Skip to main content
Workforce LibreTexts

5.1: Chapter 5: Surface Grinder

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    ( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

    \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

    \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorA}[1]{\vec{#1}}      % arrow\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorAt}[1]{\vec{\text{#1}}}      % arrow\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorB}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorC}[1]{\textbf{#1}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorD}[1]{\overrightarrow{#1}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorDt}[1]{\overrightarrow{\text{#1}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectE}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash{\mathbf {#1}}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)


    After completing this unit, you should be able to:

    • Identify Surface Grinder.

    • Identify Procedures.

    • Describe Dressing the Wheel procedures.

    • Describe the Ring Test.

    • Describe replacing the Grinding Wheel.

    • Describe procedure select the grinding wheel.

    • List principal abrasives with their general areas of best use.

    • List principal bond with the types of application where they are most used.

    • Identify by type number and name , from unmarked sketches, or from actual wheels.

    • Interpret wheel shape and size markings together with five basic symbols of a wheel specification into description of the grinding wheel.

    • Given several standard , common grinding jobs, recommend the appropriate abrasive, approximate grit size, grade, and bond.

    The Surface Grinder is mainly used in the finishing process. It is a very precise tool which uses a stationary, abrasive, rotating wheel to shave or finish a metallic surface which is held in place by a vise. This vise, which is part of a table, or carriage is moved back and forth under the abrasive wheel. The surface grinder can cut steel in pieces no bigger than 18” long by 6” high by 8” wide. The table of the grinder is also magnetic, which aids in holding the material still. These magnets can be toggled by means of a lever located on the front side of the grinder. This instrument has a maximum cut of .005 of an inch, and a minimum cut of .005 of an inch. The movement of the grinder can be an automatic, back and forth motion, or manually moved as required.

    Safety Precautions

    Besides regular machine shop safety rules, these are some tips on how to use this machine safely:

    • Always wear safety glasses as this machine may send shavings in all directions.

    • Always wait for the wheel to reach maximum speed before using it, as there may be

    • If you have long hair, you should keep it tied back, so that it does not get caught in the machine.

    • Never strike the wheel against the material as this could cause faults in the wheel, which may result in a loss of integrity and it may fly apart.

    • Always make sure that the guard is in place over the grinding wheel, as this protects the user from the shavings that are removed from the material.

    • Always make sure the material is securely fastened in place.

    • Always make sure the magnetic table is clean before placing material on it, as shavings may scratch your material or even cause the material to slide wheel you are using the grinder.

    • Ensure that the grinder has a start/stop button within easy reach of the operator.

    • Check the grinding wheel before mounting it. Make sure it is properly maintained and in good working order.

    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mounting grinding wheels.

    • Keep face of the wheel evenly dressed.

    • Ensure that the wheel guard covers at least one half of the grinding wheel.

    • File off any burrs on the surface of work that is placed on the magnetic chuck.

    • Clean the magnetic chuck with a cloth and then wipe with the palm of your hand.

    • Place a piece of paper slightly larger than workpiece in the center of chuck.

    • Position work on the paper and turn on the power to the magnetic chuck.

    • Check that the magnetic chuck has been turned on by trying to remove work from the chuck.

    • Check that the wheel clears the work before starting the grinder.

    • Run a new grinding wheel for about one minute before engaging the wheel into the work.

    • Wait for the wheel to reach maximum speed before using it as there may be unseen faults in the wheel.

    • Stand to one side of the wheel before starting the grinder.

    • Turn off coolant before stopping the wheel to avoid creating an out-of-balance condition.

    • Keep the working surface clear of scraps, tools and materials.

    • Keep the floor around the grinder clean and free of oil and grease.

    • Use an appropriate ventilation exhaust system to reduce inhalation of dusts, debris, and coolant mists. Exhaust systems must be designed and maintained appropriately.

    • Follow lockout procedures when performing maintenance work.

    Procedure for Use

    • The first step in using the surface grinder, is to make sure that the material you wish to shape can be used in the grinder. Soft materials such as aluminum or brass will clop up the abrasive wheel and stop it from performing effectively, and it will then have to be cleaned. This process is explained in the Maintenance section. The maximum size of a material that the grinder can machine is 18” long by 8” wide by 6” high.

    • The next step is to make sure the material is secured. This is done by use of a vice, and then by engaging the magnetic clamp. Once the material is secure, it must be manually positioned under the abrasive wheel. This is done by turning the longitude and latitude wheels located on the front of the grinder. The abrasive wheel itself can be moved slightly to get the material in the perfect position.

    • Then the machine may be started. It should reach maximum speed before you try to use it for the safety reasons. If the wheel is working properly, manually used when very precise work needs to be done.


    Figure 1. Chevalier Surface Grinder

    Dressing the Wheel

    1. Place the diamond wheel dresser onto the bed.

    2. Keep the diamond dresser ¼ of an inch to the left of the center of the wheel.

    3. Lock the dresser onto the bed by turning the magnetic chuck on.

    4. Turn on the machine power by turning the switch to the “ON” position. Then press the green button to start the spindle.

    5. Move the grinding wheel down using the vertical table handwheel until it barely makes contact with the dresser.

    6. Turn the machine off after making contact with the dresser.

    7. Turn the machine on again. While the wheel is spinning, lower the grinding wheel down in the Z direction until it makes a small plume of dust.

    8. Once the small plume of dust has been made, make one pass back and forward along the Y-axis. Stop the machine when the dresser has made on pass back and forward.

    9. When stopping the machine, make sure that the dresser is about ½ inches away from the wheel.

    10. Check the wheel to see if it is clean. If not, repeat steps 8 and 9.


    Figure 2. Dressing the wheel

    Ring Test

    Grinding wheels must be inspected and “ring-tested” before they are mounted to ensure that they are free from cracks or other defects. Wheels should be tapped gently with a light, nonmetallic instrument. A stable and undamaged wheel will give a clear metallic tone or “ring.”

    Performing the ring test:

    Make sure the wheel is dry and free of sawdust or other material that could deaden the sound of the ring.

    You will need a hard plastic or hard wood object, such as the handle of a screwdriver or other tool, to conduct the test. Use a wood mallet for heavier tools. Do not use metal objects.

    1. Suspend the wheel on a pin or a shaft that fits through the hole so that it will be easy to turn, but do not mouth the wheel on the grinder. If the wheel is too large to suspend, stand it on a clean, hard surface.
    2. Imagine a vertical plumb line up the center of the wheel.
    3. Tap the wheel about 45 degrees on each side of the vertical line, about one or two inches from the wheel’s edge. (Large wheels may tapped on the edge rather than the side of the wheel.)
    4. Turn the wheel 180 degrees so that the bottom of the wheel is now on top.
    5. Tap the wheel about 45 degrees on each side of the vertical line again.
    6. The wheel passes the test if it gives a clear metallic tone when tapped at all four points. If the wheel sounds dead at any of the four points, it is cracked. Do not use it.

    Replacing the Grinding Wheel

    1. Open the wheel case. If the wheel case is very tight, this may require a pair of brace wrench, wrench and a rubber mallet.
    2. Remove the metal plate on top by loosening the screws that are holding it to the wheel case.

    Figure 3. Remove metal plate and wheel case

    3. Behind the wheel, on the spindle, there is a hole. Insert the brace wrench on the right side into the back of the spindle. The brace wrench should be able to fit into the hole.


    Figure 4. Brace wrench into hole Figure 5. Remove the grinding wheel

    4. Insert the wrench into the two holes in the front of the wheel. When loosening the wheel from the wheel spindle, turning right will loosen and turning left will tighten.
    5. Hit the wishbone-shaped wrench with a rubber mallet to loosen the wheel. 6. To put a new grinding wheel on, reverse the procedure. Turning the wishbone-shaped wrench to the left will tighten it. When installing the wheel, make sure that the wrench is on the left side, not on the right side. Turn the wishbone-shaped wrench by hand, and when no longer possible, use the rubber mallet. 7. Remove the wrench from the back of the spindle. 8. Screw the plate back on top of the wheel case. 9. Close the wheel case, and tighten the knob.

    5.1: Chapter 5: Surface Grinder is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

    • Was this article helpful?