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Thread: Which Bench Grinder?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Fripp Island, SC and Darien, IL
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    Which Bench Grinder?

    I am trying to upgrade my plane and chisel sharpening from the scary sharp system which takes hours to return to the base bevel of plane blades even with a 250 stone. Do you recomend a dry grinder or something like the Tormek. If a dry grinder which one. They all seem to suffer negative ratings on Amazon.
    Thank you in advance.
    Bill ​

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Michiana
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    I got a variable speed Delta at the Borg. The price was right and it works great.

    Grinder.JPG
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  3. #3
    The slow waterstone machines are a slow way of honing, an even more laborious for grinding.
    The real question is ...
    Is a slow speed 8" bench grinder, what's twice the price of a regular 8" one, worth shelling out for?
    Considering that you can get a diamond wheel for it, in due course.
    I think the white wheels come second in line, but shed grit everywhere.

    Pricewise, I'm sure someone here, has weighed up those options.

    Tom

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Michigan, USA
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    277
    I have a WEN 8" slow speed grinder from HD (~ $110). It's not something I use every day, but I've been happy with it for a variety of sharpening tasks - chisels, plane irons, mower blades.

  5. #5
    I would like to state a different approach. Use a well tuned bench grinder. With aluminium oxide wheel at 80 grit. It can shape your tools fast and sharp. It is about presenting your chisel to the bench grinder at the correct angle and pressure.
    I have done many times with an eclipse jig and it works very well in creating the bevel for me.

    That said. I have various tools at my disposal like a bench grinder, belt grinder with VFD and a complete set of whetstones. Each one has it's place. The wet grinder I have yet to catch that bug yet. I find a 2x72 belt grinder with all the attachments very tempting. I don't have that yet.

  6. #6
    I just bought a Rikon 8 inch slow speed grinder from Rockler that was on sale for $100. I added the Veritas grinder tool rest and jig and am pretty happy with the setup. I've only used it with a practice chisel so far, but I can tell that it's going to be a lot more efficient. I originally wanted a Tormek, but for resetting the bevel I heard it was really slow, and for the price I decided to go with the grinder.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Dickinson, Texas
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    I have a Delta and it is a good tool.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    This may not be considered a grinder, but it is a great sharpening system:

    Veritas® Mk.II Power Sharpening System Click it to see it.

    Mine has been in use for about 15 to 20 years now.

    The way the thickness of the abrasive disks work, it will automatically produce a micro bevel. If one doesn't want a micro bevel, then it is possible to use the backing sheets of the pressure sensitive abrasive sheets to lift the platters with the finer abrasives to maintain a flat bevel.

    PLEASE NOTE: This system produces a flat bevel as opposed to a hollow bevel that a grinder produces.

    My first discovery was that it is helpful to have about five of the tool holders. This way one can work a lot of blades in one session. It also takes about the same amount of time for one blade to cool as it takes to work on four more. Otherwise a dip in to some water to cool works. When mine was purchased there were a lot of old blades needing work coming through my shop.

    One great advantage of this system is when working the backs of blades. The flat disk makes that a lot easier.

    If one does go for this system it might also be a good idea to order some extra abrasive disks.

    This system works for me on many levels. My sharpening needs includes sharpening chisels, gouges and plane blades like any other wood worker. It also includes garden tools and other miscellaneous items. At times it is even used to round the ends of wooden dowels, try that on a wheel grinder.

    My main reason for selecting this system was a Fine Woodworking review of sharpening systems. This one received a better rating than the Tormek at the time.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  9. #9
    I've spent a devil of a lot of money trying to find the best approach for my needs (chisels, plane irons). I tried a Tormek clone, but it was waaaay tooooo slowwww for resetting a bevel. I returned it.

    Where I got to:
    * 8" slow speed grinder (1/2 hp, Rikon). $100 on sale.
    * 180 grit cbn wheel for said grinder. $100.
    * Tormek tool holder for grinder. (BGM100 - $69, plus SE77 - $70)
    * 1000 grit Shapton stone, 6000 grit Shapton stone, roughly $200

    I spent a lot of money on stones, worksharps, tormek clones, Lee Valley stuff, etc before I learned that this was all I needed. Everyone is different. Maybe you need (or want) more or less. But this is what works for me, based on a great deal of trial and error.

    Hope it helps.
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Afraid I am still in the "Dark Ages" as for as an electric grinder..
    IMAG0062.jpg
    Old Craftsman....
    IMAG0063.jpg
    And a big cup of water nearby...
    IMAG0064.jpg
    Well, there is also that hand-cranked grinder....

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    If one really wants a low speed grinder this is hard to beat:

    Ultra-Slow Speed Grind Wheel.jpg

    Though it takes a pretty big bench.

    Not quite as versatile as my Veritas Mk.II Power Sharpening System.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  12. #12
    Fredrick,
    Would you still opt for the slow speed grinder, now that you have tried the CBN wheel?
    Tom

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Trees View Post
    Fredrick,
    Would you still opt for the slow speed grinder, now that you have tried the CBN wheel?
    Tom
    Yes Tom, I think I would. I just feel more comfortable with it.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Dickinson, Texas
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    Just go to Lowes or Homedepot and shop. You will find Delta for one and it is a good grinder.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
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    Maybe one like Roy Underhill uses?
    Underhill Grinder 1.JPGUnderhill Grinder 2.JPG
    Just clamp it about anywhere...
    Underhill Grinder, clamp.JPG
    ( I haul those cans in about once a month...and recycle..)

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