The recent discussion of HSS versus replaceable tip TC tools has
reminded me that it is long past time I got myself a decent T&C grinder.
Some time ago, I was quite tempted by the thought of building a Quorn,
even bought the book and studied it. However, I now feel life is perhaps
too short for this, and would prefer to buy a suitable machine, or make
a simpler one.
The main uses would be accurate grinding of lathe tools and sharpening
milling cutters. Ability to work as a light surface grinder for
small/medium sized parts would be an advantage. Space is rather limited
- I just spent the best part of yesterday sorting the garage to squeeze
in a hacksaw machine!
Knowing the impressive expertise there is on this group, I thought I
would ask for suggestions, opinions, polemics etc. about what you
thought was good (and why) and equally, what you would avoid (and why).
I think that T&C grinders are probably going out of fashion now as so much is
available with replaceable tips.
Having said that, there are still many applications where they can be used with
success, particularly on things like reamers and side/face cutters for
I have a Clarkson Mk1 grinder, and the only reason I have kept it is that it has
the very nice 6-jaw chucked reamer and drill grinding attachment with it, and
almost unused, so I hope to have a play with it as soon as time permits. I do
look out for other attachments but they seem to go very quickly and expensively
There was a time when these were almost thrown away (as mine was, I got it for
free) but prices for these are picking up again, one on ebay recently saw the
bidding up to £280 or so.
Peter A Forbes
Prepair Ltd, Luton, UK
permits. I do
recently saw the
The Clarkson drill point and tap lead grinding attachment goes for an
absolute fortune. The radius grinder attachment likewise is worth it's
weight in gold - I know as a sold my second one to a dealer for silly
money (Mk1 & Mk2 are slightly different) If anyone has any
collets for the air bearing spindle I'd like to negotiate. There is a
relief measuring attachment that I've tried to source for years but
never found one. Trivial really, just a protractor and a clamp and a
few odds and ends.
Well made Quorns are selling on ebay for over £1K - one went the other
day for £1200, and even tatty ones fetch £500-600
There is one here on ebay sitting at £360 but should go a lot higher
by the close:
I used to have a Clarkson but ever since I saw George Thomas's I alway
wanted a Union.
I now have one which I have fully rebuilt with my own design o
grinding head, the head doubles up as a tool post grinder on the Myfor
lathe and attaches with the same fitting as a Myford S7 topslide, th
head is variable speed and reversible so it can be used for surfac
grinding as well. I made some special attachments to grind twist drill
using the four facet method, this is shown in place and being used i
I was wondering if someone had costed the break- even point between a
set of tool holders and packets of tips plus a drill grinder or
replacements of drills against a (say) cheapshite Clarkson. Owning a
Clarkson and having built a Quorn, owning a Kennet, building a Stent
and Worden, I wondered if my stream of accountancy qualification
thingies had glitched.
Anyone want to tell me where else one can do the lot for a couple of
fills of petrol.
10 years ago, the Clarkson was still a useful tool. Now it is not useful to big
tool users who have gone to tipped stuff, and the tipped range is growing like
topsy as more and more applications are being made for the removeable tip.
I guess that whatever you do, the situation is changing rapidly and while I am
probably biased as a Clarkson owner, I still think they are a good machine to
have around as long as you have enough of the old tools to use on it.
Peter A Forbes
Prepair Ltd, Luton, UK
as well as grinding tools there are other uses...
Mine will be especially useful as it has this cylindrical grinding
attachment for it ..
so I can make an awful scratchy looking mild steel joby on the
lathe ...and make it look nice on this machine.... KLAIBER
This brand new one was recently put up for sale by a Germany machine
dealer...asking price was =E2=82=AC1200 EUROS ...NOW SOLD
Norman, as someone who appears to the quite an aficionado of tool &
cutter grinders, what are the pros and cons of each of the DIY
The Quorn will, I know, do just about anything, but how do the Kennet,
Worden, and Stent compare?
Will they just sharpen the ends of milling cutters, or will they grind
they grind up the flutes as well?
Any limitiation on size of cutter or drill that can be put through
Advice in non-cryptic prose would be appreciated
In a nutshell, the Quorn will do most things with the
The Stent is a miniature Clarkson and provided the accessories are
made- and the drawings only provide for centres and a simple tool
holder, it needs something better and the Quorn one will fit
admirably. Nice machine with less grit problems than the Quorn. The
Worden is something that I built and scrapped. Grit retention proved a
bastard but this has probably been improved. However, it will only do
ends of mills in its present form. As far as I know, it will do drills
now as well as the ordinary lathe tools etc. The Kennet is really for
lathe tools and mill ends only. I have no doubt that it will do drills
using the four facet method but I haven't tried on mine. Summing it
up, it is a very nice machine with less grit problems and far simpler
to set up than the Quorn.
Moving on--- sorry, Peter but you did set me a limit on words but I
have to include other machines. MEW produced the Brooks and it is far
simpler than the Quorn and requires only round and bar metal. It is
driven(?) by a big router but replacing it with something else seems
quite possible. Whilst Derek Brooks never fitted ends to do sides of
mills and reamers, these do seem feasible. The tool holder is
essentially ex Quorn.
There is a Tinker and MiniTinker- see the Guy Lautard site. It uses a
DE grinder and the tool is therefore an accessory. I tried to build
one but didn't get very far.Not me, I suppose.
Trying to keep as brief as possible in a very wide subject, John S and
I came up independently with a DE grinder, a cheap shite 3 way vice
and milled the top off. JS fitted a proprietory collet holder(?ER) and
I suggested a Quorn( type) one.
I doubt whether this can be precis-ed further without losing detail
Thanks Norm, thats just the information I needed.
Sounds like the Stent is just as capable as the Quorn, and possibly
takes less than a lifetime to make. Was the Brooks a variation of the
I have a feeling it may get added to the ever-growing project list.
Do Blackgates still do the castings & bits or this?
You have now a private E-Mail but Blackgates does sell
castings for the Stent.
Experience suggests that the Quorn Spindle is preferred to the more
basic Stent one.
Again, as intimated earlier, the Quorn tool holder is better and
should be made. Details are on the net etc.
Again, my mate fitted his Stent with stops to limit travels.
Come back if you want me expand on this.
PS I have a note of a local mate who has the Stent or most of it which
was machined by Blackgates. It is not started beyond the machined
I am interested in the discussion on tool and cutter grinders and I
have been following the comments above. Having looked around costs
would indicate that I would have to build my own as most of those on
offer on e bay are too big for my little workshop and the small ones
go for too much money.
So my first thought is to use the design in MEW by Mr Brookes, however
I would like to get some suggestions from everyone out there, so to
what I could use as a premade main spindle, to save the time making
this part. I had though to using a standard bench grinder - what to
you guys think?
There is too much emphasis being placed on what is current
practice and consequently we have lost sight of earlier practices.
I have a copy(1972) of Ian Bradley's the Grinding Machine(MAP) which
would make your hair curl!
Now Bradley went into all sorts of grinding stuff and dated some of it
back to Leonardo da Vinci( no mention of the Code) but he- Bradley-
used redundant tail stocks, ancient dynamos or starter motors, DC, AC
and WC on his designs.
So, whatever turns at a rate to grind is in order.
I did( somewhere) suggest YahooGroups ToolGrinding forum, There is an
ancient simple grinder that works with a 6" grinder in the files
In another spot of my Moonbeams from a Lesser Lunacy, I have a tool
post grinder which was a router, which was a toolpost grinder. Sounds
like Bosch( sp) and it was a PF45 with a 43mm collar.
In desperation or extremis, you could get away with a cheap Chinky =A310
DE grinder and wooden rests. Err, my Clarkson had a set of best B &Q
2" Square holders at one point in its rusty career.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention and Felicity is the mother of