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Possibly Buying A Ko Lee Grinder

Discussion in 'K.O. LEE GRINDERS' started by cs900, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. cs900

    cs900 United States maker of chips Active Member

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    So pretty empty in this section of the forum, haha. hopefully someone will chime in. I have the opportunity to buy a KO Lee grinder locally, but really don't know a whole lot about them. Combine that with the fact that this would be my first surface grinder, and I could defiantly use some direction. The grinder looks to be in fairly good condition, although it does look like some of the hydraulics might have a slight leak. Any other issues I should be looking for? Parts hard to find? Looks like leblond took them over, but i haven't found a good source to confirm part availability.

    20160916_190955_zpsyvkuc67x.jpg
     
  2. rgray

    rgray Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I have one that looks a little like that. Mine has hyd cross feed as well. I haven't used it much but it seems to grind real nice.
    I also have a K O Lee tool post grinder and it has those same kinda controls. The controls and dials are not very nice compared to most. A DRO would be real nice on one of those to increase your "sensitivity/knowledge" of "what/how much" vertical movement happened when adjusting the wheel down.
    Only thing I have to compare it to is a Jones & Shippman 540 and a #5 Brown and Sharpe (cylindrical) Both have much better wheels and dials than the K.O. Lee.
     
  3. 4gsr

    4gsr Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I have both a Brown & Sharpe 612 surface grinder and a K O Lee tool & cutter grinder. Both are nice grinders. I would say the B & S is a nicer surface grinder than the KO Lee in ways. I'm sure the KO Lee will do good too. One nice thing about the KO Lee, it has roller bearings that the table rolls on that stay lubricated with oil, provided it has been taken care of. As for the hydraulics, well its like all other hydraulic systems I've dealt with over the years, they leak oil over time. May require replacing seals/O-Rings, etc. to get the oil leaks fixed. Depending on price and condition and how much TLC you have to put into it up front, it will make you nice surface grinder. Ken

    EDIT: As for repair parts, plan on making your own. If you go to Leblond for parts, take your heart attack medicine with you, you will need it!
    The tool & cutter grinder I have, I had to make a new cross feed screw and replace a couple of oil seals and that about it. The super precision bearings used in the spindle are off the shelf bearings, just expensive! I've managed to snag a couple sets off of eBay for under half price of new one's.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
  4. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    What size is the grinder? 6x18", or smaller? Hard to tell, the wheel guard looks big in comparison to the table chuck mounting area. Does it come with a mag chuck? If not, that can be a big dollar purchase, figure it into the price you pay for the grinder.
     
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  5. Holescreek

    Holescreek Active User Active Member

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    I have a KO Lee S618, manual machine. Thing to watch out for: On my machine there are 6 "wells" under the table (they are cast in the top of the base) that should be filled with way oil. Three in front and three in back. At the top of each well there is a pair of rollers sitting on top of a strip of spring steel. The purpose of the rollers is to distribute way oil from the well onto the bottom of the table. When I got my machine several of the rollers were broken off and several of the spring strips had snapped too. I made my own springs from spring steel strap and the rollers from whatever I had laying around. I probably have photos on my home computer if needed.
    I also had to replace my spindle bearings. There again, if the spindle is the same between the models there was a trick I stumble upon when I replaced mine. It's been so many years ago that I forgot I even did the job until I was sent a PM from someone on another board asking questions. I had to go back and read my original thread to refresh my memory.
     
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  6. Holescreek

    Holescreek Active User Active Member

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    pics:

    edit: Just seeing that grinder naked and alone about 14 years ago made me sad so I added a newer one showing it in a more current setting.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
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  7. Andre

    Andre Active User Active Member

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    Yes, that looks to be a 618 size grinder. (At least in the picture, to me.) Great size for sharpening planer blades! My 612 is just a tad too short :(

    Sent from my XT1053 using Tapatalk
     
  8. cs900

    cs900 United States maker of chips Active Member

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    thanks for the reply guys. I'm still working with the guy to make the deal. I'm also in the middle of a full home renovation so time is the limitation.

    I believe it is a 618 as well, and it does NOT come with a mag chuck (one of my bargaining chips :p)
     
  9. rwm

    rwm Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    He looks happy now with all his friends....
    R
     
  10. ranch23

    ranch23 United States Active User Active Member

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    Well fill us in please.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  11. Holescreek

    Holescreek Active User Active Member

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    I just googled "k.o. lee spindle bearing holescreek" and found the thread from 2008. Gotta love the internet.

     
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  12. ranch23

    ranch23 United States Active User Active Member

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    Thank You, I have a K O Lee B602. What a nice machine, I use it primarily to grind actions.
     

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