Surface Grinder versus T&C Grinder
Close
Login to Your Account
Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    California
    Posts
    441
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    8
    Likes (Received)
    119

    Default Surface Grinder versus T&C Grinder

    My situation: very small shop, want to minimize number of machines and do as much multi-purposing as possible. Not production so willing to trade human time versus machine time. I'm committed to buying a surface grinder. I'm now pondering whether to also purchase a T&C grinder...one candidate being a cuttermaster given its small footprint.

    QUESTION: is there anything a T&C Grinder can do that a Surface Grinder CANNOT do (p.s. I'm more than willing to buy whatever required accessories for the surface grinder) ? If so, what operations are these that cannot be done on the surface grinder?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    California
    Posts
    441
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    8
    Likes (Received)
    119

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelP View Post
    Surface grinder has quite limited T&C capabilities. It's like scratching the left ear with right hand. I don't know your T&C needs, but be aware that Cuttermaster has quite a few limitations too.

    If it's an average hobby shop, I'd say SG will be much more useful, in general. But you can get both, of course.
    I'm anticipating main need will be to create custom tooling and cutters. Don't plan on doing a lot of re-sharpening, will just buy new cutters when possible. I would like to have a very well equipped setup whereby I can do just about anything, but again trying to minimize machine floor space as much as possible. My setup is considerably more than an average hobby shop (Deckel Mill, Weiler Lathe, Brother Speedio CNC).

    Follow-on Question: what would be smallest footprint fully functional T&C grinder that one could aquire?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Vt USA
    Posts
    6,751
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    737
    Likes (Received)
    2317

    Default

    Tapers between centers are pretty easy on a T&C.

    I have both,

    A surface grinder is to a T&C grinder as a mill is to a lathe.

    Are you a Square shop, or a Round shop?

    Best is BOTH! The K.O. Lee B300 doesn't take up much room.

  4. Likes JohnEvans liked this post
  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    IL/WI border
    Posts
    3,207
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1015
    Likes (Received)
    933

    Default

    Looks like I inadvertently deleted my post (#2). Sorry!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    California
    Posts
    441
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    8
    Likes (Received)
    119

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CalG View Post
    Tapers between centers are pretty easy on a T&C.

    I have both,

    A surface grinder is to a T&C grinder as a mill is to a lathe.

    Are you a Square shop, or a Round shop?

    Best is BOTH! The K.O. Lee B300 doesn't take up much room.
    Very helpful advise, looking at the K.O.Lee products now

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    California
    Posts
    441
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    8
    Likes (Received)
    119

    Default

    Also, another question: how important is coolant? I'd already been given advise that coolant is very important for surface grinding, I presume the same is true for T&C grinder?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Vt USA
    Posts
    6,751
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    737
    Likes (Received)
    2317

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by drcoelho View Post
    Also, another question: how important is coolant? I'd already been given advise that coolant is very important for surface grinding, I presume the same is true for T&C grinder?
    Many coolant needs are met with a squirt bottle and a small brush.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    666
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    192
    Likes (Received)
    252

    Default

    I'd trade the surface grinder I have in my small shop for a T&C in a heartbeat. I don't surface grind often, mostly sharpen tools. Cylindrical grinding is a pain, especially if you want to grind a taper. Grinding between centers is limited to a couple of inches on a typical 6x18 grinder. Work holding is a pain. Not being able to rotate the wheel head makes hollow grinds a pain.

    I'd also really like a d-bit grinder, that might stave off the T&C purchase, for a while maybe.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    California
    Posts
    441
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    8
    Likes (Received)
    119

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nmbmxer View Post
    I'd trade the surface grinder I have in my small shop for a T&C in a heartbeat. I don't surface grind often, mostly sharpen tools. Cylindrical grinding is a pain, especially if you want to grind a taper. Grinding between centers is limited to a couple of inches on a typical 6x18 grinder. Work holding is a pain. Not being able to rotate the wheel head makes hollow grinds a pain.

    I'd also really like a d-bit grinder, that might stave off the T&C purchase, for a while maybe.
    Many folks have said buy the surface grinder first, then add the T&C grinder as an add-on, sorta implying the T&C is more specialized. It strikes me that the T&C can do many things the surface grinder can do, and why wouldn't one buy the T&C grinder first? I'm inclined to go with both, but just want to confirm that the surface grinder won't sit idle all the time....

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    666
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    192
    Likes (Received)
    252

    Default

    It really is like a lathe vs mill thing. T&C make crappy surface grinders, they aren’t rigid and the downfeed is often less precise. If you want to make (hard) things flat or square, get a surface grinder. If you want to make tools, sharpern cutters, small cylindrical grinding, get the T&C.

    Attachments make the T&C work and if it doesn’t include them when you buy it they are expensive separately, doesn’t take much extra to grind flat surfaces on a SG. You can also do small angles and radii with a dresser.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Vt USA
    Posts
    6,751
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    737
    Likes (Received)
    2317

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nmbmxer View Post
    It really is like a lathe vs mill thing. T&C make crappy surface grinders, they aren’t rigid and the downfeed is often less precise. If you want to make (hard) things flat or square, get a surface grinder. If you want to make tools, sharpern cutters, small cylindrical grinding, get the T&C.

    Attachments make the T&C work and if it doesn’t include them when you buy it they are expensive separately, doesn’t take much extra to grind flat surfaces on a SG. You can also do small angles and radii with a dresser.
    So true on the "extras" bit. A T&C needs , NEEDS a lot to do just about anything. And the need doesn't seem to diminish. It seems like the job at hand is different than all the others before. The SG seems like it just needs an assortment of mounted wheels and a dresser.
    S

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Estonia
    Posts
    702
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    188

    Default

    Since when I located my JS surface grinder near the Robodrill mill, it gets lots of usage - i.e. if youre making some steel fixture plates, its much easier to get these flat and parallel using both mill and grinder.
    Also, I cannot imagine how can one grind without flood coolant, first it flushes the chips and second it keeps the temperature and also cleans the wheel. Flood coolant with simple flat filter cloth is very easy to use, you just move the cloth once a day, if it gets glogged and trash it along the debris. Sometimes I even leave the grinder coolant flooding with maximum X-movement to wash the machine. It has the additional benefit of aerating the coolant and avoid "fishy smell".

    As about the round grinding, I have used an old JS once during 8 years for sharpening circular shear blades. Worked like charm. And actually, the nearbey sharpening shop with all the CNC grinders told that its impossible to sharpen it

    So, if you have to choose then take surface grinder with flood coolant.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    4,241
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    727
    Likes (Received)
    1783

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Madis Reivik View Post
    Since when I located my JS surface grinder near the Robodrill mill, it gets lots of usage - i.e. if youre making some steel fixture plates, its much easier to get these flat and parallel using both mill and grinder.
    Also, I cannot imagine how can one grind without flood coolant, first it flushes the chips and second it keeps the temperature and also cleans the wheel.
    Flood coolant with simple flat filter cloth is very easy to use, you just move the cloth once a day, if it gets glogged and trash it along the debris. Sometimes I even leave the grinder coolant flooding with maximum X-movement to wash the machine. It has the additional benefit of aerating the coolant and avoid "fishy smell".

    As about the round grinding, I have used an old JS once during 8 years for sharpening circular shear blades. Worked like charm. And actually, the nearbey sharpening shop with all the CNC grinders told that its impossible to sharpen it

    So, if you have to choose then take surface grinder with flood coolant.
    Even with all those great benefits, you missed my favorite- it keeps that junk out of the air!

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    932
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    371
    Likes (Received)
    349

    Default

    To the OP, absolutely yes you also need a T&C grinder. I like having my surface grinder bolted to the floor, but don't see any reason to have a small T&C grinder rigidly mounted. I have an Osbourn on castors and it gets wheeled outside for most jobs and definately for truing wheels. A Clarkson would also be a good choice for a small shop and there seems to be more on used market than Osbourns.

    No point in comparing your shop to others. I know of hobby shops that are massive and better equiped than yours and pro shops that are smaller with fewer tools. What matters is how you use yours.

    Congrats on your new shop!

    L7

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Oregon
    Posts
    5,064
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4283
    Likes (Received)
    1826

    Default

    I've written this a couple of times in the forum before, but since it's directly applicable to OP's question, I'll do it again.

    My first grinder was a Cincinnati #2 tool and cutter grinder. I tried everything on it. Tool sharpening and modification, cylindrical grinding, surface grinding. Later, I got a Mitsui 6x18 surface grinder and realized how crummy the Cincinnati was as a surface grinder. To the point of shaking my head, wondering why I waited so long to get a real surface grinder. Biggest practical issue for me was the totally crude vertical feed and the marginal table travel bearings.

    Probably, if I made enough room in my shop for a real cylindrical grinder, I'd have the same reaction. Although, I've been more satisfied with the Cincinnati for cylindrical work than I was for flat work.

    So, you can indeed get started with a T&C grinder, but 1) you may not find it satisfactory for long, and 2) a Cincinnati #2 (or current clone) is not what I would call a small footprint machine in a small shop. Older, smaller T&C grinders are going to be even more compromised when used as surface grinders or cylindrical grinders.

    [Added in edit] The Cincinnati is absolutely not designed for use with coolant, although it would probably survive a MQL mist. And unless you have three hands, you won't be using a squirt bottle while doing tool sharpening.

    I would not attempt most of my tool sharpening on a surface grinder. I got my T&C grinder to support a horizontal mill habit, and trying to sharpen or add corner radii to arbor-mounted cutters on a surface grinder would be much more painful than doing them on a proper T&C grinder.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New York
    Posts
    134
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    22
    Likes (Received)
    56

    Default

    I'm a hobbyist with space limitations as well. I started with a Brown and Sharpe 2B surface grinder. No coolant on that machine, but if I have a lot of material to take off or if I'm concerned with heat build up I'll use my Noga mister which works well for me.

    A few weeks ago I picked up a KO Lee tool and cutter grinder. It has a small foot print and a great addition to my shop. I, too, used my surface grinder to do some sharpening, but the KO Lee is by far better, easier and designed for tool sharpening. No coolant on that machine and for my use I don't see a need for the mister. Maybe down the road if I build or buy a motorized head and want to do some limited cylindrical grinding I might consider using the mister.

    Ted


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •