Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: Which Grit CBN wheels should I buy?

A:  That depends on your style.  If you reshape tools often or make some of your own tools on occasion, get the 80-grit wheel as your low grit wheel.  If you don’t do that type of grinding much, then get the 180 grit.  For sharpening and touching up your tools we suggest the 350 or 600.  They will leave a scary sharp edge on your tool and remove very little metal, leaving you with a tool that will last a lot longer. We suggest you read the article by Tom Wirsing in our Blog section for additional guidance.

Q: I have heard that you can only sharpen certain types of steel with CBN wheels. What should I avoid?

A: Stay away from soft steels; aluminum, brass, and high carbon tools to name a few.  A good rule of thumb is if the item being ground throws off a lot of sparks then don’t make a steady habit of grinding it.  Occasionally is ok as long as long as you go back to sharpening high quality steel so it will help clean out the pores in the wheel.

Q: You have so many styles of wheels.  Which one should I get?

A:  All our wheels are constructed the same way (except the Tormek style wheel with the Nylon Center) and carry our famous lifetime warranty.  Wheels with Radius edges are great for sharpening smaller hollowing bits and round nose scrapers.  The main reason for this is the tool can be kept straight on the platform and just moved around the edge of the wheel.  Wheels with grit on the side like the 4 in 1 (which also has a radius) and the Mega Square are great for doing non hollow grinds on skews.  Our new Kodiak sharpening platform has a fixture to hold the skew in the right position when using the side of a wheel.  Our Spartan wheels are 1 inch wide with ¼ inch on the side.  Our Radius edge wheels are 1.5 inches side with a ¼ inch radius on the edge and no grit on the side.  Our 4-1 wheels are 1.25 inches wide with ¼ inch radius and 1 inch on the side.  Our Mega Square wheel is 1.5 inches wide, no radius and 1 inch down the side.  Our tormek-style wheels come in similar styles, to be used on Tormek grinders; The Spartan 10 inch which is 2 inches wide with a band of steel around Nylon and no grit down the side.  These will fit all 10 inch Tormeks.  The Tornado Tormek is 10 x 2 inch with 1 inch down the side and is constructed out of 6061 Aluminum like out other wheels.  The Tornado Jr is for the T-4 model Tormeks and are 1.5 x 8 inch in size. Shaft arbor sizes are 5/8  or ¾ for the 8 inch wheels,  ½ for the 6 inch wheels and 12 MM for the Tormek wheels.  Please check out our video section to see an in-depth explanation of our wheels.

Q: Will the wheels fit/run on my grinder?

A:  Most likely the answer is yes.  Most 8-inch grinders out there have a 5/8 shaft and some (Baldor 8 inch) have ¾ inch shafts and we carry both sizes.  Our 6-inch wheels have ½ inch shafts as most 6 inch grinders do.  We do carry a step-down bushing from 5/8 to ½ inch for those oddball grinders.  Our Radius Edge, Mega Square and 4-1 design wheels have hubs that are 1.25 inches wide so they will fit on most 2-inch-long shafts and have room for the self-alignment washer kits.  Our Spartan wheel hubs are 1 inch wide and have a 5/8 arbor and 1 inch long hub.  It may be necessary to purchase additional flat washers to make sure the threads on the shaft can reach the Spartan wheel or if it is desired to keep the guard on the grinder.  It may be also necessary to have a flat washer between the wheel and the motor to keep the guard on so there is enough clearance. 

Q:  Should I get by the ½ HP Rikon or should I buy the 1 HP:

A:  That depends:  If you watch the video on start up times its pretty evident the 1 HP is ready to go in 2 seconds.  The ½ HP takes 7-10 seconds depending on the wheels being used.  That really is the major deference.  Both machines will get the job done mainly because when used with CBN wheels, little pressure is needed because the wheels cut so wheel.  If you do a lot of reshaping of tools (think heavy grinding) then it would be wise to get the one horse as its extra power will mean a longer life in the long run. 

Q:  Which Lamp should I buy?

A:  The lamp you choose depends on a few things.  Where do I want to put it, what will it be used for, and how will I want to mount it?  If you plan on mounting your lamp to your lathe headstock, we feel the better lamps for those are the Aurora or Quasar model. Main reason for that is the flex pipe on that lamp goes into the side of the lamp housing at a 90-degree angle as opposed to the Super Nova and Beacon whose flex pipe goes into the back of the lamp head. This 90-degree orientation lends itself to making a more graceful arc into the face of the bowl for visibility of the inside turning surface. All our lamps, except the Galaxy, have 30 inch long necks that will stay in place where you put them. We offer Anchor Plates for those wanting to use your lamps on a wooden surface. The Super Nova offers the brightest lamp.  The Beacon model is good for smaller lathes and for use with our Lathe track for looking into hollow forms.  The Galaxy is great for small lathes, Bench Grinder, scroll saws, drill presses, and band saws.