What to check for on a used surface grinder?
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    Default What to check for on a used surface grinder?

    Hey guys! I may be purchasing a used surface grinder in the next week or two... Gonna try to go inspect in the next week or two.

    Anything I can check for when the sg is not under power? (unfortunate as it is)

    Reason I ask is because I found out after the purchase on my last surface grinder (a small old Rockwell delta) that it had lost the preload on the bearings. And a friend got one with damaged ways...

    So what do I need to keep an eye out for? At least as much as I can without trying it under power.

    Thanks!

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    what brand name and model. Have a photo they sent you? Is it manual or hydraulic? Who owned it a grinding shop or hobbyist. Hard to give advice on so little info.

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    Stick with quality brand names (Rockwell is not a quality grinder; they do make good belt sanders).
    A fast check of flatness of the chuck (it was likely ground on the machine) with a STRAIGHT EDGE and some blue will expose badly worn ways.
    Spin spindle by hand to feel roughness or 'funny' spots.

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    Thanks guys. Down the road I want to get a new automatic Tormach surface grinder but need something to get me by in the meantime until I can justify that expense.

    I am not sure what capacity they were used in but I have two potential ones I can choose between so any insight is much appreciated! one is a Boyar-Schultz Six Twelve and the other a Reid (unknown make). I think the Reid is a hydraulic feed so that would be a plus but it *appears* the boyar-shultz was better taken care of maybe? If you need other pics lmk and I'll see what I can get. both will need the chucks ground probably, looks like they are rusted.

    Reid



    Boyar-Shultz

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red James View Post
    Stick with quality brand names (Rockwell is not a quality grinder; they do make good belt sanders).
    A fast check of flatness of the chuck (it was likely ground on the machine) with a STRAIGHT EDGE and some blue will expose badly worn ways.
    Spin spindle by hand to feel roughness or 'funny' spots.
    would I have to remove the table to check that though?

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    RE: Anything I can check for when the sg is not under power?

    In another lifetime I worked as a field service engineer for Reid surface grinders. Often would advise repair vs replace of older machines as well as correct poorly assembled new machines. Which was common.

    For a quick check pull the table. If a roller way machine very closely inspect the hardened ways under magnification. if any evidence of brinelling machine is scrap. Common if machine has been transported incorrectly. Pope and Whitnon cartridge spindles were both very well made. Check spindle nose runout with a .00005 test indicator. Any observed TIR is evidence of a bad mishap. Pull the mag chuck and check column alignment with a cylindrical square. Machines were poorly scraped for alignment at assembly. Column bolts would be variably torqued for adjustment. Over the years any change in bolt preload will noted. Not a bad idea to pull the cross feed screw. Reid grinders were crudely thread milled. Would quickly wear causing side wear grinding error. If given a choice, look for a Mitsui or Okamoto grinder.

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    Cheap good quality grinders can be found in abundance. It’s a pretty big gamble how they will work.

    For MOST people, just fine.

    I’ve got 3 currently, all are my favorite brand, Abrasive.

    Even badly worn they made pretty good grinders. The plain front bearing is forgiving of its wear.

    A friend picked up a 50’s US grinder for $100 at a machinery auction. I think it is a 6x12? Does fantastic work.

    If they are cheap, pick them both up. Expensive, tell the seller they need to be plugged in so you can hear the spindle run and take a test cut.

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    The Ried is probably the best built machine. Whatsbad aboutit, it has a Pope spindle and they have inner rase tapered bearing that are a rea pian to adjust. So if the spindle is shot, you will ned to send the spindle out to have it rebuild. A would estimate $2000.00 for that. If you a hobbyist or low volume user. but one at an auction as Fal mentions. don't buy either of those, looks like they have been sitting in a shed or outside. Boat anchors.

    Abrasive 1 1/2 is a good hand operated machine. One thing good about buying a Chinese made Tormach they have parts. Many of the old usa machines and Taiwanese machine, parts a hard or impossible to find parts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 fingers View Post
    RE: Anything I can check for when the sg is not under power?

    In another lifetime I worked as a field service engineer for Reid surface grinders. Often would advise repair vs replace of older machines as well as correct poorly assembled new machines. Which was common.

    For a quick check pull the table. If a roller way machine very closely inspect the hardened ways under magnification. if any evidence of brinelling machine is scrap. Common if machine has been transported incorrectly. Pope and Whitnon cartridge spindles were both very well made. Check spindle nose runout with a .00005 test indicator. Any observed TIR is evidence of a bad mishap. Pull the mag chuck and check column alignment with a cylindrical square. Machines were poorly scraped for alignment at assembly. Column bolts would be variably torqued for adjustment. Over the years any change in bolt preload will noted. Not a bad idea to pull the cross feed screw. Reid grinders were crudely thread milled. Would quickly wear causing side wear grinding error. If given a choice, look for a Mitsui or Okamoto grinder.
    wow that's great info! how difficult is it to pull the table? on my surface grinder it looks like I would just lift it off but it's not a roller way machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post
    Cheap good quality grinders can be found in abundance. It’s a pretty big gamble how they will work.

    For MOST people, just fine.

    I’ve got 3 currently, all are my favorite brand, Abrasive.

    Even badly worn they made pretty good grinders. The plain front bearing is forgiving of its wear.

    A friend picked up a 50’s US grinder for $100 at a machinery auction. I think it is a 6x12? Does fantastic work.

    If they are cheap, pick them both up. Expensive, tell the seller they need to be plugged in so you can hear the spindle run and take a test cut.
    yeah they are from a surplus auction so I think I can get these pretty cheap. I may pick both of them up and see what runs better once I get back to my shop.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard King View Post
    The Ried is probably the best built machine. Whatsbad aboutit, it has a Pope spindle and they have inner rase tapered bearing that are a rea pian to adjust. So if the spindle is shot, you will ned to send the spindle out to have it rebuild. A would estimate $2000.00 for that. If you a hobbyist or low volume user. but one at an auction as Fal mentions. don't buy either of those, looks like they have been sitting in a shed or outside. Boat anchors.

    Abrasive 1 1/2 is a good hand operated machine. One thing good about buying a Chinese made Tormach they have parts. Many of the old usa machines and Taiwanese machine, parts a hard or impossible to find parts.
    I think I would need to send it off if the bearings were shot no matter if it had tapered bearings or not - my current one lost the pre-load and I don't have the tools to fix it and you are right, I had someone come quote it and it was going to run about $2k to rebuild the spindle. Right now I am a low volume user but I am moving into knife production so the demand will keep going up, that's why I really want to get the automatic sg at some point. Right now I'm sending out blades for double disc grinding and lapping but it would be nice to sg in house.

    These are at a surplus auction probably sitting in a shed shed (so inside) but where the humidity is high. So you are saying I should not get either?

    I do have a 6x12 chuck that is pretty good condition on my current sg, so if either of these match that dimension I could just transfer that over... here's my chuck



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