I consider a good grinder to be one of the most important tools in the shop. In 2008 I was asked to write an article about hollow grinding for Fine Woodworking and so I took the plunge, and treated myself to the best grinder I knew: A Baldor, and man-o-man, what a difference!
Straight out of the factory in Clarksville, Arkansas Baldor grinders are top of the line. The motor runs nearly dead silent, and the models we carry come standard with rigid, heavy, cast iron tool rests, wheel guards and exhaust ports.
Stock Baldor grinders are designed for use in a machine shop. Over the years the Gramercy Shop has developed a few tricks to bring the Baldor grinders we sell that much closer to perfection for use in a wood-shop environment. We checked with Baldor to make sure that our "Gramercy Custom Tuned" Grinders still carry the standard warranties, and that our modifications met safety regulation. Baldor said YES THEY DO! so we immediately got to work putting together THE package of tune-ups to make our grinders the best Baldor Grinder money can buy. We even throw in a printed copy of "How to Grind" from the June 2008 issue of Fine Woodworking.
Every Gramercy Tuned Baldor Grinder ships with the following exclusive upgrades:
The stock grinder uses regular bolts to fasten the rests to the grinder body. Rather than have anyone hunt around for a wrench in a wood shop we have switched the bolts to metal handles so that you can adjust the cast iron work rests without tools. The 6" models adjust entirely without a wrenches. On the larger 8" grinder we also include a wrench for adjusting the rest-arm bolts where there isn't enough clearance for a turn a lever knob.
Cooler Norton 3x Wheels:
We replace the stock grinding wheels with Blue Norton 3x wheels, because they run cooler, so you can grind without burning. Barry Iles, of Ashley Iles Edge Tools Ltd. puts it simply "The coolest running grinding wheels I have ever used."
We've always felt that a multi-point diamond dresser is critical for properly setting up your grinder. We include our popular, no frills, import dresser with every grinder.
Machined Arbor Flanges:
Extra precision makes for precise grinding, even with narrow wheels. To achieve this we machine both working surfaces of all four die-cast arbor flanges. We clean up the outer edge of the flanges, and properly chamfer the arbor hole.
We've upped our packaging game to include expanding foam inserts around the ends of the grinder. The foam expands inside to box to create a custom fit cradle around the casting, preventing movement that can lead to damage and disappointment.
The Baldor grinders are tools that you will want to purchase only once per lifetime. The Gramercy Tuning process takes the world's best industrial bench grinders, and makes them in the world's best bench grinder for Woodworkers.
The Gramercy Tuning process is only available from Tools for Working Wood. We perform the lathe and mill work on the flanges in the Gramercy Tools workshop in Brooklyn, NY. Baldor Grinders are made in Clarksville, Arkansas USA.
We sell three models of Baldor grinders with different choices in grinding wheels. I'm a big fan of the 6-inch 3600 rpm grinder. It's what I have. With a dressed 3X wheel, a light touch and a tool dunked in water, you can easily grind to a burr without burning the tool. If you want an even more foolproof grinder, get the 1800 rpm version. With care, you'll be able to grind to a burr without burning or even dunking the tool in water. Both of these grinders grind oodles faster than a Tormek or any wet grinder.
Turners, on the other hand, usually prefer less of a hollow grind, so the 8-inch grinder is a more popular choice. We have two versions of the 8-inch grinder, one with softer, cooler running "I" grade wheels, and a turner's version with harder "K" grade wheels. "K" grade wheel run slightly hotter than "I" grade wheels but are also less prone to eroding when sharpening turning gouges.
| ||Model Comparison Chart
||6" Low Speed Grinder
||6" High Speed Grinder
||8" Low Speed Grinder
||Turner's 8" Low Speed Grinder
|Base Baldor Model Number
|RPM (No Load)
|SFM (No Load)
||115v 60 Hertz 3.1 Amps
||115/230v 60 Hertz 4.6/2.3Amps
||Shaping, Hollow Grinding, Cooler grinding, Great for chisels, plane irons, and carving tools
||Shaping, Hollow Grinding, Faster Material Removal, Grinds Hotter, Great for chisels, plane irons, and carving tools
||Shaping, Shallow Hollow Grinding, Faster Material Removal, Perfect for Chisels, Large Irons, froes, and turning tools.
||Shaping, Shallow Hollow Grinding, Wheel choice favors HSS, and sharpening turning tools.
||Norton 3X cool wheels
|Grinding Wheel 1
||46 grit, I grade
||46 grit, I grade
||46 grit K grade
|Grinding Wheel 2
||80 grit I grade
||60 grit I grade
||80 grit I grade
||80 grit K grade
|Import Diamond Dresser
||Precision Machined Aluminum
|Die Cast Lever Knobs
||On the iron rest only. Wrench included for rear support bolts
|OSHA and Safety Info.
||Furnished with GA10 eyeshields Designed to comply with OSHA standards under normal conditions|
note: Grinders are shipped with rests, spark arrestors, and shields packed separately in the same box.