Grinding tungsten electrodes

I have various grinders, a wet wheel grinder, a 1/2 HP baldor grinder, and a 1/5 HP POS home center store grinder.
What's the best one to use to sharpen tungsten electrodes. Should I
dress the wheel to ensure no contamination, or is that issue BS?
I am almost ready to TIG weld, hopefully on Friday I will get the last pieces (water adaptors and collets)
i
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I use an old Makita drill and my belt sander. Chuck the tungstens in the drill, turn it slowly and dress the tip on the belt. Works beautifully. If I could weld as well as the tungstens look, I'd be a happy camper.
Peter

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Having a dedicated tungsten grinder is nice but not necessary unless you are doing critical components for aerospace or chemical processing.
Just use a clean grinding wheel. It is much more important to maintain a consistent angle and make sure all the scratch lines are inline with the tungsten. To achieve this always point the tungsten UP while grinding.
The point you want for general TIG is the same as a classic wooden pencil, fresh from the sharpener.
For amperages 75 and below you can have a very sharp point. As you amperage climbs above that you will benefit from removing the very tip of the point so you have a tiny flat on the tip.
check out
http://www.pro-fusiononline.com/tungsten /
The best write up on the web about tungstens
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Thanks Ernie, I will read that site and use a clean wheel (the best is on my baldor grinder).
i
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On Thu, 13 Oct 2005 18:13:02 GMT, Ernie Leimkuhler

For what its worth..I use a standard White grinding wheel for tungstens. Bout an 80 grit.
Though I probably use the 6x48 bench mod belt sander the most.
I roll the tungsten at the proper angle for stock removal, then hold it in one hand, while I spin it for the finish pointng
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
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We have a pretty good write up - a downloadable .pdf file called "Grinding Tungsten" on our website:
http://www.arc-zone.com/catalog/web_store.cgi?page=library.html
and although we do advocate the use of tungsten grinders (we do sell them, after all) the most important thing is to avoid contamination. Unless you're doing high-production, automated welding applications where you need to minimize variables, you probably won't notice much difference between a well-ground electrode prepped on a bench grinder versus a tungsten grinder. However, some folks like to have cool tools ;-) and some like the convenience of some of the more inexpensive models we carry. Bottom line is, IMHO, it's totally personal preference on HOW you get the grind. Geometry does matter, however.
Best, Carmen Electrode Arc-Zone.com
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Why does your guide say to never use a belt sander when dressing electrodes?
Peter

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with a belt sander, worst case scenario of course, the electrode could get "sucked in," then shoot back out at you...
--CE
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I think you're saying that someone might grind a tungsten on a belt moving towards them and the tip could get caught in the belt? I agree that this would not be a bright thing to do...
Peter

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wrote:

Ive never seen anything except something very very heavy and sharp penetrate a belt, with some serious pressure applied.
Gunner

"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
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Seems to me I've seen diamond grinding wheels for use on 4" or 4" grinders, and that they're cheap (see for example, Harbor Freight's 3-pack for $10: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumberF152). I wonder if one of these, judiciously used only for tungsten sharpening, could be used in place of a bench grinder if such weren't available.
GWE
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JeSais wrote:

I just want one that lets me grind without having to remove the electrode.
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I'll get our design staff working on that right away... an all-in-one TIG torch and grinder... in a vacuum to eliminate dust to! ;-)
-_CE
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JeSais wrote:

Can I expect this next week? :)
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Why is the grinding wheel rotation towards the electrode point? Isn't there a chance that it digs in and shoots back?
--

Boris Mohar



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wrote:

No.
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
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wrote:

But is there an advantage of aiming it that way vs the opposite?
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wrote:

Most grinders are designed to rotate the wheels downwards in relation to the tool support. This does two things..it keeps the work piece flat on the tool support..which Ill call a table for brevity..and it prevents a burr from being generated at the leading edge of the cut area. As the wheel turns..it removes metal from the workpiece and flings it downwards away from the edge..so there is never a burr that is raised..which is the result of metal being pushed towards an unsupported area.
Which is why the final steps of knife sharpening, etc etc are down away from the edge. rather then from the edge outwards. There is never an unsupported burr generated.
If you notice..Baldor tool grinders have a reverse switch..but its still employed to grind on the opposite side of the wheel..left hand vers right hand cutting edges.
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
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I use an old, Jet bench grinder that is too anemic to do much serious grinding. I don't grind anything else with it and it was only $15 at a yard sale. You don't need much power.
http://www.drizzle.com/~dantzler/images/shop/W_grinder.JPG
The one thing I've found is that the wheels need to run true and without vibration. I used the one-way balancing system, and a good wheel dresser to accomplish this. A nickel will stay balanced on top.
One of your grinders should work fine, but I'd save the Baldor for grinding steel, etc. i.e. real grinding work.
Yes it does matter to keep the wheels free of crap besides tungsten. Dress them and don't use the grinder for other materials. Steel and stainless are not as big a deal, but stuff like aluminum or brass is a no-no.
When my electrode gets pulled into the puddle ;) and ends up with a glob of metal on it, I either grind it off on the belt grinder first, or score it and break off the end. This avoids fouling my wheels.
Always grind so that the grind lines are in-line with the point and not circular. Put a small flat on the very tip of the electrode.
Hope this helps.
Jeff Dantzler Seattle, WA
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Thanks Jeff...
i
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