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Tungsten grinder?

Discussion in 'WELDING & CASTING' started by coolidge, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. coolidge

    coolidge United States Active User Active Member

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    Spent like 2 hours trying to find a reasonable cost tool for tungsten grinding and failed. The Black and Decker dremel type grinders are close to $400 I can't see spending that on a dremel. Baldor grinder and diamond wheel about $500. Anyone use a belt sander for grinding their tungsten's?
     
  2. Sandia

    Sandia Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Morning Coolidger,

    I use a 1" belt sander to sharpen mine. Works well.
     
  3. DSaul

    DSaul United States Active Member Active Member

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  4. bss1

    bss1 United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I have always used a belt dedicated to tungsten sharpening that I use in my 2x72 belt grinder. It works well as long as you only use the belt for tungsten sharpening so it doesn't contaminate the tungsten.
     
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  5. Tony Wells

    Tony Wells United States Former Vice President Staff Member Administrator

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    I also use a dedicated belt.
     
  6. coolidge

    coolidge United States Active User Active Member

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    Excellent news, I thought I remembered a forum member who said he used a belt sander. Made in USA Kalamazoo with Baldor motor $269, Grizzly $230, Jet $379, figured I would just go with the Kalamazoo.
     
  7. Tony Wells

    Tony Wells United States Former Vice President Staff Member Administrator

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    One of the best, if not the best TIG welder I know uses a bench grinder with a alox wheel near his welding table. He does nothing but sharpen his tungsten with it. If you had a spare grinder, like some of us, or wanted to buy a light duty HF model you could use that and have it near your work area. Just have to remember not to use it for grinding anything else.
     
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  8. bss1

    bss1 United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I chuck the tungsten in a cordless drill on slow speed and apply the tungsten to the belt with the length of the tungsten parallel with the direction of the belt travel. This is so that any grind lines are parallel with the length of the tungsten and not around the circumference. In my experience, If you apply the tungsten to the belt from the side and have perpendicular grind lines the arc will be erratic.
     
  9. coolidge

    coolidge United States Active User Active Member

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    I started with a cheap grinder and wheel, after it ripped the tungsten out of my hands half a dozen times and I had tungsten tips all stuck in the wheel I gave up on the going cheap route. The problem is the cheap grinders wobble, the wheels wobble, the thing vibrates etc.
     
  10. coolidge

    coolidge United States Active User Active Member

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    Correct parallel with the length of the tungsten.
     
  11. Tony Wells

    Tony Wells United States Former Vice President Staff Member Administrator

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    You are right of course. It has to be a steady grinder regardless of which method you choose. I have an old Delta that is very smooth, but I don't like the hollow grind of the point if I use it, so I go the the belt.
     
  12. coolidge

    coolidge United States Active User Active Member

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    This is a great example of shooting yourself in the foot. A couple years ago I bought a HF for like $40 total fail. Then I bought a newer Delta (China) for like $99 and it wobbled and vibrated to the point of being useless. So I'm out already $140 trying to go cheap. Today I ordered the Kalamazoo 1SM 1x42 Baldor belt sander this morning, made in USA, $290 to my door.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Rustrp

    Rustrp United States Active Member Active Member

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    This isn't rocket science. There's many videos available with do and don't. This link is about as straight forward as it gets and less than 2 minutes.


    This is a good video with good practical advise. Pay attention to his comment on contamination in the beginning of the video. A lot of emphasis is place on a dedicated grinding wheel, disc, belt, etc. The bottom line on this is your grinding wheel shouldn't be contaminated with anything other than some residual steel which isn't going to create an issue with your weld or welding abilities. Snagging some aluminum off the belt is a different story/lesson. In regard to the sharp point on the tungsten, touch it to the wheel and take it off, you can't see it through the arc and it only creates issues for the beginner. Remember molten metal moves to the hottest point and that would be the end of the tungsten. When you try to keep a short arc length and can't see the fine point you dip the tungsten, plus the moment you add filler metal the puddle raises up towards the tungsten, and again you dip your tungsten.



    Here's another video regarding the different tungstens. All available have been developed through the years and some were not availabe 20-30 years ago.

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpanERwagaU

    Edit: In the first video he states he has a diamond wheel. I'm not advocating the diamond wheel, although it's probably the best for critical work.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
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  14. Rustrp

    Rustrp United States Active Member Active Member

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    This isn't intended as condescending or a slight. There's a lot of emphasis place on the correct grinding wheel or the possibility of contaminating the tungsten, which in turn will contaminate the weld etc, and we are so far out of the range of our welding abilities and skills that it's irrelevant. This is comparable to arguing the importance of .0003" vs .0006" tolerances of a machinist square. We should place more emphasis on not breathing the grinding dust of a 2% thoriated tungsten.
     
  15. royesses

    royesses United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I've had a portable one for years the Techsouth standard version has been the same price for at least 4 years now. Works great and you can get the diamond discs on Ebay for 5 for $10.99:
    TechSouth Portable Tungsten Grinder TSPPE
    [​IMG]
    View Larger Image
    [​IMG]
    TechSouth Portable Tungsten Grinder
    Regular Price: $245.50
    On Sale For: $220.95
    Quantity:


    TechSouth Tungsten Grinder

    The Standard grinder is a excellent tool for hand orbital welding when using tungsten electrodes. The grind is always consistent for precise arc striking and concentration. The standard unit has a fixed angle 20 degrees included.

    Standard Features

    •Double Sided Diamond Wheel
    •120 volt AC motor with Variable Speed
    •Collets for ( 1/16", 3/32", and 1/8" ) Tungsten
    •Double Insulated Motor
    •Stainless Steel Collets
    •Tool Storage Box

    TSPPS = Grinder 120V
    TSPPEADJ220 = Grinder with Adjustable Head , 220V

    https://store.weldersource.com/p-3685-techsouth-portable-tungsten-grinder-tsppe.aspx
     
  16. sgisler

    sgisler United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Had a $99 dremel bought for a specific job, then never used again. Came across a 'head' for a TechSouth on EBay, 30 bucks.
    I had planned on machining a head to fit the dremel, would be a good project, till I chanced upon the Ebay find.


    Stan
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  17. coolidge

    coolidge United States Active User Active Member

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    My problem with these Black and Decker dremel based grinders is I own one, its made cheap, the cord is lame no way I'm dropping close to $400 on a tungsten grinder based on that dremel. The 1x42 Kalamazoo belt sander will have more uses beyond just grinding tungsten electrodes so win! I ordered a whole batch of belts in different grits.
     
  18. Doubleeboy

    Doubleeboy Active User Active Member

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    In the future you might want to go easy on ordering belts, the adhesive they use has a lifetime. Even quality belts will die waiting to be used, at least that is my experience. I don't do much welding anymore due to vision issues and trying to take care of what is left of my eyesight.

    Back when I did Tig regularly this is what I liked, a real machine, its obvious once its in your hands......
    Neutrix FBF-850E Tungsten Electrode Grinder
     
  19. ghostdncr

    ghostdncr United States Active Member Active Member

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    I haven't ground a tungsten electrode in years. Once shown how to properly use this stuff, I never looked back:


    ChemSharp.jpg
     
  20. coolidge

    coolidge United States Active User Active Member

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    Ghost I saw that stuff come up in a search, do you have a pic of a tungsten sharpened with that?
     
  21. Rustrp

    Rustrp United States Active Member Active Member

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    It works but it contaminates your torch and cleaning up takes longer than grinding. I don't like getting up and going to the grinder so I grind a half dozen or so and weld until I need to grind again. Sometime that may be a few hours and sometimes a few minutes if the welding is in a difficult area.
     
  22. catoctin

    catoctin United States Active User Active Member

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    After destroying a few aluminum oxide wheels, I decided to build my own grinder from scratch. I can grind 3/32" tungsten rods in roughly 10 seconds or less. Here's my simple recipe:

    6" Harbor Freight bench top grinder - $39
    220 grit 6" x 1" diamond grinding wheel - $79 (I got mine off of Ebay)
    Steel shaft reducer bushing - $13 (http://d-waytools.com/cbn-grinding-wheels/bushing-kits-for-cbn-grinding-wheels/)

    1. Remove the original left side wheel from the grinder and all shroud material.
    2. Cut down the shaft reducer bushing so that it is just under the width of the diamond grinding wheel.
    3. Bolt down the new grinding wheel.

    I am really surprised how smooth this setup runs. The diamond wheel must be really well balanced. My Ebay grinding wheel was made in Taiwan. I didn't have a lathe when putting this together and ended up using a hacksaw to cut down the reducer.

    My grinding operation is pretty simple. I chuck up the tungsten rods in a cordless drill and spin while grinding.
     

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  23. GarageGuy

    GarageGuy United States Active User Active Member

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    I found a 4 1/2" Ashland bench grinder on CL for $5. I put two Harbor Freight diamond wheels on it at $10 each, and it works perfectly for tungstens and touching up carbide cutting tools. Grand total of $25 invested!

    GG
     

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  24. Ironken

    Ironken United States Active Member Active Member

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    My life won't be complete without one of those! Where did you order it from?
     
  25. coolidge

    coolidge United States Active User Active Member

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    Elite Metal Tools, $290 but I'm not impressed with it honestly.
     
  26. Ironken

    Ironken United States Active Member Active Member

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    Thanks for the heads up. I'm glad you said that or one would have ended up headed this way.
     

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