Have you ever wondered how to balance bench grinder wheels? If this is something you have been considering, then it’s crucial you have considered carefully why balanced bench grinder wheels are important and how you can balance your wheels. Fortunately, if this is something you have been wondering about, our team is on hand today to help you find out more about balancing grinding wheels for the best results with polishing materials.
Why Balancing Grinding Wheels is Important
When it comes to polishing materials, bench grinders offer excellent results – however, it’s essential that your bench grinder wheels are accurately balanced if you’re looking for the best polishing results. Indeed, if your bench grinder isn’t even and balanced then you could struggle with poor quality results from your polishing efforts.
But what does this mean? The consequences of poor balancing for your grinding wheels include the following points:
- An unbalanced bench grinder can result in poorer surface quality and chatter marks being present on the surface of your material.
- If your bench grinder is not balanced, you could see poorer accuracy from a dimensional perspective on the work, which can then make wheel dressing more costly than it should be.
- Your grinding wheel is easy to replace, but you don’t want to be replacing it more than you need to! However, an unbalanced bench grinder wheel will wear out more quickly, shortening the overall life of the tool and requiring more regular replacements.
- If your grinding tool is inaccurate and unbalanced, the machine’s parts (such as the spindle) can get worn out more rapidly, which in turn could result in downtime for the machine, more regularly inspections being carried out, and repairs that could have been avoidable.
These are just a few of the reasons why balancing your grinding wheels is so important – but fortunately, we can help you to balance your buffing wheels accurately to prevent these consequences for your materials and buffing machines.
Dressing and Balancing Are Not One in the Same
At this point, it’s crucial that we point out that dressing and balancing are not one in the same. In fact, while dressing your buffing wheel is crucial to ensure that it remains balanced and safe to use and to ensure that the geometry is precise and accurate. So, don’t make the mistake of confusing dressing your grinding wheels with balancing them; in reality, balancing your grinding wheels is a little more complex than this.
Don’t Rush to Balance Bench Grinder Wheels
Balancing grinder wheels can be something of a nuisance from time to time – we get it. However, if you have been looking to rebalance your bench grinder’s wheels, we highly recommend that you take plenty of time for this endeavour to ensure you don’t get caught out.
As we’ve explained above, balancing buffing wheels on a bench grinder takes a few relatively simple steps to complete. And, to this end, it’s completely crucial that you consider carefully how to correctly install and balance your bench wheels from the start. Nevertheless, if your bench grinder tool has become off-balanced over time, it’s also possible to rebalance your grinder with a little time and care.
Just make sure to take plenty of time while rebalancing your bench grinders. Indeed, it can be easy to make a mistake while rebalancing or reinstalling your bench grinders if you’re rushing – so, without further ado let’s consider how to convert your bench grinder to a buffing bench grinder and how to rebalance your grinding wheel if things seem to have slipped off balance.
How to Convert your Bench Grinder to a Buffing Bench Grinder
As with most things in life, it’s better to prevent a problem than to fix problems when they occur – and to this end, it’s best to start off by carefully converting your bench grinder into a buffing bench grinder. Fortunately, we’ve outlined some of the steps you should follow to create a balanced buffing bench grinder in the first instance.
#1 Bolt Down the Grinder
To begin with, before you attempt to convert your bench grinder to a buffing bench grinder, you should ensure that the grinder is fully bolted, thereby ensuring that your grinder bench will remain secure and stable. This is a crucial aspect of ensuring that your new buffing bench grinder is safe and reliable.
#2 Remove Wheels and Wheel Guards
Now that you’ve bolted down the bench grinder to ensure it stays put and is fully secure, you’ll want to remove the wheels and wheel guards until you’re left with the axles and motor for the grinder. Take care here not to damage any of the internal components during this process, as a mistake at this stage could potentially leave your final buffing wheel off balanced.
#3 Reshape the Axles
In many cases, before you can look at adding the buffing wheels, you’ll need to ensure that the axles are the right length and width. Fortunately, reshaping the axles is an almost effortless procedure if this is something you need to do.
First, let’s consider cutting the length of your axles. To make your axles shorter, turn on your bench grinder’s motor until the axle is moving automatically. Once the axle is moving, then just hold a hacksaw against the axle until it has ground itself to the right length. It really couldn’t be much easier (although you should always ensure you wear appropriate safety gear here to ensure that you don’t end up getting hurt by the rapidly spinning components).
If your axle is too wide, this is fortunately, another simple fix. Take a lathe chisel hard chip and secure it in vise grips, and then turn the motor on as before. This should allow you to trim away the unwanted thickness so that your axle is the most suitable width.
These processes can make the axles get incredibly hot, so it’s worth leaving them to cool before proceeding any further to the final step.
Securing the Spindles
Finally, all that’s left to do is to secure the spindles in place. Make sure you get the positioning and angles right on the spindles at this stage to ensure that your bench grinder wheels will be balanced.
The Correct Method for Balancing Grinding
By now, you’re probably wondering – how can I fix my grinding wheels if I’ve installed them properly, but they have slipped out of place over time? Don’t panic. If this is something you have been wondering, then there are multiple methods for grinding wheel balancing, and we’ve listed the most reliable and safest method as follows.
Other methods won’t necessarily offer the same level of protection, so it’s worth being cautious if you are considering another method. Moreover, before using your new bench grinder wheels, always attempt to check visually whether they look balanced.
Steps for Balancing your Grinding Wheels
To balance your grinding wheels, you should always begin by removing all of the old parts and starting from scratch. Then, place the first grinding wheel on the arbor, adding spacers to ensure that it is tight. Tighten the bolt or nut and then check whether the wheel is balanced; if it is not, this should be corrected by axial drilling or the like.
Once you’ve finished putting the first wheel on, repeat the above steps for the three following wheels to complete the pre-balancing process. After placing the wheels on the arbor, you may want to add position references to be confident that the wheels stay in place securely.
This should result in a grinding wheel that’s completely flat and balanced, as opposed to one that won’t be flush with the material. Evidently, then, the procedure isn’t overly difficult, just a little fiddly; you’ll soon see far better results than you could have previously imagined.
Could the Problem Be That I’m Using the Wrong Size Buffer?
If you have been having poor results with your buffing bench grinder, then you may consider putting the issue down to using the wrong size buffer. Indeed, this could certainly be the case, as small buffers tend to be a lot harder over a small amount of space compared to a larger buffer. However, this is unlikely to cause the same level of difficulty as an unbalanced buffing wheel, so you should never write off the possibility of the buffing wheel being unbalanced either.
Finding the most suitable solutions for your bench grinder shouldn’t need to be difficult. Fortunately, today, we’ve summarised some of the most common complications that result from poorly balanced grinding wheels. Plus, we’ve considered how you can prevent this by installing your grinding wheels correctly to begin with or, if the problem has developed over time, how you can find the most suitable solution to return your buffer wheels to their normal functions.
Don’t leave things to chance. An off-balanced buffer wheel can be hugely problematic, so don’t take this risk. Always ensure that your bench grinder wheels are properly balanced instead for the best chance of success.