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User opinion of Kent surface grinders?

Cole2534

Diamond
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Location
Oklahoma City, OK
I ran across a Kent surface grinder at my local hidey hole and wondering if it's worth picking up. Owner didn't know much about it and I reluctantly didn't get an image of the tag.

85 vintage, ~8x16 or ~8x20 travels. Dials graduated in tenths. It has a hydraulic power pack presumably for the X axis but it had some other controls to the down right side of the machine. Over the wheel dresser as well.

Were these good machines, junk, quirky?

I have a Harig 612 now in great shape, and only use it but maybe a few times per year. But if this is in good shape, let's say the price is right. Thoughts?

Programmed via Mazatrol
 

implmex

Titanium
Joined
Jun 23, 2002
Location
Vancouver BC Canada
Hi Cole2534:
I had a Kent 10 x 20 hydraulic grinder for decades and I swapped it last year for a 6 x 18 Jones and Shipman.
While the J&S is undoubtedly a better, more accurate grinder, it's not as handy to run as the Kent was, especially for grinding plates.
I miss the Kent.
It was bouncy and couldn't do as nice a finish, but it was handy and quick to use.
All the detailing was crappy...dials that wobbled, flakey power crossfeed, not super flat, goofy mag chuck etc etc, but for what I had to do on it, it was a nice working Chevy.

Cheers

Marcus
Implant Mechanix • Design & Innovation > HOME
Vancouver Wire EDM -- Wire EDM Machining
 

Cole2534

Diamond
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Location
Oklahoma City, OK
They're asking $750 and that's the only reason I'm interested. Much larger work envelope, but hell, in the last 3 years I've only used my Harig to grind obscure lathe tools and surface a small shear blade.

I think I'll pass, not worth the space it'll occupy.

Programmed via Mazatrol
 

cash

Titanium
Joined
Aug 8, 2007
Location
Greendale,WI
We have 2 small kent grinders, I think about 10 x 18 table. Hydraulic table motion. They are decent machines.
 

M. Roberts

Aluminum
Joined
May 11, 2021
Cole,

We have a 2000ish vintage Kent 1020 AHD grinder...it was our bread and butter machine for many years until we purchased an Okamoto 1020 machine. We don't use it anymore...it ran ok, some minor issues over the years; it didn't like to down feed in the 0.0001" range. Are you interested in our machine? We are located in Delaware....

Mark
 

Cole2534

Diamond
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Location
Oklahoma City, OK
Cole,

We have a 2000ish vintage Kent 1020 AHD grinder...it was our bread and butter machine for many years until we purchased an Okamoto 1020 machine. We don't use it anymore...it ran ok, some minor issues over the years; it didn't like to down feed in the 0.0001" range. Are you interested in our machine? We are located in Delaware....

Mark

No sir, thank you though. I've decided to pass on this machine, should anyone else want the info I'd be happy to share it.
 

CarbideBob

Diamond
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Location
Flushing/Flint, Michigan
I know you have passed on it but I'll add this.
A step up from your Harig 612.
But, and this a big one. A small Harig manual 6x12 is faster and easier to use for small parts and jobs than any hydraulic.
I have grinders converted to cnc but the little manual machine is just so handy for quick work.
Sort of biased view here as at one time I had 9 manual Harig 612s running 3 shifts.
Bob
 

metalmagpie

Titanium
Joined
May 22, 2006
Location
Seattle
Take a precision leval and put it on the chuck (off). Crank the tabke all the way to both ends while watching the bubble. This quick and dirty test will give you an idea of the integrity of the ways.
 

michiganbuck

Diamond
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Location
Mt Clemens, Michigan 48035
Take a precision leval and put it on the chuck (off). Crank the tabke all the way to both ends while watching the bubble. This quick and dirty test will give you an idea of the integrity of the ways.

and another quick trick is to lay a precision parallel on the chuck on the top closest to the operator and give it a little push on one end.. if it pivots at the center then the last chuck grind may have made a dome (high in the center)chuck grinding.

Normal wear to a chuck top with an oil scraped way design machine is going lower at the center area.

The chuck top area close to the operator position is often hardly used.
running an indicator across chuck tells very little.*

I have not used a Kent, but have never heard anything bad about them.

I prefer oil scraped way machines, but some/many top grinders have ball ways
 

implmex

Titanium
Joined
Jun 23, 2002
Location
Vancouver BC Canada
Hi michiganbuck:
These are not super grinders, they're pretty basic and pretty crudely made.
None of the six I've driven over the years could grind flat , they all made a convex curved surface...the best was about 0.0003" in 20" and the worst was about 0.0012" in 20" and that was when they were brand new.
My own machine did about 0.0005" in 20" and humped just enough to leave a finish you could easily see the waves on if you stoned over the just ground surface.
They would typically be about 0.0001 to 0.0002" deep and were caused by two things.
First, they were all ball way machines with about 16 mm balls and the ball ways weren't all that hard so they didn't transport well.
Every one I ever had the table off of, had some evidence of brinnelling...usually not a lot, but enough to affect how nicely you could grind
Second they all had an exposed table rack that would pick up dirt and hump like mad if you neglected to clean them and then traversed the table by hand.

But they were cheap cheerful and handy to use...especially the wheel downfeed which is down by your right knee and has 0.100" traverse per turn.
Compared to the 618 Harig I had and the J&S I have now, they were pretty rough, but much less bother to use, especially for grinding mold plates.

Cheers

Marcus
Implant Mechanix • Design & Innovation > HOME
Vancouver Wire EDM -- Wire EDM Machining
 

winger

Stainless
Joined
Dec 28, 2005
Location
portage county, wisconsin
I have a 6 x 14 manual Kent with ball ways. Great machine for home, it was used when I bought it and I knew enough to remove the table for transport. I didn't see any signs of Brinnelling from previous transport.
I prefer the elevation handle in from instead or reaching over the table, its what I am used to with a hydraulic grinder.
Seriously thinking of driving the table with a small dc motor though. After using a hydraulic grinding my planer knives and other long parts is a pain.

Dave
 

Gnatsass

Plastic
Joined
Jan 28, 2022
I’m in the market for a new surface grinder. I have run okamoto 6x18 linear for the last decade. Great machine but it’s never been abused.
I’m trying to decide now between a brand new Kent 6x18 with fine feed cross and Down feed.
Or buy an 80s era Mitsui with fine feeds. What I’m finding is it will be the same price but one has never been abused for fact.
 








 
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