Tips for Using a Diamond Dressing Tool

Diamond dressing tools are used in a wide variety of shop machines; everything from the valve refacer to the flywheel grinder to the crankshaft grinder. Knowing how to use your diamond dressing tools will result in longer life for the dresser AND the abrasive.

Check the Diamond Point

At the risk of sounding corny, a pointless diamond makes your diamond dressing pointless. Before using your dresser ALWAYS check the point of the diamond. If the point has been damaged or worn excessively, it should be replaced or reset. A rule of thumb is to have the diamond reset when wear on the facets exceeds 1/16” on a 1/2 to 3/4 carat diamond and 1/8” on a 1 carat or larger diamond.

Set the Diamond Dressing Tool Properly

To avoid vibration be sure that the diamond dressing tool is mounted firmly in the holder and at the proper angle – generally between 10° and 15° from the surface. Smaller angles will blunt the diamond and larger angles may cause the wheel to remove some of the matrix material. Minimize the tool’s extension from the clamping point as well. Think of it like a diving board; the greater the extension, the more deflection and vibration there will be.

Keep the Diamond Cool

Coolant is REQUIRED during the dressing process. Not only does it help to carry away the swarf, it protects the diamond by cooling it. Start the coolant flow BEFORE staring the dressing process. Be sure that the coolant flow is adequate to keep the diamond point covered at all times. If the coolant flow over the diamond is interrupted for any reason, stop the coolant flow immediately so that it doesn’t suddenly start again. This can cause damage if the diamond is cooled suddenly after it has heated up. If you can, stop the dressing process immediately and determine what stopped the coolant flow. Allow the diamond to cool completely before restarting the dressing process. Not following this procedure could damage the diamond.

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