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Surface grinder help please

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Hello to all. I found a hydraulic surface grinder and have absolutely no idea as to what make it is or how to operate it as no manual
came with it. I can get it to move left and right, but not fore and aft. In the posted pictures, of the two levers on the left front of the machine, the right one operates the l/r movement. I don't know what the other one does. Suggestions?






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Can't help with the levers but I remember from when I was around a lot of this type of work that once you cut the grinding wheel do not turn off the machine. The wheel would need to be redressed after each shut down or you are not getting the very best surface finish. Kind of funny seeing machines running at idle through lunch break :lol: .

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Hi John - Steve P here ? what are you going to use a surface grinder for in the first place ??? LOL thats a nice piece of eqt !
keep it -- no I can't help you unless I can have it to grind anvils flat :P if you can't get it to go forward or back sounds like the table stops are not adjusted right ? up & down working right ? I have a Machinist friend here I can ask him, who made it ? any info on it ?

HAY just bring it down here & will get it working NO problem ! will get the Mike,s over done deal :D Chad looking for a reason
to have a hammer in :) Me to :)

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Hi John, Haven't a clue who the manufacturer of the machine is, but basically they should all have similar controls.
It's been a long time since I used one, but i will try to give some generalisations, and informed guesswork

First off it essential the wheel is sound and balanced when in use, Check for a cracked wheel by ringing it, and balancing will need a fixture and mandrel to mount the wheel to balance the wheel mounting Some machines may have self balancing bearings in the head, but this is unusual, and if the wheel is not in balance you will get a poor finish.

On the front of the table are stops which are adjustable to vary the length (left to right) of the traverse when the hydraulics are engaged. The black knobbed handle will give the direction of travel

There should be a lever to actuate the Hydraulic pump which I think is the Black knobbed handle at the extreme left and under the sliding table.This may also be used to regulate the speed of the tables reciprocation when in use.

The two steel levers should control the longtitudinal and cross traverse feeds, if the right one engages the left to right, the left one should engage the front to back,

There should also be adjustable stops for thes two traverses which I suspect are the bars projecting at the rear of the machine,
The one for the L/R lever looks to be at its extrem whilst the other one seems to be tight up which may have been done to stop the cross slide moving in transit, back this off and you should get front to back movement

The large silver handle should have graduations on to allow for fine feeding when using the sides of the wheel for gauge grinding types of work., The black knob in the centre may disconnect this when this facility is not needed, there may also be a lockscrew to allow the incremental bezel to be rotated to facilitate ease of working.

The Black knobbed lever to the right of these should start the tables reciprocation and may also regulate the speed of the table, (or this may be tied in with the first lever mentioned)

The Black wheel should allow manual traversing of the table and may be disengaged by pulling it out slightly or some other method.

The large silver handwheel should provide the rise and fall of the head and have increments on for the amount of rise and fall, again this bezel may be adjustable for convenience.

I am not sure what the small silver wheel is for, but it may be something to do with setting the automatic downfeed to the head when the machine is in use, some machines have this facility, others just rely on a handwheel feed to put the depth of cut on.

You will usually need copious amounts of cutting/cooling fluid when grinding, along with the appropriate grade of wheel for the materials being ground.

I hope this is of some use and you have fun and success with the machine.

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Forgot to put in the coolant pump is the object on the floor, and will need to be fitted into a tank with a sifting arrangement to allow the fine silt to be exrtacted from the system.

You probably knew that anyway, but I thought I should mention it for others benefit.

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GR doesn't ring a bell at the moment for a maker. Is there a tag anywhere on it with country of manufacture?

Coolant is nice, but you can do a lot of grinding dry with the right wheel. That is how I have to do it at work. I have done roughing passes that were .005" deep with minimal to no burning.

The one black lever to the far left may be to disengage the hydraulic cylinder when manual grinding. My Clausing 10X16 at home has a pin that you pull to do the same thing. The silver wheel in front should be the cross feed adjustment. When the table reverses direction the cross feed should index whatever it is set at. Some do it everytime, some every other time. There should be a speed adjustment,mine has a lever for speed which is probably the lever on the right. Mine has fast acting stops on the side as well as the front to limit feed, and reverse directions.

As to leaving the wheel on after dressing, yes, and no. At work I shut it off, and turn it on when I need to use it. I haven't noticed any vibration nor finish differences. I have done single digit micron finishes with that manual grinder without redressing each time. You will need a diamond dresser to get it trued up. and if you run across a balancer cheap it won't hurt to pick one up. We routinely run wheels as they come from the fatory. The new wheels are pretty nice from the factory nowadays. The wheel nut will be LEFT hand thread. The nut is on a hub that goes onto the spindle. You should have a tool to push the hub off the tapered spindle. If not,and you don't have extra hubs, you can swap wheels by taking the nut off, and swapping the wheels onto the mounted hub. I just run the wheel down onto a wood 4x4 on the chuck to keep it from spinning when unscrewing the nut off the hub.

Make sure the magnet is energized before grinding, otherwise you will have flying objects in the shop. Chipped wheels can be dressed down past the damaged area , as long as they were not cracked in the process. Never look inline with the wheel. When creeping down to a part you can hold a piece of paper between the wheel,and the part. When the paper is kicked out, you are .003"-.004" away.

A surface grinder can come in real handy at times. I am glad that I have the one I do. You can also make some money with it shapening blades, and punches. I had some customers that I did that for. Keep us updated.

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  • 7 months later...

Hi John,

 Hows it going with the grinder? Lots of great input here! Safety is of utmost importance, I find people always under estimate how

dangerous grinders are. I did die type grinding (punch/form grinding) for about 15 years. If you have any questions feel free to drop me a line.


All the best,



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  • 1 year later...

I know this is an old thread, but I use surface grinder almost daily at work in a machine shop and even know how to do some mechanical work on the Brown & Sharpe 2L with an automatic table reversing mechanism.  My forum avatar is the gearbox from when I had to rebuild it after it sat unused for a few years, the rack pinion shaft was severely damaged, the oil lines had to be replaced, and I had to fabricate a lot of parts for the traverse distance mechanisms and the table reversing switch.  The coolant pump/tank doesn't work anymore so we can only grind down about .003" at a time using a spray bottle with coolant otherwise it will burn the part and wear out the wheel in no time.


There's also an old Cincinatti one in the shop but I don't particularly like that one now that I have the B&S running again.


We use them from anything from sharpening sheet metal punches and dies (auto turret, duplicator, ironworker, etc.) to holding an extremely close tolerance with a nice square ground finish on a part to cleaning up the surface on mill and table vise jaws. Or the face of a lathe chuck.


The most important parts to remember for reliable operation were mentioned above, dress your wheel regularly, be sure that the spindle is running true with no runout, and absolutely positively be sure that your travel stops are tightened down and working properly before turning on the table reverser.  If you don't the table can jump off the rack pinion gears and either break teeth on the gear rack or the gears themselves and you're opening a can of worms.  A good travel distance on Y would be about 15-20 thou per ratchet.  There really isn't any need to travel more than that each pass, IMO.


Oh, and if you do happen to have a service manual, don't pay attention to it, it's garbage, use your God-given mechanical instinct or call a professional.  The manual on a lot of the older ones are specifically designed to prevent you from working on them yourselves, almost like new cars are nowadays!

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