With the 13 million people who are working manufacturing jobs all around the country, no one would tell you that the state of your tool doesn’t matter. To do the most you can with your diamond grinding wheels, you need to maintain them and keep them in good working order. Material gradually wears away from the surface over time and if they’re not regularly maintained, it’s hard to get accurate work done.
Knowing the basics of using your grinding wheel, what not to do, and some of the basic activities to keep them in shape is vital.
Follow the Basics
Your grinding wheel might be tough enough to deal with a diamond, but that doesn’t mean you can be careless with it. You need to handle and store it in a careful manner. Most grinding wheels are strong but can be brittle depending on the material they’re designed to grind.
Check your wheel out before you embark on any work. Look for any kind of visible cracks or damage. Not only can cracks and damage end up damaging the material you’re grinding but it can lead to an injury if a piece flies off.
Make sure that your machine’s speed is set accurately. There’s an established speed level that’s the safe operating level marked on the wheel. Exceeding this speed could cause the grinding wheel to break.
Inspect all of the aspects of the mounting of your wheel. Use mounting blotters when they’re provided by your wheel manufacturer. Mounting flanges should be set to sizes equal to the wheel’s hole and set to the right diameter.
The flange diameter needs to be equal to or greater than one-third of the wheel’s diameter to be set properly. Flanges should be clean, flat, and smooth when you put them on.
Before you start working, make sure your grinder has guards on. You need side guards covering the spindle, end nut, and your flanges. Realistically, it should cover three-quarters of the whole wheel’s diameter.
Take the time to keep your work area clean and free of debris. If anything accidentally strikes or hits your grinding wheel, it could cause an issue.
Avoid Common Mistakes
Avoid using a wheel that’s been dropped or damaged in any way. If you force your wheel onto the machine, you could end up damaging it or making it structurally unsound. Rather than altering the wheel’s mounting hole if it doesn’t fit, find one that fits properly.
Be careful when tightening your mounting nut. If you tighten it excessively, you could risk damaging the machine. Tighten it just enough to avoid the wheel from slipping.
Your work rest or spark arrestor should be tightened and secured before you begin working. Once the grinding wheel starts moving, the guards shouldn’t be adjusted. If changes need to be made, turn off the machine and then make your changes once the wheel has stopped.
Never grind on the side of your wheel. Rotate your material rather than using the side of the wheel.
Make sure that you’re always using a material that the wheel is designed for. If you grind something other than diamonds with a diamond grinding wheel, you could risk upsetting the integrity of the wheel. You could also damage your material.
Don’t start working if you haven’t looked over all of the essential safety materials and haven’t received proper training.
Truing and Dressing Go a Long Way
When a grinding wheel is worn down, it doesn’t need to be replaced. You can often take efforts to maintain and repair your grinding wheel to ensure that you can keep it useful. You’ll save money and save time with the right efforts to maintain them.
If your wheel comes off its proper alignment, you can true the grinding wheel. Realigning your grinding wheel ensures that your cutting edge is giving you a clean and straight cut. Keeping your cutting edge in line with your material is hard enough without dealing with a poorly aligned wheel.
A grinding wheel that’s not properly aligned is going to make it harder to measure and cut. What was needed might not be attainable if your grinding wheel isn’t trued?
Small variations can make a huge difference. These variations might turn your material into scrap instead of being a usable product.
Truing your grinding wheel will also keep you from badly cut or material that doesn’t fit.
To properly maintain your wheel, you need to then work to dress your wheel. Truing will smooth it down, which keeps the number of exposed diamonds down. Smooth wheels won’t cut, however, so you need to then dress it.
This sharpens your grinding wheel by then exposing the diamonds that do the work of cutting.
Performing these two processes in sequence is essential to getting the right edge on your grinding wheel. If you perform one process without the other, you won’t have the edge that you need. Staying effective while you work is essential to keeping your shop productive.
Talk to the manufacturer of your grinding wheel to ensure that you’re using the methodology that they recommend.
Diamond Grinding Wheels Are the Best for Your Material
If your material can be cut with diamond grinding wheels, it’s best to use them to get the most accurate cut. Grinding materials with the right tools ensure that your end product won’t result in scrap. When you’re using the right elements in your shop, your customers and clients will rejoice at the quality of what you do.
Check out our guide to the best grinding wheels on the market if you want to ensure you’re using only the best.