KO Lee 612 surface grinder questions

I'm in the market for a surface grinder small enough to get into the
basement shop and came across a KO Lee 612 that looks interesting. I'm not
sure of the model number yet, but it looks quite a bit like this one:
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or maybe this one from Grant Irwin's web site:
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I'm wondering if it is possible to break the grinder down far enough to make
it moveable to the basement with two people and a refrigerator dolly. An
engine host can be located to remove/re-assemble heavy parts. It looks like
the grinder weighs between 1,000 and 1,200 pounds and we were able to move a
similarly heavy Clausing 5914 to the basement.
Also is there anything special to ask about or check on KO Lee grinders?
Reply to
Mike Henry
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It's Erwin, not Irwin :-)
You'll want to start by removing the table which should just lift off. It will weigh about 100 pounds depending on how big your chuck is. Two guys can very easily lift and carry such a table. You will want to think ahead every step because you don't want to put it down except on soft clean wood strips as both the top and bottom are very precisely ground surfaces.
Next, you'll want to remove the grinder from the base. My base is cast iron and is quite heavy, maybe 200 pounds.
The remainder, maybe 700 pounds, will be similar to moving a mill-drill. I don't think I'd recommend 2 guys and a refrigerator dolly - what if it got away from you? It could maim or kill the guy down below and do thousands of dollars damage to the stairway. I have skidded 600-700 pound machines down stairs but I first built a skidway with 2x12s and I lowered it using a come-along from above. Whatever you tie the come-along to has to be unquestioningly strong. You might have it run to a cable which runs out the door to a large truck bumper or something.
You might want to get an SE612 manual from K.O. Lee before you start. One of the advantages of this machine is the manufacturer is still in business and, at least to me, was very helpful in my rebuild.
I forget things a lot and have been trained to be methodical, so I wrote down what I did. Here is how I disassembled my grinder. - GWE
1: Moving the machine
The grinder base is bolted to the base casting. The grinder base has 4 feet. Running sideways below the base of the grinder, between the back feet and the front feet, is an opening about 5/8", maybe 12" wide. I put a piece of steel plate 1/2"x12"x30" in there, just slid it through. It stuck out about 4" on either side. I looped a 10' web sling around so the end loops were at the hook and it looped under both sides. In this way I could lift the grinder with a single hook from above. Before lifting, I tied another loop around the vertical column, to the lifting web. This kept the machine from tumbling backwards. This worked for both lifting the entire machine, as well as for lifting the grinder off the base casting.
2: Removing the table
The table lifts right up. Without the chuck on it, I can lift it fairly easily, so it probably weighs about 90#, maybe a bit more. The only trick is to have a couple of pieces of wood placed so you can put it down after lifting it, it is not pleasant to need dunnage when you have the load in midair!
3: Removing the apron
The skirt castings are secured by 10 flat-head hex screws (10-32). The side skirts come right off after being unscrewed, but the front one requires that the X and Y handwheels are removed first. After removing the X and Y handwheels, the front skirt can be removed. After removing the skirts, the Y handwheel should be reinstalled, and the apron moved as far from the column as possible. There are two flat bars bolted to the base of the apron with 4 bolts each. With the apron fully forward, the front 3 bolts can be accessed for removal. Then the apron should be cranked to the full rear position, where the 4th bolts can be removed, and the retaining bars removed and set aside. Then the apron can be lifted off, which takes a hoist or 2 sturdy workers, and set down on appropriate blocks of wood or whatever. The apron's ways will have a lot of oil in them, which may be largely removed with a shop vac prior to lifting the apron off.
4: Removing the X axis handwheel
First, remove the table. The underside of the table has a rack which engages a pinion gear on the end of the X axis handwheel shaft. Hold the wheel, and remove the nut from next to the pinion gear. With a lump of lead, tap the threaded end of the shaft. This should drive the pinion gear off. Be careful not to lose the Woodruff key. There is a spring/ball/detent catch which you don't need to disassemble. The handwheel should come right straight out at this point.
5: Removing the Y axis handwheel
Remove the 11/16" lock nut from the handwheel shaft, and the handwheel will slide right off.
6: Removing the Z axis handwheel
Remove the lock nut from the handwheel shaft, and the handwheel will slide right off. The Y and Z handwheels differ only in the calibration on the edges - the Z handwheel is calibrated in tenths.
7: Handwheel Disassembly Notes:
To disassemble the Y or Z handwheel assembly, it is necessary to pull out the straight pin which keeps the locking bolt from unscrewing. I pulled these pins straight out with a Vise Grip.
8: Motor removal
Disconnect the wiring from the motor, labelling wires if you care to. Remove the 4 belts from the motor pulley. Remove the 4 motor mount bolts while holding the motor up. At this point the motor will come free in your hand.
Mike Henry wrote:
Reply to
Grant Erwin
Most small surface grinders will break down to managable components; the table and base/column assembly being the two heaviest components. If you buy a dirty used one like Grant did you will probably want to break it down to paint it anyway. BTW, Grant did a great job of rehabbing his as I was the former owner. I don't think there is anything special to look for in a KO Lee but condition of the ways is everything on any surface grinder. The KO Lee has the longitudinal travel handle and vertical adjustment handle reversed from most other grinders. Most operators prefer to use the style of machine they originally learned on. If you need a project I have a dirty Boyer-Schultz 6" X 18" with electromagnetic chuck and hydraulic feed for the grand price of $750. It's here in SoCal so it may not do you much good but maybe someone else needs it. Leigh @ MarMachine
Reply to
Leigh Knudson
Thanks Leigh,
I was hoping that it could be broken down into table, base, *and* column as that would make the parts more manageable. I've not used a surface grinder enough to form learned habits so that shouldn't be any problem. Dirt doesn't bother me, but the cost to get that from you to here near Chicago would. I suspect you won't have any problem selling it out there, though. Your reputation is enviable.
Reply to
Mike Henry
Oops - sorry for not getting your name right, especially since you took the time to formulate a very detailed response. That takes time which is greatly appreciated!
That sounds like really good advice - plenty of clean wood around for that, too.
Is seperating the grinder and base as simple as removing a few bolts? I downloaded the parts listing from KO Lee for their current 612 but it's not clear from the diagram in the document, and it's probably the wrong grinder anyway.
Is it possible or even advisable to seperate the column from the grinder base? One problem with the layout here is that machines have to get through the door from the garage into a fairly narrow laundry room and then make a 90° turn to go down the stairs. There's no good way to anchor a come-along to the wall opposite the stairs on ground level, but maybe I just need to get more creative.
I'll be doing that tomorrow, providing the seller gets back to me with a model and/or serial number.
Wow - that's quite a write up and much more than I'd hoped for! Thanks for taking the time to create it.
Reply to
Mike Henry
As a benefit to any future buyers and to follow up on my question about breaking down a KO Lee grinder far enough to move it to a basement, it appears that the column can be removed from the grinder base. This for an S714 grinder based on info provided by the seller. That should make the heaviest piece more manageable.
Reply to
Mike Henry

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