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Make your grinder greater

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Performance comes down to the wheels
Wheel of grinder is white-ish
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Be sure you can tighten the nut
fully onto the arbor shaft. For wide
wheels, you might need to replace
the flange with a blade stiffener.

Performance comes down to the wheels

Most grinders come with 36- and 60-grit silicon carbide wheels, identifiable by the gray, coarse texture. Those work great for lawn mower blades, but not for woodworking tools. So replace the 36-grit wheel with a 100- or 120-grit aluminum oxide wheel (usually sold in white or blue colors). Although the softer aluminum oxide wears more quickly than the silicon carbide, it also grinds cooler, saving the temper of your tools' steel. (See Sources on last slide.) Keep the aggressive 60-grit wheel for quickly reshaping chipped or damaged tool edges. Then go to the finer wheel for final sharpening.

Most grinders come with 3/4"-wide wheels, but 1"- or 11/4"-wide wheels sharpen wider tools without sliding the tool side-to-side. To install wide wheels on many grinders you'll have to replace the bell-shaped flanges -- which eat up 1/2" or more of the arbor shaft on each side of the wheel -- with thinner supports. We recommend tablesaw blade stiffeners [Sources], typically about 1/4" thick, that measure at least 3" in diameter, as shown in photo right.


Continued on page 3:  Find balance in your wheels

 

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