Atkins Backsaw

Simonds Saws USA, LLC

Saw Vises


Restoration Techniques

  Using a Dressing Tool on a Grinding Wheel by James D. Thompson  

Tools for dressing grinding
wheels come in different forms.
Below is a picture of a couple of “star wheel” tools, and a couple of Carborundum blocks.

The Carborundum blocks are used to take a small amount of material off the face of the wheel. All you do is apply the block to the face of the wheel while it is turning at full speed. The block is much harder than the grinding wheel and will only remove a small amount of the wheel.

The small Carborundum block in the picture above was originally about 1/3 longer than it is now. I have worn away only that much of it in more than 20 years.

The star wheel dresser stars wear out more quickly because they are used to remove more material from the wheel. Sometimes I have cut a groove in the wheel while grinding a point on something, and then I need to remove that. I use the star wheel dresser for that.

This is a set of star wheels that has not been used. There are hardened washers that go between the wheels. These sets of star wheels come in a variety of sizes, and you match the size of the pin to the size of the hole in the star wheels. A size too large will not work well because the stars flop around on the pin.

I like to use a guide when I am going to use a star wheel dresser. I would clamp the bar to the tool rest if I could, but this tool rest does not have room to do that.

So I used some CA glue to hold it in place while I dress the wheel. A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do!

There are a couple of projections on the dresser. These are to be used against the guide bar.

You slide the dresser back and forth while the wheel is turning at full speed. Raising the handle a little at a time until contact is made with the stars. The bar keeps the dresser from bouncing, and you will get a nice straight grinding wheel using this method. And the wheel will be perfectly clean.

When you only need to clean the face of the wheel the Carborundum block is a better choice.  It lasts a long time, and the star wheels wear out fairly quickly.

Of course, the Carborundum block is a little pricey, while the stars are cheap.

Either way, this is how you can keep your grinding wheels operating at peak performance. Happy grinding!

James D. Thompson
The Old Millrat in Riverside, CA

April, 2011

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