Making,For KMG Knifedogs
This listing includes One 3/4″ small wheel roller. This roller is made out of solid cold rolled steel and will last a very long time. This wheel works just like the high.
3/8″ SMALL WHEEL for Knife Grinder Stainless, Knife Making, For KMG Knifedogs
This listing includes One 3/8″ small wheel roller. This roller is made out of solid STAINLESS steel and will last a very long time. This wheel works just like the high.
Types of Angle Grinder Discs Their Uses
Let’s check out the different types of angle grinder discs and their uses.
What is an Angle Grinder Disc?
First things first—let’s go over the basics. An angle grinder disc is any disc designed to fit in an angle grinder and rotates at high speed to perform cutting and polishing operations. The angle grinder disc or wheel spins at anywhere from around 2,800 rpm to 12,000 rpm, depending on the brand and model of the tool and the settings you select.
Just by switching different discs in and out of the tool, you can use your angle grinder for a variety of applications. You can cut, grind, polish, carve, and more.
over, you can work on a wide range of materials such as metal, stone, mortar, brick, or wood.
Angle Grinder Disc Types
Now that you know what an angle grinder disc is, let’s check out some of the most common types of discs you can use and what you can do with them.
Large and small versions of these discs are available to suit the size of your angle grinder. For general purposes, consider a larger disc. For detailed work, consider a smaller disc.
It makes sense to talk first about grinding discs, also called “grit discs.” These are the discs you need if you want to grind metal or stone. Each disc features an abrasive compound consisting of grains and a bonding agent. You can choose a higher or lower grit depending on how fine or coarse you want the abrasive grains to be.
You may want to start with a low, coarse grit to speed through the beginning of a task, and then switch to a high grit for a smoother finish.
Next, we have cut-off discs, also known as parting wheels. Choose this type of slim, tapered wheel if you want to cut metal stock. You will find variations in thickness for cut-off discs. There are tradeoffs either way. The thinner the disc, the more easily it can slice into metal. But thin abrasive discs are brittle and more prone to breakage. The thicker the disc is, the sturdier it is, and the less likely it is to warp or fracture while you are using it.
So, you will need to weigh those pros and cons when choosing your cut-off discs. In either case, however, try not to push too hard or too fast into the metal. Doing that only makes it more likely you will damage the work and shatter the disc you are using.
Diamond Cutting Discs
If you are working with masonry or stones, a regular grit disc or cut-off disc won’t cut. You will need a diamond cutting disc which is a superior alternative. As the name implies, diamonds grits are embedded into the edges of a steel disc.
As diamond rates a 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, it makes for efficient cutting of concrete, tiles, stones, etc. It also offers superb durability.
So, with a diamond disc, you can work more quickly and easily, even on harder metals. It will cost you more to purchase diamond discs, but they should outlast others, making them more cost-effective in the long run than they may initially appear.
A flap disc is probably the best option when you need to do some sanding with an angle grinder.
This type of disc uses abrasive (usually Aluminum Oxide) that is similar to a grit disc, but a whole lot finer. The main difference here is that instead of a single flat piece, the flap disc is made of multiple layers of overlapping abrasive sheets called flaps. Sometimes these are referred to as flap wheels, although that name is more appropriate for a radial flap wheel that you use on a drill or rotary tool.
Flap Disc Uses
With a flap disc, you can remove minor imperfections from a surface, remove rust, and polish the surface. Also, if there are fine grinding tasks that you cannot tackle using a regular grit disc, a flap disc may be appropriate. These types of angle grinder discs are often used in autobody shops, metalworking, and fabrication industries. Worried about a flap disc overheating? You can try a ceramic sanding disc as an alternative.
One of the most distinctive-looking types of wheels you can get for your angle grinder is a wire wheel. You can use a wire wheel to remove paint or rust from metal.
You also can polish hard metal with a wire wheel—but keep in mind that on softer materials, using a wire wheel is more likely to lead to scratches than a smooth finish. Instead of featuring a cutting or grinding disc, this wheel includes clusters of bristles protruding in a radial formation. These bristles may be slender and straight, or they could be thick and twisted.
The type of wire disc you should get depends on the application you have in mind. The thick, twisted bristles are kind of like coarse grit on a grinder disc. Choose them for tasks that require more speed than precision. Then, switch to straight, fine bristles for work that requires more exactness.
You should always wear safety goggles when you are working with your angle grinder. But it is extra important with a wire wheel, as wires sometimes snap off. That is about the last thing you want flying into your eye. I have seen a lot of novice users ignoring the basic safety practices when with a grinder. I wrote an entire guide on angle grinder safety since this is really important.
Paint Stripping Discs
A wire wheel is not your only option to remove paint. An alternative wheel to consider is a paint stripping disc.
If you are working on a material like wood, fiberglass, or soft metal that you could end up scuffing with a regular wire wheel, a paint stripper may be more suitable.
Instead of wire bristles, a paint stripper wheel features poly-fiber material. It removes paint with efficiency, but should not scratch or scuff the underlying surface. You also can use it to remove epoxy or other residues.
You are probably wondering by this point whether there is a type of disc designed with the specific purpose of polishing in mind. Actually, what you are looking for is a polishing pad, which is also called a “buffing pad.”
A variety of different types of polishing pads are on the market. You will need to choose a material that is right for the surface you are working on. For fine surfaces such as polishing your car, get a buffing wheel made of wool.
It is important to take it slow when you are polishing. If you select too high a speed, you will probably end up damaging your surface. Bigger angle grinders are more likely to offer you speeds that are suitable for the job.
Concrete Grinding Wheels
With the right discs, your angle grinder can not only handle metal but can even grind or polish concrete.
There are assorted shapes of concrete grinding wheels and various grit materials. You can find wheels with silicon carbide grain or diamond grit. The diamond cup wheel is the most widely used type since it can be used on a variety of materials and are durable.
Along with hard abrasive materials, these wheels are made of sturdy materials through and through like durable fiberglass. Such materials not only preserve the life of the wheel but also help it push through concrete. Besides grinding concrete with these types of discs, you can also use them to grind granite, stone, marble, masonry, and similar materials.
Although a concrete grinding wheel can offer great longevity, these tough discs eventually wear down. An old disc becomes increasingly likely to chip during use.
Wood Cutting Discs
A couple of times now, we have mentioned grinding or cutting wood using an angle grinder. But as you already know, quite a few types of discs are only suitable for harder materials. If you attempt to use them to cut or carve wood, you might end up damaging your project.
So, is there such a thing as a wood cutting disc? The answer to that question is “yes.”
Woodcutting discs typically feature a toothed, circular blade. You will notice the tips are often tungsten carbide. The reason manufacturers use carbide tips for wood cutting discs is because carbide is incredibly hard. In fact, if you need to sharpen carbide tips, you will require diamond to get the job done.
Because carbide teeth are so hard, they can make clean cuts through both softwood and hardwood. Not only that, but you can get a lot of use out of them before you need to sharpen or replace them.
What types of wood can wood cutting discs handle? You should have no problem slicing a quality disc through pine, cherry, walnut, oak, mahogany, maple, or any other wood you can name.
Wood Carving Discs
If you want to bring carving, shaping, and grinding into your woodworking, you may need to go beyond wood cutting discs to purchase wood carving discs as well.
These discs also usually include carbide teeth. But instead of a flat disc, a wood carving disc has more of a donut shape to it. The teeth are not located around the edges. Instead, they cover the entire surface of the wheel. Typically, they number in the hundreds.
With this shape, this type of disc is especially ideal for creating a concave surface—say, for example, if you are carving out the interior of a wooden bowl.
Keep in mind that working on wood is a bit different from working on metal or concrete. Those materials are typically homogenous. Wood, on the other hand, has natural contours and knots. When working with a wood carving or cutting disc, you must take care not to let your tool catch on irregular features like these. Some wheels are more prone to this than others.
- What is an Angle Grinder Disc?
- 10 Angle Grinder Disc Types
- 1. Grinding Discs
- 2. Cut-off Discs
- 3. Diamond Cutting Discs
- 4. Flap Discs
- 5. Wire Wheels
- 6. Paint Stripping Discs
- 7. Polishing Pads
- 8. Concrete Grinding Wheels
- 9. Wood Cutting Discs
- 10. Wood Carving Discs
Types of Angle Grinder Wheels and Discs
An angle grinder is a much more versatile power tool than you might think at first glance and can be found in almost any trade industry, from construction to metalworking and even woodworking.
What makes them so versatile is the many different angle grinder wheels and discs that can be used with them, such as grinding wheels, cut-off discs, flap discs, and more. With these different wheels, you’re capable of doing everything from cutting metal sheets to removing paint.
Our trusty angle grinder disc guide will walk through the different types and how they’re used. Afterward, you’ll better understand how each one works and which one you need to accomplish a specific task.
Grinding wheels, sometimes called grit discs, are easily the most recognizable of any of the discs available and the most popular due to their general-purpose nature. They are available in several different sizes up to 10-inches and varying degrees of thickness to tackle specific projects.
Grinding wheels come in varying grit levels. Lower grit numbers are more coarse, while a higher numbered grit is going to be less coarse. Low-grit grinding wheels are perfect for rough, quick work where you aren’t as worried about the finished look of your project. If you want a smoother finish, go with a high grit grinding wheel.
The main use for a grinding wheel is removing excess material from the surface of a project. Other uses include preparing metal for welding, cleaning up cuts, and several other uses, which is why a grinding wheel is considered an all-purpose disc.
Cut-off wheels look similar to grinding wheels, but they serve a much different purpose. The distinguishing feature of a cut-off wheel is its thin design, which allows them to make more precise cuts in metal bars and sheets. Due to their thin design, these discs can be dangerous, so be sure to wear the proper protective gear.
Wheels come in different thicknesses, each with its own pros and cons. The thinner the disc, the quicker cuts can be made, but the more brittle they’ll be. A thicker disc is stronger and less likely to warp during a cut. If the disc is bent in an odd direction, it will shatter, sending shards around the room that could prove hazardous or lead to serious injury.
Cut-off wheels are used primarily for cutting different metal pieces, including metal bars, tubes, and small pieces of sheet metal or plates. They can also be used to cut out welds or shorten bolts that are too long.
A flap wheel doesn’t look like it, but it works very similarly to a traditional grinding wheel. It separates itself by providing a much finer finish to your project and is commonly used for finishing work. The disc is made of many overlapping abrasive sheets, called flaps, hence the name. There are several grit options with the same method of the higher number of grit, the smoother the finish.
You’ll usually switch to a flap wheel after a surface has already been worked on with a grinding wheel. As the flaps wear away, new grit is exposed, so the wheel will always operate at peak condition until all the grit is gone. They work well for removing minor imperfections, such as burrs or scratches, and removing rust or polishing a surface. These types of angle grinder wheels are commonly found in autobody shops and metalworking and fabrication trades.
Wire wheels have varying styles with different purposes in mind, but generally, they all have the same general makeup of wires protruding from a circular base. They feature either thick, twisted bristles, which are more abrasive for faster, easier work, or thinner, straighter bristles, which are less abrasive for finer, precision jobs.
These types of angle grinder attachments are used to remove rust quickly or to polish hard metal. They can be used on softer materials but can lead to scratches on the surface, so proceed with caution. Wire wheels are also a good solution for removing paint from a surface.
Diamond Cutting Wheels
Diamond blades are typically the toughest blades on the market, and diamond cutting wheels are no different. The edges are embedded with diamond grits. Due to their hardened design, they tend to last longer than other blades. The higher the cutting rim, the longer the disc will last and the more durable it is.
You can work quickly and easier on the majority of applications. Diamond discs can be used on some of the toughest materials out there, such as masonry or stone, in both wet and dry cutting operations.
Paint Stripping Wheels
Paint stripping wheels sometimes called strip discs, are a common alternative to wire wheels when removing paint from a surface. They work best when working on materials that are a little more delicate, such as soft metals, wood, or fiberglass, as they won’t scratch the material.
The poly-fiber material used in strip discs makes them better suited for working on softer surfaces without damaging their surface. They also can be used to remove epoxy or other residues.
Concrete Grinding Wheels
Sometimes you may need to remove concrete from your surface or polish concrete entirely, and there’s a grinding wheel attachment for that job. Concrete grinding wheels come in many shapes and forms. These wheels are made of solid materials, such as fiberglass and other abrasive materials, to handle the tough structure of concrete.
Concrete grinding wheels can handle many other materials such as masonry, granite, marble, stone, and other hard materials. Their makeup allows these discs to be long-lasting over time, but eventually, they’ll wear down, so you’ll want to replace them when they begin to chip.
As always be sure to follow proper safety procedures when using an angle grinder and wear any applicable personal protective equipment. A vital thing to consider is the disc size and RPM of the angle grinder need to match to avoid damage to the disc, which can lead to injury. The top manufacturers of power tools are developing new safety technologies every day to make work with your angle grinder safer for you and those around you.
Shop all of your angle grinder wheel attachment needs from some of the top brands, such as Milwaukee, DeWALT, Diablo Tools, Makita, Bosch, and more at Acme Tools.
A bench grinder is probably not a tool you’ll use every day. However, if it’s available and set up correctly, you’ll be surprised how often it comes in handy for everything from sharpening tools to rounding over thread ends on a cutoff bolt. We’ve assembled these tips to help you get the most out of your grinder.
Keep a Container of Water Handy
Most chisels and other cutting tools are made of tempered steel. If the steel gets too hot and turns bluish black, it’s overheated and won’t hold an edge very long. To avoid ruining the edge of a tool by overheating, keep water nearby to cool the tool. A good technique is to move the tool once across the bench grinder for no more than a few seconds. Then dip it in the water. If the steel edge does overheat and turns color, grind the edge back to good steel and start over.
Grind Small Objects Safely
Hold small objects with locking pliers. This keeps your fingers a safe distance from the grinding wheel and protects them against burns from the hot metal. It also gives you better control over the grinding process.
Make Tool Sharpening Guides
Here’s a better way to hold tools securely while you’re grinding them—and take the guesswork out of creating the right bevel angle. It’s a short piece of 2×4 with an angled end and a 1-1/4-in. hole for a clamp. I made one for sharpening chisels and plane blades, and a few more with different angles for wood-turning tools. Large labels with the tool’s name tell you which blocks are for which tools. For a Delta grinder with a 6-in.-diameter wheel, a 5-1/2-in.-long piece of 2×4 aligns the tool to the wheel just right. For other bench grinders, you may need to adjust this length. Note: The angle you cut on the block is not the same as the tool’s bevel angle. But let’s skip the math. To determine the block angle, turn off the grinder and hold the tool’s bevel flush against the wheel. The angle of the tool shaft to the workbench is the angle to cut on the 2×4. Our thanks to Ray Caputo for this sharp accessory.
Consider a Low-Speed Grinder for Sharpening
Unless they’re variable speed, most bench grinders run at about 3,450 rpm. If you’re careful and keep the wheel dressed (more on that in another tip), these high-speed grinders work fine. But for sharpening garden and other tools, a low-speed grinder running at 1,750 rpm is a better choice. The lower speed reduces the chance you’ll overheat the edge of your tool. Another advantage of a low-speed grinder (100 to 150) is that this type typically includes friable white grinder wheels, which do a better job of sharpening than the gray grinder wheels usually included with high-speed grinders. See how to use an angle grinder.
Dress Wheels Frequently
Wheel dressing squares the face of the wheel, but more important, it exposes new grit for more efficient cutting. As a wheel is used, the spaces between the cutting grit can become clogged, and the grit itself dulled. A wheel in this condition can cause overheating and slows material removal. A wheel dresser like the one shown here (15 to 30) has a bar with diamond grit impregnated in it. Holding the bar against the spinning wheel cuts away the surface to expose new grit, squares the face of the wheel and rounds the wheel. To use a dressing tool like this, start the bench grinder and wait for it to reach full speed. Then press the diamond wheel dresser against the spinning wheel, holding it perpendicular to the face of the wheel. Be sure to wear a good-quality dust mask. The fine aluminum oxide dust is very bad for your lungs. Draw a pencil line on the wheel before you start to help you gauge when you’ve removed enough material from the wheel. Dress the wheel just until the pencil line disappears.
Watch for the Sparks to Come Over the Top
When you’re sharpening a chisel or other tool, you can tell when the edge is getting sharp by watching the sparks. When the edge is blunt, the sparks are deflected downward. But as the edge gets sharper, the sparks roll over the tool and cascade down the surface facing you. When you see this start to happen, be careful about grinding much more because a thin edge is very vulnerable to overheating.
Make an Angle Gauge
Chisels and other cutting tools work best if their edges are ground at the correct angle. You can search online to find the optimal angle for whatever tool you’re sharpening. Most wood chisels should be ground to about a 25-degree angle with a secondary micro-bevel angle of 30 degrees on the tip of the blade. An angle gauge allows you to set the tool rest at the desired angle. You can make an angle gauge from a thin piece of cardboard using an inexpensive protractor. 1. MARK THE ANGLE ON CARDBOARD Align the center mark on the protractor with the top edge of the cardboard. Then turn the protractor until the desired angle is also aligned with the top edge. Draw a line along the protractor to mark the angle. Don’t forget to label the angle. Cut along the line to create the gauge. 2. ADJUST THE TOOL REST Set the cardboard on the tool rest and adjust the angle of the tool rest until the wheel contacts the center of the angled portion of the cardboard gauge.
Upgrade the Tool Rest
Inexpensive bench grinders have tool rests that are finicky and difficult to adjust. If you do a lot of tool sharpening or simply want a bench grinder tool rest that’s easier to adjust, consider adding a stand-alone tool rest. There are several variations, some made for specific tasks like sharpening lathe turning tools. This Veritas model has two adjustments for positioning and aligning the tool rest, and levers for easy tightening. You can also buy an attachment that holds chisels or plane irons.
Make Your Grinder Portable
Even the most nicely organized home workshops don’t have enough bench space to devote a section to a bench grinder. A good solution is to mount your grinder to a board or small stand so you can clamp it to the bench when you need it, and store on the shelf when you don’t. The compartment on this grinder stand is a good spot to keep your dressing tool and safety glasses so they’re handy when you need them. For a fancier version, build a little drawer to fit the space under the grinder. The stand is built from two 12 x 16-in. pieces of 3/4-in. plywood separated by two 4 x 12-in. uprights. We used two 5/16-in. bolts with washers and nuts to attach the grinder, leaving enough space in front of the grinder to mount a stand-alone tool rest.
Easy-to-Clamp Mobile Base
Shazam! Fasten your bench-top tools to your workbench in seconds. Bolt 3/4-in. plywood bases on the tools and then glue and screw a wood strip along the front edge to fit into a woodworking vise. Crank this strip into a vise to lock the tool into place. If you don’t have a vise, drill a couple of clearance holes along the face of the wood strip on the base and drive screws through the strip into the edge of your workbench. Then just unscrew to remove the tool.
Set Up a Polishing Station
A bench grinder fitted with a wire wheel on one side and a cotton buffing wheel on the other side, or buffing wheels on both sides, makes a great cleaning and polishing tool. You’ll also need a set of polishing compound sticks (14). Polishing compound sticks are color coded to indicate the grit, from coarse to very fine. To use the polishing wheel, hold the stick against the buffing wheel as it spins to transfer some polishing compound to the wheel. Then hold the object lightly against the wheel and let the compound polish the surface.
Sharpen Your Lawn Mower Blade
Sharpening your lawn mower blade is easy with a bench grinder. Grind the tapered cutting edges with a grinder only if you see nicks in the blade. Follow the factory angle of the cutting edge. The grinder will remove nicks in the blade much faster than you can file them.
Not All Grinding Wheels are the Same
You can use two kinds of aluminum-oxide wheels to sharpen your chisels; one is blue-gray and the other white. We used the darker-color wheel, which is harder and will keep its shape longer. The drawback, however, is that it grinds hotter than the softer, white wheel. Too much heat will weaken the steel. The soft wheel will need more frequent shaping with a dressing tool, but you’ll be less likely to burn the edge of your chisel while grinding. For best results, use a 100-grit wheel to shape your chisel blades.
Know When to Replace a Wheel
Slide the wheel over your finger and tap the wheel in four places with a screwdriver handle. All taps should sound the same. If they don’t, scrap the wheel. It’s cracked.