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Need help selecting a cutter grinder.

Superbowl asked for small. That a reasonable request. Like desktop or workbench size. Not some 8000-10,000 pound thing.
Options under one ton as that would be a lot for my workbench to hold.
I have seen it done down at 3000-4000 and a smaller bit of floor space but these companies have died.
I considered trying this machine building market so many times. The math just does not add up no matter how hard I try.
Did the flat tool and IC grinding machine build side try. That killed me....almost literally.

Yes I asked for SMALL. A work envelope of maybe 4"x 8" would be more than enough. Such a small envelope should help a lot with ridgity issues. Manual machines are not overly robust but do acceptable work. Since it is not for production, speed is not an issue. Even if the operator had to manually reposition the work for some things once during the sharpening, that would be acceptable. No flood coolant necessary just like on a manual machine.
English guy here. Definite +1 for what EG says. A Clarkson has the right sort of work envelope size and would do you just fine, if one could be found in your neck of the woods.

Here is mine with the table swung to the side and drill sharpener set up.

Clarkson 1 R.jpg

Took it off the factory column and plopped it on the bench where it takes up about 2 ft square. Needs perhaps 6 inches more when the tables are pulled out to a front operating position as in the picture from EG. Something of same layout with an integrated motor and wheel-head rather than the separate motor with belt drive could easily be around 8 inches shallower

Mine is maybe 30 years older but still fundamentally the same. Biggest difference is no dials! Clarkson's business was milling cutters so they designed a simple, compact and relatively inexpensive machine shortly after WW2 to use on the production line. Then went into business selling them. Where it comes to sharpening it can do pretty much anything the big boys can do, within the work envelope limits.

Probably a similar device would be home buildable without major trouble given judicious selection and modification of inexpensive import components. For example hacking up an X-Y table would give you a good start for the slides. Strapping a 5C or ER collet block to an angle plate would be easier than copying the official brackets. Lots of information here :- http://www.bedroom-workshop.com/ .

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A lot depends on what you want to sharpen. To sharpen three end mills, or 3 most anything the setup time will make buying new the better choice. Grinding small end mills ODs under 1/2" can be tricky with a spin-beringed or an air spindle. Having a true TC grinder one can make a special counterbore or step tool easily once the skill is achieved. Drills don't have to be heal-rolled up the cutting edge, just a facet grind@ 10 or 12 * clearance and then hand troll the heal works fine.
Reamer are an easy job between centers or a tail center and a bushing. Gun drills and gun reamers are easy.
For the hobby guy buying new to accumulate a dozen of a size and then sharpen or send them out.
Mill cutters are easy and can be trued up easily and some mill cutters can be sharpened .020 off faster than flipping the inserts for a second use of the inserts.
I haven't used the likes of the Cutmaster but with my experience could likely do pk with one but setup time would be a deterrent.
A Cincinnati #1 or 2, a small KoLee, theses with centers a work head, and an air spindle if doing end mill ODs would be better than the cut master type but likely cost close or over $3k. A Royal Oak is a great machine. I agree a surface grinder can sharpen many cutters but equipment and skill are needed so not the best choice.
A facet drill setup should be set on a TC grinder so anyone in the shop can quickly sharpen a single drill better than doing it by hand, just to justify the machine, with hand back off the heal..
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I vote for the Clarkson as well. They can be had for relatively cheaply and comparing one to my R-6, it seems to do what I need it to do in a more compact space. Heck, it works so well, I convinced my works to buy one and it paid for itself in the first month it was there. I would recommend staying away from a Quorn or Deckel as I think those things were designed for single point engraver sharpening and then modified to work with other things, meaning they are quite fiddly. The Clarkson was designed to do endmills and other tooling in a production setting, so even though they are small, they can do quite a bit.
Hi again Just a Sparky:
My stuff is all home made, (with the exception of the air spindle) because the commercial stuff is all too big for my little grinder.
Here's a miniature version of a Harig Grind All:
View attachment 390282

Here's a swiveling tilting setup I use to grind things like miniature carbide reamers and miniature threading bars;
View attachment 390283

Here's my cylindrical grinding setup for necking cutters and making things like miniature saws:
View attachment 390284

In addition I have these:
View attachment 390285
View attachment 390286
View attachment 390287
View attachment 390288
View attachment 390289

I also have a wire and a sinker EDM that get used for this purpose among other things.
This is a pretty comprehensive set of goodies...only the first three are relevant to your needs for tricking out a Sanford.
They're not difficult to make.


Can I ask what you used for the rotating, graduated parts of that little dual angle grinding jig, please? I need to make myself one for sharpening gravers and love your execution!


Q: ( That you used for the rotating?) indexing.
A dish at the end of an endmill is a little bit of open space/angle going toward the center. One to 5* is about Ok, and does not have to be accurate..but the height at the end at the OD corner is very important, Indexing this is an important factor.

One way to provide this with a device that does not have an indexing ability is to stand the end mill up in a V block and grind flat ( 90* straight up).
Then roughly index and grind the primary up to just take the flat away.."Grinding to a whiteness mark"
Painting the tooth end with a Sharpie or red Dykem dye can help see the mark.
You can get .0005 with that...end mills for steel or aluminum I like to take whiteness and then take another thousandth with the dial to be sure to get off all the flat land..

Indexing with just eyeballing to a block set next to the part is OK'

For a topple-over setup, one can bring something to just touch the part high up to bump the part in the go-direction. (Go direction= the way it would go flying.)
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Good to look at the OD for a wear land. Often the wear land is greatest near the corner. Grinding off/or cutting off the end and re-sharpening just the end can be OK.
With high wear on the OD grinding that may be necessary.
One might negotiate a better sharpening price by asking the sharpener to give a better price for a dozen of the same size. That is a time-saver and a sharpener should give a break in price.
For In-house sharpening is good to have a photo of the different end grinds to pick the best one. Hold the end to a flat bar to see what part of the end will be hitting the part in use. With a little practice, the secondary can be done by hand.
For axial feeding, the primary should be 9* plus for steel, and 15* plus for aluminum..
I used to really cut the mustard by picking a larger end mill for die pockets, and axial milling to hog out stock, but yes you must be careful to not plunge too deep.
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There's a couple of places here that make automated end mill and drill sharpeners. Diamond wheels, some sort of specialized control, simple to operate and not too expensive (forgot how much, would have to look). But doesn't seem like they'd have many sales in a place where people would rather throw away a $35 end mill than resharpen it so I've never bothered to look very hard. One guy trapped me into watching his thingy do its job at the last tool show, took maybe five minutes or so to resharp an end mill, then I ran away to look at something I liked, but they are out there.

If someone was serious we can make a phone call but not just for fun. A lot of things that could be useful, you guys just talk a lot.
Nah, I mean the ones who come asking, "I need to buy a new rocking horse, which one is best?"

Then they get fifty answers, ten good ones, and disappear. They never actually buy anything. Once out of 100 times someone does, and they come back and say "I got this one" and we're all happy but ... that's not normal.

Window shopping and tire kicking are certainly not new developments. That's one reason why salesmen exist. And another that most people hate them. :D
op, i have a s1. i enthusiastically bought it for several $k when the occasion came up and started to study, learn and practice. i started to construct some (motorized) devices for it. now, several years later, i rarely touch it anymore.

why? the thing has 7 axis (out of memory) and is a kind of intelligence test every time you walk up to it. im sure its a great machine once set up for a job. but the learning curve was pretty flat, at least in my case. i realized that i had to start almost from scratch after being away from it for 2 or 3 weeks.

oh, and the accessories take up a smaller cabinnet also.

edit: putting correct (now we could start a discussion) geometry on a drill tip is not trivial. most commercially available drill grinding machines wont do it. for a multi-facet geometry all you need is a #5 grinding wheel, an adjustable table, some metal blocks and clamps.
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edit: putting correct (now we could start a discussion) geometry on a drill tip is not trivial. most commercially available drill grinding machines wont do it.
I am considering one that does, for 3-20mm drills.$420 before international shipping. Clearly, I doesn't do anything else.

for a multi-facet geometry all you need is a #5 grinding wheel, an adjustable table, some metal blocks and clamps.
I think you also need a lot of time, and a way to indicate angles and feeds if you want them to be consistent from a drill to another.
Videos comparing machines cheap rightly highlights the time taken for each drill. If that's important for the DIY guy, it's even more for a professional.
I have not read all of the posts
But the nicest conventional endmill grinder I have seen is a Christen AU 150
The head is from Haller You can buy one and put it on a grinder
The second nice one and cheaper is a Hahn&Kolb WS54

Gromax sells a benchtop model that seems to be one of many clones:

I have one that looks pretty much like that and was made in 1981 for the old Enco company. It works pretty well, but uses dovetails on the X and Y axes which need frquently cleaning and get harder to move the more it gets used between cleanings. Mine came with an air bearing with a 5C collet nose for end mill sharpening but I find it more convenient to buy new end mills than to sharpen the old ones, especially as I only need 3/8" end mills and smaller for the most part.