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Thread: Seeking Recommendation on a Bench Grinder with Specific Features.

  1. #1

    Seeking Recommendation on a Bench Grinder with Specific Features.

    Hi, Everyone. I dearly love this forum, although I have not posted in a long time. You folks are so knowledgeable and always have such great suggestions.

    Here is my situation. I make a small music accessory and need to build my own saw. Without going into all the details, I've been searching for a sawing solution for eight years. I've finally found the machine that will do the job, but even used ones are $4000-5000. I've made my own tooling before, so this won't be difficult. Thank you in advance for any advice and suggestions you may have.

    I am knocking off a very expensive saw by a company named Buehler. Below is the link and specs and a photo. These saw used expensive diamond-encrusted blades that are water-cooled.

    https://www.buehler.com/products/sec...igh-speed-pro/











    IsoMet High Speed Pro
    Cut Operation Automatic, Manual, or SmartCut control Linear Blade Feed
    Units English and Metric
    Blade Movement Axis Horizontal and Linear (X, Y, Z)
    Display 6.5in LCD Display with LED Backlighting
    Controls Touch Screen; Precision Controllers
    Lighting 2 LED Strip Adjustable brightness
    Programming Retains Last Settings Serial Sectioning
    Laser Optional Green Laser
    Blade Position Settings Horizontal: 0 – 2in [0 – 50mm]
    Cut Length Range .01 – 7.25in [1mm – 184mm]
    Cut Length Increment 0.01in [.25mm]
    Feed Rate Range .04 – 1in/min [1.2 – 25.4mm/min]
    Feed Rate Increment 0.01in increments [1mm increments]
    Blade Speed 1000-5000rpm
    Cut Capacity (Diameter) 2.8in [71mm]
    Coolant Systems Built-in Recirculating System, 1gal [4L]
    Flow Rate Wash Down Hose 2L/min
    Flow Rate on Blade 2.5L/min
    Wafering Blade Diameters 3 – 8in [76 – 203mm]
    Abrasive Blade Diameters 5 – 8in [127 – 200mm]
    Cut Chamber Size 9in x 20in [228mm x 508mm]
    Machine Dimensions Width: 24in [610mm]
    Depth: 30in [762mm]
    Height (Hood Opened): 36in [915mm]
    Height (Hood Closed): 19in [483mm]
    Weight 157Lbs[71.2kg]
    Electrical
    Motor Power at 220VAC 2.68Hp [2kW]
    Main Power 100 – 240VAC, 50-60Hz, 1 Phase
    Noise Level 58dB
    Safety Features Interlock Hood Switch, Emergency Stop
    Compliance CE Directives

    The bench unit I'm looking for is similar to the Harbor Freight model below, except I need a slower RPM and/or a variable RPM model. The features I need or will add are:

    1) Water cooling. I can build a well for this.
    2) Due to the water cooling, I need a unit with a long "throw" on the arms, to keep the blade as far away as possible from the machine. I will isolate and water-seal everything, but this feature will make the build easier.
    3) 1750 RMP speed, or variable 1000-5000 range.
    4) I always prefer to buy clean/used, so ideally the saw I buy is popular with many used ones in the market.

    Lastly, if someone is familiar with the strange world of these saws and has a solution I haven't thought of, I'm all ears.

    IMPORTANT: I am a tiny company with zero profit. I cannot and will not belly-up for a used saw at $3-4K, no matter how clean.

    Sorry to write a novel.

    Thank You,
    Scott
    Last edited by Scott Memmer; 05-15-2024 at 7:12 PM.

  2. #2
    You may want to give a shout out to Cuttermasters. They apparently construct special application machines based on the Tradesman grinder.
    https://cuttermasters.com/product-ca.../tradesman-dc/

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Mathews View Post
    You may want to give a shout out to Cuttermasters. They apparently construct special application machines based on the Tradesman grinder.
    https://cuttermasters.com/product-ca.../tradesman-dc/
    Steve, thanks so much. I will check them out right now.

    sm

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Peoria, IL
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    4,674
    I'd think an old horizontal mill with a vise on the bed would work well. They don't bring much money as most prefer a knee mill. $800 for this good example. https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...c-e53b4b617116

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    Buy a used three phase grinder and use a vfd to run it slower.
    Bill D

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    Look at Baldor buffers. They have longer shafts than grinders and come in 1725 rpm plus other choices. They even come up once in a while on Craigslist. You won’t ever wear one out.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Wet grinders like the Tormek are limited to 150 rpm so they don’t sling water.

  8. #8
    What material are you cutting?
    IOW, would a tile saw serve you better?
    A step up in precision and locational positioning could be a surface grinder. Old mechanical-auto machines are cheap.
    Or as has been mentioned, a small horizontal mill, (probably?) with lever feeds. The big old machines are too slow rpm for your needs.
    However, some of the small lever feeds can easily be adapted with an add-on spindle. I bought one at an auction last year for $5 and am building the spindle between work on the house.

    Speaking of spindles, there are an awful lot of variable speed router spindles available for a few $hundred, including some that are water-cooled. Popular with cue makers.

    As also has been mentioned, 3ph with VFD is the modern cheap means to get variable speed for many ops.

    smt

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    Pretty much any three phase buffer/polisher will be very good industrial quality. As long as the shaft is not bent and the wheel arbor nut threads are good not much to worry about. Maybe bearings and you do not care about any missing guards or tool rests.
    Bill D
    Bill D
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 05-16-2024 at 11:38 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Replace the bearings with sealed ones not shielded. if needed.
    Bill D

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    We don't know exactly what the end goal is, but I made a little sled for my tile saw out of Corian scraps for cutting multiple pieces exactly the same. With a glass cutting blade (also a diamond encrusted blade, but not sure of the relative rating of expensive), it cut pretty accurate pieces with smooth edges.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Tom M King; 05-16-2024 at 1:02 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Central TN
    Posts
    477
    Could you get a small VFD spindle from a CNC machine and bolt it sideways? They make all sorts of blade holders for machine tools (look for "slitting saws" for a start).

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Coers View Post
    I'd think an old horizontal mill with a vise on the bed would work well. They don't bring much money as most prefer a knee mill. $800 for this good example. https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...c-e53b4b617116
    Richard, thanks very much. Unfortunately, I have a very small shop and that would take up too much room. I guess I pretty much need a benchtop device with a small footprint, maybe 12" x 12".

    Thanks Again,
    Scott

  14. #14
    As usual, you guys are full of the greatest ideas and options. I had no doubt you'd come through.

    To give a little more background (I was rushed with my OP yesterday), we cut industrial, high-end plastics that are similar to Delrin or Ultem but are MUCH more expensive. These would include PEEK, TORLON, VESPEL, etc., some of the most expensive plastics on earth. The problem is that the cost of the sheet stock (vs rod) is about five to one, plus for many of these materials the thinnest sheet you can get is 1/4". We make guitar picks with this stuff, so most of our needs are in the thickness range of .040"-.080" (one to two millimeters). Below is a PEEK rod, for example. We typically buy these at 1.50 mm diameter, then slice off little pizza discs.

    Maybe you guys have some other tooling ideas -- and if so, I'm all ears -- but here's our problem. Some of these materials are incredibly expensive -- again, among the most expensive plastics on the planet. For example, we use two materials where a 12" rod x 1.50" costs $700 or more. Therefore, the kerf loss (path of the blade) becomes a huge problem. You cut a .040" thick disc, you lose that much or more on the cut. The diamond blade solution offers blades as thin as .015-.020".



    I was lucky to find a stash of some of these materials at half of wholesale, so I've just been cutting them with a bandsaw, which works great, but there is a TON of material loss in that approach, along with a jagged surface area (I use high-TPI metal-cutting blades, but it still sucks).

    sm
    Last edited by Scott Memmer; 05-16-2024 at 2:28 PM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Memmer View Post
    ... blades as thin as .015-.020".
    Materials listed are all thermoplastics. Have you considered hot wire cutters?

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