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how important is having a DECENT bench grinder vs. a $30 garage sale one?

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Forum topic by Millo posted 720 days ago 1387 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Millo

543 posts in 1634 days


720 days ago

Meaning: I have $100 in Lowes gift cards. Was thinking we needed a trimmer/edger but then I thought: “hmm, I really should round the edges on the smoothing blades for my Veritas low-angle jack, and should probably do that with a grinder”. Obviously a grinder will make it easier for sharpening everything, incluidng lawn mower blades (do it with different stones), doing hollow grinds, etc. Also, about a month or two ago I saw a Fine Woodowkring mag that had an article on becnh grinders. I didn’t read the article but did browse through it while waiting at the cashier somewhere and apparently they said the newer Porter Cable they have at Lowes is decent. Can anyone vouch for it?

So, my question is, if I want to primarily sharpen by hand using stones, etc how important is having a nicer grinder vs. an old 8” two-speed or slow-speed grinder? There is now rush here, just wondering… Also, I am definitely NOT planning on forking out for a Worksharp, Tormek or something of the sort.

One more: if I buy a typical new grinder, should I get different stones?

Thanks!


15 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4693 posts in 1161 days


#1 posted 720 days ago

Slow speed grinder’s rock.

Can’t vouch for the PC at Lowe’s because I purchase off of Craigslist and get way
better deals.

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1277 days


#2 posted 720 days ago

I’d get the trimmer, Millo. I’ve got a Tormek, a JET, a cheapo, and a treadle (that doesn’t really work, lol). I think it boils down to 1) the stone, 2) the motor, and 3) the available attachments. Unless you’re a lathe guy, I doubt you need anything other than a decent motor and stone. Find a quality vintage grinder at a garage sale and spend $30 on a nice stone. Then weedeat your property with your new trimmer:) Husqvarna by the way:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Don W's profile

Don W

14489 posts in 1152 days


#3 posted 720 days ago

+1 what Al said

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Newage Neanderthal's profile

Newage Neanderthal

190 posts in 1135 days


#4 posted 720 days ago

Don’t be scared, get the Baldor 1409W 14 Bench Grinder. You can probably snag one for a bit under $2,500 if you look around. Of course, its not going to be cheap to install that 3 phase 575 volt line.

-- www.newageneanderthal.blogspot.com . @NANeanderthal on twitter

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1277 days


#5 posted 720 days ago

^lol, that’s one way to go:) Probably won’t bog down on a 1/4 inch chisel:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Newage Neanderthal's profile

Newage Neanderthal

190 posts in 1135 days


#6 posted 720 days ago

Al
we got one of those at work, and I swear it seems like it going to start a black hole when that thing starts up. It throws sparks, with a buffing wheel on it.

-- www.newageneanderthal.blogspot.com . @NANeanderthal on twitter

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11638 posts in 2272 days


#7 posted 720 days ago

Craigslist can be your friend …if you find an 8” slow or variable speed grinder , I doubt you’ll ever need anything else.
Spend the money you saved on some good wheels to match your grinding / sharpening needs : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Millo's profile

Millo

543 posts in 1634 days


#8 posted 720 days ago

Thanks a gazillion, guys… and yeah, that Baldor might have to wait a bit ;-) ...although the 14” is a larger/less steep radius for hollow-grinding so hey, maybe.

Nah. ;-)

View MonteCristo's profile

MonteCristo

2092 posts in 773 days


#9 posted 720 days ago

The wheels on your grinder are as important or more so than the grinder itself. Use grey wheels on tool steels and you`ll likely damage the temper. Grey wheels are good for angle iron etc and not ww tools. Get some white wheels for O1 steel blades or blue wheels for stuff like A2 tool steel. Your Veritas iron will be either O1 or A2.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Tedstor's profile

Tedstor

1369 posts in 1217 days


#10 posted 720 days ago

When I was in the USMC, my aviation shop had a Vietnam-era craftsman grinder. It saw heavy use on a daily basis. So when I needed a grinder for my own garage, I was thrilled to stumble upon the very same grinder on craigslist. Paid the princely sum of $25 (with pedestal) and its never failed to do what I’ve asked of it.

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11638 posts in 2272 days


#11 posted 719 days ago

That’s a great looking grinder with the extended arbors, Ted : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View MedicKen's profile

MedicKen

1599 posts in 2046 days


#12 posted 719 days ago

I use an old Cincinnati 6” 1750 rpm grinder outfitted with a 100 grit and 150 grit friable wheels. I picked up the grinder and stand for $20, replaced the bearings, painted it and mounted a Wolverine jig for sharpening turning tools under it. It did cost a little more for the jig but the grinder will run forever. I would look used and clean it up add some bearings and call it done. But thats just me. I dont like buying chinese tools.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1435 days


#13 posted 719 days ago

The subtext I hear is “cheap” means used but good. Don’t let “cheap” in this case get you a HF tool (though there may be some good ones out there).

Fold up three tens in the corner of your billFOLD and attend to CL and you’ll find one that will last your lifetime and more. Think positive thoughts about it while you are whacking those hapless weeds.

Good info here on wheels. I thank you, posters, for that.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View LukieB's profile

LukieB

921 posts in 914 days


#14 posted 719 days ago

I have the 6” Porter-Cable from Lowe’s and I like it(I really like the flexible light and the variable speed), but I also have a vintage one I got for free from a family friend (a Ward’s Power Kraft) that I like much better.(more guts)

-- Lucas, "Someday woodworks will be my real job, until then, there's this http://www.melbrownfarmsupply.com"

View Millo's profile

Millo

543 posts in 1634 days


#15 posted 715 days ago

cool, I’ll keep looking at Craig’s List. Later

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