Without quality grinding accessories, it is virtually impossible to do any type of precision tool grinding . Any type of precision grinding requires many different tools to make set ups and inspect the part during and after grinding.
Some shops invest heavily in high end grinders, but fall short when it comes to the accessories. This is understandable, considering the high cost of a good grinder, but, in the bigger picture, it makes no sense at all. Unfortunately, many of the purchasing decisions are made by people who have no experience at all in the grinding department, which only makes matters worse.
A typical surface grinding or ID/OD grinding operation needs to have at least the following:
- Granite surface plate
- Gage blocks
- Vee blocks
- Height gage
- Sine plates
- Magnetic squaring blocks
- Grinding wheel dresser
- Angle plates
- Magnetic chuck and control
- Grinding coolant
- Dial indicators
Use and care of grinding accessories
The foundation is the surface plate. It is essential to have an absolutely flat surface to reference all measurements from. It is impossible to maintain any kind of accuracy without a surface plate.
All of the grinding accessories must be properly stored and cared for, if any kind of consistency is to be expected. A thoroughly implemented 5S program goes a long ways to ensure the proper care of these very expensive tools.
Each tool needs to be protected from dings, scratches, rust and the ever-present grinding grit. Once a safe place has been designated, it needs to be returned to the same place after every use. After the entire shop has been trained to use 5S, it becomes an easy matter to keep things clean and orderly.
All the tooling needs to be calibrated so everyone is on the same dimensional page. The height gages must agree, the angle plates and squaring blocks must be absolutely square, the gage blocks must be calibrated, and the other accessories must be accurate.
Coolant is an essential part of the process, but is often overlooked as a significant part. Yet there is a great deal of difference between coolants. Coolants are not always interchangeable or compatible with one another and care must be taken to properly mix them.
Cleanup is also important in order to maintain a precision environment. If the floor is slippery, the moving parts on the grinder sticky from dried coolant, and a film of oily residue is everywhere, it is difficult to have a good working atmosphere.
Proper ventilation and mist collection will greatly help with these problems. An industrial grade system is capable of removing smoke, mist, and oil from the air. This leaves a clean working area and makes for a much happier operator. Not only that, but the health and safety of the workers are at stake.
Surface grinders need to have a smooth, flat chuck to hold the workpiece. This requires periodic grinding of the chuck to compensate for normal wear and tear. By simply following the manufacturers instructions, it is easy to keep the chuck within .0001 in/ .002 mm. By ignoring the directions, the chuck will be dished and no amount of effort will enable the worker to maintain accuracy.
Take care of the grinding accessories and your precision will increase and be much easier to maintain.