Surface grinder restoration, please help...
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  1. #1
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    Default Surface grinder restoration, please help...

    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post on this forum. I am a hobbyist knifemaker who knows basically nothing about machining. In order to make the types of knives I want to I have acquired some simple machines. My surface grinder was purchased over a year ago from a sporting goods store who used it for gunsmithing. I am told it is a 40s vintage reid grinder. I have researched a fair amount about them but I have found that online forums are a great way to learn and get answers from real people who know their stuff. I have asked alot already on knifemaking forums but I haven't found all the answers I'm looking for.

    The motor is a 3 phase 220/400V motor that was previously run single phase using capacitors to help out. I have removed the capacitors and used a vfd to run at 240V 3 phase. The motor seems to run great. My questions really lie on the maintenance of the machine. It has been recommended that I tear the machine down and clean / inspect it. So far I have removed the chuck and the top table exposing the ways used in the x axis of travel.

    There are some marks but im not sure how big of a deal they are. I will include a bunch of pictures after this initial post, as soon as I figure out how. Basically I am hoping to post pics of the tear down as I go and have people provide their input on potential issues and recommendations.

    I am interested in learning any best practices and proper methods to get the best result possible. Any recommendations on specific lubricants, upgrades, repairs etc are greatly appreciated. I believe that this was once an automatic machine that was converted to manual. I have had no luck finding any type of manual so far. I am more than fine with retaining the manual functionality I don't need an auto setup.

    I will include pictures of all the different controls, basically I don't know what anything does other that the 3 wheels that perform the basic operations so if anyone has any insight on them im all ears.

    I did have some questions about balancing the wheels. I don't think this grinder will facilitate balancing. there is a slight amount of play in the wheel when installed on the rotor. I don't think it is easily removable. It is also not tapered. I am likely not describing this properly but If anyone has any insight on balancing I would appreciate it. The consensus among other knifemakers I have asked is that balancing isn't necessary for that application. I imagine machinists feel differently.

    I realize this is very open ended. I sincerely appreciate any and all responses this may garner. I don't expect information for nothing. If there is anything I can do to help im open to do so. I have made several knifemaking tutorials on different topics and im open to share them with anyone interested. I can also provide information about heat treat and general knifemaking processes. If anyone is interested in seeing my work my Instagram is @stang_bladeworks. Thanks for reading. I will post more as progress is made. Hopefully this works out because I just purchased a small mill that I also know very little about...

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    Look at the manual Richard provided and see the oil pots for way lubrication. Be sure they are full with way oil / a good 30 wt lub oil..not car oil. plus oil the other oil places.
    If it is a roller way machine I think the table should be removed and a cleaning done..but know how to do that so not breaking anything.
    Never use an air hose to blow any part of a grinder.
    I like to jog start a spindle with a start up to half speed ...let coast down then fire up to full.(jog twice is better)
    Do not grind the chuck until you have a good handle of that task...and then grind wet.
    Wheel grit size and wheel hardness selection are important for the kind of grinding you intend. Often a 46-h to K white wheel is a common general purpose wheel. ( H I J K from softer to harder, K being the hardest of these)Hard fine wheels tend to burn and warp a part. Yes wheels hardness range is more that just H to K.
    Tap a wheel to hear a bell/ring so knowing the wheel is not cracked. (plastic screw drive handle Ok for a tapper)
    Tighten wheel as tight as you can with one hand on wrench and one on wheel, then set wrench end on a block on the check and make it just a little/tad tighter using two hands on the wheel.
    Blotters always used on both sides, every wheel / listed speed same as or less than the spindle speed.
    Last edited by michiganbuck; 07-10-2019 at 04:18 PM.

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    QT: [play in the wheel when installed on the rotor.] wheel should fit the wheel hub, wheel mount, wheel adapter with only a few thousandth clearance. You can use a card paper shim to fill the slop. Wheel hub fit is important so you can take off and put back on with minimum dressing.
    Good quality wheel run fine with not balancing but some guys like to balance every wheel.

    Small water pump and a bucket for source and another bucket for catch is a good start to a coolant system. use a bio- degradable coolant so you don't worry about safe dumping.

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    QT:[ I don't think it is easily removable. It is also not tapered.]

    Most likely if the machine has the original spindle:

    The wheel fit is straight at 1 1/4". The wheel mount fits the spindle on a taper and the nut holding the mount is a left hand thread..as is also the nut that holding the wheel on the mount.

    Spindle should run 3400 or 3600 and should be so marked on the wheel guard.

    Parts should be blocked in at the go direction because if they slide they may burn.
    Tall parts should be blocked high on the part to avoid tipping over. Minimum test is to try to push a part over with a two finger push, if you can tip the part then better block-in or clamping the part to an angle plate. is needed.

    Again read here on PM how to grind a chuck before attempting doing that.
    Last edited by michiganbuck; 07-10-2019 at 04:17 PM.

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    Going softer for harder stock is the common thought/rule ..But a hard part material can be hard enough so the soft wheel bond lets loose and little stock is removed..Then you might have to go to perhaps courser wheel like a 24, 32 or 36 grit and stay with a hard letter..even a L or M hardness. yes you might sacrifice smooth finish doing so. Might use the course wheel for roughing and then skim with a finer grit.

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    Wheel hardness is not the same/pure science going from one manufacturer to another.
    suppose you have a Norton 46k and want to have a softer wheel so choose a Radiac 46h.. the Radiac h may not be/act softer than the Norton k.

    But going from a Norton to Norton ora Radiac to Radiac the change will go softer or harder and you are seeking.

    Handy site for grinding wheel reference.
    GRINDING WHEEL and ABRASIVES BASICS

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    Thank you everyone for your responses. I have read and reread them and I intend to implement them going forward. Below are the pics from the teardown so far. I am working out of town right now but with any luck I will be able to continue this weekend. If anyone has any input based on the photos I am eager to hear it.

    20190630_213556.jpg20190701_093900.jpg20190701_093921.jpg20190701_094152.jpg20190701_094213.jpg

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    more pics
    20190701_094234.jpg20190701_094245.jpg20190701_094301.jpg20190701_094337.jpg20190707_201108.jpg

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    more pics continued
    20190707_201114.jpg20190707_201118.jpg20190707_201138.jpg20190707_201123.jpg

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    The fellow who made the long handle was starting to get stick slip and increased the leverage by adding the longer handle crank. So basically he screwed up the bed worse by doing that. Those old oil rollers worked good until someone forgot they were down there, they ran out of oil, or got flat spots because they didn't roll anymore. The ways need to be scraped as the lack of lubrication has started to gall the ways. The ways are extremely flat like a pain of glass and the stiction or stick slip is created. I see your in Canada. If your close to BC there is a great rebuilder down in Vancouver. Shane Carr of Carr's Machine who could scrape the ways. I have also taught a company in Edmenton. Argus Machine who might help you because they make oilfield pipe and are not machine rebuilders. Or we can teach you on here. Go to the top and click on the Sticky - Studer Grinder....read it. Then lets chat some more. Rich

    PS: August 19 - 23 I will be teaching a scraping class in Rockford Illinois and could teach you to scrape and tell you how to rebuild the ways on that machine. Then you would have a huge head start then trying to do it online.

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    The wheel is definitely on a taper adapter because I can see the slotted nut holding it onto the spindle. You remove the nut and then use a little threaded puller to pop it off.

    Ideally you'd scrape it back to perfect, but the ways don't look much worse than my old Boyer Schultz, save for a couple localized spots. I stoned off any high spots and the thing still grinds a reasonably large area with sub-micron flatness. If you can take Richard's class, do so, but if not, don't consider the thing unusable until proven so.

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    Qt Conrod[ don't consider the thing unusable until proven so.]

    Agree that it may grind Ok as it is. I ran such a Reid, with it having that much wear at my first job grinding flat form lathe blades and it would run a few tenths holding a row of blades the full chuck length..With the jobs run off a crush wheel and (I forget now) likely .001 or .0005 tolerance. .but it was a bugger to crank long travel even with oil pots full.

    Still the scraped way Reid is a top quality machine and well worth re-scraping so you should plan on doing that when you are up to it, or hire the job.

    I am not the scrapper guy, Richard is that. But I have seen machine repair guys do ornamental frosting and flaking to a a surface to get oil passing for better/easier travel, agree that does not do much for accuracy if the machine is out of square or of out of flat. I have done that on a few grinders with good success..

    I put a strip if low-stick tape over the parting line between the moving table and the base area to keep grinding dust floating into the way area on the column side. The base side surface oiled so tape does not stick there.
    Last edited by michiganbuck; 07-11-2019 at 11:52 AM.

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    Yes at a minimum give it a Chicago scrape job. That is a fake scrape job, not only does it looks good, it helps the lubrication by allowing the oil to stick in the low spots that help create an oil film between the ways. Like Buck says it won't help in accuracy, but it will help the machine move (crank) easier and last longer. Myford Grinders have that sort lube sump and roller and they get stick slip. I have drilled and tapped 1/8" pipe threads in them and put in an auto feed Bijur pump and metering units so the ways have a constant film between the ways.

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    Wow my bad {I put a strip if low-stick tape over the parting line between the moving table and the base area to keep grinding dust floating into the way area on the column side. The base side surface oiled so tape does not stick there.

    to keep grinding dust from floating into the...

    Richard might you give a ball park idea of a retired scraper hand working from a home shop, and professional scraping job on a machine in about the Op's machine condition cost for the job?

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    I'll give it some thought. Pull the saddle off and lets look at the saddle ways too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard King View Post
    The fellow who made the long handle was starting to get stick slip and increased the leverage by adding the longer handle crank. So basically he screwed up the bed worse by doing that.
    Rich, this is one of the things that really impresses me about you. I looked at the photos, just like you did, and I saw the problems with the ways. But I didn't even know that the handle crank had been lengthened whereas I am sure that you spotted it immediately. Experience is worth a lot.

    Stang: do what Rich says and you'll end up with a much better machine. It certainly worked for me.

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    Thanks for taking the time to help me out with this. I am very curious about the cost and the process. I have watched a few videos about scraping now and it is impressive to say the least. I will continue to dismantle the machine this weekend and I should know more then.

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    I saw this old link today....here is what I do...Rich King's scraping/machine rebuilding class (Picture Heavy)

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    Thats a very cool thread. I would love to be able to learn this one day. I have tried removing the saddle and i cant get it off. It is being held in by something and I dont want to force it. I can lift it at one end about 1 inch. Any ideas? It is a bit difficult to remove by myself. I managed to remove the table on my own but it was sketchy at best. I will try to put a camera down under it to get a better view. Thanks for the help guys.


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