Bench Grinder for Tungsten Sharpening
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  1. #1

    Bench Grinder for Tungsten Sharpening

    I recently visited a shop where they were using a bench grinder to sharpen their electrodes and I have decided to copy their set-up for myself. Their grinder was set-up with a sharpening wheel on one side (fine grit, I suppose?) and a soft wheel with grooves of various widths on the other side for finishing the electrode smooth. Any idea what the grooved wheel is called? A few hours of searching the internet has not turned up anything. Also, can anyone recommend a specific wheel for doing the sharpening? One friend gave me the advice of going with 120 grit, but all the wheels I seem to be coming across are only "fine, medium, coarse", so I assume "fine" is what I'd want? This is for a 8" bench grinder with a 5/8" spindle.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Beautifull Downtown Bronson,Fla

    Re: Bench Grinder for Tungsten Sharpening

    Tungsten grinding takes a very hard wheel due to the hardness of the tung. I use silicone Oxide and even it gets chewed up pretty quick. The grooves you saw in that wheel were from wear. The tung will eat a groove in a basic wheel quick and make it look like it was made that way. Do a Google search and there is a wealth of info on tungsten grinding and what wheels,speeds and angles work for each application. Use a hard fairly course wheel on one side to shape up the tung, and a finer wheel on the other side to get the grooves polished out of the tung or you will end up with an unstable arc or other issues. Diamond is your freind. Look em up and see what they tell you on tung shaping and grinding.
    I'm spending my Kids inheritance, I dont like him that much anyway!!!!!!
    Enuff tools to do the job, enough sense to use em.
    Anybody got a spare set of kidneys? Trade?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Greater Seattle, WA

    Re: Bench Grinder for Tungsten Sharpening

    I'm guessing the grooves were worn/eroded into the grinding wheel from the relatively hard tungsten always being ground on the same spot. If the tungsten were moved around across the face of the wheel, the wheel might wear away more evenly. There are also grinding wheel "dressers" that are designed to restore the wheels' original, flat face.

    Your average grinding wheel is aluminum oxide, and yes they are available in different grits. If it was sort of blue or green colored though, it was probably silicon carbide. I don't know if one embeds fewer contaminants into the tungsten or is otherwise more desirable than the other.

    Diamond wheels get my vote for quickest, coolest running, cleanest (embeds fewest contaminants into the tungsten) for finishing tungsten electrodes, but they are not so easy to track down. They come is a wide variety of grits. The one I am using is 150, which is not so fine that it doesn't leave some visible, but fine scratches in the tungsten.

    I do use my "dirty" aluminum oxide wheel on the other side of the bend grinder to eat away any contaminated blobs off the tungsten before I do the final electrode tip shaping on the "clean" diamond wheel.
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