How To Balance a Grinding Wheel

No artisan or craftsman who creates works of art using stone, glass, or metal can do without a grinding wheel. That is the reason why their work benches are always kept spic and span with everything in its place and working simply with a flick of the switch, grinding wheel included.

For it to perform its job, a grinding wheel needs to be balanced.

Here’s how:

  • Prepare what you need. Aside from a large area to move around, you need:
    • Twine or thick ropes
    • Balancing weights, arbor, and stand
    • White chalk for marking
    • Thick work gloves
    • Clear goggles
  • Turn off the grinder. Then unplug and wait for the machine to cool down.
  • Disconnect the wheel from the base of the grinder. Make sure it isn’t already hot to the touch.
  • Inspect the insides of the wheel for damage. You can perform this check by taking the twine or rope and tying it from the center of the wheel. Hang the wheel from a suspended area and make a tapping sound using wood or any piece that is not made of metal. The sound you will make from tapping it should resemble that of a softly pealing bell. If it does not sound that way, the wheel is no longer viable and should be thrown out.
  • Replace the grinding wheel on its sleeve and start testing it by rotating clockwise and vice-versa from its position. The wheel must be securely but loosely molded to the spindle so that when the grinding begins, it will have room to expand as a result of the heat being generated from the grinding action.
  • Hold the wheel in place to see if the flanges need to be tightened. Take note that this is done before you turn the grinding wheel on. While holding the wheel, rotate it to determine wobbling. If it does, tighten the flanges.
  • Take the grinding wheel down. Follow it up by doing the same to the sleeve assembly or component of the grinding machine.
  • Position the balancing arbor. The correct position is the sleeve of the grinding wheel without the weights.
  • Place the balancing arbor on the balancing stand. Do this carefully and place the balancing arbor firmly on the center of the stand.
  • Start spinning. Encourage the wheel to spin gently until it stops to a halt with the heavy section facing south.
  • Mark the spot with a chalk. This is the south side where the wheel has dipped that you should mark.
  • Use the balance weights on the flanges. Look for the grooves on this side then use the weights to hold it down. You may also tighten the balance weights just so but not all the way because you will have to remove these again later.
  • Turn the wheel again. Aim for the 1 o’clock position. Adjust the weights accordingly by tightening it some more but not to its maximum as discouraged on step 12. Continue to mark the position with the chalk.
  • Remove everything. This means the balancing arbor and stand.
  • Return the wheel on its cradle or spindle.
  • Get one final spin in for maximum effect.

Turn the grinding machine on to its lowest setting and test-grind a material you are working on. If it has done its job well, you did great on balancing the wheel of your machine.


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