Low Cost Industrial Bench Grinder

I love my new bench grinder!   I purchased it in Sept of 2012.

I had to replace a 10 year old Delta 8″ bench grinder that was giving me trouble.


The Grinder

It is a Dayton Bench Grinder model # 2LKR9.   8″ x 1″ wheels, 3450 RPM, 3/4 hp, 120 volts, 7 amps.

It only cost me $210 from Zozo Tools on the web.  This is a very good price for an industrial quality grinder.  This grinder comes with a cast iron base and impressive cast iron wheel guards.  Good quality 3/4 HP motor.

When I first powered on this grinder on I got this “WOW” feeling.   This is a quality tool!   It runs really smooth and sounds great!   You just want to turn on the grinder and admire it!

The grinder comes up to speed fast when turned on and coasts for a long time after you turn it off.

I really like the 21″ width of this grinder.  When grinding a tool, I don’t have trouble with the tool handle or my hand hitting the “other” wheel. The center to center distance between the wheels is 16.5″.

Beware! The grinder comes with dust collection hoses.  Metal working dust collectors are explosion proof.  Woodworking dust collectors are not explosion proof and thus CAN NOT be used.  I just discarded the dust hoses.

Grinding Wheels

The 8″ grinding wheels that come with the grinder are better than the low quality ones that typically come with cheap grinders.

On cheap grinders you mount the grinding wheels onto the motor shaft by pushing them up against a washer or C ring.  The washers flop around and make it hard to mount the wheel so it runs really true.

The wheels on this grinder run really true!  Because, the grinder comes with these fancy aluminum “Inner Wheel Flanges” that slip over the shaft.  The flanges have a wide face that registers against the wheel on one end, while the other end extends back down the shaft into the grinder where it registers up against the motor.

You can’t teach and old dog new tricks.  So, I decided to replace one of the grinding wheels with my favorite grinding wheel.  A Norton 8″ x 1″ x 1″, Gemini, Alundum (Aluminum Oxide), 100 Grit, Fine, Grinding Wheel.  In some places it is listed as 100/120 grit.  Norton part# 88280 or part# 07660788280.  Zoro part# G12205592, stock# 6A092.  Beware, this wheel use to be a gray color with a colorful “Gemini” label on it.   Norton has changed the color and packaging.  The wheel is now a brown color with a boring blue Norton label.  Same great wheel!  Not to soft and not to hard.  Not to fine and not to course.



Use Drill Bushings

Most 8″ grinding wheels come with a 1″ mounting hole and these plastic bushings so you can mount them on a grinder with 5/8″ diameter shaft.  The nested plastic bushings may cause wobble.

I use steel Type “P” Drill Bushings rather than plastic bushings.   There are precision ground to 0.0014″ tolerance. Type “P” = Headless Press Fit.  1″ outside diameter, 5/8″ inside diameter, 1″ long.


2 of Zoro part# G3591761, or Mcmaster-Carr part# 8491A562

The Tool Rests

The tool rests that come with  grinder are better than average.  But, I discarded them because I really like the Wolverine Grinding system from Oneway.


Cheap Grinders Cost More!

The wheels on this grinder run true!   Thus this grinder does not require those fancy Wolverine Wheel Balancers from Oneway.

Other 8″ grinders go for $120 to $150.  Wheel balancers are $70 each.

$120 + $70 + $70 is $260.   My new grinder was only $210.

10 years ago you could buy a cheap grinder that did not require wheel balancers to run true.  It seems those days are long gone.

Not Variable Speed

I was looking for a 2 speed or variable speed grinder when I found this grinder.  I wanted 1725 rpm to 3450 rpm.  I could not find a good or even reasonable quality 8″ variable speed bench grinder.  I decided to
live with this 3450 rpm grinder because I liked the quality and I personally only use 3450 rpm.  The variable speed was for my friends and students.

Dayton does make a very similar 8″ variable speed grinder model #2FDB6. But it is 1.5 hp and thus costs $470. To much!   It also makes a similar 1725 rpm grinder model #2LKT2.  But it uses 10″ wheels.  To large! No

I only like 8″ grinders. I do not like 6″ grinders.   I can’t grind my tools to the shapes I like on a grinder with 6″ wheels.  If 6″ is ok with you then Dayton does make a similar 6″ variable speed grinder model
#2FDB5 for $278.  Beware!  Dayton makes other 6″ grinders but the wheels are not 1″ wide.  They are  only 3/4″ of an inch wide.  To narrow!

Zoro Tools

I found Zoro Tools on the web.  http://www.zorotools.com/

I have purchased a few things from them.  Low prices!  No problems.

My New Grinder Stand

I mounted my new grinder on a new grinder stand.  It’s my 2nd generation stand.  My 1st generation stand was good. This one is even better.   A friend was over last week and, he really liked the height of my grinder.  Center of grinder wheel is 46″ off the floor.

I like having my grinder mounted on a stand that I can easily move around the shop as needed.  My new stand is built on a base I purchased from Grizzly tools a long time ago.  It is 32″ tall.  I just saw a very similar stand for less at Harbor Freight.

Here is what my new stand looks like:




More photos are here: http://www.carlford.info/blog_images/cbf_grinder_stand

The stand is made out of 3/4″ local hardware store plywood. I buy the better, almost cabinet grade $38 plywood.  The stand is sturdy because I lock the plywood pieces together with 3/4″ wide by 1/4″ deep dado groves. All joints are glued and screwed.  All exposed plywood edges are belt sanded before assembly so they look nice. Sizes: Top platform 19″ wide by 11″, Middle platform 20″ wide by 10″, Bottom platform 20″ wide by 13″, Back 8″ wide by 19.5″, Middle platform supports are 9.5″ wide by 6.25″ + 0.5″ for dados.


Great Polyurethane Finishes Demo

I presented a new “Great Polyurethane Finishes” Demo for Nutmeg Woodturners Club in Brookfield CT on 1/14/2012.

The demo was very well received.   People understood that I was presenting food for thought. Before giving the demo I was afraid the subject would be boring or provoke a religious debate.

I created a new handout for the demo.  It is on my web site here:


Please contact me if you would like me to present demo for your club or symposium.

Updated 11/29/2019: Don Pencil is no longer in business. See my “8” Buffing Wheel, 4” Bowl Buff, and 8” Long Buffing Adapter” blog entry for updates to the above handout. See http://carlford.info/blog/2019/11/8-buffing-wheel-4-bowl-buff-and-8-long-buffing-adapter/.

Cheap Big Drills

I recently purchased a set of “S&D Drills, 9/16″ to 1″ by 16ths” (8 drills) for only $30 from Victory Machinery in Brooklyn NY.    I live in NY so I had to pay NY sale tax and shipping.  The shipping charge was very reasonable.  

8 drills for $30 is a good deal.

www.victornet.com item number SD-08

While woodturning I have found that I often need to drill holes over 1/2″ in diameter.  Good US made drills over 1/2″ cost big bucks. 

This cheap set of imported drills is good enough for drilling in wood and soft metals like aluminum.

The drills have straight shanks reduced to 1/2″ so they fit into common 1/2″ drill chucks.

Like it says on Victor’s web site.  The drills DO NOT come in a case like the picture.   The bits come loose.  I would just throw the case away so no big deal.

I have found that twist drills work better than spade bits when drilling on the lathe.   They don’t easily wonder off center.

For drill sizes I use often, like 5/8″.  I like “Taper Shank” drills that I can mount directly in my lathes #2 morse taper tailstock with out a drill chuck.   I got this set of 1/2″ shank drills to fill in the less common sizes I don’t already have in taper shanks. 

Victor Machinery also stocks a good selection of  imported “Taper Shank” drills at good prices.

P.S. You can never have to many drill chucks.   Victor has a great deal on a 1/2″ CVA drill chuck for $16, item #CVB5/8-16  I have 2 of these. I am very happy with the quality.

Don’t forget to buy a matching arbor for Drill Chuck.   5/8-16 threads with #1, #2, or #3 Morse Tapper that matches your lathe.   Beware the 5/8-16 thread is very rare.   So get the matching one from Victor.   If you run your lathe in reverse then think about epoxying the chuck onto the arbor to keep it from unscrewing.