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View Full Version : Who has a Baldor Grinder and where did you get it?



David Weaver
11-23-2010, 8:12 AM
I hesitate to put this in the power tool section, because the specific use for it is entirely hand tool related - sharpening as well as grinding parts for tools (especially irons), and I don't think there's a lot of that going on in the PT section.

I like a 6" grinder for hollow grinding because the hollow lasts well, much better than it does on the tormek, and despite the talk of how weak the edge is with the hollow behind it, I've never actually had an edge chip up into the hollow area.

My first knee-jerk reaction is to just buy a baldor 6" grinder new, or try to find one used. They don't seem to go for a lot less used than they go for new, at least around here.

My other option is to find an old and good 8" grinder and use that for grinding, and keep my cheapo ryobi 6" for hollow grinding. The catch seems to be that older 8" grinders that show up here are three phase grinders and 220.

What other brands should I be looking for used? Dayton?

* does anyone have one of the new 6" baldor grinders?
* Do they feel like they're worth $250 (for one with decent rests)? or $300 in the case of the heavier 6" models with cast covers and exhaust ports?
* are there any other differences with their puzzle of different numbers for 6" grinders that i should be aware of?

Don Dorn
11-23-2010, 8:52 AM
I'm sure everyone does it differently, but my 6" with gray wheels is used for general grinding. I have the Woodcraft 8" with white wheels (and use the Kirby system) for grinding irons and chisels and a Wolverine system for lathe tools.

I'd love to have a Baldor and missed the auction day at the local Community College where they sold two of them. Understand they went for $25 each. Obviously the auctioneer had no idea what he was selling.

Chris Fournier
11-23-2010, 8:58 AM
I have a Baldor and a Milwaukee. Both were far more expensive than the import alternatives when I bought them. Both are terrific grinders and I would spend the money again without question. Less vibration, robust build.

Rob Lee
11-23-2010, 9:12 AM
Hi David -

Fabulous grinders. I have an 8" Baldor buffer NIB out of sheer "covetousness" ... had it for 10 years....

It's hard to imagine regretting the purchase of a tool you use, that's so well made...

Cheers -

Rob

george wilson
11-23-2010, 9:12 AM
I have 2 OLD Craftsman grinders from the 60's. They have flat fronts,which is good because their flat front motors don't get in the way when grinding things like draw knives.

these old grinders are still going strong after many decades. They do not have a lot of monetary value,but have been just fine.

Jim McFarland
11-23-2010, 9:34 AM
This place had good prices on Baldor grinders when I was looking about a year ago but freight ($140) was a deal killer for me (I settled for a Woodcraft with Oneway wheel balancer):

http://www.mile-x.com/baldor-8-bench-grinders.aspx

Looks like Coldwater is in western Ohio so likely not a practical driving distance for pickup for you, either.

David Weaver
11-23-2010, 9:41 AM
I'm going to guess the milwaukee grinders went overseas since you got yours?

They are listed as discontinued or out of stock items on amazon.

David Weaver
11-23-2010, 9:44 AM
This place had good prices on Baldor grinders when I was looking about a year ago but freight ($140) was a deal killer for me (I settled for a Woodcraft with Oneway wheel balancer):

http://www.mile-x.com/baldor-8-bench-grinders.aspx

Looks like Coldwater is in western Ohio so likely not a practical driving distance for pickup for you, either.

You're right, they do have good prices, but out of my driving range.

The local sellers here are less than 10 miles away, but their prices are not competitive and they don't stock the grinders locally, it'd be like paying extra to get them to order it to their shops instead of just having it delivered to my door.

It'd be ideal to get a grinder that I could run first, but I don't think that's going to happen. my ryobi works fine, the arbors on it just aren't straight, never were, and they just soft metal.

fred mcclure
11-23-2010, 9:50 AM
tools for working wood had one in their cataglog

George Beck
11-23-2010, 10:12 AM
Contact Joel at Tools for working wood. He not only carries Baldor, he carries the good baldor grinders. It is a lifetime purchase.

George

Johnny Kleso
11-23-2010, 12:12 PM
Baldor makes the best motors hands down IMHO

What I have is a HF 10" 2HP Bench Grinder I use with differet size wheel..

It has a 1750 RPM motor so its slow speed vs high 3600 and might be a version that you want for tool sharpening..

If you use it for light grinding like sharpening should last you a lifetime..
I got mine shipped free for $77 A deal I could not pass up :)

I just checked and don't see HF listing them anymore :(

But a Slow Speed Grinder maybe what you want........

http://home.comcast.net/~rexmill/sharpening/power-sharpening/7.jpg

Tim Sgrazzutti
11-23-2010, 12:24 PM
I looked into this last year, and ended up with a Jet JBG-6A for $120 shipped. It's got gobs of power, and cast iron guards with dust collection ports. I used the extra dough for better wheels and the Oneway balancing system. Also beware it does not come with tool rests that are adjustable for angle, so you've got to make your own or buy tool rests. I made my own from 1/4" steel stock, which are quite rigid when attached to the cast iron guards.

Tri Hoang
11-23-2010, 12:31 PM
I use a cheap Woodcraft dual speed 8" with the Norton 3X cool wheels and the Oneway balancing system. It runs very smooth & quiet. For the small amount of grinding of I do (turning tools/certain chisels/plane blades), the set up is more than adequate.

David Weaver
11-23-2010, 12:35 PM
What's funny about the tool rests is that the cheap version ryobi grinder that I do have came with two cast aluminum tool rests about the size of a credit card that are adjustable for both tilt and distance from the wheel. It was $39. It is very easy to use for plane irons and chisels with the side that doesn't have a drill bit slot built into it (only need one wheel, anyway). I guess I lucked out with that.

I have seen the larger slow speed grinders, but what I like about the 6" is that if you don't have ham hands, you won't burn tools with it full speed, and the hollow is nice and deep, which is excellent for keeping the honed bevels smaller. I just want one that doesn't dance with a true wheel (if my ryobi grinder wasn't clamped to the bench, it would make its way off in less than 15 seconds).

I saw joel's TFWW flyer, but the grinder comes with friable wheels and a diamond dresser. I've not had any trouble with cheap gray wheels that are dressed fairly regularly, and I like that they're long wearing, so I don't want to pay extra for the wheels and the diamond dresser (i already have a cheap diamond dresser that works fine, too). Otherwise, that's the grinder I have my eye on.

Chuck Nickerson
11-23-2010, 12:52 PM
I bought my Baldor 6" slow-speed grinder from Tolls for Working Wood.

Was it cheap? No, but compared to what I have invested in blade tools...

I bought it originally for shaping the irons for my H&Rs. I now use it for almost all grinder work, except carving chisels.

David Weaver
11-23-2010, 1:11 PM
I now use it for almost all grinder work, except carving chisels.

That's the direction I've gone with the grinder. I have a tormek, but it has been relegated to carving tools and japanese tools that need major work.

Unless something from this discussion changes, I think I'm zeroed in on the 623E. I was hoping there would be a couple of other US made options, but it looks like dayton's (by the price) are overseas, as are wilton and palmgren. I don't see any other *good* 6" grinders, good in the sense as a one-time purchase with a proven history.

Andrae Covington
11-23-2010, 2:52 PM
Can't offer any advice on Baldor grinders, but this discussion about quality vs cheap grinders reminded me of a post on the bridge city tools blog, entitled $5 for a 1/8" Twist Drill? Only in America... (http://www.bridgecitytools.com/blog/2010/10/25/5-for-a-18-twist-drill-only-in-america/) noting his experiences touring a factory in China. Obviously it's primarily about those cheap 119-piece drill bit sets, but he starts out talking about the bench grinders manufactured there.

I'll just quote the relevant part:


The total cost per grinder, landed in the US was $7.15. Of course at this price it would be asking too much for a UL tag.

These grinders were, and still are being sold here and the prices range from $49 to $200 awesome margins by any standard.

Behind the factory floor there was a small mountain of insulated wire that had been pulled from old cars, appliances, televisions and the like and it was replenished daily. Surrounding the wire mountain were a couple of dozen women who were stripping the wire of insulation. These wire remnants were then spliced together and used in the grinder motor windings. Completely illegal, and dangerous. But cheap.:eek: I would say "you get what you pay for", but then I'd hate to pay $200 for one of those grinders. Although the Baldors seem expensive, at least you know you're getting a quality tool that will last.

David Weaver
11-23-2010, 3:12 PM
One of the most frustrating things about import tools is the costs, as he mentioned there, are still "bean-counterized". Someone takes the cheapest route from A to B and nobody ever seems to emphasize doing things right at a reduced cost.

You would THINK that it should be possible to do a higher level of quality at a lower price, at least for some things, but for all of the tools I've seen, it seems to just be far lower price and some measure of lower quality. The critical details are always screwed up, and sometimes all of them are screwed up such that a tool can't even be used.

That is exactly why I'm not interested in chancing a $125 grinder when I know what I'll get for $300. I'm not arguing that it's a better value for everyone, but if I spend anything other than bare bones, I'm going to reward the people who do things right or there will soon be none of those people left. Obviously, by not buying at TFWW, it's clear that I'll still price shop (I found a 623E for $310 shipped), but I will price shop at the top of the quality range and not for things that *look* like they might be quality without proving it.

The supposed mid-range tools appear to be gone. There's crap at at low price, then there's crap marketed as mid range, and then there is high end at high end prices (and in some cases, there is now crap at high end prices when someone buys a brand and just slaps the label on crap). There are people selling those garbage grinders on ebay for $120, which is insulting, but I guess there's a sucker born every minute.

Until then, everyone who says they make import tools as good as the domestic tools - i'll believe it once they've proven it and done so with consistency that makes me sure I'll get what I think I'm getting before I even open the box.

Bill Houghton
11-23-2010, 4:12 PM
7" Baldor. Inherited it from my uncle :D.

Having used it, I've definitely save my pennies up for another one; although the import Delta I bought some years back is a decent grinder (my son now has and uses it), the Baldor runs so smoothly it's amazing, and the rests are so much better built.

Greg Portland
11-23-2010, 4:57 PM
I don't see any other *good* 6" grinders, good in the sense as a one-time purchase with a proven history.The initial quality of the "heavy duty" version of the Grizzly grinders are at least on par with the Baldor options. I have only heavily used the Grizzly for a couple of years so longevity (20+ years of continual abuse, etc.) is still an unknown.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/8-1-HP-Heavy-Duty-Bench-Grinder/G0596

Gary Herrmann
11-23-2010, 4:58 PM
20 yr old 7" Baldor pedestal grinder I picked up at an estate sale. I can't even tell it's on unless I look at the wheels.

Saving/looking for an 8" slow speed for my turning tools. Can't seem to find a used one around here, so may have to buy new.

David Weaver
11-23-2010, 5:14 PM
The initial quality of the "heavy duty" version of the Grizzly grinders are at least on par with the Baldor options. I have only heavily used the Grizzly for a couple of years so longevity (20+ years of continual abuse, etc.) is still an unknown.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/8-1-HP-Heavy-Duty-Bench-Grinder/G0596

Yeah, they only have an 8" heavy duty, though.

And I wouldn't take a chance for a $100 difference were I looking for an 8 inch grinder (i'd have to pay tax and frieght in PA, which is a $600 vs. $700 issue).

I'm also a bit nonplussed with their inability to market a tool on its own merits only (instead of badmouthing competitors), and also have a bad taste in my mouth from their sales style at IWF two years ago (pushy salespeople).

Johnny Kleso
11-23-2010, 5:47 PM
I got the place for you to buy from ENCO

http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INPDFF?PMPAGE=605&PMITEM=160-2022

Baldor 6" $249 and free shipping

free UPS shipping* on your order of $25 or more!
Simply enter Promo Code: FSNVP!

Hurry! Offer ends 11/30/10.

Orders Under 100lbs

PS: I would buy the model without the tools rests and spend the extra $100 on some nice LV tool rests..

PPS: I just recieved a new code..
Free UPS Shipping* on your Enco order of $25 or more. Simply use Promo Code: FSTHP to take advantage of Free Shipping today.
Act Now! This offer ends 11/30/10 at 11:00 PM EST.

Raney Nelson
11-23-2010, 7:36 PM
I have a Woodcraft slowspeed 8" grinder. It's OK, and about $100 generally, but even with a oneway balancing system and a Wolverine toolrest it's nowhere near the quality (vibration being the major difference) of the Baldor. I have used many Baldors and they're by far the best I've used... nothing else made in the last 20 years comes close in my experience. I've been meaning to get a 6" fullspeed for a while, and this thread has pushed me over the edge.

Also, for what it's worth, I prefer the Norton 3x wheels to everything else I've used and find them well worth the extra cash; that makes the TFWW deal a very good one. Many people disagree with me about this, though (Larry Williams among them) so take that as you will. I'll personally don't like aluminum rests - they tend to get a lot of embedded particles and scratch up the blades - but again, Johnny's (rarebear) expertise on these things is second-to-none, so take that for what it's worth as well. As an alternative, the Wolverine rests are excellent, but you're paying close to $100 for them.

So to me, the long and short is that TFWW has a great deal for what I want.

However, if you don't want the CI toolrest and exhaust, then the Enco deal is better. Especially with a 15% off code for orders of $199 or more from Enco: NHEPR
Good until 11/30

(I doubt you can use both codes, but it's worth a shot)

PS - David, I just realized I never shipped those screws to you. I'll get them out this week.

Johnny Kleso
11-23-2010, 9:18 PM
Hey Raney,
Good to see you..
I was just checking your website out a few days ago..

I also hate aluminum for tool rests and when I get time I will add a steel plate to the rests I made..

The cast iron Baldor is not much of a tool rest IMHO
I would put the $100 to better use :)

David Weaver
11-23-2010, 9:57 PM
I guess if I don't go for the 623, my next choice would be the 612E. I like the cast wheel guards if for nothing else because of the weight they add.

The cast iron rests are a lot like the size and shape of the rests on my ryobi, and I get along fine with them.

The one thing I did at one point, which worked well, was to just epoxy a piece of shaped 1/8th inch O1 plate onto the cast rests. I knocked it off by accident banging something into the grinder, but I wouldn't have any qualms about that as long as the baldor rests are two-way rests like the ones I have now.

The best price I can do for the 623E is from the place mentioned earlier, and with shipping, it's about $310. Same place sells the grinder on ebay for $20 more :p

Raney, your experience solidifies my decision. I have *seen* baldors run but never got to use them myself. They were older, though, but even the good imports I've used are not quite right.

(no worries on the screws, do it whenever you get around to it)

At least if I'm going down, I dragged someone else down with me. :D

My dad has one of the old craftsman grinders like george mentioned. His actually runs really really smoothly, but my dad also grew up dirt poor and he doesn't give away or throw away anything unless it is totally spent, so I have zero chance of begging it off of him. Apparently other people think highly of them, too, because I saw one on a pedestal earlier today for $225 :eek: I do see them on CL here for cheap sometimes, but they always look abused or spent.

Johnny Kleso
11-23-2010, 11:00 PM
David,

Be carefull the 01 dosen't come loose and trap between the wheel and CI Rest..

David Weaver
11-24-2010, 7:48 AM
Will do. I will probably permanently attach it on a "good" grinder rather than just epoxy.

jamie shard
11-25-2010, 8:10 AM
For what it's worth, I was thinking along the same lines (buy it once and enjoy) and I went with the Baldor 1SK6 model. It is a smaller horsepower 6" grinder, but instead of having two wheels, it has one wheel and a 1" belt sander. I originally bought it because I wanted to do fast knife sharpening as well. Now I'm realizing that many carving tools are sharpened with a flat bevel (not hollow grind) and belt sander is really helpful for tuning those tools.

It's about 300$ from kalamazoo industries. I didn't find any bargin prices when I was shopping.

As a side, I had a moment of disgust when I first put the machine together (some assembly required) and started it up. It vibrated/wobbled! I trued the wheel with a dresser and that reduced it, but not enough to make it worth buying a baldor... BUT then I read everything I could find on balancing wheels and I came across the approach of:

1) start up the ginder, if it wobbles then
2) stop the grinder and mark a line (radius) on the side of the wheel
3) loosen the bolt and carefully rotate the wheel 90 degrees without during the motor shaft, retighten
4) start up again
if it still wobbles, repeat but rotate 45 degrees then 22.5, then 11.25 etc.

For me, the 90 degree rotation fixed the wobble and it was dead smooth. Like someone said above, you couldn't tell if it was on by looking at it.

Hope this helps!

David Weaver
11-25-2010, 11:10 AM
Thanks for the idea. I almost got one of those not too long ago but got a bench sander instead. I think when I was looking, I was only looking at the belt grinder with no wheel.

I'll pull the trigger one way or another by the end of the weekend.

I was looking over grinders last night and saw an add-on called "multi-tool", that also looked nice, but I think a 3.1 amp grinder is a little short on power for the belt rate that was given (5400 feet per minute). A shorter belt on the small size, but with an exposed wheel to use.

John Stan
11-27-2010, 8:08 AM
Hi -
This thread is very timely as I am also shopping for a grinder. Can someone explain which is the preferred speed? 1800 RPM vice 3600 RPM? Are the benefits to one speed vice another?

Thanks,
-John

george wilson
11-27-2010, 8:55 AM
As mentioned,the WHEEL itself can be out of balance. On precision machines,like quality surface grinders,provision is made for balancing the wheels before mounting.

It is excellent advice to rotate the wheel till it runs the smoothest. Those wheels are cast out of their materials,and may have somewhat different densities on different sides.

Another thing I like about my old flat front Craftsman grinders,is that they have"double jointed" tool rests: There are 2 arms in each rest,like your own arm. there is a straight part coming from the grinder. This connects to the actual rest itself at an "elbow". The rests can be extended way out from the grinder about 4". this enables me to catch a chisel at the tang with the extended rest. I can grind a carving tool,quench it,and replace it at exactly the same spot each time, catching it where the chisel flares out into the bolster,making a perfectly smooth bevel on the tool,which has no "facets" on it.

I need to take a picture to illustrate this.

Ever see a picture of an import grinder taken open? They can have a cavernous shell around a 2" dia. armature!!! The big shell makes the motor look big,but it is quite small in diameter. The old flat front Craftsmen grinders house only the true dia. of the guts of the motor. It gives you lots of room to grind things like draw knives,which would hit the swollen motor housings on round front grinder motors.

Ed Looney
11-27-2010, 10:10 AM
I went to ebay and typed in baldor grinder and got 93 search results. This might be a good place to look.

Ed

David Weaver
11-27-2010, 10:14 AM
The new ryobi grinder I have has that two-piece rest, and it even has hand-turnable adjustment screws. It just has an arbor that isn't straight.

I have seen a lot of old grinders run, and they're always smooth. I have not seen a lot of new grinders run, so i figured it must just be the quality now, but after searching bench grinder on youtube (I knew that would turn up a few videos of people selling stuff on ebay), it's clear that my grinder is not just imported, but defective.

I could probably be satisfied with an import grinder that's OK, but I ended up ordering a baldor 623E grinder.

As george says, the housing for the motor isn't huge and it has a two-piece rest. And, it's got a nice heavy casting.

I would kind of like to have gotten the 8100W (a half speed 8" grinder that would've been nice for rough grinding plane sides), but I couldn't find anyone who would ship it UPS freight for a reasonable cost without adding on ridiculous standardized fees, and about the cheapest it would be was $750 even though the "sale price" was $600 or so (it's 100 pounds, thus the shipping issue). Enco had the price padded enough to cover their free shipping offer, so it would've been at least as expensive. It costs about $80 to ship UPS freight to me, but everyone has a standard freight + liftgate fee, same as the add-on would be for much larger equipment, which is dumb.

The other good option, especially for grinding irons, was the Kalamazoo 2SK7 (7" grinder with 2x48 belt and a grinder rest for the belt), but I couldn't find the arbor diameter to confirm I could put my 6" wheels on it if the 7" wheel it came with was too fast at full speed.

David Weaver
11-27-2010, 10:21 AM
I went to ebay and typed in baldor grinder and got 93 search results. This might be a good place to look.

Ed

There are a lot on there. It would be ideal if one showed up local pickup, but i couldn't find one. The seller who I bought from on the web lists on ebay, but they charge $20 more for their grinder on ebay :)

I think all of the low-price sellers are drop ship sellers, and probably the industrial supply houses are, too.

David Weaver
11-27-2010, 10:25 AM
Hi -
This thread is very timely as I am also shopping for a grinder. Can someone explain which is the preferred speed? 1800 RPM vice 3600 RPM? Are the benefits to one speed vice another?

Thanks,
-John

I'm only repeating stuff I've read, 1800 for anything 8", and below that is personal preference. I've never used an 8" grinder since starting woodworking.

I like a full-speed (3600) 6" grinder for grinding chisels and plane irons for the reason I stated earlier - the deeper hollow. I get at least an extra hone out of a chisel off of my grinder vs. the tormek, and no water or screwing around clamping the chisel in, etc. I'm pretty sure I never stand at the grinder more than a minute including a quick dress of the wheel when it starts to look glazed.

I still would've probably taken a larger half-speed western-world grinder if I could've found one reasonable. I don't think a 6" grinder will crap out for most of the metal bits that most of us on here will make, though, and the benefit of the 6" grinder if you pay attention is that you can find decent gray wheels everywhere for cheap. I'm sure the debate will continue about whether you should buy a more expensive friable wheel. For me, the answer is no, but I have burnt tools twice in 4 years just playing around and I can see how people could do it by accident. I have never burnt a tool when grinding something where it mattered and I was trying to avoid burning them.

Johnny Kleso
11-27-2010, 12:41 PM
Hi -
This thread is very timely as I am also shopping for a grinder. Can someone explain which is the preferred speed? 1800 RPM vice 3600 RPM? Are the benefits to one speed vice another?
Thanks,
-John

Hi John,

Grinding makes heat, the faster the wheel the more heat..
The slower the wheel the longer it takes to grind..
The larger the wheel the less raidus on your cutting edge, the more durable the edge is..

In a machine shop we use PI (Pie)=3.1416 and times it by the wheel diameter (6" x 3.1416= 16.8496) X (times) that by the RPMs of a grinder to find how many surface inches per minute past your tool..

6"dia. wheel x 3.1416= 16.8496 x 3600 rpm= 67858.56 sipm
6" @ 1750 would be about 1/2 the speed of 3600 rpm
8" @ 3600 = 90478.08 sipm
10" @ 1750 =54978 sipm


Some grinders have a hi-low switch but most times lack the tork of a single speed

Derek Cohen
11-27-2010, 8:47 PM
Hi David

I thought I would comment as my approach appears to vary from yours.

Like you, I have a 10" Tormek. For years I used a 1/2 hp Ryobi 6" high speed grinder (which, in Australia, means that it spins at 2800 rpm). I have kept this little grinder for its portability when I need to demonstrate grinding at workshops.

The 6" set up (doncha love the "powerful" adjective that is applied to 1/2 hp?!) ...

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a262/Derek50/For%20Sale/Grinderandtoolrest3.jpg

A few years back I decided to upgrade the 6" machine to a 10" high speed to match the wheel circumference of the Tormek. I bought what might only be called a "cheapie" and added a white 46 grit wheel.

10" Grinder-from-Hell alongside the Tormek ...

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a262/Derek50/Sharpening/GrinderandTormek.jpg

Few machines have terrified me as much as this 10". Imagine the sound of a Dakota starting up, the engine growl getting louder and the ground below your feet beginning to tremble. Then, as it approaches top speed, the velocity of air rushes at you and pins you against the far wall .. as you attempt to escape the machine shakes violently .. angrily and walks across the bench towards for, trapping you forever ...

As George pointed out, you can generally re-balance grinders to minimise the vibration. In fact, I do this will all grinders anyway. However it was a lost cause with this particular Hell-Child. In the end I sold it to an engineer for the price of the white wheel. He thought it a wonderful machine. Strange man ...

Anyway I was still determined to get another dry grinder. Why? Because I wanted something that worked faster than the Tormek .... however where we differ in philosophy is that I wanted a machine to prepare the way for the Tormek. I still see the Tormek as the best grinder around for blades that you plane to freehand sharpen. The reason for this is (1) the Tormek's large diameter wheel leaves a flatter hollow and removes less of the metal that supports an edge. I generally hollow grind to the edge of the steel as this then require less metal to be removed when honing. A freshly ground A2 hollow requires 1 (max 2) strokes on a Shapton Pro 1000 to achieve a wire edge. I do not mind refreshing the hollow after 4 or 5 sharpenings as this takes a few minutes at most and you end up removing minimal amounts of steel overall.

I ended up with a 1 hp half-speed (1400 rpm) 8" grinder by Carba-tec. Now I am sure that you can get this one in the US - probably just re-badged - but would not bother given the high praise that the Baldors come in for. We don't get a Baldor her in Oz, otherwise I would have considered one. My philosophy is that you buy the best you can afford - "cry once ..". In fact I come in for stick from my wife when I consider something second best (when in a state of pre-purchase stress). At the same price I'd rather get a good used machine of my choice than a new second-rate machine. The Carba-tec was a pricey piece, about the same as you would pay for a Baldor (all machinery in Australia seems to cost about double what you would pay in the US).

Here is the 8" grinder set up with the Tormek BGM-100 tool rest (which makes it easy to go from the Tormek to the dry grinder and back) ...

http://www.inthewoodshop.com/WoodworkTechniques/GrindingNirvana_html_85f29ea.jpg

Review of the set up: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/WoodworkTechniques/GrindingNirvana.html

The 8" is a great machine. Minimal vibration - I have used a number of machines over the years and this one is up there with the best. The benefit from a machine with such little vibration is one you will really appreciate long after the pain of paying for it is past. The larger the machine, the more has to go in to reducing vibration. You are paying for a more powerful motor, better bearings, more solid construction ... these items cannot be improved later. The tool rest is not important in this context - you can always add a good one later.

Another point: I do not use the Tormek for turning chisels. I am always surprised by those that do if they also use HSS chisels. HSS does not react to heat, so grind them as fast as you like. Keep the Tormek for steel that can burn.

Speed counts when it comes to heat. I am led to understand that a 6" diameter wheel turns at approximately the same speed (at the circumference) as a 8" half-speed wheel. Wheel composition counts as well ... but all this is telling you how to suck eggs. The relevant factor for me is a flatter grind, and how to achieve this with the lowest heat.

Regards from Perth

Derek

Larry Williams
11-27-2010, 10:08 PM
David,

There's a new grinder on the market by General International. I'm sure it's made in China but it seems to be a pretty good grinder. You'll need to make some tool rests for it and ignore their belt width specification, use 2" wide belts instead of 1 3/4" belts. The platen for the belts could use a little modification as well. You'll have to get custom belts made for it but that's easy, we get them from EconAbrasives if you don't have a source.

It's less than half the cost of a Jet belt/grinder we bought years ago for more than twice the price. I had to make tool rests for that one and modify the platen as well.

http://www.general.ca/site_metal/m_produits/15-232.html

On edit,
We've only had one for less than two months so I haven't tried to get parts or anything.

David Weaver
11-27-2010, 10:29 PM
Larry, I saw that one before I placed my order, and wondered, but didn't wonder too long once I saw the belt size. Since you vouched for it, I'll keep it in mind when I decide to buy a belt grinder.

I would assume I won't probably need parts at my usage level.

I do like the standalone 2x48" kalamazoo grinder a lot (2fsm). Do you know anything about it?

David Weaver
11-27-2010, 10:40 PM
Hi David

I thought I would comment as my approach appears to vary from yours.

Like you, I have a 10" Tormek. For years I used a 1/2 hp Ryobi 6" high speed grinder (which, in Australia, means that it spins at 2800 rpm). I have kept this little grinder for its portability when I need to demonstrate grinding at workshops.

The 6" set up (doncha love the "powerful" adjective that is applied to 1/2 hp?!) ...

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a262/Derek50/For%20Sale/Grinderandtoolrest3.jpg

A few years back I decided to upgrade the 6" machine to a 10" high speed to match the wheel circumference of the Tormek. I bought what might only be called a "cheapie" and added a white 46 grit wheel.

10" Grinder-from-Hell alongside the Tormek ...

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a262/Derek50/Sharpening/GrinderandTormek.jpg

Few machines have terrified me as much as this 10". Imagine the sound of a Dakota starting up, the engine growl getting louder and the ground below your feet beginning to tremble. Then, as it approaches top speed, the velocity of air rushes at you and pins you against the far wall .. as you attempt to escape the machine shakes violently .. angrily and walks across the bench towards for, trapping you forever ...

As George pointed out, you can generally re-balance grinders to minimise the vibration. In fact, I do this will all grinders anyway. However it was a lost cause with this particular Hell-Child. In the end I sold it to an engineer for the price of the white wheel. He thought it a wonderful machine. Strange man ...

Anyway I was still determined to get another dry grinder. Why? Because I wanted something that worked faster than the Tormek .... however where we differ in philosophy is that I wanted a machine to prepare the way for the Tormek. I still see the Tormek as the best grinder around for blades that you plane to freehand sharpen. The reason for this is (1) the Tormek's large diameter wheel leaves a flatter hollow and removes less of the metal that supports an edge. I generally hollow grind to the edge of the steel as this then require less metal to be removed when honing. A freshly ground A2 hollow requires 1 (max 2) strokes on a Shapton Pro 1000 to achieve a wire edge. I do not mind refreshing the hollow after 4 or 5 sharpenings as this takes a few minutes at most and you end up removing minimal amounts of steel overall.

I ended up with a 1 hp half-speed (1400 rpm) 8" grinder by Carba-tec. Now I am sure that you can get this one in the US - probably just re-badged - but would not bother given the high praise that the Baldors come in for. We don't get a Baldor her in Oz, otherwise I would have considered one. My philosophy is that you buy the best you can afford - "cry once ..". In fact I come in for stick from my wife when I consider something second best (when in a state of pre-purchase stress). At the same price I'd rather get a good used machine of my choice than a new second-rate machine. The Carba-tec was a pricey piece, about the same as you would pay for a Baldor (all machinery in Australia seems to cost about double what you would pay in the US).

Here is the 8" grinder set up with the Tormek BGM-100 tool rest (which makes it easy to go from the Tormek to the dry grinder and back) ...

http://www.inthewoodshop.com/WoodworkTechniques/GrindingNirvana_html_85f29ea.jpg

Review of the set up: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/WoodworkTechniques/GrindingNirvana.html

The 8" is a great machine. Minimal vibration - I have used a number of machines over the years and this one is up there with the best. The benefit from a machine with such little vibration is one you will really appreciate long after the pain of paying for it is past. The larger the machine, the more has to go in to reducing vibration. You are paying for a more powerful motor, better bearings, more solid construction ... these items cannot be improved later. The tool rest is not important in this context - you can always add a good one later.

Another point: I do not use the Tormek for turning chisels. I am always surprised by those that do if they also use HSS chisels. HSS does not react to heat, so grind them as fast as you like. Keep the Tormek for steel that can burn.

Speed counts when it comes to heat. I am led to understand that a 6" diameter wheel turns at approximately the same speed (at the circumference) as a 8" half-speed wheel. Wheel composition counts as well ... but all this is telling you how to suck eggs. The relevant factor for me is a flatter grind, and how to achieve this with the lowest heat.

Regards from Perth

Derek

Derek - was the carbatec really about $750 US? that's pricey!

The baldor 6" grinder with cast rests was about $300, but as you say, it's easier to make one work well than a big grinder. However, the rub about paying $100 to ship a machine and/or being required to be home to receive the machine truck freight is what kept me from getting the bigger 8" baldor. The cast 6" grinder weighs about what most 8" grinders weigh (hair under 50 pounds), and the amperage is similar to the cheap made in china grinders (a little over 3) with the exception of some of the brands like dewalt. I noticed when I got my ryobi grinder that the amperage was 2 or 2.1 and the 8" ryobi was 3, and a lot of the HF machines were somewhere in that ballpark (with very interesting horsepower quotes for that amperage).

I use the tormek only for two reasons on turning chisels:
1) I'm used to doing it
2) I don't turn in high volume, usually only tool handles and knobs. I've never caught the bug to turn and don't really like elements like turned legs, etc.

I seem to use one or the other (grinder or tormek) but don't mix and match. I especially like having the tormek around for japanese tools, especially when they're new and some have a convex face.

I worried for a while about the depth of the hollow on a 6" grinder, but I haven't yet had an edge chip into the hollow. I grind with a light touch, and run the grind *very* close to the edge, about as close as it would be after one very light hone from a tormek.

I don't doubt the edge isn't as strong, I just haven't been burned by the gamble yet.

My thought about honing is about like yours. First time off the grinder, I like to be able to put 1000 grit scratches off with only a few passes, and then I go straight to 15k, might take 10 or 15 passes, but the whole honing process is far less than a minute. Some might find that drastic to make that jump, but it works really well, and it's super fast.

I should add that I'm aware after watching the non-defective import grinders that not just buying another one that's "right" and spending $300 is total indulgence, but this hobby as a hobby is really an indulgence, anyway.

Derek Cohen
11-27-2010, 11:32 PM
Hi David

The Carba-tec was about $350 a couple of years ago. The AUD has improved against the USD since. Still, that was about double the cost of the only other half-speed machine available at the time (not as much choices here as you have in the US). By comparison, the little Ryobi is available locally for $80.

Another tool that I regret we do not get is the Wolverine. I guess shipping is too expensive. The Veritas is OK, and I like that jigs can be attached. I have also not had a problem with the aluminium construction, as some report ... which is why I am fine with the Tormek add-on. Nevertheless, I would have liked to compare it with the Wolverine, which has a fine reputation for solidness. The other attraction of the Wolverine was the attachment for lathe chisels. However the Tormek has this as well (actually a better version).

I am sure that you will be very happy with the 6" Baldor. Everything is a compromise. With the 6" you get low surface speed, low vibration, and durability. Does it come with a tool rest and, if not, what do you plan to use?

Regards from Perth

Derek

Johnny Kleso
11-28-2010, 3:45 AM
Derek,
Is your 10" a 2800 or 1400 rpm ??

Mine will let you know its running but its pretty steady but its beast in weight if you want to move it..

I think someone needs to make a good belt driven grinding system with spepped pullies for speed changing..


Saftey Note:
I always turn my face away when I start a grinder till it reachs full speed just in case it blows from something banging the side of the wheel while not running..

Derek Cohen
11-28-2010, 4:41 AM
Hi Johnny

The 10" dry grinder was 2800 rpm. I imagine the surface speed was double that of a 8" and quadruple a 6".

Turn my face away?

I would cower in the corner! :)

Regards from Perth

Derek

David Weaver
11-28-2010, 8:30 AM
Hi David

I am sure that you will be very happy with the 6" Baldor. Everything is a compromise. With the 6" you get low surface speed, low vibration, and durability. Does it come with a tool rest and, if not, what do you plan to use?

Regards from Perth

Derek

Even $350 is quite a bit for an import grinder, but if it does what it's supposed to do, the cost is forgotten quickly.

The baldor grinders come with either a stamped rest or a two-piece cast rest depending on what you choose, but none of them are large like we expect as woodworkers. The one I ordered has two-piece cast rests. They may be too small, but if they are, I will make larger surfaces out of O1 blade stock.

http://www.baldor.com/products/detail.asp?1=1&page=1&catalogonly=1&catalog=623E&product=Grinders%2FBuffers&family=Grinders|vw_GrindBuff_Grinders# (http://www.baldor.com/products/detail.asp?1=1&page=1&catalogonly=1&catalog=623E&product=Grinders%2FBuffers&family=Grinders%7Cvw_GrindBuff_Grinders#)

I've seen the wolverine time and again in the local store, but I never looked closely enough to it to know if it could be used on a pedestal, which is how I want to use this one.

They do not make any lighter weight (that could be shipped standard shipping, <75 pounds) half speed 8" grinders with large rests, it would be nice if they did. I would've bought the big one anyway, if the local price wouldn't have been $200 greater than mail order. One mail order place quoted $150 extra for shipping, and the other stated that you had to complete the order and they would add freight to the invoice after the order (both were drop shippers), leaving you to guess what you'd actually be charged.

Joel Goodman
11-28-2010, 1:36 PM
Does anyone know the thickness of the wheel on the 6" Baldor grinders? I think I read someplace 3/4" but can't find it. Also can one mount a 1" wheel on all of their models -- or some of them? The seem to have several similar models that are hard to tell apart 612 vs 612R; and then the choice of tool rests-- the cast iron adds about $100 -- and the 1800 vs 3600 speed issue. David I see you went with the cast iron rests and I think the hi speed. Do you prefer the 3600 speed?

David Weaver
11-28-2010, 2:01 PM
Does anyone know the thickness of the wheel on the 6" Baldor grinders? I think I read someplace 3/4" but can't find it. Also can one mount a 1" wheel on all of their models -- or some of them? The seem to have several similar models that are hard to tell apart 612 vs 612R; and then the choice of tool rests-- the cast iron adds about $100 -- and the 1800 vs 3600 speed issue. David I see you went with the cast iron rests and I think the hi speed. Do you prefer the 3600 speed?

The specs said the wheel is 3/4ths. I don't know if they will mount a 1" wheel, but if nobody has the grinder, I'll let you know when I get it. Joel (at TFWW) may be able to answer that ahead of time.

I like the high speed. I'm used to it, it's only a touch faster than a slow speed 8" grinder and I haven't had burning issues.

If you want to make your own rests (or use aftermarket) and don't want the cast, you can save money and get the whole unit for about $200 and then buy friable wheels if you have trouble with burning. I haven't used friable wheels, but I have no trouble with coarse gray ones as long as I don't get greedy with the grind and run the dresser over the wheels before they glaze. (I like the fact that brand name gray wheels are about $6, but I wouldn't hesitate to spend on good ones if they caused me trouble).

I have a dip cup on my stand, but don't usually use it when just maintaining a hollow grind.

Joel Goodman
11-29-2010, 2:05 AM
Thanks. I would like to know about the 1" inch width wheel issue.

Larry Williams
12-01-2010, 1:48 PM
It was announced today that ABB, a Swiss company, is acquiring Baldor. Good or bad? Who knows?

http://tinyurl.com/38nyejf

David Weaver
12-01-2010, 2:39 PM
http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2010/nov/30/swiss-abb-paying-42-billion-fort-smith-company/

For anyone who gets tinyurl filtered by a net monitor (I do).

Sounds like ABB is gigantic compared to Baldor, and it doesn't sound like any drastic changes at this point. At least it was a western european company that bought it and not venture capitalists.

Michael Fross
12-01-2010, 3:33 PM
Thanks for all the posts to this thread. I've been half heartedly looking around to replace my 1960's grinder that I'm starting to feel quite unsafe to be in front of....

I picked up the Baldor 6in 3600 RPM and couldn't be happier. I bought from Enco with the 15% off coupon.

I'm going to put a 3M Supercool disk on one side and a wirewheel / pad on the other.

Many thanks!

Michael

David Weaver
12-01-2010, 4:16 PM
My wife just called and griped me that the grinder got delivered and she had to lift the box into the house.

I hope several more people got one as a result of this. That makes 2 or 3 now!

Greg Portland
12-01-2010, 4:46 PM
Also can one mount a 1" wheel on all of their models -- or some of them?Only on their 8" and bigger machines...

Jules Martin
12-01-2010, 8:54 PM
I have a Ryobi 8" high-speed grinder. It was very unpleasant to use, and I gave up on it until I got the Oneway wheel balancing kit. Suddenly- bliss! The grinder hums happily and smoothly and is a joy to use for all my tools. I did pay about the same for the kit as the machine, for a total of about Can$150, but I still think that I have as good a functioning machine as any for not very much.

Larry Williams' article convinced me to go for high speed, and with balanced, dressed, no-name white wheels I don't have any problem with overheating if I keep my concentration where it should be

I suggest that if you put unbalanced wheels on any grinder it's not good for it, even if all that cast iron dampens the vibration the bearings are taking a pounding. I mean, really, $700 or so for a motor with a wheel on either end? It doesn't even do anything except spin around, not even heavily loaded.

David Weaver
12-01-2010, 10:18 PM
Only on their 8" and bigger machines...

Greg's right. There is not enough thread on the end of the arbor to mount a wider wheel, even if it would fit under the guards.

Got mine out of the box tonight and fished around with the norton wheels until they were where they needed to be to run smooth.

it's a nice machine. The only thing I'm nonplussed with is the cast arbor flanges. They are cast aluminum or something, and kind of rough. i think I'd rather have thick heavy stamped flanges. When I put the cast flanges together, they don't touch all the way around, if that makes sense. I was still able to get the wheels true with them, anyway.

The arbor spins absolutely dead true and it's a very quiet machine, though, I'm very pleased with it and would buy it again regardless of the flanges. It'll get some use this weekend, I have a couple of flea market chisels to grind skew, and another heavy firmer to clean up. I guess I have a boat anchor ryobi to dump off at the goodwill. Someone can use it to grind lawnmower blades or something.

Jules, if I could've gotten the 8100W here for $700 and without having to stay home from work, I would probably have it. You only go around once, and you never know how long they'll be available (it may be more pleasing for those of us in the US to buy US made stuff than it is for folks in the GWN. pleasing because there is less and less of it each year).

Johnny Kleso
12-02-2010, 2:31 AM
Wow thats sad about flanges.. Your talking about the large washers correct?

Few years ago when I was still working we got a few new Dayton Grinders to replace some older one and my boss asked if I wanted new steel machined washers that come with them for my buffer he knew I just bought..

Sad to here Baldor is just cast flanges..

David Weaver
12-02-2010, 8:04 AM
Yes, the washers that go against the stone.

I'd love to lap the inside lip of them so they contact the wheel all the way around, but I know that wouldn't end well, and it's not like all of the wheels are flat, either.

http://weldwarehouse.securesites.com/cgi-bin/einstein.pl?1:::WLDWH:1:number=114

You can see on the buffer what they look like, though even with the picture enlarged, you can't see them well enough. The trick of turning the wheel slightly until and checking the runout at the edge of the grinding wheel until there isn't much still works.

Don't want to make it out like this is a big problem, either, this grinder is miles better than my import grinder in every way. I did figure they would be heavy stamped or have a milled contact surface such that when you put the two together, they'd touch all the way around their circumference, though.

Joel Goodman
12-02-2010, 3:43 PM
Thanks for the info on the maximum wheel diameter.

David Weaver
12-02-2010, 3:57 PM
Wow thats sad about flanges.. Your talking about the large washers correct?

Few years ago when I was still working we got a few new Dayton Grinders to replace some older one and my boss asked if I wanted new steel machined washers that come with them for my buffer he knew I just bought..

Sad to here Baldor is just cast flanges..

Johnny - are you aware of anyone else still making grinders in the US? I couldn't find anyone or anything. The old ones that float by CL here (that are industrial grade) are either cincy, baldor or dayton for the most part. Dayton grinders are from china, ....i just realized by googling cincy that you can still get grinders from them, though I have no idea how you get them other than to call their number,nor information on the cost.

But palmgren and wilton, etc are all just stickers on chinese machines now.
So, wow...you can still get a cincy grinder. The 6" model is a hefty 62 pounds (insert tim taylor noises).

David Weaver
12-07-2010, 8:10 AM
One final comment, or maybe second from final depending on the oneway balancer - I thought it was the washers that were wonky, but it was actually the norton one-size hole wheels that came with the grinder.

Changed the wheels out last night with two I had hanging around, a norton 3x wheel and a white wheel, and the grinder runs very smoothly.

For anyone who lives close to a harbor freight, they have a grinding pedestal that's a single steel tube attached to a pad with three feet on it, it's not remotely on par with the baldor stand, but it's about $25 and it works, just have to get some 5/16th bolts, nuts and fender washers to bolt the grinder to it. I didn't see it on their website, but it's in the store.

From my experience thus far, though, if it doesn't run smooth when you get it, start with the wheels first (replace them). Mine runs fine without going to $40 wheels (I think the pair cost less than $30, the norton 3x wheel was at home depot a couple of years ago for $10, so I picked it up. I think the WW retailers mark the 3x wheel up a hell of a lot). I have two "premiums" on the way from mcmaster carr (which are $18 each brown al-ox wheels), because I don't have any white or 3x wheels in coarse grits.

We'll see how much the one-way balancer does for the grinder. If I'd have switched out wheels first, I probably wouldn't have ordered it.

IF YOU BUY IT (the balancer kit), make sure you call oneway to get it unless a retailer lists it specifically because the baldor grinders take different washers than the standard 1/2" arbor kit.

jamie shard
12-07-2010, 9:21 AM
One final comment, or maybe second from final depending on the oneway balancer - I thought it was the washers that were wonky, but it was actually the norton one-size hole wheels that came with the grinder.

Changed the wheels out last night with two I had hanging around, a norton 3x wheel and a white wheel, and the grinder runs very smoothly.


Interestingly, my experience went the other way: the original wheels worked fine, but the new Norton 3x wheels were wobbly! I cursed a little, why buy new wheels if they make a super-smooth running baldor act like a drunk sailor? I tried dressing until they were balanced but that was a lot of dust and not a lot of improvement. So the new wheel sucked...

Or did it???? Nope it was fine!

Earlier in this thread I mentioned the technique of rotating the wheels until they run smoothly. If the axis of the grinder runs smoothly, i.e. if the flaw isn't the grinder itself, I'll bet most of people's problems could be solved by rotating the wheel as I described in post #29.

Hope this helps!

-j

David Weaver
12-07-2010, 10:09 AM
Interestingly, my experience went the other way: the original wheels worked fine, but the new Norton 3x wheels were wobbly! I cursed a little, why buy new wheels if they make a super-smooth running baldor act like a drunk sailor? I tried dressing until they were balanced but that was a lot of dust and not a lot of improvement. So the new wheel sucked...

Or did it???? Nope it was fine!

Earlier in this thread I mentioned the technique of rotating the wheels until they run smoothly. If the axis of the grinder runs smoothly, i.e. if the flaw isn't the grinder itself, I'll bet most of people's problems could be solved by rotating the wheel as I described in post #29.

Hope this helps!

-j

yeah, you definitely have to rotate the wheels on the arbor until they are as smooth as possible, no matter which ones they are. If they come smooth in the grinder, that's just good luck.

So I guess it doesn't matter which wheels you get, you may just have to finagle them until they are smooth (the stock one on the right side of my grinder wouldn't get smooth no matter what the position).

John Oliver35
12-30-2010, 8:48 PM
After reading this thread back at Thanksgiving I took the plunge and bought a used Baldor 7306 7" grinder off of Ebay - $220 delivered I believe. Ordered a new Norton 3X wheel and waited on grinding bliss.

When I got the grinder it was a little rough, and I could feel just a touch of slopiness in one side, so I ordered two new bearings, (about $7 each from Reid Supply, same day ground ship, had them in 2 days). After putting in the bearings the TIR of both sides measured less than 0.001", so figured I was good to go. Put on the Norton wheel and fired it up. The whole table shook. I trued the wheel with a diamond dresser, which helped a little. Played with rotating the wheel, finding the sweet spot for quite a while, dressing as I went, but couldn't find a spot that was good enough. I could see the sides of the wheel vibrate side-to-side so figured I might have had a bum wheel.

Taking the advise earlier in this thread I turned a 5/8" to 1" arbor adapter out of wood, retrued the wheel, and things got a *lot* better. Decided to go to the extreme and turned a brass adapter on my little Sherline lathe, retrued, and bingo: smooth, quiet, very little vibration, no bounce!

Moral of the story - suspect those little $0.02 plastic arbor adapters early on!

David Weaver
12-30-2010, 10:07 PM
Yeah, those plastic adapters have slop.

I forgot to comment on here - I put on the oneway balancers, I didn't try them without going through the balancing routine, but with the much better oneway arbor adapters (which are a piston fit on the arbor and in the wheels), there is no slop. One wheel was pretty much in balance without doing the routine.

The other needed a little help, but it was pretty smooth before. Now it is extremely smooth.

The only trouble with the oneway setup is that the cast covers on the guards do not go back on the machine, so 2/3rds of the cast guards are on, but the outside cover is not on. I don't really care about that, though, I wanted it balanced.

I'd imagine you could probably sell 1/2 to 1 adapters and 5/8th to 1 adapters - could make them out of mild steel so as to not have to spend the money on brass.