View Full Version : Best Bench Grinder set up??

01-24-2001, 03:26 PM
One thing that really gets old in the spring is sharping all my blades a couple times a week. Right now I use a 6" bench grinder, and it seems to take me almost five min each blade.
12 blades a week a 5min is, an hour a week. and that is if there is no really bit nicks in them. And that is a rare occurance for me. So what is the trick to super sharp blade with the correct cutting angles in a fast amount of time. Sears has a 8" grinder but it costs $149. That is a little pricy for just one size bigger that what I already use now. I was thinking like a 12" if they make them that big. Any out there got a 12 incher. LOL

So any advice as to what is the bests set up for sharping blades would be great.

01-24-2001, 03:45 PM
Do a search. Plenty of discussions on this already here. You may be in trouble though, if you think $149 is too pricey. I believe the cheapest BLADE grinders are in the $200.00- $300.00 range, & since they are designed to sharpen mower blades, that is what I would suggest instead of bench grinders.

Eric ELM
01-24-2001, 04:51 PM
Click on this and go to blade sharpening. http://www.elmlawnsite.com/lawnsite_post_links.htm

You will have lots of reading.
The only way to do it cheaper and better than you are is to use a vise and a hand grinder. I can sharpen 3 blades in 3 minutes at the most with my dedicated blade sharpener.

01-24-2001, 05:19 PM
Check around at yard sales and see if you can find yourself an old 10" radial arm saw. Once you get one all you have to do is turn the blade so it's parrallel with the rip fence towards the outer edge of the table. Then attach a 2x4 on the table to use as a toolrest in front of the blade, again, making sure that it's parrallel to the rip fence. It will burn after a short time so see if you can find a 1.5 x 3 or 4 inch piece of channel iron to replace the 2x4. Go to your local Home Depot and buy a 8" or 10" coarse grinding wheel making note of the highest rpm rating for the wheel making sure it exceeds the rpm of the motor on the saw. Just backdrag your blades and adjust the height til you get the right angle. You'll be shaving with them blades in no time. Plus, if your wife gives you grief about buying more equipment, you can make her some shelves or something with the saw.

01-24-2001, 05:31 PM
The only thing I do with the old bench grinder is remove nicks on the back side of the blade before they go to the 3/4hp 8" Fireball Jr. (dedicated blade sharpener). Think it was about $450 or so about 8 yrs ago. Best money ever spent. Also get a Magna-Matic blade balancer, talk about accurate!

01-24-2001, 05:42 PM
FOR ME.Use coarse grind pad.Ive thought about
the cordless one but that would make blades
just to easy.

Bluegrass Lawn Service
01-25-2001, 12:43 AM
I believe that I have the best setup possible to grind mower blades. I tried a blade grinder the other day and it took a long time to get the blade sharp.
With my setup I can sharpen my dixie blades in about 2 minutes or less. My setup is kinda hard to explain and I don't know how to post pictures. Please bear with me.
I have a steel post on my table that fits into the center hole of the blade. Just back of the center hole on the table is a block of steel that is a back stop. When applying presure on the blade with my 7" handgrinder the blade goes against and under the backstop thus keeping it in place and not tipping as presure is applied to the blade. No vise to clamp up and release. I had a weld shop make me this table after using a wooden version or this. Also on the metal table I have rods sticking out along it's sides to hang dull blades or sharpened blades. My table is about 18" x 30". The
post is near the edge so the blade hangs over the edge of the table. The table is also adjustable height wise to ease the back strain from standing there.

Eric ELM
01-25-2001, 12:59 AM
This sounds interesting. Can you take a picture and send me on email? I will post it for you.


Bluegrass Lawn Service
01-25-2001, 01:22 AM
I'll see if I can get one for you guys in a day or two. I thought I wanted a blade grinder but saw on work and it took the guy what seemed forever to sharpen one end of the blade.
Eric you gave me a tip on one of your post about not sharpening the top blades. I have been everyday with out thinking about it. Make sence i'm not using them as much as the bottom blades

01-25-2001, 06:32 AM
Mowerman90 said it. Buy one at a yard sale or from someone that sells used tools on the side. Look in your phone book for auction company's that do clean outs. you can probably buy it off them direct. I have a $15 grinder that I bolted to my work bench and I removed the guard, screwed wood and shims to level the blade. All I have to do is slide the blade under the wheel and shazam I saved a couple hundred, by innovation.

lawrence stone
01-25-2001, 09:03 AM
Cos wrote:

>All I have to do is slide the blade under the wheel and shazam

Thanks for the tip Gomer.

01-25-2001, 09:30 AM
If someone is taking a long time to sharpen on a dedicated blade grinder, you need to dress the wheel. I have a diamond tip dresser on mine and use it after I sharpen every blade set.

To those who just use a hand grinder, how do you get the PROPER angle EVERY time? Just seems like it would be too easy to slip up and really screw up the angle.

Just make sure you balance them guys! And i'm not talking about hanging them on a nail either! Use whatever you want to sharpen, but get a GOOD balancer to balance them.

01-25-2001, 10:31 AM
When I use my bench grinder I hold the blade so that the cutting edge is facing down away from me at an angle. The wheel is spinning toward me I hold the the blade on the downward side of the wheel so it sharpens from the top of the angle to the tip. Is this correct. I have tried to hold the blade so that the wheel goes in to the blade, but it felt dangerous to me. Let me know which is the propper proceedure?

Bluegrass Lawn Service
01-25-2001, 03:06 PM
I've been sharpening for just 4 years and I bought a blade balancer in the begining but later discarded it. I found it to be a waste of time. Just try to remove the same amount on each side. Even when I know I didn't, I didn't notice any vibration on my mower and haven't had any problems with spindles. Except for wearing out threads on the bolts and in the spindles.

Some of the stuff that is out there is worthless and to expensive. It's like the farmer making the money on the farm. It's the one that can get the work done by improvising not buying everything in the catalog or your dealer tells you that you need.

This is why I find this forum to be of great value. I wish it was here when I started. However I did get good advise from someone already in the business and knew he wouldn't tell me wrong.

You guys that have started this forum need a to be praised because of value of information you give out to new business owners and us guys that have been in the business for a while. Thanks

[Edited by Bluegrass Lawn Service on 01-25-2001 at 02:09 PM]

01-25-2001, 06:30 PM
Im with you blugrass in general but cant
agree on blade balancing. Thats as important as
getting it sharp to me.But if its working for
you guess peoples differences keep it interesting.

Bluegrass Lawn Service
01-25-2001, 08:00 PM
The only reason I quit balancing blades was I saw no difference in cut or opperation of the mower. NO vibration of any kind. When I was using the balancer, I would sharpen then balance. If not right then take a little more off the heavy end and it just took too much time. I try to maintain the angle of the blade through the use of it. Not perfect but this is not rocket science either. However I do want my blades SHARP. I'm never to old to change though.

01-25-2001, 09:42 PM

Eric ELM
01-25-2001, 09:49 PM
The problem of not balancing them is, when the blades are brand new, they are ususally out of balance. If you get them balanced when new and take off the same amount on each end, you shouldn't need to balance them each time you sharpen them.

01-25-2001, 10:48 PM

You threw out a $100+ balancer??? If you didnt do what Eric did (make a nice one) or buy a precision bearing balancer, then your blades are not balanced properly. Those cheap cone style are worth as much as you spend for them $1.99. Balancing is important. You cannot feel the harmful vibrations. Your bearings can.

Wayne Offiler
01-25-2001, 11:16 PM
My 2 cents:
Most of the time I sharpen the blades without removing them. I raise the deck and get in there with my 5" angle grinder (24 grit). I am able to hold to the existing blade angle by carefully making the contact and watching closely. Since I'm sharpening daily, I'm removing only the minumum amount to material: not much chance of altering the blade angle. I think it is more important to keep a consistant angle than to be right on the recommended degrees. Making the blades very sharp is, for me, the bottom line.
About once a week, I take the blades off to sharpen and balance. Balance is never far off.