Dave's wheels are electroplated and he can tell you more about what that means. Like a lot of our woodturning suppliers, he runs a small family business and he's more than happy to bend your ear if you call him, same with Ken Rizza.
Here is a link to the D-way website page on CBN wheels: http://http://d-waytools.com/cbn-grinding-wheels
I know one person experimenting with using water with a CBN wheel. His steel wheel started rusting right away. Keep it away from water, should be no problem unless cycles of cold/condensation tend to rust everything in the shop (but that would be a bigger problem)
Rizza said he went with aluminum wheels for a couple of reasons. I'm sure he would be happy to talk about it if you give him a call. Nice guy. I got flat honing plates from him also, both CBN and diamond. He can order almost any thing you can imagine if you are not in a hurry. He also now sells a complete package with wheels on a grinder. (No, I don't work for him or get a commission!)
I suspect you would be happy with either type of wheel. If you haven't done so, you might want to read Reed Grey's writeup on CBN wheels:
I am not positive, but I don't think that electroplating and aluminum work together.
I believe both aluminum and steel CBN wheels are electroplated. Not sure about the specifics of the process, and it may be some what different for aluminum and steel. Some questioned about how well the aluminum hubs would work compared to steel. As long as Ken's wheels have been out on the market, if it was an issue of it not bonding properly, we would have heard all about it by now.
I have heard of some of the Tormek CBN wheel users keeping the water bath going, but only for a short time due to the rust factor, and you just plain don't need it. If I was going for a wet wheel, I would use oil like Trend. Any slow or high speed standard grinder would leave you wet if you are in the line of fire...
Actually electroplating works very well with Aluminum, you must use a different setup, but it works well.
Making sawdust mostly, sometimes I get something else, but that is more by accident then design.
Plating Aluminium is possible, but not easy, there are several steps involved to do this, Copper, Brass and Steel are much easier done and with less problems afterwards if any.
The process is getting more refined as time goes on and more experience is gained, look at the plated Aluminium wheels on cars, there used to be lots of problems with that, not so much anymore it seems.
Have fun and take care
When I bought my Rikon slow speed grinder I wanted to install 2 CBN wheels on it but I was concerned about the added weight of CBN. I went ahead and ordered two CBN wheels from Woodturners Wonders and when I got them, I compared the weight of the original (unused) stone wheels vs. the CBN wheels. The CBN wheels turned out to several ounces lighter.
I pity anyone just starting out thinking that they couldn't try this great hobby without all the exotic tools we all mention. Any one remember oh so long ago when high speed steel and aluminum oxide white wheels were the order of the day ? This being said however I love technology but the prices can be unrealistic for a retired fella ...Just sayin'
Use what works and save your money works for me, as this is no production shop, some extra seconds don’t count up to much here, having sharpened HSS in a production shop with good results with Carborundum wheels, and even carbide with the friable green silicone carbide wheels, granted a diamond wheel is a much better wheel for that and are affordable now for a production shop, not in that time.
I am still using the tried and true Carborundum wheels as I have done for 60 years, and my HSS tools get plenty sharp, and that HSS has proven to be an excellent steel for woodworking tools, yes carbide is better for metal, not so much for wood IMO.
My 10 inch grinder here, I have a couple other ones that are also used for some sharpening on my smaller tools.
Have fun and take care
ButÖ.then whatís a retailer to do?
If they canít sell yah the latest unobtainium whatchamacallit?
Thatís an unknowable percent better than the last solution?
That worked just fine.....
Its just marketing.
Gotta increase the GDP somehow.
(yah, Iím cynical, but my wife endorses it. And sheís in marketing)
Hey, come on now. I'm retired too. And I don't just buy up all the newest stuff either, but you have to admit that there is a lot of new technology that benefits mankind in general, and woodturners too. When my friable 8" wheels were worn down to replacement size it made sense to spend a few dollars more to get something that will not need to be replaced again.
I have five sons. One of them is a woodturner-- he, and my grand daughters, are going to make a haul when the time comes.
Last edited by Dennis Collier; 01-10-2017 at 8:24 PM.
But we should remember people turned amazing things for centuries without HSS tools, CBN wheels, VFD lathes, live centers, MT tapers, and scroll chucks. And even without electric motors.
I remember reading a report from an Englishman in the 1600s about a woodturner in India turning household items and finishing with friction polish (lac). I suspect he didn't sharpen Thompson tools on CBN wheels!