Oneway - Grinding Wheel Balancing System (Rating: 4)

I got a cheapo 6" bench grinder from Harbor Freight at the same time that I bought my lathe to sharpen my turning tools. It ran just fine with the 2 wheels it came with, but vibrated all over the table with the Norton aluminum oxide wheel that I ordered from Lee Valley. I spent a lot of time messing with the adapter bushings that it came with, trying to get the wheel to run true, but with no luck.

Enter the Oneway Balancing System, also purchased from Lee Valley. At first I didn't want to pay for it, since it runs over 70 bucks with shipping, but I bit the bullet and am very glad I did. I ordered a 120 grit Norton aluminum oxide wheel at the same time to go with my 80 grit wheel. Last night I used the system to balance both wheels and get them mounted on my grinder.

It took me a little bit to understand how to balance the wheels. The instructions take up about 1/3 of a sheet of notebook paper, and could really stand to be expanded on a little bit, but they do get you to where you need to be eventually. The first wheel was a definite trial and error process, but the second one was much easier.

Once I got the 2 wheels balanced and put on my grinder, it was like night and day from the way it had been running before. Before it had been vibrating so badly that things would dance around the table and the miter gauge always fell off my bandsaw. Once the wheels were balanced, it ran smoothly and much quieter.

My only real complaint with the system is that the new wheels stick out much further than the old washer did and prevent me from putting the outside housing guard back on. I'll have to get some new screws and offset the guard with some nuts or washers. I don't like to run the grinder without those guards.

Overall I really like this system and feel like it was money well spent. I was prepared to take my grinder back and spend more money on a different one, which really wouldn't have helped my problem much, since grinding wheels are so frequently out of balance from the manufacturer.