What is a bench grinder?
A bench grinder is precisely what the name implies. A bench top grinding machine with abrasive wheels.
A bench grinder is generally used for sharpening metals or cutting tools such as drill bits, various blades, or lathe tools. A bench grinder can also be used to smooth, shape, and hone metals or sharpen them. They are also useful for cruder work, such as roughly shaping metals for welding. A wire brush wheel or buffing wheel may also be used for cleaning or polishing projects.
There are different “grades” of grinding wheels for your bench grinder, just as there are different grits of sandpaper. There are also different grinding wheels designed for different types of material and they should be used properly or else damage may occur. For example, using a grinding wheel designed for steel on a softer metal like aluminum will result in bits of the softer metal getting lodged in between the pores of the wheel, then expanding due to the heat caused by friction. This can ultimately break or crack the grinding wheel. To polish metal, use a cloth wheel and some wax, or a buffing wheel. To change the wheel on your bench grinder, simply loosen the nut and washer from the drive shaft with an adjustable wrench, then remove the wheel and put the new one in. Secure the nut snugly, but keep in mind that it will automatically tighten as the wheel rotates.
There are several different types of wheels available for your bench grinder:
1. The aluminum oxide wheel is great for hard surface and sharpening blades.
2. Fiber wheels and wire wheels are useful for removing rust and burrs from metal.
3. Silicone carbide wheels are used for precision and finer surfaces. It can also sharpen tools.
Safety is a very important step when using bench grinders. Improper safety precautions may seriously injure individuals. Before you get started, make sure that your bench grinder is secured to the bench. Next, is your tool rest in place? (The metal for your item to rest while being grinded) There should be 3mm space between the tool rest and grinding wheel. Make sure to then clear the area surrounding your bench grinder of miscellaneous objects and debris so that you can easily maneuver the metal you are working with. Finally, get a bucket of water and place it next to your bench grinder in case any metals need cooling while being grinded.
Sparks will fly! Wear safety glasses, closed-toe shoes, earplugs, and a face mask to protect yourself.
Check Out eToolsCity’s Selection of Bench Grinders and Accessories!