Using Your Grinder Safely
The low-speed grinder is ideal for sharpening tools with a reduced risk of overheating their edges. A grinder has other uses, too, such as shaping ferrous metals.
Using a Grinder to Sharpen
The grinder is commonly used to restore or modify the bevel angle when sharpening a tool, such as a plane blade or chisel. It can also quickly remove nicks or other damage. As an example, here are the basic steps you can follow to sharpen or grind a new angle on a chisel with the grinder:
1. Adjust the tool rest to set the desired grinding angle for the tool (Photo 7).
Photo 7 – You can use a simple shop-made cardboard jig to set the grinding angle.
2. Turn on the machine and let it reach full speed.
3. You may find it helpful to mark the tool’s edge with a felt pen to see the progress (Photo 8).
Photo 8 – Color the edge with a marker to monitor the sharpening progress.
4. Place the tool flat on the tool rest and move the tool toward the spinning wheel until it lightly touches the wheel.
5. Move the tool back and forth across the front surface of the wheel while maintaining even pressure on the wheel (Photo 9).
Photo 9 – Keep the tool moving to prevent wearing part of the wheel or overheating the tool edge.
6. Check the edge often until the desired amount of material is removed and the bevel comes to a clean apex (Photo 10).
Photo 10 – Keep water nearby to cool the tool, if necessary.
Although the grinder is a small machine, you should be aware of its safety risks. Always wear proper safety gear when operating a machine, and observe all safety advice given in the user manual.
As a reminder, take note of these safety guidelines:
- Avoid using the grinder in a wet environment.
- Do not grind on the side of the wheel.
- Always keep the guards in place, except when using a CBN wheel.
- Check bonded wheels periodically for cracking and replace immediately if any are found.
- Unplug the machine before performing any maintenance tasks or changing accessories.