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  1. #1
    DocsMachine is offline Stainless
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    Default Help me find info on an old valve & tool grinder!

    I have an old Van Dorn (Black & Decker) valve and tool grinder that I'm trying to refurbish/restore.

    Except that I think I have the only one in existence!

    According to Google, there is zero information on this unit online. According to Black & Decker, it was obsoleted and no longer supported as of 1954 or so. There are no photos, no catalog pages, no references whatsoever to this machine.

    I can find pictures of B&D's as far back as 1938, but not this machine, and there are no references to "Van Dorn" valve grinders that show this particular machine.

    Now, it's pretty complete, thankfully. Needs a good cleaning and some new spindle bearings, an oil pump and almost certainly some minor repairs, but the previous owner had the motor rewound already, I have a boxful of stones and dressers, the dresser fixture, the rightside stem-dressing assemblies, the cabinet in good shape, and so on. Both axis- work head and grinder head- travel smoothly.

    However...

    The work head has a couple of unique aspects; first, it's an air chuck. That silver flapper on the back is an air valve, which clamps the valve stem. I have not pressurized it yet. Second, it can take up to 1-1/4" valve stems (!)- but uses unique collets, different even from other contemporary Black & Decker valve grinders.

    I have one collet, about a 5/8" or so. Probably has a clamping range of about a quarter inch, it's pretty open.

    I would really, really like to find a manual for this thing- at least for the work head and it's motor.

    I would also like to confirm the collet dimensions; I think the one I have is the correct type, but I don't know. It fits, but the work head has a huge space for collets, and I have only supposition to go on.

    Better yet, I'd love to get any one or all of the rest of the collets, if at all possible, as well as other nose cone(s)- this one's about 11/16", so there must be larger ones for the larger collets.

    Last and probably least- but still very useful- I'd love to see some other photos, ads or catalog entries of this machine. Mine's been repaired at least once (the oil catch tray in front had it's hinge replaced- steel riveted to the cast aluminum body- and not pop rivets either!) and repainted sometime (it was slopped on with a rather indescriminate brush) and I'd like to compare notes if possible.

    I'm not too worried about an actual restoration, but I would like to keep it relatively close to "stock". I have visions of making bolt-on adapters for tool grinding, but that comes later.

    Any information you might have or leads I can chase, will be welcomed.
    Thanks.
    Doc.

  2. #2
    keebo is offline Aluminum
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  3. #3
    Greg White is offline Titanium
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    Default

    Not that I can help,but I remember 20 years or so ago,the now gone auto parts store had a LARGE crankshaft grinder with theVan Dorn name on it,perhaps the way older auto parts stores(if they are still here) might be able to assit you.
    GW

  4. #4
    oliverdude is offline Hot Rolled
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    Default

    I have two valve B&D valve grinders and two seat grinders. One of each to use and th eother for spare parts. When I needed parts for mine, the general idea I got from any possible sources was that nobody knows nothin about no Black & Decker valve grinders, but they do still make sanders and drills. Yeh, a lot of help isn't it. And mine was built in the early 80's. What is the model/spec. number of your grinder.

    If you haven't found them already, you can try Goodson Shop Supplies for wheels. Other parts.....well.....good luck.

    Goodson

  5. #5
    DocsMachine is offline Stainless
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    Default

    Thanks Ollie, but consumables aren't the problem. It uses a normal small V-belt, conventional 4" and 5" wheels, and a standard I think 1/2" shank dressing diamond. No problems there.

    And so far, the only replacement parts I know I'll need at the moment (I haven't dug into the work head) are spindle bearings, collets, and an oil/coolant pump.

    Much as I'd like to have an original pump (I've found one photo from a different model but similar era) I'll probably wind up with a simple Little Giant submersible parts-washer pump or something. Make it easy.

    As for collets, I've been toying with the idea of making a couple of adapters- a cup and new nose cone- that would allow the air chuck to take ER collets. There's enough room in there to fit an ER32, without making any permanent modifications to the chuck, but I'm concerned with how concentric I can keep things.

    Spindle bearings should be pretty easy. I got the grinder from a guy that runs a bearing shop, and he seemed to think they'd be easy to find and inexpensive.

    Keebo- I've seen most of those already, thanks. Trust me, I've scoured Google six ways from Sunday for this thing. I'm actually kind of surprised, as it's one of the very few things I've ever looked for online, that had essentially zero information. No pics, no references to the model number in a PDF somewhere, not even a bulletin board posting making mention in passing.

    When I put up a page on my website about the rebuild/refurb, I'll have pretty much 100% of the online information about it.

    Greg- I wouldn't even know who to call. I'm in Alaska, and at least locally, the oldest parts stores around are NAPAs that were built maybe five years ago. I've been trying to spread the word, as there's some old-timers with goodies like this in their garages here and there, but that's of course hit-and-miss at best.

    That and the Google results make me think this was a low-production unit. Probably the top-of-the-line machine at the time, and sold in ones and twos while the smaller, cheaper units sold by the tens and dozens. How many engines, after all, have a 1-1/4" valve stem?

    So these probably went to the occasional heavy industrial or diesel shop, while a great many more of the smaller ones went to the day-to-day automotive shops.

    Supposition, of course, but probably not too far off the mark.

    Doc.

  6. #6
    abarnsley is offline Titanium
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    Default Doc

    E.A. Patson in Anchorage has been around since late 40's, Has tons of neat stuff(bought out many auto garages and parts), but you have to ask, they don't read minds.... They use 4 in dia Engine intake valves for paperweights...

    Friend found a NOS Dodge WWII radiator there, just had to ask.

  7. #7
    DocsMachine is offline Stainless
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    Default

    Sounds like my kind of place! Have any contact info? I'm on the Peninsula, not in the big city...

    Doc.

  8. #8
    abarnsley is offline Titanium
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    Default E. A. Patson

    (907) 333-5682 fax 338-6825
    The old man(Elmer) probably sold several of those old grinders.....

  9. #9
    Greg White is offline Titanium
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    Doc,sorry did not notice the Alaska part,it would not have registered as a no old auto parts stores anyway.I do recall that crankshaft grinder kinda like it was yesterday,it was huge,the stores fortae was large equipment,the grinder was so pretty,already had been standing around machinery for 20 years when I saw it,so it was understandable to me how it worked,never saw 1 before or since,good luck with your search.
    GW

  10. #10
    DocsMachine is offline Stainless
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    I have to say, you'll never see tools like this ever again.

    I have it mostly disassembled- it's filthy dirty, but thankfully with very minimal wear on the sliding parts. Kind of surprising as most of the gunk is essentially oily grinding dust.

    But the two moving trays (X and Y) and the grinder head are cast iron, the main frame is formed of pressed and welded 3/16" steel plate, both trays slide on sort of round linear bearings (cast iron bosses with wear-adjustment screws) the Y-axis shaft is ground from 2" solid rod and heat-treated, the oil catch tray is welded- clearly manually, but by a skilled weldor- from 10 and 12-gauge steel, everything has wear adjusters and oil cups...

    It's really just a simple valve grinder, but the same tool today would either be a $12,000 to $15,000 machine, or it'd all be injection-molded plastic. This thing's an easy sixty-plus years old and it just needs a cleaning. Where's that DeWalt cordless drill gonna be in just ten years?

    Anyone have any suggestions on a good oil/coolant pump? The factory one, I think, going by pics of similar machines, has the motor above the oil tray on a cover, with the pump/pickup extending down into the oil. I'd like to find something like this, and preferably a metal body and motor, rather than an all-plastic Little Giant or similar.

    Doc.

  11. #11
    Greg White is offline Titanium
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    Default

    Yep ,your right ,I consider it a gift to have seen the machines I have seen.
    About the pump,I just refurbished a 1964 "Gusher" pump for my shop,and it is bilt simialer to what you are describing,they are still in business,if you type in gusher pump you will get alot of sites to look at.I mean on the internet.there may be data here,dunno.
    You prolly will not like the prices,gull darn plastic impeller to replace cast bronze one about 1 1/2 "in dia. cost 43 dollars,i paid it.
    respect
    GW

  12. #12
    chiniak1955 is offline Plastic
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    Default

    I also have recently acquired a Black & Decker Super Service Valve Refacer-Type TD (Catalog No. 282-550)(Serial No. 5412256). and am looking for some parts.

    I need the holding fixture for the valve stem grinder (right side of the machine) and the wheel dressing fixture.

    I was able to find a manual, from among the many he offers, from
    Dennis Bensavage
    BE Automotive Machine
    263 National HWY
    LaVale MD 21502
    301-697-4890

    http://www.beautomotivemachine.com/servlet/StoreFront

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