A Little Education Needed on Horizontal Spindle Surface Grinders
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    Default A Little Education Needed on Horizontal Spindle Surface Grinders

    Excuse my ignorance on this topic, but my background in machining started in the automotive/diesel side of the biz so the only surface grinders I have ever used/owned were vertical spindle grinders. Pretty easy machines to use, level the part, set the autofeed and let it work. Mainly heads and blocks, but also misc industrial parts, blades, etc, if it fit, we ground it.

    In looking at what is available today in surface grinders, most of what I see is horizontal spindle machines, other than some youtube vids I have never actually seen one of these in action. When machining a large surface, how do you keep from stepping it? Does the wheel not wear? Why is the horizontal spindle machine so much more prevalant? What is the difference if both achieve a flat surface?

    Don't think I need a machine as big as I used to have, but I would like to at least have the ability to surface parts as large as automotive heads and maybe blocks, can the horizontal spindle grinders do that job?

    Early 2007 I had a handfull of job offers, I wanted out of the machine biz and had plans to reinvent myself. About the time all my machines were gone, the job offers disappeared too. I really regret selling my old surface grinder.
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    Coming from the automotive background, you've only seen a small subset of grinding work, one that is ideally suited to vertical spindle machines running a cup wheel.

    In tool and die, the horizontal spindle reigns supreme, because they are much more versital. Not only can you grind a flat surface, but you can do edges, shoulders, slots and grooves, dress the wheel to an angle to grind an angular surface, or dress a profile such as an arc into the wheel, They are also easier to adapt sine plates, spin fixtures, and punch formers to.

    The wheel wears the same way a cup wheel wears; at the corner. The step-over is typically much less than the width of the wheel. The leading corner does all the work, with the rest of the wheel surface going along for the ride. As the leading corner wears, the part of the wheel actually grinding moves back across its circumference. As long as you get across the part while some portion of the wheel is still original diameter, there will be no step.

    All that being said, if what you want the grinder for is head and deck work, you should look for a machine specifically adapted to that work.

    Dennis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Modelman View Post
    All that being said, if what you want the grinder for is head and deck work, you should look for a machine specifically adapted to that work.

    Dennis
    ..and if that is NOT all, then more than one grinder is unavoidable. These days, it usually makes better sense to work a very narrow speciality, ONLY, then contract out anything not done really, really often to someone else who is focused on that speciality - AND/OR/ELSE has a truly full-span grind shop.
    Last edited by Monarchist; 01-30-2018 at 01:25 PM.

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    Plus one can grind in a number of down feed wheel widths while going long travel only and down at off part..then dress and cross over the part with conventional grinding. This for when you have a lot of stock to take. and with having a very long part. so getting the whole part to rough-in of +.003 to perhaps +.005/+.010

    Wheel wear might be great doing this so one might red grease pencil a 1/8 " marker witness so making the whole part to rough -in target.

    likely need an 8 24 or so for that work.. set-up is the bugger. wheel wear and heat..good to have a dresser at the wheel head so not needing to move away from work to the dresser.

    Vertical spindle grinders are not as heat sensitive .. Surface grinders grind such a one-long-grind path the coolant does not cool as well as that of a vertical spindle machine. IMHO (after doing a lot of both)

    A grind-in-warp can need much take-off perhaps more that a part can bear..
    Last edited by michiganbuck; 01-30-2018 at 01:39 PM.

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    Thanks guys, gave me a few things to think about. In the grinding world all I've ever done was flat, if anyone ever brought me something more complex, I said I could not do it.

    My old shop was setup for automotive/diesel work, but the doors of that venture were only open for a year or so. I got into another line of work, but kept the shop so we could work on that type of stuff. Had to get creative more than a few times on figuring out how to get a machine to do a job it was never meant to do. Still did some outside work, and having the only grinder around with that capacity brought in a lot of non automotive work.

    New shop is just going to be a small town machine shop, guessing automotive work will be the staple, but there is some industry/ag. Watched a few more vids last night on the tube, found a few where people were grinding cyl heads on horizontal spindle machines, so I guess it can be done.

    Also occurred to me that this type of machine would not do aluminum heads, unless there something new in the grinding world I'm not aware of? I've done them in a BP with a facemill, but the grinder (with flycutter attachment) did a better job and contained the swarf.

    In shopping around (just looking right now) I see there are some big horizontal spindle grinders selling pretty cheap right now, and cheap is in my budget, so I had to ask about them. Biggest problem I see with the larger machines is they are huge compared to my old grinder, there was a 14" x 48" Mattison on ebay, but 7' front to back was too large for my shop. I know WVN made a machine 1 size smaller than my old machine, but have only seen 1 of those in past 30 years. I may just keep shopping till I find a more conventional grinder.


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