When I last asked about the Woodcraft grinder I received several positive
answers but I still haven't bought one. In today's mail was a flyer from them
advertising the 2 speed grinder (1720 and with a flick of a switch 3450). The
motor on this one is 1/2 hp where the regular slow speed grinder is 3/4 hp.
Does anyone have any experience with the two speed one and for normal grinding
does the difference between the 1/2 and 3/4 hp make any difference?
Red Oak, Texas
Well, mine is 1/4 HP and 1725, a combination I find suitable for general
woodworking and turning.
Speed is more important than HP, that's for sure. Tough if not impossible
to bog down in normal usage, but easy to carelessly burn carbon steel on a
Wow. The bigger is better, more horsepower mentality is being used
for bench grinders now. Wow. I can just see Craftsman coming out
with a 4 HORSEPOWER MAXIMUM grinder soon. Of course it will still
have just 4 amps but...
I've ground steel on a variety of cheap grinders. I don't recall ever
stalling or slowing any of them down. But then I do not jam a 20
pound piece of steel into the wheel and try to slow them down either.
I usually grind somewhat cautiously with some kind of control because
its very easy to remove metal quickly with a grinder.
For turning tools I ALWAYS use a very light touch. I paid as much for
some of my tools as I did for the grinder. I don't want to grind away
metal faster than required. And a light touch keeps the heat down so
the edge does not blue and you can hold the tool close to the tip when
swinging it against the wheel.
The only things to consider for bench grinders are 1. Quality of the
motor/bearings, 2. Speed, 3. How quickly it gets up to speed, 4. Grit
and friability of the wheels (but you can replace the wheels easily).
The platform that comes on the grinder is immaterial since most people
either build their own or replace it with a purchased platform.
I personally own the Woodcraft Taiwanese made 8" slow speed grinder.
I think the current version is Chinese made. I like my grinder. I
like the speed. I see no reason to have the two speed grinder since I
would never ever use the high speed on my turning tools. The slow
speed only grinder gives you 60 and 120 grit white wheels. The 60 is
L hardness and the 120 is K hardness. Dean brand. Both too hard and
both load up too easily and require frequent diamond dressing. The 60
grit is used about 99% of the time. The 120 is just too fine to be
useful. The two speed grinder gives you a 120 grit white wheel and a
60 grit gray wheel. The white wheel is too fine to be useful for
turning tools. The 60 is too hard to be useful for turning tools. So
you more or less have to replace both of the wheels on the Woodcraft
two speed grinder.
I do have a 6 inch high speed grinder. Delta Thin Line. With the
gray wheels. I use if for rough grinding of steel when I don't really
care about the piece. Sometimes I put the wire wheels on this grinder
for different types of grinding. I think having two dedicated
grinders is better than the two speed model.