Budget-ish bench grinder

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Picalilli

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Hi all,I’d like to get a bench grinder for doing the occasional re-establishing of primary bevels, but also want something I can attach a wire wheel to for cleanup of old tools etc as I do a lot of that.
I’m looking at either the titan from Screwfix or maybe one of the Axminster craft ones (links below). Is the Axminster one worth the extra? It seems to have a less powerful motor which is often a bad sign, but maybe better for what I need?
Any advice, as always, much appreciated!

don’t want to spend a fortune but might be able to push the boat out if really worth going for something slightly higher priced

 

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grumpycorn

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I've got the axminster one and it's fine - runs fairly smooth (as far as I can tell - it's the only one I've owned). I haven't noticed any issues with the power of the motor but I only grind the occasional plane blade etc. and I deliberately use a light touch to avoid bluing the steel. The lights are quite useful. I'm planning on getting a wire wheel actually but not quick enough to let you know if it works!

Only thing to note is that it doesn't have adjustable rests (which I didn't realise), so you'll either need to make or buy a separate one if you want any degree of accuracy when grinding bevels. I got the veritas one which is excellent. I can't comment on the others sorry.
 

Sachakins

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I've got the titan, ok tool for simple grinding. But I have modified mine to take a wider white wheel for my bowl gouges, and other woodturning tools.

Not the smoothest out the box and quite a bit of fettling to get the vibration down to something ok'ish.

If I was buying again, I would look for a better and smoother running machine, like the latest Record Power RSBG8.

I know it's not the ultimate out there, but I would budget around £125 and the RSBG8 I've used that others own, knock spots off the Titan I have.

That would be my replacement, but I know Santa got me on the naughty list, so that not gonna happen any time soon.
 

AESamuel

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I find most grinders function pretty much the same, and it's really the tool rest that really need to be spot on. Most included tools rests on grinders can't be adjusted for angle and so you have to try and do it freehand. I can highly recommend the Veritas grinder tool rest, very good piece of kit.

Those two grinders have different size wheels which have pros and cons. The 150mm wheels are usually a little cheaper and create more of a hollow when grinding which can make it easier to "click" into the angle on a stone when sharpening freehand. 200mm wheels have a faster surface speed for the same rpm so can grind a little hotter, but they don't create as deep a hollow so for harder working chisels this technically makes a stronger tip but unless you're hitting nails it shouldn't make any difference at all.
 

Picalilli

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Thanks for the replies all.
I think I’m leaning towards a cheaper, more general purpose grinder as I do think I’ll end up using more for general grinding and cleaning things up with the wire wheel, as I rarely need to regrind chisels and plane blades. I have a hand crank grinder that kind of works okay for that anyway, and just refine on diamond stones and strop.
I suppose the cheaper option doesn’t break the bank either, so can always be upgraded later for less worry about wasted money
 

Lazurus

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If it is for predominantly sharpening consider a slow speed grinder, I have a couple of Creusens which have been going for over 20 years, well worth the additional monies
 

tonywatkins

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I've got the titan, ok tool for simple grinding. But I have modified mine to take a wider white wheel for my bowl gouges, and other woodturning tools.

How did you modify it? I have just been thinking I shouldn't have bought the Titan as I want a white wheel but can't find a 200mm one which is 20mm wide (without spending more than I paid for the grinder). Closest I can find is 25mm wide.
 

D_W

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if you're going to use a wire wheel for anything of size (or a deburring wheel) you will want a small 5 (500-600 watt) amp or so buffer to go along with the grinder. Two different tools. An inexpensive buffer is about $65 in the US - I've been using one of that variety for years now and have done nothing other than manage to wear the cord through (fixed that after it gave me a tingle).

I'm not saying you should go this way if you're a beginner at this but there is a point where coarseness and high speed works better than a lower speed grinder. For example, I have two heavy grinders (used for metalwork) and one is fitted with a 24 grit tool room wheel - 8" and high speed. It's scary powerful (nearly 1400 watts) and grinds cooler than a CBN wheel on my 6" regular grinder. The key is that you can't bear down on it, but with speed, there's no reason to. This is the same principle used on belt grinders - very high speed and lower pressures.
 

Fitzroy

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I have the Titan, I have to fix it to the bench else it'll walk off with vibration, only use it occasionally to re-grind plane irons as the scare to effort ratio is passed.
 

D_W

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In general, if there are balance issues, they're tolerable by turning wheels an eighth or a quarter. AT one point for my main grinder, I bought the one way balance setup, and it worked well. It doesn't necessarily give perfect results, but fair to say 80-90% and it'll stop a walking grinder from walking, but it's bulky and awkward.

It's nicer just to get something or somewhere that you can use to bolt a grinder down, make a reasonable effort (perfection isn't necessary if a cut is continuous) and move on.

There's all kinds of OWTs floating around about damaging bearings, etc, but I doubt any woodworker will ever come close. I doubt I'll ever wear out any, either, and I'm doing heavy grinding, so it's not uncommon for a grinder to be on an hour or several hours in a week (enough for the housing to get very warm).
 

D_W

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yes, but vary whatever may be a problem (if you suspect it may be a washer, try turning the wheel around the arbor with the washer and then without allowing the washer to change. If there's something wrong with the washer and it's enough to affect balance, you should be able to see it. Even on the baldor grinder, the washers are just inexpensive stamped washers.
 

tonywatkins

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Thanks. I think it's not too bad now I've fiddled with it, but I'll see how it performs when I use it properly in the next few days, and then I'll try this suggestion if it needs further adjustment.
 

Sachakins

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How did you modify it? I have just been thinking I shouldn't have bought the Titan as I want a white wheel but can't find a 200mm one which is 20mm wide (without spending more than I paid for the grinder). Closest I can find is 25mm wide.
To put my 25mm white wheel on, I first had to enlarge the hole on the inside flange so it slides over the shaft, then i turned a wood spacer to fit against the inner rim of the bearing and the flange, this allowed the flange to sit about 5mm further back. This allowed the 25mm wheel to sit central and give enough threads showing to fit outer flange and tighten up the nut correctly, leaving 2 or 3 threads showing.

This is a no going back change, unless you can buy a replacement inner flange.
I also turned a wood bush to replace the plastic ones that came with my wheel to get a better balance.

The important bit is to get the shoulders square and the holes central in the bush and spacer.
Took a few practice goes till I got it acceptable for me.
 

tonywatkins

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Many thanks for this explanation. I don't have facilities for turning spacers or bushes, so I think I won't be able to make an adaptation to mine. But just in case, can I clarify a couple of points:

I first had to enlarge the hole on the inside flange so it slides over the shaft . . .
This flange, I presume, is what I called a washer – one on each side of the wheel?

. . . a wood spacer to fit against the inner rim of the bearing and the flange . . .
A tube that slides over the arbor, which replicates the function of the shoulder on the arbor as a stop for the inner flange/washer?

this allowed the flange to sit about 5mm further back. This allowed the 25mm wheel to sit central and give enough threads showing to fit outer flange and tighten up the nut correctly, leaving 2 or 3 threads showing.
Why 5 mm rather than 2.5 mm?
 

John on the Wirral

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I have just bought a Draper wet and dry stone for £198 pounds a white dey wheel. Not yet used it as I am busy re-modelling my shop but ror the money it looks a nice bit of kkit
 

Sachakins

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Many thanks for this explanation. I don't have facilities for turning spacers or bushes, so I think I won't be able to make an adaptation to mine. But just in case, can I clarify a couple of points:


This flange, I presume, is what I called a washer – one on each side of the wheel?
YES

A tube that slides over the arbor, which replicates the function of the shoulder on the arbor as a stop for the inner flange/washer?
YES

Why 5 mm rather than 2.5 mm?
Got to ensure outer nut fits safely, if you just centre the wheel, you loose thread length so nut may not go on fully.
Cheers
 

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