Turning Archive 2007

Subject:
Grinder question

Edward in Vancouver
>Gentlemen, I must apologize, I've been haunting this site for quite ome time and not posting. Not much of a turner, I'm the proud owner of a 1980's tubular steel Craftsman lathe that I've tweaked and fiddled, filled with sand, the bed, that is) and plumbed the length internally with redi-rod. Don't feel myself proficient enough to "graduate" to a decent(better?!!!)lathe, still have a lot to learn, and turn.

I've been learning on the tools that came with the lathe, "craftsman" tools, circa 1980's, cheap, but seemingly HSS, at least, that's what the sparks tell me when I sharpen them. Tools weren't that long to begin with, and with my "learning curve" I've shortened them even more, and have bought a new set of HSS tools. It's the grinder I'm worried about.

Just an el-cheapo, garage sale 6" 3450 rpm grinder with a 120 grit Norton White wheel(friable alum. oxide, I'm led to believe), a decent tool rest and sharpening jig, both from L.V. I'm worried about overheating the tool, I've butchered a couple of garage-sale chisels and screw-drivers on it, and am reluctant to try it out on my new lathe tools. I keep the wheel dressed and the machine well lit and clean, but I'm starting to wonder about the speed of the thing, seems too fast for me.

What would happen if I plugged the grinder into a sewing machine foot pedal, and blocked the pedal so it would only go down half-way, in theory, giving me 1750 rpm? Now, if you read between the lines you'll realize that I'm too cheap,(uh, make that thrifty) to go out and buy a decent 8" grinder with variable speed. I could do that, but I'd rather buy a decent live center or a chuck with that kind of money.

Suggestions?

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