Is this old grinder worth keeping?

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Established Member
8 Apr 2022
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North Devon
Evening all. I've recently been given a couple of old grinders. The first, a Wickes model, is a very simple grinder. There's no guards on it, only very basic rests, it's fitted with an old grey wheel and a wire wheel, photo below. This will probably live out by the welder and just be kept for rough sharpening and cleanup of metal work things. I'll make up a simple rest for it as most things are likely to be done freehand and ensure I'm always wearing safety specs.

The other grinder is a dual speed wet and dry grinder. The standard wheel looks in need of replacement and isn't the best type for doing planes and chisels from what I've read so I could swap that out for a more suitable one and get something like a Veritas adjustable rest to make a decent start. The wet wheel, I've no idea about. I've not used one before and it looks pretty awkward. The only rest is something bolted on and, to me, looks like it's on the wrong side for sharpening, at least compared to things like Tormek. I'd have to either buy or build some form of mount to go above the wet wheel and wondered if anyone else here had used a similar grinder and what they'd done for a guide/rest.

Alternatively, if the grinder is just going to be a lot of faff to make effective, would I be better just buying something like a new record grinder and a veritas tool rest or can this be turned into something worthwhile.



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I have been in the same situation and inherited some old bench grinder. At the time I had a hand grinder, inherited from my grandfather. The reality is that one is much better acquiring a modern machine because at the end of the day you are trying to sharpen your tools and want the best result. I took mine to the local recycling centre. With a new machine my edges are razor sharp,
I actually agree and disagree with the post above modern machines are generally safer and better but if you can safely replace the wheels then it’s probably a better built machine than the modern day alternatives. This said by the time you replace the wheels and given it’s age have it pat tested for safety then it’s probably not economically viable.
My 8" bench grinder has got to be 50 plus years old, I inherited it from my late father 10 years ago and if i am honest i am not sure if it was new when he had it, I can never remember it not being in his workshop.
As long as there is no play in the shaft bearings then in my opinion, they are worth saving
Mine is mounted on a piece of ply and has a small hole for a water pot to keep dipping into I clamp the board to my bench when i need to use it
I have a course wheel 80G on one end and 120G on the other i spent some time getting the wheels true and regularly flatten and dress them with a diamond, I sharpen all sizes and types of drills and also use it for plane blades and chisels on rare occasions
I would like to replace one wheel for a CBN at some point
I would be cautious with all of the wheels as you don't know if they have been knocked or cracked
What fortune to get them
The slow wheel is handy for axes.
Been meaning to pick up another wee one myself,
I'd like another with narrow wheel for grinding into a shoulder
Likely have to spend a few bob to match hp, as lots are being made with tiny motors these days.
My new one seems to run a bit hot, not sure if i recall that with the older wee one at the folks.
Not that i find that an issue with occasional grinding, not hours on end.
Both those grinders look to be worth keeping. In fact the wet grinder looks quite good. The wet wheel looks like its not done a lot of work and that rest on it should be fine for most of your needs. The gray wheel on it looks good too and just needs to be derssed. The other machine I would replace the gray wheel with a white wheel and either buy or make a bench mounted rest. The rest that come on those grinders are never much good for sharpening woodwork tools. Its always handy having a wire wheel so perhaps a new one of those.
Thanks Okey-dokey, I've found a manual but it' doesn't say much more than don't stick your fingers in the spinning things.

Thanks everyone for the replies, think I'll keep them for now, get new wire and grey wheels for the standard grinder and a white wheel for the wet grinder and see how they go. The Veritas tool rest is out of stock everywhere currently so I'll make something temporary until they come back in stock. Should't be too pricey to at least put new wheels on and try them out. I've got a wheel dresser so can try trueing them up and see where we are then.

I have the gear to do the electrical testing so while it won't be PAT tested, I'll be able to ensure they're safe.
I would decide on power output , I have had a few dire example grinders over the decades , You put anything on them and they almost stop dead , Not good
The little one is 300w which I’d have thought should be find for a wire wheel and the standard grey wheel?

The wet/dry grinder is also 300w and I’m wondering if the heavier slower moving wheel would add some momentum to keep it going. My plan is to put an aluminium oxide wheel on the high speed side of this one, not sure about the grit yet as the wet grinder has a stone marked A80 so I’m guessing that’s an 80 grit stone which I’d think isn’t really fine enough.

I did wonder about taking off the water bath and just running a regular Alu oxide wheel at low speed, any reason that wouldn’t work or what would be a better wet stone option to replace the current one with?
Just be especially aware of the wire wheel, I’m going to assume that will be wearing eye protection, but ideally wear a full face visor on that, it’s not at all unknown for the wires to fly out and stick in you - not at all nice if it’s in your cheek.
The wet optionis the one I would want to keep and probably use most - zero chance of overheating on a regrind - although I would probably put a finer wheel on it. Definitely wouldn't acrap the water bath.

I have a full face mask for grinding, bought it because I’m starting a car renovation project, it’ll live next to the grinder when I’m not working on the car.
I’ll have to find a suitable finer wet wheel then.

Any suggestions for which grade for the at wheel and which alu oxide wheel would partner well with it? It’ll be for the usual chisels and plane irons etc along with some turning tools when I get the second-hand lathe I bought up and running this winter.
I have a full face mask for grinding, bought it because I’m starting a car renovation project, it’ll live next to the grinder when I’m not working on the car.
I’d be interested to hear what car you’ll be restoring. I do a bit of that myself.
It’s a Mk 1 mx5. It was my kid brothers an was in our barn waiting for him to repair the sills on it. Was there for a few years. He died In 2020 during lockdown. I’m planning to do it up and put it back on the road as a reminder of some great drives we had together.

Needs a lot of work, the mice have eaten every wire in the engine bay. Current plan is to take off the bonnet, wings, doors, bumper etc. take out the engine, suspension, subframes, brakes etc.

Remove the old loom, treat all the rust, weld up the sills and wings, remove all the bushes, blast and powder coat the subframes and suspension arms and fit new bushes. A new wiring loom will be an issue as there’s not many around but that should be doable. He had new coil-overs in a box so those will go on, Ive a big brake kit to fit so it’ll stop and handle ok. Then it’s all back together, get it running and mot’d and drive it for a while.

Longer term perhaps a rocketeer v6 conversion. Jag V6 that’s the same weight as the current engine so handling stays the same but more power without turbo. That’s not cheap but I’m keeping this car for the long term and I’m in no rush.

I expect it to take 2 years, I’ve never done anything like it before. I’ve worked on all my motorbikes for many years but not much with cars so a learning experience for sure.

Tomorrow I’m laying a concrete pad in the barn for what will become a garage workspace for the project, I’ll put some simple stuff amd plastic chest walls around it and it’ll be a lot less dusty where it’s been sitting for the past 7years.


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Sorry for your loss.

I have a wet grinder the same ( different colour ) and its fine. The plastic water bath is weak, so dont put strain on it. Mine didnt have a tool rest.... i always hold the chisel on the higher lip of the black plastic ( at the back of the wheel ) and the wheel turns away from the edge instead of into it. Works fine for me 🙃