The vertical grinder is a very convenient piece of equipment. They are often used in woodworking shops, as well as in factories and even in the home workshop. In addition, they can be used in a variety of other applications, including auto repair shops, in shipping containers, in mines, and in many more places around the world. In addition to being extremely versatile, this grinding tool can also produce amazingly high quality products, making it an invaluable addition to any shop or production line.
If you are new to vertical grinder use, you might be surprised at the number of applications for these machines can handle. Grinding wheels are commonly used for material removal, counterboring, and other milling operations. These long term customers often have a wide range of tasks that require their machines and are willing to take a chance on a machine that is not designed specifically for those tasks. Often, this leads to very long service contracts with a company that may be just starting out in their operation, and that want to assure themselves of a steady stream of customers in the future. However, even long term customers can have their machines broken on occasion, and this means that it is important to know how to properly care for your vertical grinder.
The first thing you need to keep in mind when looking after your vertical grinder is that it does generate a lot of heat. Because of this, it is important that you don’t place your workpiece in a place where the heat is concentrated too much. If you are working with a roundness error, or if you are using a material that tends to generate more heat than other materials, you will likely have problems with distortion. When you are grinding, and especially when you are using a large diameter material, you will almost certainly have some degree of distortion, and it will almost certainly be greater than with a small round piece.
This brings us to another important point: that the workplace should always be seated straight up and down in its slot with the crank frame seated vertically on the table. When the grinder is sitting straight up and down in its slot, the amount of slop that develops as the tool spins will be nearly zero. Because the vertical grinder’s spindle is positioned relatively close to the workpiece, its contact with the work will also be relatively close. This means that the contact area between the grinding wheel and the surface of the work can be somewhat larger than it would be with a roundness error. While this can make the vertical grinder less precise than a round piece, it will also mean that the contact area will be smaller, which will lessen the distortion. Therefore, it is important to seat your vertical grinder in a vertical position.
For optimal contact and minimal distortion, you should use a horizontal grinder. The reason is that the two different types of vertical grinder will tend to generate different amounts of squiggle. A horizontal grinder produces squiggles in the grind zone that appear to emanate from the end of the workpiece toward the grinding wheel. In these circumstances, the horizontal grinder is said to be performing ‘self-aligning’ grinding action. This type of grinding action will ensure that the best possible outcome is achieved.
Vertical grinder setups can be a little more complex because of the various factors that need to be considered. One factor that must always be taken into consideration when making a vertical grinder setup is how your workpiece and chuck are set up relative to one another. For example, if your chuck is set up so that the workpiece is on the floor then the vertical grinder will require less clearance space. If the chuck is set up in a higher position than the workpiece then the vertical grinder will require more height clearance. Because of these considerations, it is strongly recommended that you consult with an instructor or someone who has built vertical grinder setups before attempting to build one on your own.