Grinding 304ss...tips?
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  1. #1
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    Default Grinding 304ss...tips?

    So today was my first suare at grinding 304ss. My what an experience. I had my best results with 2-3 tenth downfeed and 40-60 thou cross feed. Forgive me I can't remember the wheel grit, I think it was 38. I used a piece of "lip balm" wax as my coolant but man it it thermally sensitive. It was a piece of prodec 304ss 5x7 I brought it down to .756.

    Just wondering on some suggestions based on what I provided above. The 4 sides were wire cut so I was able to use 3 .250 thick parallels to hold it tight.

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    Coolant is your friend, no two ways about it. Especially so when you don't have a helping hand from a magnet. It's slow going without coolant. Cutting your cross feed and using even a spray bottle might be helpful. Keep the wheel dressed as open and unloaded as possible. Using a softer wheel is probably advisable also to help keep the wheel sharp and free cutting. Maybe something like an H.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eKretz View Post
    Coolant is your friend, no two ways about it. Especially so when you don't have a helping hand from a magnet. It's slow going without coolant. Cutting your cross feed and using even a spray bottle might be helpful. Keep the wheel dressed as open and unloaded as possible. Using a softer wheel is probably advisable also to help keep the wheel sharp and free cutting. Maybe something like an H.
    Thanks I'll see what we have tomorrow, I have a .500 and a .375 to do still.

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    I can't recall details (30 odd years ago) of grinding SS from the 300 series but if OA is slow going (sounds like it) I'd be inclined to try a silicon carbide wheel just to compare and file for future reference. Quick reading on grinding 300 series reports tendency for burning, surface deformation, debris embedding, and wheel clogging. Sounds like a good time. Previous post advice regarding coolant should be followed as localized point-of-contact heating reported to be very high. Flood cooling, if available, could help negate some of the problems mentioned. Would be interested in results from the OP. Good luck.
    Last edited by AD Design; 09-19-2021 at 04:33 AM. Reason: Clarity

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    SS is a bugger, soapy water makes a good coolant. frequent dressing .002 or so

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    I got into a pice of regular 304, not the prodec. Changed to a 32H wheel and it would warp like hell even though it was cold. I ended up going to my original method of wire slicing a piece from the .750 304 prodec sheet I have. Which in itself is being a pain as the material just wants to fold into the cut nasty stuff.

    Thank you for all the help and suggestions!

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    I like the white AO wheel...some wheels best for longevity may tend to load up. The brown wheels seem to load.
    Can't remember trying a ceramic wheel on SS so no comment there.

    I have used a Radiac pink wheel ..ok..but don't rember the grit or hardness.

    Too soft and the wheel won't take stock, too hard and more heat and loading.

    Open but a bit hard for a few passes with coolant and a dress can be Ok..nothing is good for grinding SS.

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    I've ground a lot of steels, 400 series ss, and 17-4, never 304. I doubt I'll do it again. I can get a nice finish on the Bridgeport using a 3.00 shell mill and cutting oil...just takes a bit lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by michiganbuck View Post
    I have used a Radiac pink wheel ..ok..but don't rember the grit or hardness.
    Almost no time on a surface grinder here but plenty on id and od ... used the pink wheels with some success, I also had a really porous wheel that intended to have the coolant flow through the wheel. You could even make a little catch ring that would direct coolant into the wheel itself. That worked pretty good.

    If it's just one piece you're kinda screwed, but if this comes up very often there are better wheels that do help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plastikdreams View Post
    I've ground a lot of steels, 400 series ss, and 17-4, never 304. I doubt I'll do it again. I can get a nice finish on the Bridgeport using a 3.00 shell mill and cutting oil...just takes a bit lol.
    Likely getting as close to needs with the mill is the best tip for grinding SS.

    Oh, did I say SS is a bugger to grind?

    Perhaps a toss-up between aluminum and SS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by michiganbuck View Post
    Likely getting as close to needs with the mill is the best tip for grinding SS.

    Oh, did I say SS is a bugger to grind?
    But 17-4 grinds so nice lolol. I knew it was gonna be a task, just not as much of a task as it ended up being. Live and learn right.


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