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Surface grinder or SG attachment?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Maineiac1, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. Maineiac1


    May 3, 2017
    I’ve been pondering a surface grinder or a SG attachment for my 2x72. I know if the SG is set up and used properly you can achieve a lot better finish than the attachment. I am not a machinist and would have to learn to use the SG. I’ve found a score on a SG locally (family member sadly passed away that owns it) and am unsure which route to go.

    Do you think this SG pictured is worth $300 without being able to verify its operation, (was told it was being used) but as you can see the mag chuck is rusty.. if so should I go SG or make my own SG attachment for $400ish?

    Beanman13 likes this.
  2. 07Vette


    Aug 2, 2009
    I'd jump all over that
    Beanman13 likes this.
  3. Josh Rider

    Josh Rider KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 2, 2014
    If you have the room, go for the surface grinder
  4. Kevin McGovern

    Kevin McGovern KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 31, 2015
    I have an SG attachment I built that I love. That said, I'd jump on that yesterday.
    Justin Schmidt likes this.
  5. HSC ///

    HSC /// KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 7, 2012
    I have a Boyar Schulz 6-12, I'd get that surface grinder with vice asap
  6. Nathan the Machinist

    Nathan the Machinist KnifeMaker / Machinist / Evil Genius Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 13, 2007
    That looks like it might be a fine pole chuck to me. That magnet might be worth the asking price alone. Could be useful regardless of the direction you take.
    ron_m80 likes this.
  7. NickBoyle


    Oct 9, 2015
    Better buy it before one of us finds it and steals it out from under ya!!
  8. stezann


    Apr 13, 2011
    Buy that SG without a second thought!!! The rusty magnet you will resurface in place
  9. Laredian


    May 27, 2013
    For 300 I'd buy that surface grinder in a heartbeat! I'm a little bit jealous I must say....but seriously this is a steal.
  10. Maineiac1


    May 3, 2017
    Thanks folks! I don't quite have the room for it right now but I guess I should go get it and hold on to it until I build a dedicated shop! Just a question about wiring it. It is a 3 phase motor, can I run a VFD like I do for my 2X72 to convert a 120 outlet single phase to 220 3 phase to run this grinder? Or is there a simple phase converter?
  11. Nathan the Machinist

    Nathan the Machinist KnifeMaker / Machinist / Evil Genius Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 13, 2007
    a vfd works or a static phase converter, either way works it's simple, just don't change the 3-phase motor to a single phase motor you might mess up your finish
  12. Ken H>

    Ken H>

    Dec 31, 2011
    Nathan, I'm going to show my lack of knowledge here. I worked with SG over 40 yrs ago for a yr or so and I don't remember them having variable speed. They were 3 ph, but only single speed - from what I remember. Seems like the stone wheels always turned pretty fast. Unless you need variable speed, why would changing to a 1 ph motor cause finish problems?
  13. Missing Man Forge

    Missing Man Forge

    Oct 30, 2018
    I have one just like that. Don't buy it until you look at the motor. These were made with single voltage motors, it may be for 480 volts only. You can't wire it for 240 volts, and you can't change the motor without a lot of trouble, the motor rotor and spindle are one piece. If you want to change the motor, you have to remove the motor and spindle, cut the motor off, machine the back of the spindle for a flex coupling, make an adapter bracket for a C Face motor and matching flex coupling. I did this and its a smooth machine when finished. Good Luck. John
  14. Maineiac1


    May 3, 2017
    Yikes, thanks for the input as all I was told was it is 3 phase, so I assumed 230v!
  15. Nathan the Machinist

    Nathan the Machinist KnifeMaker / Machinist / Evil Genius Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 13, 2007
    The motors that come on surface grinders are special. Changing them out leads to problems with surface finish due to vibration. I've learned this the hard way.
  16. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley

    Oct 17, 2007
    OP could also get a step up transformer if it is in fact 480. I have a Reid 618p (which this appears to be, or at least some very similar version to the Reid 618). It's a 1hp 220VAC motor on mine.
  17. Ken H>

    Ken H>

    Dec 31, 2011
    Thanks Nathan and "Missing man" - it's been more years than I like to think about since I worked with SG and I didn't really know anything about how the motor was mounted. Sounds like buying a SG a person really needs to do a bit of research on the model purchased before buying.
  18. Augus7us


    Oct 9, 2014
    I didn't see anyone mention this so I thought I would chime in, since this bit me in the ass.

    Make sure you have a means to load/transfer/unload it safely. I didn't and ended up paying a grand to ship my $150 SG... Now don't feel bad for me, I made the $1000 back and quite a bit more as this started me on flipping industrial tools :D

    I think mine clocks in at around 900lbs, that's not something your going to move with a couple buddies and a 12 pack. If you don't have proper tie downs and ratchet straps and the thing flies off your trailer, it could kill someone! And don't count on the "Egyptian roller method" to roll it into your garage, mine has feet so you can't roll it on pipes.

    Just some food for thought. Personally, I'd be interested in it if I didn't have one.

  19. One Armed

    One Armed

    Nov 12, 2017
    For $300 jump on that! If it falls through, build your own. Just look at my thread on building the Wuertz design SGA inexpensively. I spent so much time figuring out the build from pics, then the real breakthrough was finding the linear rail sold at an affordable price. Ken was next, then one after another, just like Kevin, started building. Many, many people have built these now, and every one of us has received results BETTER than anticipated! I use mine on every single blade!
  20. javand


    Oct 17, 2010
    It's a "mixed" pole arrangement chuck, there are 2-3 fine lines and one medium, repeating across the face. If it's a good quality chuck, these work very well as an "all-around" chuck, especially for us, and will give good hold on most things. Still may want a really fine pole model for holding say, stainless slipjoint liners down, but honestly the only chucks I trust for that are electromagnet fine poles.

    If it's a good USA made chuck, it's easily worth the asking price of the machine. However, I highly recommend inspecting any SG in person, the most important issue, more than way wear, or any other caveat, is to make sure the spindle runs smooth, doesn't make any excess noise, produce any noticeable vibration (rest your hand on the spindle behind the wheel guard when it's running), or make any high pitched metal scraping sounds, then make sure the same is true of the spindle motor. Finding replacements are very difficult for most models, and you can't just buy an off-the-shelf replacement motor and be guaranteed the machine will still give a good finish, as they used specially balanced motors, mated to the high tolerance spindle bearings. You may get lucky, but it's not remotely guaranteed.

    I'd also really want to see the owner, dress the stone, and take a good cut and see that you don't get any chatter or ripple in the finish. If the above is true, for knifemaking, even if it looks a little beat up, assuming it hasn't been dropped or anything, you should be all good.

    Parts and repair on SG's are usually beyond the skill or availability of anybody that hasn't done extensive machine rebuilding, and typically cost more than replacing a machine regardless. However, if you find a decent one, your use will be so minimal compared to industry, that it should last your lifetime with basic care. These Reids are typically pretty good, mid tier tool-room machines. This one looks like it's got a mechanical auto feed on the table, which are simple and work good, usually don't have any issues compared to hydraulic feed machines.

    I wouldn't worry about the motor voltage if the machine runs well, easy enough to run it with a VFD or transformer or a combination of the two, but most 440V motors can be rewired to 220V input. I'd be more concerned about the paint job, which makes me think it's been half-assed refurbed by the owner, or a machine dealer.

    Loading unloading; as someone who's moved hundreds of tons of machinery without a fork lift, crane, or gantry, the easiest method if it's not super far away: find a local independent roll-back truck (tow truck with a flat bed that tilts) operator, and ask them to move it for you. Shouldn't cost you more than $100-200, it's no more difficult than moving a car if they know what they're doing, and most of them have moved machinery before. They can tilt the bed right down to the machine, pull it up with a winch, drive it to your place, and slide it right off close to where you want it. I often get a truck in my area for this sort of work, even when I transport on my trailer, I'll have them snatch a machine right off my trailer bed to place it inside my shop, for stuff that's difficult to unload.
    Ken H> likes this.

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