Grinding with a dry wheel system. Wet wheel grinding machine in background.

There are two main categories of grinding machines; dry grinders and wet-wheeled grinding machines. Both are extremely effective for removing metal quickly. However, if used incorrectly, the dry-wheeled grinder will heat the metal blade with potentially disastrous effects. 

The steel of the chisel is manufactured in such a way that it is strong without being brittle. This process is known as tempering. When the 

 blade is reheated, it will lose this quality and become susceptible to chipping. It is, therefore, essential when grinding with a dry wheel to constantly dip the blade into a container of water to cool the edge. 

A wet-wheeled grinder is fitted with a trough of water, providing a constant flow of liquid to the blade, ensuring it is kept cool. 

Always follow the machine manufacturer’s guidelines, which include: 

  • wearing safety goggles and ear protection
  • ensuring all loose clothing is tucked away
  • keeping clear of moving components

1. Whilst the machine is switched off, pivot the blade on the rest so that the end touches the grinding wheel. 

2. Establish the appropriate angle and hold the chisel shank firmly

Correctly ground tools.

 between your forefinger and thumb. Pinch the blade so the forefinger is against the tool rest. Hold this position until the grind has been completed, even when removing the chisel from the machine to cool the blade. Your forefinger provides a stop against the machine rest, ensuring a continuous grinding angle. 

3. Turn the machine on and commence grinding. If grinding a gouge, rotate the hand supporting the handle for even treatment around the entire cutting edge.
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