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Which Grinding Wheel for my Bench Grinder???

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Easystreet, Jan 30, 2010.

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  1. Easystreet

    Easystreet Well-Known Member

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    I've got an old Black & Decker bench grinder with 6" wheels at 3600 rpm. I've had this for about 25 to 30 years. I rarely use it.

    Anyway, today I was trying to use it for a little project of shaping some 1/4" plate aluminum. I thought it would be a piece of cake...... WRONG!

    According to the Instruction Manual which I still have, one wheel is a medium (60 grit) wheel and the other is a coarse (36 grit wheel). Neither of them did much as far as removing any material.

    What kind of wheel do I need? Any advice or suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Easystreet
     
  2. blkcloud

    blkcloud Active Member

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    First, grinding alum. is not a easy chore, I would use the coarse wheel and use plenty of wd40 to keep the wheel from loading up, it has a very low melting point and will clog the wheel quickly, If you dont have a diamond dresser to clean the wheel with after a little use take a piece of steel and grind it until the wheel is free of alum.. keeping the work piece cool will help also. good luck!
     
  3. Easystreet

    Easystreet Well-Known Member

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    I never knew you were supposed to used WD-40 while grinding. Also, I never thought about cleaning off the wheel, but that makes sense. Would a wire brush do the cleaning job?

    Thanks,

    Easystreet
     
  4. TOOLMAKER 251

    TOOLMAKER 251 Active Member

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    Your much better off using a disc, or belt sander for your project.
     
  5. grummanflyr

    grummanflyr TS Member

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    Sounds like a great way to get hurt.Grinding aluminum will load up the wheel and the heat could cause it to fracture and come at YOU in pieces...
    3M makes a special scotchbrite grinding wheel that's designed to grind aluminum. They work really well but they are pretty spendy ( about $60 for a 6" wheel, see the link above ) .I'm an aircraft mechanic and I use one all the time for deburring aluminum parts.
    You also don't want to use a wire brush on aluminum as the steel will leave small bits embedded in the aluminum and later those bits will rust leaving pock marks in your aluminum. A belt sander with aluminum oxide paper will also work to shape an aluminum piece. Walt
     
  6. Jim101

    Jim101 Active Member

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    cutting soft metals with a vitrious grinding wheel is asking for trouble. The heat and pressure from the clogged pores in the wheel can cause the wheel to dissentegrate.


    Jim
     
  7. KEYBEAR

    KEYBEAR Active Member

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    Please use a Belt Sander it,s Alot safer .
     
  8. Easystreet

    Easystreet Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the comments. When doing the grinding, I kept the material moving constantly so that I wasn't grinding on the same spot for long.

    I don't have a belt sander. As for a disk sander, please pardon my ignorance, but do I have to buy a special tool for that or can I put some kind of disk on my power hand drill?

    Thanks again for the advice.

    Easystreet
     
  9. KEYBEAR

    KEYBEAR Active Member

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    I do my own pads and butt plats and paid for my Belt Sander on the third plat/pad . You can,t do a good/safe job without the right tool . The first time you try to eat that grinding wheel think about that 80 bucks you saved .

    Sears has a fair Belt Sander for around 80 bucks .
     
  10. blkcloud

    blkcloud Active Member

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    If you are going to do more than the one little project you will need a sander..I grind aluminum all the time with a 6" angle grinder, mainly grinding V's on parts that are broken people bring to me to heliarc..
     
  11. racer

    racer TS Member

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    Easystreet- you'll put an eye out! No aluminum in grinding wheels. Dan
     
  12. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Well-Known Member

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    This is a good thread for a lot of us. Ignorance can get us in a lot of trouble. Thanks guys, Bob
     
  13. WYBOO WOOD

    WYBOO WOOD Member

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    I am surprised that noone on any of the previous threads mentioned the most important subject when grinding anything on any rotary tool Wear at least substantial goggles or a full face shield! Dave Hunt
     
  14. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    Don't know if they make them for bench grinders, but if you have an angle grinder, Norton Gemini series of grinding wheels makes one specifly for grinding aluminum, they run about $5-6 each you can get them at Grainger or most industrial supply houses, and they won't load up, and do a good job of cutting
     
  15. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

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    Harbor Freight has a good belt sander for under $100, thats what you really need to do the job right ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
     
  16. blkcloud

    blkcloud Active Member

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    I'd take a chance with the B&D bench grinder before I would a harbor freight belt sander..hahaha..lol..
     
  17. GunDr

    GunDr Well-Known Member

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    This is not a $100 belt sander($1800), but it IS what you need. Also use a 100 grit belt.

    If you have more than 1/16" of material to remove, then bandsaw off the excess. A wood cutting bandsaw will work fine for aluminum.

    Not shown in the picture is a dust collector with a 5 micron filter. If you sand or grind aluminum without a collector, PLEASE use a dust mask.
     
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