Best CBN grinding wheels, and low speed Grinder

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Forum topic by JerseyJoe posted 03-13-2018 02:11 AM 4285 views 1 time favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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66 posts in 4405 days

03-13-2018 02:11 AM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe question grinders cbn wheels

Hello LJ folks,

I’m trying upgrade my wood turning sharping center. I’m looking for a low speed grinder and CBN wheels. Any recommendations on a good low speed grinder would be appreciated, and is there any difference in CBN grinding wheel manufacturers? If so any recommendations on which ones are worth purchasing.

As always you input is appreciated.

Thanks Joe

-- Joe Massanova, Somerdale, NJ -

18 replies so far

View TheFridge's profile


10861 posts in 2334 days

#1 posted 03-13-2018 03:10 AM

I have a set from woodturners wonders. They’re awesome.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View RobS888's profile


2829 posts in 2693 days

#2 posted 03-13-2018 03:15 AM

I can’t recommend the Rikon slow speed 8 inch grinder. Out of the box the wheels wobbled.

My wife uses the CBN wheels for her turning tools…I’m afraid to touch them.

-- I always knew gun nuts where afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View 9x9's profile


104 posts in 2088 days

#3 posted 03-13-2018 03:52 AM

8”—- 80 & 180 grit——- from woodturners wonders
can get a package deal—-> 2 cbn wheels and rikon 1 hp grinder

-- Youngsville, LA

View Kelly's profile


3121 posts in 3792 days

#4 posted 03-13-2018 06:16 AM

Look to Arizona Silhouette. They treated me well and I’m happy with the 8” wheels.

If you can afford it and want the top game, consider making your own. You can buy some pillow blocks, clamps and a pully, then run them off a DC stepper motor for sewing machines. For less than two hundred, you’d have a variable speed, reversible grinder. It could take four wheels, if you wanted it to. I love mine, since I can REALLY slow it down and avoid eating a lot of valuable steel.

View jeff's profile


1239 posts in 4313 days

#5 posted 03-13-2018 08:40 AM

I have the 8” wheels-80/180 grits from WoodTurnersWonders.I have Woodcrafts 1/2 hp slow speed grinder.I love the wheels.The 80 grit can be aggressive.I almost think 180/220 would be a good combo-there always some debate there.I think a 1 hp grinder would be better though.The 1/2 hp spins my wheels but it does take a little longer to get up to speed.WoodTurnersWonders does offer a package deal…

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3363 days

#6 posted 03-13-2018 11:54 AM

First off, I wish the car and auto title loan and carpet cleaning guy would go away. Reminds me of some of those stores I saw when I lived in Mississippi: Joe’s cigarettes, trailer rentals, gun shop and pizza parlor.

I use the 80-220 Wonder Wheel combo, where the 80 is the square shouldered one with the usable sides, and the rounded over 220 again, with usable sides. Outstanding combination. I use the 220 to just touch up bowl gouges, Irish grinds, and small cutters that go on mini lathe tools.
Have them both mounted to an 8” Delta variable speed grinder running at about 1750. That is mounted to a board with the Wolverine jig on it. Works perfectly.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View JerseyJoe's profile


66 posts in 4405 days

#7 posted 03-13-2018 12:50 PM

Thank you all for your quick response to my question. This is the best forum for us woodworkers.

So I’m sold on the wonders CBN wheels, I think the 80/180. Tennessee interest why you went with the 220 versus the 180, Was it a preference or was there a reason?

Also, do I need the 4-1 or will the standard wheels be sufficient?

Thanks again everyone for your help.

Btw, I will be turning large table pedestals and bowls. Just as a reference.

Thanks Joe

-- Joe Massanova, Somerdale, NJ -

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1730 posts in 2578 days

#8 posted 03-13-2018 03:06 PM

When you order the wheels for ww, get the ones with the square corners. That way you won’t lose width due to a radius. With the flat sides, you can also sharpen the tops of any cutters that are the replaceable variety. 80 grit does seem aggressive at first, but after a few months, it loses that aggression and works like it should.

Now, I have both 80 and 180 grit with the 3/8? radius. I’ve had them for about 4-5 years. Got them from WW. One day I had a piece of highly ground millionths inch flatness tolerance piece of HSS. Was going to put an edge on it. Touched it to the 80 grit wheel, and pulled it away. I noticed that it ground on the two outer edges of the steel. Did the same thing on the 180 grit wheel, and had the same look.

You guys can draw any conclusion you want, but my opinion is this. The wheels cross section is in the shape of an
“H”. The wheel flat is 1 1/2” wide and about 3/8” thick, the center is somewhere near 1/2” thick, and the center hub is about 1 1/4” wide. Using a grinder produces heat. As some of us already know, when a piece of metal gets hot, it expands. When it cools, it shrinks back to what it was before it got hot.

When the wheel flat get hot, it expands on the outside edges, whereas the center stays at the normal size because of the 1/2” thick center. I’m not an engineer, but have seen this and have some small understanding of how metal shrinks and expands.

So, if you were to get the wheels with the sides, the flats should be at least 1” thick, and won’t heat and expand as quickly as the un-sided wheels…. ............. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View TheFridge's profile


10861 posts in 2334 days

#9 posted 03-13-2018 03:55 PM

I have a set of 8” 180 and 320? I picked up new for 1/2 price. The 180 will take off material quick and the 320 is plenty fine for turning tools or hand tools. It’s also a 1” that is radiused. I use the side of the wheel to flatten tooling as well.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View JerseyJoe's profile


66 posts in 4405 days

#10 posted 03-17-2018 02:30 AM

Hi everyone, here is an update to my earlier post.

First of all I would not have found Ken at WoodTurners Wonders if I was not for you and your quick responses to my questions. I did order the Rikon LS 1HP Grinder and the CBN wheels from WTW. I priced out buying the grinder from Amazon and then just getting the CBN wheels from WW, but the package price that I got from Ken was the best price.

So I along with the grinder I picked up the Radius edge 80 and 350 mega square.

I received it today and installed Wolverine Sharpening system, it didn’t take long to put the entire system together.

Now I’m onto upgrading my turning tools to all HSS, so I don’t mess up the CBN wheels, any suggestions for a good deal on tools? I have a couple of Sorby spindle gouges, but wondering if there was others out there I should consider?

Again thank you all for your help, and if anyone is considering upgrading or getting a new sharping system I would definitely consider WTW and the CBN wheels.


-- Joe Massanova, Somerdale, NJ -

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66 posts in 4405 days

#11 posted 03-17-2018 02:47 AM

One more item if you don’t mine. I tried to include some pictures with the above post, however I inserted the pictures using the Img button above and the pictures are posted upside down and I can’t figure how to turn them. Oh well figure I would add that to my questions.

Thanks everyone.

-- Joe Massanova, Somerdale, NJ -

View TheDane's profile


5846 posts in 4511 days

#12 posted 03-18-2018 03:10 AM

... any suggestions for a good deal on tools?

I’ll probably get flamed for this, but I have come to the conclusion that cheap tools are a waste of money. I would suggest premium tools from Doug Thompson ( ). A lot of people say Doug’s tools are expensive … but nobody says they aren’t worth it.

I am not affiliated with Thompson in any way … I am just a very happy customer.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View TheFridge's profile


10861 posts in 2334 days

#13 posted 03-18-2018 04:43 AM

The HF work fine for me but I only use the large once a month or so. Not much.

Take pics in landscape mode or rotate a hair any which way and they come out good. Should.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View OSU55's profile


2658 posts in 2838 days

#14 posted 03-19-2018 07:41 PM

As for tools, if you already know the specific tools you want and the specific grinds you will apply, then expensive tools like Thompsons are a good choice.

But, if you dont yet know which tools ie a 1/2” or 5/8” bowl gouge, traditional, irish, or very long wings, havent settled on specific bevel angles, etc., and may not be that great at sharpening, Expensive tools can get very expensive as they are ground away or someone is afraid to try something new because it requires gringing away a lot of the expensive tool. Use value tools like Hurricane or Benjamins Best to learn and experiment. Grinding a 1/4 inch off one of those to try a new grind or bevel angle or whatever is no big loss vs a $100 + tool. Those value tools allowed me to try many different things and understand what worked and did not work from all of the “expert opinion” available on the web.

View jeff's profile


1239 posts in 4313 days

#15 posted 03-20-2018 09:24 AM

I agree with OSU55…I have BB’s tools and learned to sharpen on them.I also have Doug Thompson’s tools and they are nice.I ordered them without handles and turned my own handles-that was a fun project for a beginner…Purchase some less expensive tools-practice on those and then treat yourself later on with a higher quality tools :)

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

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