Many homeowners with a grinder have no experience how to maintain a grinding wheel to achieve the best performance out of it. There is an easy way to get greater performance from your grinder: clean the wheel.
As the wheel is used to grind miscellaneous materials in a household environment, the wheel will become clogged or filled with waste from whatever was being ground.
As the surface of the wheel fills with waste, it causes more heat and removes less material as you grind. The heat from a clogged grinding wheel can take the temper out of what you are grinding, ruining the quality of the metal. Also, the clogged stone removes material much slower, making sharpening much more cumbersome.
Removal of foreign material from a grinding wheel is called dressing a wheel. There are many types of wheel dressers, from diamond tipped tools, wheeled surfacers and dressing stones.
To dress the wheel, place a dressing stone on the grinder tool rest. Then gently, but held firmly, bring the stone against the running grinding wheel. Hold the stone tight to the tool rest so it doesn’t chatter and move the stone slowly back and forth across the face of the grinding wheel.
As the stone removes some of the surface of the grinding wheel, it will clean the wheel so the wheel will remove material straighter, cooler, cleaner and quicker than before. Be prepared for some dust.
This is particularly important when sharpening drill bits, because that requires ‘square grinding wheel corners’ and dressing the wheel helps keep them that way.