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Thread: Wheels for Grinder? Gee Whilickers. Which ones?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Wheels for Grinder? Gee Whilickers. Which ones?

    I've been spelunking the forum and reading various blogs/articles. I'll admit I'm now pretty confused and don't know what to buy (wheels, I mean. I already bought a Rikon 8" low speed grinder.)

    What I think I've learned:
    1. White wheels run hotter
    2. Norton 3x blue wheels run cooler (assuming all else equal to above)
    3. CBN wheels run so cool you don't need to quench
    4. Blue/White "stone" wheels can be crowned with the diamond dresser (TFWW blogs seem to make a strong case for this being superior to a wheel dressed flat across).
    5. CBN lasts virtually forever and won't need wobble correction accessories.
    6. Some people advocate a blue wheel and a CBN combo. (60x Blue, and 120x CBN, so you have something to grind non ferrous metal)
    7. Some people advocate two CBN (better balance I've read).
    8. CBN is less PITA factor (never need to dress, less mess)
    9. CBN can't be dressed to a crown (unless you buy one that way).
    10. CBN is expensive.


    I don't care about #10, if they last long enough as stated, not really a factor long term.
    I currently plan to use the grinder for cambering blades for jack plane/jointer plane work. Eventually I might wear a chisel to the point it needs a new primary bevel, but that is a ways down the road.
    I am 98% certain I want to get into turning at a future date. (I've almost pulled the trigger on a lathe 3 times... but need to free up more space in the garage first).
    I don't have any real need to sharpen lawn mower blades or shovels or what-not. I anticipate using this for just wood working/turning tools. (I have a belt sander I can use in a pinch for the odd random garden tool if need be).
    I am completely confused as to what to buy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    IMO, given that you don't need to sharpen garden tools and #10 is not an issue Erich, than I believe that the CBN wheel in the 180# - 220# range would be the preferred wheel due to the factors you described - #3 runs cool, #5 lasts virtually forever, and #8 less PITA. Using the CBN wheel, I believe that you can grind your preferred primary bevel fairly/very close to the tip end of the chisel without overheating the steel (if you don't do anything absolutely stupid), and then it requires only a few (very few) strokes on a hone and polish grade stone to finish that sharpening cycle. I don't believe that it is quite as easy to grind that primary bevel that close to the tip end of a chisel with a conventional stone wheel due to a greater potential of overheating in spite of quenching, but I cannot confirm that and will gladly stand correction on that belief if it is in error. The quickly accomplished few-stokes-on-the-hone-and-polish stone steps each can then be repeated several times before needing to repeat the primary grind work. That should result in quite a time saving factor if you are doing much chisel and plane work. A downside to the CBN wheel may be that it has been pointed out that the dust resulting from grinding on a CBN wheel is hazardous and possibly much more prevalent due to the lack of using any water in the operation. Wheels running through a water bath or something similar will hold the dust down considerably. I also believe that a lightly used CBN wheel could be resold for a decent resale price if it did not suit you after a trial run.
    Last edited by David Eisenhauer; 08-04-2020 at 1:43 AM.
    David

  3. #3
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    At this moment in time, my ideal setup would be an 8" half speed grinder with a 180 grit CBN wheel on one side, and a stitch cloth buffing wheel on the other. Use a Tormek BGM-100 blade guide for the CBN wheel. Get the Tormek angle guide to set the grind angle.

    Learn to hollow grind, and finish with waterstones. For chisels, learn to buff the edge after honing, adding a nano tertiary bevel (aka Unicorn method). The latter was recently described by David Weaver. I have not yet found a reliable way to do plane blades to the quality level I want, but bench/paring/lathe chisels, along with spokeshave blades and knives are the sharpest I have every had. Perhaps the most durable edge too, but I cannot yet determine this.

    On the right is a bench grinder with CBN wheels. On the left (replacing a Tormek) is a new bench grinder with a new stitched buffing mop. The other side will be receiving another mop. Keeping the costs down, this could be done with a single machine.



    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  4. #4
    I think a CBN is the best sharpening investment I've made for turning tools. I use my worksharp with diamond lap plates for flat blade rough work, but the CBN is still more efficient when I need it.

    Get a quality, wide one (you'll pay for it). A good one will last and be reliable for a long time.

  5. #5
    I have a 180# CBN wheel from Hurricane Tools and an 80# Norton 3X on one grinder and flat and shaped hard felt buffing wheels on the other. The CBN is the best investment I have made in sharpening bar none.

    The only dust coming off a CBN wheel is steel- not that you want to breath it in but you get that plus the grit and binders from conventional wheels.

  6. #6
    Also, I love the "gee whilickers" statement. Takes me back!

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Big Bend/Panhandle, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    I have not yet found a reliable way to do plane blades to the quality level I want...
    Derek
    Will you elaborate on this comment? Are you referring to the "Unicorn" method being unable to produce quality results or hollow grinding of plane irons in general not being able to produce high quality results? Just curious.

    Tim

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Best View Post
    Derek
    Will you elaborate on this comment? Are you referring to the "Unicorn" method being unable to produce quality results or hollow grinding of plane irons in general not being able to produce high quality results? Just curious.

    Tim
    Tim, I do not have a problem hollow grinding anything, including plane blades. It is the buffing for the Unicorn edge for plane blades that I need to develop a touch to do, and specifically blades with cambers. David has produced another video for plane blades, however he is demonstrating a narrow edge and not planing a wide face.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  9. #9
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    Derek,

    Thanks for the response. I know your are a proponent of hollow grinding. I guess I read too much (or perhaps not enough) in your statement.

    Tim

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Austin, TX
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    So sounds like a 180 CBN for one side.
    But, crowned, or flat?

    The other side? (I'll have to read about this Unicorn method, but I'm understanding that it requires the cloth wheel)
    Assuming I'm not chasing unicorns but intend to go from the grinder to stones for sharpening chisels/plane blades... what would be a good choice? Another CBN at different grit?
    Just leave the white wheel the Rikon came with in case I ever do decide to sharpen garden tools?
    Last edited by Erich Weidner; 08-05-2020 at 11:02 PM.

  11. #11
    I hope that DK thought about patenting it. https://www.wired.com/story/why-do-r...ll-so-quickly/ Same problem - edge breaks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    At this moment in time, my ideal setup would be an 8" half speed grinder with a 180 grit CBN wheel on one side, and a stitch cloth buffing wheel on the other. Use a Tormek BGM-100 blade guide for the CBN wheel. Get the Tormek angle guide to set the grind angle.

    Learn to hollow grind, and finish with waterstones. For chisels, learn to buff the edge after honing, adding a nano tertiary bevel (aka Unicorn method). The latter was recently described by David Weaver. I have not yet found a reliable way to do plane blades to the quality level I want, but bench/paring/lathe chisels, along with spokeshave blades and knives are the sharpest I have every had. Perhaps the most durable edge too, but I cannot yet determine this.

    On the right is a bench grinder with CBN wheels. On the left (replacing a Tormek) is a new bench grinder with a new stitched buffing mop. The other side will be receiving another mop. Keeping the costs down, this could be done with a single machine.



    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    I have a CBN 80 and 180 grit on a ricon low speed grinder. Both are the 1.5Ē wide square wheels. The 80 is very aggressive and only needed for rehabbing nasty irons or shaping metal stuff. I use the 180 almost exclusively.
    With a light touch, quenching is infrequent, but I do it probably more frequently than necessary just for kicks.
    You can shop around, but I like to support Woodturners Wonders.
    I also got the self-aligning spherical washers to ensure there is no wobble.

    This is actually my first grinding set up and canít imagine a better system.

  13. #13
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    Oct 2004
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    I went with the Spartan wheel in 180 grit. Spartan because it was the least expensive (important for a grinding noob) and 180 grit because I do no not expect much in the way of major rehabs. The buffing wheel goes on the other side. Also bought the BGM-100 adapter & workbar. Should all arrive this weekend so I will have more machine setup to do (in triple digit heat) so I can do hand tool work. The irony is escaping me.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Mueller View Post
    You can shop around, but I like to support Woodturners Wonders.
    I'm completely ignorant of what makes one brand/CBN wheel better than another. Which wheel specifically? And is it flat or hollow profiled?
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Mueller View Post
    I also got the self-aligning spherical washers to ensure there is no wobble.
    So, I thought that the CBN wheels were supposed to be balanced from the factory (unlike the stone wheels)? Do they really need the balancing kit?

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    Erich, I doubt there is much difference between the CBN wheels on sale. I would not get the wheels with a rounded edge. I had problems with them not being flat across the face. Get the square edged ones.

    Washers are probably needed for just those machines with some runout. My bench grinder did not require anything special. I use cheap washers.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

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