Author Topic: Do I really need a T&C grinder?  (Read 10361 times)

bogstandard

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Do I really need a T&C grinder?
« on: July 08, 2009, 03:51:12 PM »
I have been asking myself this question for many years now, and would have jumped in with both feet if it wasn't for discussions with people a lot more knowledgeable than myself. Namely our own John Stevenson. I have discussed it a couple of times with John, and I think we have both come to the same conclusion.

It seems in the UK that people will go to great lengths to purchase a T&C grinder, and when eventually they do get one, 99% of them will only use it in it's basic format of grinding up lathe tools, twist drills and milling cutters. The rest of what it can do is just boasting fodder and would most probably never be used. Basically a lot of cash invested in a machine, that would easily buy and keep me in cutters for the rest of my natural.

So, I have my old surface grinder, and a load of 5c collets, what can they do for me?

I already use the grinder in conjunction with a small tilting vice, for grinding up perfectly shaped lathe tools, from normal cutting tools, to superfine parting and grooving tools with a tip only 0.020" (0.5mm) wide. So that is the lathe side sorted.

What do I need to do for the tooling I use on the mill? Basically, resharpen or rescue the end faces of standard cutters, or grind up a few special cutters that I may need. If the flutes require regrinding, then they would be thrown away, because as soon as the flutes are reground, it becomes a different size anyway.

Where is all this going you may say. Well, I have noticed for a fair while now, there is a little bit of fairly cheap kit that will do exactly what I want, using the machinery and tooling I already have.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/NEW-5C-END-MILL-SHARPENER-FOR-SURFACE-GRINDER_W0QQitemZ390043516415QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item5ad067bdff&_trksid=p3286.m63.l1177&_trkparms=240%3A1318%7C301%3A1%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50

During a Skype talk with Bob Deere, this item came up, and he said he has been using one successfully for a while now, and that he was happy with the results he gets. So as soon as the discussion ended, I went online and bought one. Thanks Bob for the info.
By the time the postage was added, it came to just under 55 squid. Bob did offer to buy one and send it to me, but there was no way he could get the postage any lower than was being offered by the seller. Again Bob, thanks for trying.

So this is what turned up today, eight days after I ordered it.
It is a reasonably made bit of Chinese tooling, with just a couple of minor imperfections in the design and build quality.
The first is that the locking screw uses a ball bearing that is pushed into detents around the rotating part, to hold the cutters in the correct relationship to the number of cutting faces (up to 12). Well the ball bearing falls out whenever the unit is taken apart. This will be given a permanent fix when I have time. The second minor annoyance is that the pins on the peg spanner won't fit into the holes in the collet locking ring. I will drill the holes out slightly larger in the future, as the collet can be tightened up enough by hand so it isn't yet causing a problem.




It works on the principle of two angled faces, and their relationship to the cutter face and the grinding wheel. The above picture shows the first angle it sits on, me pushing down on the end puts it onto the second angle, plus a side offset. Of course this is normally done by the mag chuck on the grinder.
The first face is used to grind the cutting edge, the second the relief angle.




"And how do you use it?" you may say.
I have absolutely no idea.
This is the shot of the operating instructions, the page on the left. It isn't even worth reading, as all it contains is a bit of Chinglish saying something about putting the cutter in the collet.




So armed with the fantastic operating instructions, I grabbed the most beat up, blunt and chipped tungsten faced cutter I could find (kept in the bottom of a box, in the hope of one day turning it into something else).
I dived onto the surface grinder, with the wrong, undressed wheel fitted (one for grinding HSS tooling), then setting it all up on how I thought it should go, I put the fixture thru it's paces.

The pic below shows it all. The one on the right is how it should be, a brand new metal shifting cutter.
The one on the left is my meagre offering after 15 mins playing about. Seeing this is the first time I had used it, and having no idea how to use it, it didn't turn out too bad. I assure you, that cutter WILL cut metal again.
I learned a lot, the correct angle of the cutting face to the side of the grinding wheel, and the depth of cut needs to be a bit deeper on the relief angle.
I can now guarantee, my 15 minutes of playing about, will ensure that the next cutter sharpened will be perfect.



Well that is one thing less I need a cutter grinder for, just need to get the drill sharpening bit out of the way, and I can forget about owning a T&C grinder forever.

Anyone got plans for a good drill sharpener that I can use on my surface grinder?

Bogs

BTW, if anyone is interested in the use of one of these things, I can easily make up and add on to this post, an article that shows just how to use it.
That shows just how easy it was to use, just 15 minutes playing about, and I am ready to put my reputation on the line.


Offline Darren

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Re: Do I really need a T&C grinder?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2009, 04:09:04 PM »
Please carry on John.....I have been looking at these, and T&Gs and a whole bunch of other stuff......

T&G's take a lot of cash for what they do as you say....if one drops on my lap then ok so be it, otherwise other ideas are the order of the day.

I was wondering if my Jones and Shipman vice could do the same job with a 5C collet fixture, it's just the indexing to sort after that.

I'm in great need of more info.... :thumbup:
You will find it a distinct help… if you know and look as if you know what you are doing. (IRS training manual)

Offline sbwhart

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Re: Do I really need a T&C grinder?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2009, 05:00:25 PM »
Hi John

I can see how it works doing 2, 3 or 4 flute cutters, but could it do a 6 flute ?

Stew
A little bit of clearance never got in the road
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Location:- Crewe Cheshire

bogstandard

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Re: Do I really need a T&C grinder?
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2009, 05:10:27 PM »
I thought this might drag you out of the woodwork Darren.

I doubt if you would have such an easy time with trying to use your vice and a collet holder. I just don't think you will be able to hold rotational accuracy and presentation to the wheel.

I think this one could be fairly easily replicated.
 
In fact, for the price I paid, even with the crappy postal rates, it just isn't worth the trouble of trying to make one. I class my time now as worth 15 squid per hour to me, there is no way I could make one in four hours.

The way I looked at the overall situation was that a surface grinder is really a necessity in a precision workshop, more so than a T&C grinder, and because I already had everything in position, that automatically showed me the way I should proceed.

The money now saved on not buying a T&C grinder will go towards my dream of owning a small CNC mill, to help out with production work.
That is of course, if the better half doesn't find another use for the cash in the meantime. It all depends if I can find someone to do a weeks work for me at a reasonable rate.

BTW, to carry on from the above post, and Stew's question. I have only worked out at this time how to present up to four cutting faces, although it says it can do up to 12, it looks like any more than this might require a different shaped wheel, or a different wheel face approach method. I will need a little more playtime to solve higher numbers, unless anyone has done it before, and can give me a few pointers.

Stew, looks like the idea of bringing your old cutters along and having an afternoons resharpening session is now on the cards.

John

Offline John Stevenson

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Re: Do I really need a T&C grinder?
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2009, 05:33:39 PM »

 
In fact, for the price I paid, even with the crappy postal rates, it just isn't worth the trouble of trying to make one. I class my time now as worth 15 squid per hour to me, there is no way I could make one in four hours.


John

Get yer finger out Grandad,   :wave:  wait until I get back from taking the piss out of Darren's new Beaver mill this weekend and we'll see what can be done.

John S.
John Stevenson

Offline Darren

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Re: Do I really need a T&C grinder?
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2009, 05:37:17 PM »
I knew that was coming.....at some point..... :coffee:
You will find it a distinct help… if you know and look as if you know what you are doing. (IRS training manual)

Offline Darren

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Re: Do I really need a T&C grinder?
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2009, 05:50:20 PM »
Bogs, they advertise these gadgets as being usable on the mill. I realise spindle speed may not be optimum but what do you reckon?

Could it be a goer? If it is then it could just be the ticket till a small grinder comes my way.
You will find it a distinct help… if you know and look as if you know what you are doing. (IRS training manual)

Offline georgeseal

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Re: Do I really need a T&C grinder?
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2009, 06:22:38 PM »
John,
Please post a follow up on how to use this tool.

When I got my grinder I just had to have some new tooling

price was right at the time so I bought one with no idea how to use it properly.

George from Conyers Ga.

bogstandard

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Re: Do I really need a T&C grinder?
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2009, 06:36:10 PM »
Darren,

I can't answer your question as I have never tried it, but I will definitely be using it to make my own cutters out of silver steel.


George,

I am hoping to get an hour in the shop tomorrow, purely to see what this thing can do. So I will make up a bit of a post to get you on your way.


Oh!, and John, less of the grandad.
You should know by now that I only ever make tooling that can't be bought anywhere. This is one such case where I didn't need to make one.
I have now got mine, it is up to you others to see if you can make yours in a reasonable amount of time.


John

Offline shred

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Re: Do I really need a T&C grinder?
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2009, 11:42:01 PM »
I've got an all-singing all-dancing T&C grinder that metaphorically fell into my lap one day (physically it would hurt).  Anyway, I'm not an expert by any means, but I rarely use the thing and agree with John that the average home shop would probably be better off with the money, time and space used elsewhere.  As-is now, I'm seeing if it can be pressed into use as a surface grinder, go figure.  One thing that isn't obvious with T&C's is they really aren't designed to make cutters, just sharpen one's somebody else already made.  You can make cutters, but it's a stretch sometimes.







bogstandard

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Re: Do I really need a T&C grinder?
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2009, 12:36:06 AM »
Quote
Bogs, they advertise these gadgets as being usable on the mill. I realise spindle speed may not be optimum but what do you reckon?

Could it be a goer? If it is then it could just be the ticket till a small grinder comes my way.


Darren,

I had a bit of a search for you and came up with this.

http://pico-systems.com/sharpen.html

I don't know how well it would work being held in a vice, as the unit has angles on the bottom face that are sucked down onto a mag chuck, I don't know how you could hold it properly in a vice to ensure the angles were in the correct position.


John

Offline sbwhart

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Re: Do I really need a T&C grinder?
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2009, 12:55:49 AM »



BTW, to carry on from the above post, and Stew's question. I have only worked out at this time how to present up to four cutting faces, although it says it can do up to 12, it looks like any more than this might require a different shaped wheel, or a different wheel face approach method. I will need a little more playtime to solve higher numbers, unless anyone has done it before, and can give me a few pointers.

Stew, looks like the idea of bringing your old cutters along and having an afternoons resharpening session is now on the cards.

John

John

I have some cupped wheels off an old cutter grinder, for doing more than 4 flutes you have to use the edge of the wheel fed in from the side going to a stop so that you don't crash into the next flute, but this may need the fixture mounting on a angle plate, I,m just having to come and have a look at it I'll bring the wheels with me  :scratch: .

Getting all excited at the prospect of grinding some blunt cutters up.

Stew
A little bit of clearance never got in the road
 :wave:

Location:- Crewe Cheshire

Offline kvom

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Re: Do I really need a T&C grinder?
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2009, 10:34:32 AM »
John,
Please post a follow up on how to use this tool.

When I got my grinder I just had to have some new tooling

price was right at the time so I bought one with no idea how to use it properly.

George,

Did you get that Harig we saw in SC?

bogstandard

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Re: Do I really need a T&C grinder?
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2009, 05:09:59 PM »
There is now a post that shows how I got this fixture to grind my milling cutters.

http://madmodder.net/index.php?topic=1434.0


Bogs

Offline georgeseal

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Re: Do I really need a T&C grinder?
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2009, 05:20:57 PM »
Kirk
Yes but unfortunaly it's a Delta

got it up and running and have already saved myself $3.00 so a long way to go
George from Conyers Ga.

Offline DeereGuy

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Re: Do I really need a T&C grinder?
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2009, 08:46:36 PM »
John I just found this thread...guess I have been busier than I thought :hammer:  Any way glad your happy with your set and I always enjoy the chats.