By: Mike Forbes (Nov, 2014)
I just tried out my new Gramercy 6" low speed grinder today. The holes in the base were spaced just perfectly to be clamped to my Festool table from underneath. I turned it on and it was smooth and quiet! I was amazed at how quiet it was, the spin up was very smooth. You get what you pay for, well put together!
From the unpacking, this sucker was custom foamed and double boxed. No problems whatsoever with shipping.
The quick release toggles on the tool rests made setup easy.
I reground 6 chisels today and then took them to the water stones. Quick and easy, the hollow ground makes sharpening without a guide so much easier.
Thanks Joel for a great product and some great instruction on how to use it with your included article.
I own this product.
World's best 6" grinder.
By: Karl Fife (Jun, 2014)
I bought the 3600 RPM, 6" grinder. It is essentially a Baldor 632e, but buying it at TFWW, ends up being cheaper and better.
Baldor makes a dizzying array of variations on these grinders. There are variations in guard material, guard type (exhaust vs. non-exhaust), exhaust port positioning (center vs. bottom), abrasive stone & wire-brush variations, eye guard type (lit vs. not lit), and tool-rest style (cast vs. stamped). In my opinion the grinders you see here have the preferred option in ALL categories, the most important being the cast-iron, exhaust-type guards and the cast-iron tool rests (instead of the cheesy stamped ones).
The reason to buy the grinder here, rather than buy from Betty Mills or elsewhere (and do the upgrades yourself), is that if you buy it here, you don't end up buying and paying for the factory-installed Baldor stones that you don't want. Buying it here you get the Norton 3x stones to begin with, effectively saving money. Plus, it's a lot more convenient than chasing down the other upgrades.
Essential. Allow you to totally reposition the tool rests without reaching for tools. They're worth seeking out if you don't have them. I keep my shop-made angle setting guides (90, 25 deg etc.) right by the grinder. I can move the tool rest, and move it back to 25, hitting the previous grind angle dead-nuts with no other tools.
Non-essential. I observed that there is a great deal of inherent variability in the positioning the stones in terms of being centered (round) and true (no run-out). You can adjust the position of the stone by gently tapping it as you barely begin to snug the arbor flanges. This is a FAR greater determinant of proper stone positioning than any small imperfections that may be present in "stock" un-machined arbor flanges. That's why I consider them non-essential.
The only way to make a grinder run without vibration, is to balance your stones. Period. Even perfectly balanced grinders with high-end Norton 3x friable stones do not run perfectly balanced because even fancy stones are not balanced. There are grinder (stone) balancing patents that date back to the 1800s and early 1900s, suggesting it's an old problem. Out of the box, this grinder is balanced better than anything else off-the-shelf, and it's certainly good enough, but absolute perfection requires a wheel-balancer that you make yourself or purchase.
Here's a video of my grinder running perfectly smoothly after installing a modified wolverine wheel balancer.
I own this product.