Bench Grinders; Working, Hazards, and Mitigation

Before knowing any aspect of a tool, it is important to understand what actually the tool is and how it works. A bench grinder is a type of grinding machine that is used to drive abrasive wheels. The difference between other grinding machines (die grinder or angle grinder) and bench grinder is that it is mounted on a bench or a table. These tools are used to sharpen cutting tools like chisels, drill bits, tool bits, and many more. You can also use these tools to roughly shape metal before welding or fitting. 

Now, after understanding the tool and its work, let’s discuss how to use it efficiently.

Setting Up the Bench Grinder:

Before grinding and buffing, first, set up the grinder. Ensure that it has a perfect wheel that is exposed to new edges for a smooth run. This feature is vital as it ensures that excessive friction is reduced.

Also, it is important that the older machine is replaced with a new one. This is because old tools are too tough, small and hard to adjust. So, go for the new one and take their good care to maintain them new for a longer time. 

At last, make sure, your grinding wheel is slightly rounded with a high point in the middle. It should not be flat across the front. You can also use a flat diamond dresser to knock back the edges of the wheel with a smooth and gentle curve across the front. 

Using an Angle Gauge:

Cutting tools work best if their edges are grounded at the correct angle. Most wood chisels require a 25-degree angle for a perfect result that is possible with the help of angle gauge. An angle gauge allows you to rest the tool at a specific angle to get the desired output. So, you must have an ideal angle gauge for hassle-free work. 

Shaping or Buffing Wood:

This process involves placing wood on the grinder where you want it to get the curve. It should be done slowly and patiently to achieve the best and most accurate results. You can use a back and forth motion to grind off a part of the wood. To buff up the wooden piece, start by applying wax on it. When the wax dries, buff the finish.

Sharpening a Chisel:

Once you secure the chisel on the tool rest, hold it with both hands tightly. Then, push the blade slowly to the grinder so that it is angled slightly up or down. This ensures that the grinder is working without overdoing it. Most chisels work with a 60-grit wheel. 

While working with a chisel, avoid excessive friction as it may heat up the object. When it gets warm, dip it in the pot or bucket of water to cool it down. 

Cutting through a Metal Piece:

Now, for this process, hold the metal on the tool-rest. Turn it gently until the grinder comes in contact with the cutting spot. Make sure you keep turning the piece to avoid any damage. Hold both ends of the workpiece for a clean cut. At last, dip the hot ends in the water to temper it.

Bench Grinder Mitigation Strategies 

Sharpenal from a Wheel Explosion

  • Inspect and test the grinding wheels before mounting them
  • Install a tethered grinder gauge to verify rest and guard spacing

Getting Caught in the Wheel Housing: 

  • Before leaving the machine, stop the grinding wheel properly
  • Install anti-restart protection
  • Install an emergency stop button to reduce accidents

Flying Chips, Spark:

  • Install a tethered grinder gauge
  • Provide PPE to workers

Now as you have proper knowledge about the bench grinders, it is clear that it is not that complicated to work with. Attach a proper wheel intended for the job and enjoy the best results. Once you master the technique and then things become really easy for you.

If you are looking for quality bench grinders and their accessories, is a one-stop solution for your power tool requirements. Browse our website and find bench grinders from top brands like DeWalt, Bosch and more.

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