Good but small Tool & Cutter Grinders, who makes them ?
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  1. #1
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    Default Good but small Tool & Cutter Grinders, who makes them ?

    I've been asked a few times in the past if I could grind some endmills to different designs like having a stepped point for forming a cavity. Or to sharpen special shaped cutter for doing back side counter bores and such things.

    I've never used a tool & cutter grinder yet as no place I worked at had one, so I'm quite unfamiliar with the brands and which does what best. But I've done surface grinding before.

    So my question is. Is there such thing as a tool & cutter grinder with a fairly small footprint ( maybe benchtop? or under 500lbs) that can properly grind endmills to various angles, radius's, a bit of cylindrical and surface grinding maybe? essentially, whats the most versatile things out there that isn't too big but is of good and accurate quality?

    And no I don't expect a 100lbs machine to behave like a 5000lbs machine, and I can probably live with that fact for now. I don't see myself using it all that often, although if it can surface and cylindrical grind a bit then I have some work for that on my own projects. If there's nothing that fits this properly, or at a justifiable price , then I can also live without it.


    Thanks for all information

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    Not to endorse Chinese products, but Gromax has a very good selection of Chinese T&C grinders on their website. I know at least a few are copies of the Deckel grinders and I suppose the others are also copies of something. Note the GU2, with extra attachments, claims to do about all you want and is a bench top machine. Anyway, the website will give you a place to start.
    http://gromax-usa.com/grinders/cutter/tool-grinder.htm

    As far as drill sharpening, I am very fond of my TDR/SRD drill grinders. I really think they are the best in class. But I would not get one for end mill sharpening.
    http://www.drill-grinder.com/storefr...?idCategory=17

    My Darex E-90 does a good job of sharpening the sides and ends of end mills. I have not tried the radius and taper attachments, but they look tricky to use.

    Larry

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    You mean a form cutter grinding machine
    The best I know of is the Studer S90/FS71
    It can copie the form into a cutter from a template Radius angles steps
    Very accurate too


    I sold one last year Very hard to find even in Europe
    I don`t know of a US equivalent
    Cincinnati made one for wood cutters I know

    Here is a poor foto of one I found on the net

    Peter


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    The best one I have found is a Spinner. It's made in Germany. VERY will built. It has a quick change wheel system that you can change the wheel in a matter of seconds. It's peimarily a single flute grinder; but with a bit of thinking you can make it more versitle.

    The whole machine is modular and the tool holding module can be removed and the grinder can be placed on a mill, which I did to grind a shaft.

    I may be a challenge to grind a multi-flute end mill, however, a single flute cutter will cut a lot faster than a no flute cutter.

    Regards,

    Stan-

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    One of the Clarkson types, or any other morphologically similar device having up/down wheel head adjustment and angular setting on the work carrying slides should meet all your requirements. After all the Clarkson was originally designed by a cutter manufacturer as a versatile grinder for their production line use needing a minimum of special jigs to reconfigure for different cutters so the grinding shop could cope with varying demands. Its fairly easy to remove the Mark 1 type from its pedestal for bench mounting but its not entirely advisable because you need three side access to handle the full range of jobs.

    The cost of work holding gizmos needs to be factored in. In the UK used Clarksons can be found in (alleged) ready to go condition from around £200 to £400 depending on how much of the essential basic kit has gone AWOL but some of the extras, such as the radius grinding and drill sharpening device, can cost as much or more than the basic machine. Whatever the make it seems you have to make some of the guides and pointers yourself following sample shapes but altering the dimensions to suit the job. Which can be difficult when you don't really know WTHIGO. It can also be difficult to figure out the effects of adjustments on cutter edge shapes even if there is a good manual. The Clarkson manual is pretty good as it describes jobs in a series of discrete steps. As usual it all becomes clear around about the fourth or fifth time through. I grabbed an ice cream tub full of rusty, damaged and generally grotty cutters out of a scrap yard to ready practice on when I get my £50 back of garage find Clarkson going.

    I suspect that constructional differences between similar machines mostly affect how easy or difficult it is to set up different jobs and how much use of external gauges is needed in addition to the machine calibration. The standard work holders usually major on versatility and for the occasional user it might be better to make special purpose jigs for jobs usually needing a fair bit of setting up. I shall certainly be making jigs for lathe tool grinding and four faced drill sharpening to use with my Clarkson, maybe others too.

    If you think your potential throughput makes jigging sensible as opposed to learning how to fully exploit the machine its worth seeing if something simpler may do the job. This is common in the Model Engineering world where many simplified T&C designs exist covering what their creators consider to be a sufficient subset of the jobs which might be done. The Quorn and Bonelle designs have capabilities similar to commercial machines but take a deal of making.

    The ultra compact Deckel/Alexander design and its Far Eastern clones is really an engraving cutter sharpener although it handles lathe tooling quite well too. Many Far Eastern versions list attachments for milling cutter sharpening but performance claims tend to be somewhat optimistic. The basic layout of the machine leading to deficiencies in geometry, set-up, handling and repeatability either singly or simultaneously.

    Visit www.lathes.co.uk for information on Clarkson and Deckel/Alexander types. The Gromax site referenced by Larry will give you a good idea of the sort of attachments needed for cutter sharpening with Deckel/Alexander types and should help you visualise the potential limitations.

    Clive

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    Check out the smaller K. O. Lee machines. You can get them used pretty reasonable. They are in the size range you mention and are well built and versatile machines. I picked up this used B360 universal a couple of years back for $150. By the time I got it tooled up, I have easily $1200 in it, and I need to buy more stuff.

    http://home.att.net/~micallahan/tcgrind.html

    The deal is, the grinder is ony the base unit. The attachments, fixtures and accessories that go with it can cost far more than the base grinder itself, and the grinder is pretty much useless without them. This is far more an extensive and expensive collection than a typical lathe or mill. Grinding stuff, as you know from your surface grinder, is high.

    The basic bits you will need to sharpen endmills and lathe cutters would be an air bearing fixture, centers, spin index, universal vise, dresser and a selection of wheels. If you want to do ball nose endmills ad other rounded forms, you'll need a radius attachment. That particular piece is so expensive, I have just elected to buy ball endmills instead of the attachment. You could buy a lifetime supply of ball endmills for the cost of the radius attchment, even used.

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    Default Good small tool and cutter grinders

    I have a Quorn but also a Kennet from Model Engineering Services in Sheffield, England.
    You have to make both!
    Again, I have a very ancient Clarkson Mk1 and this without much tooling cost about £100.
    Indeed, they can be bought for little more than washers. Eventually, mine has most of the 'toys' apart from the drill grinder and, yes, I got the radius attachment for swopping a set of Myford gears!
    However, I also have a Stent which comes as kit from Blackgates Engineering. Actually I have one and a half because I built one. Then I set off to build another and got half way when a 'short wheel base' one came along for perhaps £150. This was again, way below the cost of the castings but it is fabricated from mild steel.

    In the another forum, I offered a copy of a T&C which appeared in Model Engineers Workshop and is called a Brooks. For want of a better description it is a baby Clarkson but is made from from fabricated mild steel. There is a thought that the Quorn workhead has much to offer and it can be adapted to fit the Clarkson and the Stent as well as the Brooks.

    I have to say that I have flogged the concept so many times that I am getting pilloried for repetition.

    Now there is much more interest but the stigma seems to remain.

    Maybe an E-mail will get you thinking. I hope so

    Norman

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    One of those quorn items seems like a nice winter project, maybe over several winters.
    It would be one of those things that, what you learn while you are doing it is worth
    more than the thing itself.

    My only thought is, what's better, getting a used tool/cutter grinder, and fixing it up,
    or building one from scratch. No doubt there are both camps represented here.

    Jim

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    Default Tool and cutter grinders

    Initially, I would agree with Jim. One blunts a lot of tooling making any of the home brewed gear. It's the chicken and the egg syndrome.
    Again, it is the question of just how much ancilliary tooling one posseses. Does one have dividing gear and engraving gear to make a Quorn?

    Frankly, I would go for the Brooks because
    1`. No castings are required
    2. Only one weld
    3. It takes a router which may limit abrasive wheel sizes but it is not beyond the wit of man to put a cheap double ended grinder as a driving unit. The Quorn, the Kennet and the Stent may tax the relative newcomer with the spindles etc.
    4. The Clarkson and the Stent are easily the most grit free but you have top compromise
    5. The Quorn is the most difficult to set up. You have to practice shaking hands with an octopus to play with all the ball handles.
    6. Despite the efforts of purists or whatever they are, the Quorn and the Stent can be fabricated. Thee were 2 Quorns built in my club and are excellent and I have a Stent built by person unknown but it perfectly sound.
    7. ( it's late and I am tired) I could build a Stent out of lathe bed or a 3 way vice costing a few pounds and 6" DE Grinder.

    Concluding( yawn) the thought which no one seems to mention is that most grinding operations only require a sweep of about an inch. If there is a device to do this, be it an old top slide, you are half way to a T&C. Put a 6" DE cheap grinder with a decent cup wheel and tool holder of sorts- and you are in business.

    Well??????

    Norm

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    I'm sure I missed it somewhere, but what's a "DE"
    grinder?

    Thanks - Jim

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    Jim, Norman was too tired to type double ended again, so he did DE.

    Larry

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    I've a Chevalier bench top unit, been very happy with it. made in Taiwan but good quality imo.

    http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b2...inding/TCG.jpg

    HEINMAN MACHINERY in Mississauga may still have some, they;re not listed in Chevaliers site anymore

    it came with an air spindle (must have imo) and i made this drill grinding rig.
    I can do perfect end mills and drill which ends up being about 99% of it for me
    - here's some pics of the drill fixture


    http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b2...argerdrill.jpg
    http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b2...pt2trvbloc.jpg
    http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b2...2toothrest.jpg
    http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b2...trassembly.jpg

    http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b2...eneddrills.jpg


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    Not to try and hijack the thread or anything but since were talking about T&C grinders i'm wondering if anyone knows what sort of grinding operations could be performed on a machine of this style
    http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v4...t=94197444.jpg

    It was a freebie from a foundry cleanout job and there was no manual and only a few spare collets.

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed the Metalhead View Post
    Not to try and hijack the thread or anything but since were talking about T&C grinders i'm wondering if anyone knows what sort of grinding operations could be performed on a machine of this style
    http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v4...t=94197444.jpg

    It was a freebie from a foundry cleanout job and there was no manual and only a few spare collets.

    Thanks
    It is a Chinese copy of a Deckel grinder for half and quarter round engraving cutters. It is worth more than you paid, but you probably don't have a use for it.

    Larry

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    Default tool grinding

    20 years ago I built a Quorn as was described in Model Engineer.

    The thing lacks some stiffness; but it is a most versatile piece of equipment ideal for the home shop.

    Its main shortcoming is the time-consuming set-ups for various grinding jobs. And an air bearing spindle is a definite must for cutters over 3/8" dia.

    Because of set-up times I save-up the dull endmills and sharpen them in batches of similar dia. And I only sharpen 5/16" dia. and up. As I said for 1/2 and over an air bearing is a definite plus... Next on my to-build list. Without it the spindle friction of the 1" dia. shaft is too large to feel the contact between the flute and the guide finger reliably.

    Apart from standard milling cutters it is great for grinding threading and grooving lathe tools. These tools should be rough-ground on a bench grinder, then transferred to the Quorn.

    One job I did on it was to sharpen a dovetail cutter so that the 60 degree angle matched the angle of a quick-change tool post and tool holders. It did this quite well although the set-up time was a killer.

    As much as I like this little machine and its versatility I do not think it suitable for commercial use... Perhaps in a pinch for a small one-off, but not production use.

    Arminius

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    Ah, DE = inexpensive double-ended bench grinder. Thanks!

    Jim

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    Default Tool and cutter grinders

    Apologies, Jim. Thanks to L.Vanice for helping me out!
    It's nice to have a consortium of sound advice. I really was tired- old age and trying to sort out yet another banking cock-up. Only wish that my life was trying to pass on a bit of information about tool and cutter stuff.

    It's 0800 in UK and time to pass on a few hints and tips from along the way.
    It is quite right about the Quorn being a bit of a problem but since it came out in 1973, a terrific amount of development work or improvement has been made available. Again, since Dennis Chaddock wrote it up in Model Engineer and then in book form,there are lots of extra hints from those who have built copies and put their comments on the net. Again, the Bonelle and the Stent have gone onto the net as well as recent articles in Model Engineers Workshop. At no point, do I recommend or criticise but simply say that it is there to read.

    What I can say is that since the castings etc were made available for home construction, hundreds of old Clarksons have come onto the British second hand market. With the economic conditions, it is possible to pick them up for far less than the the price of the kit of parts for the Quorn etc. Again, it is not just the Clarkson but older surface grinders can be picked up cheaply and that they, too, can be fitted to act as perfectly good T&C's.
    Way back in the mists of time, I bought an old hand operated Herbert Junior grinder and used it as a stop gap tool.

    Enough, my coffee is getting cold. Meantime, I hope that this will add a few more clues and add to your future enjoyment.

    Norm

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    I've just started to convert parts of a Wolf valve grinder to aT&C grinder see pics








    the valve grinder parts cost £2 from the local scrapyard
    I was thinkin of making the head similar to the Versamil that is being discussed in another thread started by Pierce Butler.
    MBB

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    I thank you all very much for the information, it gives me a good place to start.

    The idea of building one from scratch is certainly tempting, and while looking at all these various style of grinders a few ideas have been coming to mind to build it more easily, perhaps with easier adjustments. But I also feel it would end up on the growing list of projects that aren't getting done fast enough, as after doing a full week on normal customers work there's little time or energy going into my own projects. So I'll be doing a bit of thinking on that, its not something I need to "have right now" so I can also wait for a great find.

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    I picked this up a few week ago, still not sure what to do with it?


    Mike
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails grinder1.jpg   grinder2.jpg  


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