Harbor Freight tool grinder?

I have been getting by for years with a Grizzly bench grinder and a
couple of homeade tool rests. My neighbor has the Baldor bench mounted
tool grinder. I think he paid a bit under $500 for it. I go over to his
shop and use it when I need a bit that is dead on like for Acme threads
etc.
I don't usually buy machines from HF but they do have good prices on
some motors. I went in the other day to get a 1 HP TEFC motor and
forgot my blinders. On the way to the cashier I spotted a tool grinder
that looks for all the world like the Baldor for $169. Now, as Jimmy
Carter once said, "I have lust in my heart" for this thing.
You can't run machines in the Macon HF so I have a big question as to
the quality. Does the HF tool grinder run quiet and true? Will it last
in a home shop?
Reply to
Glenn Ashmore
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There was a huge thread about this back in June. The subject was "Tool and Cutter Grinder fm Harbor Freight Tool and Cutter Grinder fm Harbor Freight ". Do a Google Groups search.
Here is one quote from it: That isn't really a "tool and cutter grinder". A real tool and cutter grinder is a very different machine. That thing is mainly useful for touching up lathe bits and other single point tools. It is not suitable for sharpening end mills, dovetail cutters, Tee slot cutters, etc.
I bought the one sold by J&L Industrial a couple of years ago (their price was $159). It is basically a Chinese copy of the Baldor, at about 1/5th the price. It accepts the same plate wheels as the Baldor.
Lane
Reply to
lane
"Tool and
I couldn't sharpen an end mill or a dovetail cutter with a $10,000 CNC grinder. I have hard enough time with my drill doctor. :-) I send all that stuff out. All I want to do is grind single point turning bits.
I sometimes wonder if there is just one set of patterns for each machine in China and all the foundries share them to make molds. Yours is probably very close to the HF. How is it working?
Reply to
Glenn Ashmore
I ordered one a year ago. First it was backordered. Then when it came in both wheels were busted, so I had to reorder wheels. Took almost 6 weeks to get replacement wheels. Other than that, mine works fine, runs true and is heavy enough to not move around on my bench, but too heavy to move to storage when I don't need it. I say go for it! But try to pick it up yourself so you can inspect it before you leave the store
Reply to
GMasterman
1/2 hp 6" tool and carbide grinder 46727 on sale for $129.99?
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Joel. phx
Reply to
Joel Corwith
I use it for lathe cutters and occasionally tweak the edge of a mill, but I would not trust myself to completely resharpen a mill retaining the shape. But this thing is useful for other tasks too: I had to cut holes in a bunch of floor tile. Ever notice that things like RotoZip bits that say they are good for cutting tile also say in the fine print wall tile only? The floor tiles I had were dulling carbide cutters very quickly, then the dull cutter would crack the tile. That is actually when I bought this grinder: Resharpening the bits frequently got the holes cut, and I think I saved half the cost of the grinder on that job alone. Bob Wilson
Reply to
Robert L. Wilson
On Sat, 06 Dec 2003 16:49:04 -0500, Glenn Ashmore put forth the notion that...
I bought one of those a couple of months ago when they were on sale. I think I paid around a hundred bucks for it. Yes, they run quiet and true. For the money (especially if you get it on sale) I'd highly recommend it.
Reply to
Checkmate
HF has a good return policy, so if you don't like it, you can take it back. I've got what is probably the identical machine, bought from J&L several years ago. It is quiet and true, coasts for minutes when you turn it off.
Wheels are the big question mark with the Chinese machines. Some are Ok, some are crappy. Wheels that fit the Baldor also fit the Chinese machines.
Gary
Reply to
Gary Coffman
I've had one of these for a few months. It does a fine job sharpening carbide bits. Runs quiet and true. A great bargain at the price. It needs several jigs (not included, I made some myself) to hold the bits properly, depending on what you want to do. And a diamond dresser.
The water drizzler cup is a joke. I suppose you could fix it up to work, but then you're slinging water all over the room. I use my mist cooler on a heavy flow.
I have yet to try a diamond wheel in this thing, but I think that would upgrade it to something quite nice.
Reply to
Richard J Kinch
I bought one on sale at HF for $119. There's not much wrong with it for hobby uses.
The wheel mounting screws are metric shoulder screws of an odd size. They have allen sockets, and are soft and ill formed. A good fastener store could not match them with a better grade. I replaced them with regular metric allen head cap screws, and made (minor lathe job) special flanged washers to adapt the regular screws to the holes in the grinding wheels. It's worked out well.
I did find the bolt circle in the HF grinder flanges to be NOT concentric with the shaft by a small amount. There is enough slop in the wheel holes that this is not a big problem. The wheels center by means of their center holes against a shaft hub, so the off center holes do not affect wheel centering. they DO contribute a to a minor balancing problem described below.
My grinder had a slight vibration, no worse than an average bench grinder. I dressed the wheels with no improvement. I traced this to three problems. The out of center bolt circle described above. The shaft flanges were out of balance (the back sides were not machined). I removed these from the spindle and trued them up on my lathe, and then balanced them. Big improvement. I also find that the steel-backed wheels were out of balance. I bought a few spares of both Si-Carbide and white aluminum oxide, one USA made. The new wheels were no better for balance than the HF ones!
I checked the wheels on a balancer, and determined the light side. The HF grinder has eight mounting holes for the wheels (two sets of four, each of differing sizes), only four of which are used. I added screws of appropriate weight in the holes nearest the light side of the wheel. Washers under the screw heads can also be used. A little additional trial and error with the washers also corrected the balance problem from the bolt circle error. Result ... much improved balance and almost no vibration.
The minor balancing problems, while an irritation, do not seem a big deal since I don't expect to be changing these wheels very often.
I keep a white aluminum oxide wheel on one side for HSS tools, and a Si-Carbide wheel on the other for carbide tools.
I am pleased with mine, for what it cost. The same type grinders, even other asian imports, are usually $230 or more, and I'm not sure they wouldn't have the same problems. The probably better Baldor version is around $750.
Dan Mitchell ==========
Glenn Ashmore wrote:
Reply to
Daniel A. Mitchell
On Sun, 07 Dec 2003 22:16:47 -0600, Richard J Kinch put forth the notion that...
My only complaint with it is the miter table slide attachment. It's got a stud pressed and swagged from the back side, with a wingnut to adjust the angle. If you tighten the wingnut enough to hold the angle, the stud starts pulling out of the hole. I haven't figured out how to fix that yet, because the part that the stud is pressed into is too thin to support any other method of mounting a stud that I can think of.
Reply to
Checkmate
Yeah, the slide is hardly more than a toy, and doesn't seem to adjust to the angles you need. A little time with some scraps of aluminum and HDPE or UHMW plastic should create something much better. The rest of the unit is worth it.
Reply to
Richard J Kinch
I think this must vary from unit to unit. Mine was quite good out of the box. Typical Chinese quality control. Maybe the store will let you fire up the inventory a pick a good one?
Reply to
Richard J Kinch
I guess I should mention, that I have the Baldor version, and have used the HF version in machine shops..and they are virtually identical in operation.
Gunner
No 220-pound thug can threaten the well-being or dignity of a 110-pound woman who has two pounds of iron to even things out. Is that evil? Is that wrong? People who object to weapons aren't abolishing violence, they're begging for the rule of brute force, when the biggest, strongest animals among men were always automatically "right". Guns end that, and social democracy is a hollow farce without an armed populace to make it work. - L. Neil Smith
Reply to
Gunner
Silver solder or a fast braze or a dollop of weld and a bit of stone work. I had to make my own as my Baldor was missing them when I got it, and simply silver soldered the studs in after making them from cap screws with the heads turned off.
Gunner
No 220-pound thug can threaten the well-being or dignity of a 110-pound woman who has two pounds of iron to even things out. Is that evil? Is that wrong? People who object to weapons aren't abolishing violence, they're begging for the rule of brute force, when the biggest, strongest animals among men were always automatically "right". Guns end that, and social democracy is a hollow farce without an armed populace to make it work. - L. Neil Smith
Reply to
Gunner
On Mon, 08 Dec 2003 21:28:12 GMT, Gunner put forth the notion that...
If I remember right, the slide piece is just some pot metal crap. I'll probably end up just making a new part from scratch, whenever I get a round tuit...
Reply to
Checkmate
I didn't mean that it was so bad as to be unusable. It was quite worth the money right out of the box. I just wanted it better.
Dan Mitchell ==========
Richard J K>
Reply to
Daniel A. Mitchell
And its on sale right now in the retail stores for 119.00 or 129.. Garry
Reply to
garry.foster

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