There is no doubt that most of the vital sharpening tasks required in the metalworking
workshop can be carried out satisfactorily using a normal off hand grinder aided
by a versatile grinding rest. However, many of the tasks will be somewhat easier
if a grinding head fitted with wheels specifically for tool and cutter sharpening
A few, though far from vital, will only be possible with a special shaped wheel being
available. Typically, a saucer shaped wheel will be required to grind the End Tooth
Gash on an end mill. This seen immediately to the right of the lower cutting edge
(in need of being sharpened) Photograph 1.
Another advantage of the wheels specifically for tool grinding is that their grade
is more suited for the task but again far from essential.
For the workshop owner who wishes to manage with just a single off hand grinder it
may appear to be just a case of changing wheels for the task in hand. This unfortunately
is not straight forward as the wheels have much larger holes in them and adaptors
will have to be made. Therefore, having spent the time making the adaptors, which
are rather special, and having purchased the wheels, then purchasing an economy off
hand grinder specifically for the task would appear to make sense, Photograph 2.
For this, I added larger flanges, using adhesive, to the grinders spindles and turned
these true with the grinder running whilst fixed to the lathes bed. The advantage
of this, together with the accurately made adaptors, is that the wheels can be interchanged
and only need truing up the first time they are run. The head in use with a grinding
rest is seen in Photograph 3.
See my book
Tool and Cutter Sharpening
No. 38 in the Workshop Practice Series for details for modifying a budget off hand
grinder, including making the adaptors for the wheels. Also, choosing the wheels
is covered in the book.