Goodson Gazette

Is Your Shop a Safe Place?

By Dave Monyhan

Is your shop a safe place to work? Good questions, isn’t it? What do I mean when I say is your shop safe? Let’s put everything into perspective.

One injury could potentially cost you everything. Lest you think I’m being overly dramatic, consider this …  while working on an important job your top machinist gets a piece of metal in the eye. You take him to the hospital, probably spending several hours to get him fixed up. The doctor tells you that he has to take the rest of the day off – at least.  What have you lost so far? Your most productive machinist’s time, your time and now you’re behind on an important job jeopardizing your income and your relationship with your customer. Plus, your health insurance rates may go up, not to mention your worker’s comp rates.

The next day, if he’s able, he’ll come back to work, but not at 100%. Will the damage to his eye cause him to misread a micrometer or maybe a torque spec? Any numbers of things are now compromised due to this unfortunate situation. Heck, you may even be the one who ends up filling in during this time, so who’s doing your job?

This scenario is a pretty simple one, but what if the injury is more debilitating or perhaps fatal? As a business owner, you could lose everything. What are you going to do? The best thing is to prevent injuries from occurring in the first place. Secondly, you must have procedures in place to respond quickly and appropriately to any such emergency.

I know it sounds corny but, corny or not, safety in the shop should be a top priority! But where do you start? Let’s take it from the top – eye and face protection.

I used the eye injury as an example because it’s one of the most common injuries in any shop. Wear safety glasses or goggles at all times! Even if you’re just going into the shop for a couple of minutes to ask a quick question, put your safety glasses on. Make it mandatory! Safety glasses are available from any number of places and they’re relatively inexpensive. You, as the shop owner must set the example for your employees. Remember though, it doesn’t matter how many pairs of safety glasses you have if you don’t wear them. You are simply waiting for an accident to happen. It’s not “if” at this point but “when.”

Wear your safety glasses. No exceptions PERIOD.

Another common work related injury is hearing loss. OSHA estimates that 10 million people in the US have noise induced hearing loss and nearly all of those cases are a result of exposure to noise on the job. You cannot “toughen up” your ears so that you’re not bothered by loud noises. If you’re not as sensitive to loud noises as you once were, you’ve already lost some of your hearing.

Just as with eye and face injuries, hearing loss is easily preventable. Each and every employee in your shop should have hearing protection based on the job they are performing. This could be anything from simple foam earplugs to custom-made headsets. The best hearing protection device is the one that you wear and wear correctly.

Now that your eyes and ears are properly protected, let’s look at the shop.

The cleaning department is one of the most dangerous departments in any shop. All the mess is there, it’s generally hot, and things are flying apart faster than an out-of-balance helicopter rotor. Plus you’re working with very hot chemicals, wire brushes, gasket scrapers, etc. Liquids are dripping all over the place, making the floor slippery, so make sure to have floor-sweep or oil-dry to quickly clean up spills as they occur.

Keep the air-line pressure down. A face full of air at 175 PSI will do damage in a heartbeat. Yes, it’s quick to blow off parts, but be sure you know who and what is next to you when this is done. A better solution may be to use an industrial strength shop vacuum whenever possible. In fact, you will probably want to have a couple of vacuums, one by the surfacing mill and another by the boring bar. Vacuum up the chips after each job and not only do you reduce the debris that can cause injuries, but end-of-day clean up will go much faster.

In a perfect world, every shop would have a painted walkway that is kept clean at all times. Not only does it look good, but it also provides a space where nothing can be set, stacked, stored, laid, or leaned. I know it sounds difficult, but it’s relatively easy to do. Outline your workstations and determine how much space to allow for each machine, and mark it off. Once you have the machines marked off you can then create a line of travel that, if done right, will improve the traffic flow in the shop. This will provide some personal workspace for which each operator can be responsible. Everyone shares the burden of keeping the shop organized, clean and ready to go every day.

This design is great when you bring your best customers through on a tour. They will see how organized your shop layout is and know that you care enough about the quality of your work and the safety of your workers. Make sure you make them wear safety glasses when they tour your shop. Keep extra pairs up on the front counter so there is never an excuse to not wearing them.

Every shop should appoint a safety coordinator. Pay for him or her to take the basic first aid class at the local hospital, high school or Red Cross. The classes generally don’t cost much and you get to motivate an employee in the process. Rotate the title (and the responsibility) every year. This way everyone in the organization gets the same training and the opportunity to be safety coordinator.

Contact your insurance company and invite your rep over for a tour. Why? So you can let them know you are taking workplace safety seriously. Some insurance companies even offer discounts based on your ability to prevent accidents. Put up a sign next to your shop’s master calendar that you have gone X number of days without injury. Let your customers know that you run a safe shop. It shows you have quality on your mind.

Have a centrally located eyewash station and first aid kit in the shop

Here is a short list of items every shop should incorporate into their safety program.

  • A First Aid Kit that’s easily accessible to everyone. Look for one that includes items such as: activated charcoal (use only if instructed by Poison Control Center), adhesive tape, antiseptic ointment, adhesive bandages (assorted sizes), a blanket, cold pack(s), disposable gloves, gauze pads and roller gauze (assorted sizes), disinfectant hand cleaner, plastic bags, scissors and tweezers, a small flashlight and extra batteries, Syrup of Ipecac (use only if instructed by Poison Control Center) and triangular bandages.
  • An Eye Washbasin.
  • Mandatory safety glasses on all employees.
  • Proper steel-toed boots or shoes.
  • A sign that’s says, “keep out” unless you are an employee.
  • Easily accessible fire extinguishers rated for the type of fire that may occur. Be sure that each of your employees knows how to use the extinguishers and properly put out a fire.
  • Facial dust mask and/or respirator depending on the type of work being done.
  • Face shields. These are especially important in areas where sparks or debris may fly.
  • Gloves, but not cotton. For best protection, use machinist gloves made of leather or an equally strong man-made fiber.
  • Steel toed boots or shoes for every employee.
  • Hearing protection for each employee based on his or her job.
  • Full-length work apron of a durable material such as denim, rubber or heavy vinyl for the cleaning department.
  • Arm protection such as shoulder length vinyl gloves or Kevlar sleeves depending on the tasks.
  • Insulated gloves for hot tank work.
  • Heavy-duty heat-resistant gloves for the thermo-cleaning oven.
  • Regular safety training for all employees.

When it comes to shop safety, remember that even if you’re not the one who gets hurt, you’ll still feel the pain.

Don’t forget, if you have more questions, contact the Goodson Tech Department at 1-800-533-8010.

Get your shop together with some "Spring Cleaning"

By David P. Monyhan, ASE-Certified Cylinder Head Specialist

The sun is nearly back and birds have started chirping which means spring is in the air and with that comes some spring cleaning. So buckle up and read how you can get your shop together with these cleaning and organizing tips.

First off get yourself a pedometer, attach it to your belt and at the end of the day see how many miles you’ve walked around your shop. You’ll probably be surprised. Now, step back and imagine how you can reorganize your shop to reduce the distance you’re walking every day. Not only will your legs and feet feel better, your productivity will improve.

The First Encounter

The front counter is your customers’ first look at your business. It should be well lit, clean and organized. Add some graphics to dress it up. Contact your parts suppliers to see if they have banners, posters, etc. that you can use. Make sure it has seating for your customers when they are waiting. I suggest that you display some of your finished work pieces for the customer to inspect. Add a card that describes what machining operations have been performed on a particular set of heads or engine. If you sponsor any local racers have them sign a photo of their car and hang it on the wall. Have coffee or water available for your customers. You may also want to have current industry magazines in a rack, especially if your shop has been featured in one of them.

Don’t let your front counter become a black hole of accumulated stuff that makes the place look disorganized. As soon as a job is checked in, it should go directly to the staging area for its intended department. The necessary labor forms, pricing schedule and basic inspection tools such as micrometers and dial calipers should be readily available to your counter people.
If you can afford it, have all of your front line people dressed in attractive, clean shirts screen printed or embroidered with your company name or logo. Your entire staff of machinists should be in uniforms as well. This will tell the customer that you’re a professional shop that does quality work.

Cleaning and Teardown

Is the teardown area well lit? Does it have a big metal tear bench? Where is the jet washer? Is there a rinse booth? How are all the customers’ engine components identified? Where do you store the cores?

Keep your cleaning and inspection processes in a separate area. This will prevent contamination from spreading into the machining and assembly areas. Clean, inspect, label and identify the necessary machining requirements.

Machining Departments

Take a look at the distance between related machines. Is the boring bar located near the honing machine? How about your pressure testing and crack repair stations? Are they arranged in a logical work order or are they spread at random? A little logic in your shop set-up can reduce the number of steps as the work pieces travel through the shop and can allow the use of lifting equipment or overhead hoists by more than one department.

Assembly Area

Make sure your assembly area is clean and organized. Are necessary tools and components in easy reach? Have an area to store finished work pieces for easy retrieval. Be sure to identify all finished work and protect them in plastic bags or heavy-duty boxes so your hard work doesn’t get damaged while in storage.

Okay, you’ve got your shop organized. You can’t stop there. You can have the most organized, cleanest shop in the world, but if your service is sub-par, your business will suffer. If you say a job will be ready by 5:00PM on Friday, then make sure its ready to go by 4:30. If you’re running behind call the customer right away and let him know what is going on. Never, and I mean never “tomorrow” your customers to death, as it will probably be the last job you receive from them. Also, if you discover that additional work needs to be done to a work piece, call to get approval before beginning the work.

Provide the customer with a check off sheet signed by the each department to show that each operation was quality check and approved by that department’s foreman. Don’t forget to supply the necessary related items for that job. You can increase your counter sales if your people remember to go through a check out list of related items the customers will need. All engine jobs need gaskets, gasket sealer, paint, belts, hoses, clamps, etc. You can actually increase your sales per job and insure your customers are getting quality support products for the job. Be sure to offer any torque specs or how-to information for reinstalling the job. And always say thank you!

I personally believe every shop in America should have an open house once a year. Invite your best customers as well as potential customers. Give shop tours – this is the time to really show off your shop, your employees and your company’s machining skills. Invite some of your suppliers to talk to your customers about why you’ve chosen to use their products in your engines. Have fun; offer some door prizes, like hats or t-shirts with your company name on them. Give away a free valve job as the grand prize. You will be surprised by how much goodwill one afternoon can create for your shop. People will tell other people about your skills and services and word of mouth is the best advertising you’ll never have to pay for.

If you have your shop together, your employees will work smarter and faster and your customers will be impressed, which will confirm they made the right choice in bringing you their work in the first place. Want to improve efficiency and profits? Get your shop together!

Remember, if you have more questions, contact the Goodson Tech Department at 1-800-533-8010 (customers outside the US & Canada, please call 507-452-1830).

Honing, Not Groaning

Honing, Not Groaning
This article is not here to teach you how to properly hone a cylinder bore. It is here to keep you informed on how to maintain your honing machine so when you do hone your machine is ready to hone and not groan!

Be true to your tools

By David P. Monyhan, ASE-Certified Cylinder Head Specialist
As seen in Engine Builder, January 2004

So, you finally decided it’s time for a new cylinder head machining center? Congratulations! You’ve made a great decision that will increase the profitability of your shop.

In the old days (last year) they were called seat & guide machines. They originally started out as simple drill presses modified to do two basic machining operations, hence the name Seat & Guide machine. Now they are designed to not only perform the most basic of seat and guide repair but to perform very intricate seat angle cutting, bowl enhancing, spring seat pad work and a host of other very involved machining operations. There a few that also do fly cutting of cylinder heads surfaces, or machine the intake or exhaust manifold. There are even a few that do align boring on a block. The features incorporated into these late model machines provide the operator with the most accurate set up available.

These machines are not what your father used to drive. They are state of the art machining centers and they’re a lot faster than their older brothers.

Let’s face it, when you went out and invested in this new state of the art equipment, some or a great deal of that investment is in the tooling. That tooling needs proper care – especially if you want your new machine to perform according to the manufacturer’s specs. These newer machines don’t have a clue that your tooling is dull, bent, nicked, burred, or not the correct size. They do exactly what you direct them to do, and if your tooling is not up to spec you’ll trash a work piece in record time.

Most of these newer style machines incorporate the latest in tooling for three-angle seat cutting. This consists of very special cutter blades, carbide pilots, extremely sensitive leveling systems and an upgraded mounting fixture. Most feature a tool board to store and make ready the necessary tooling. This tool board organizes the tooling and provides some protection for the tools when not in use. However, the operator has a huge responsibility to insure the tooling is in tip-top condition at all times.

Let’s start with the tooling made from carbide
Carbide tooling comes in a variety of forms. You have carbide counter-bore cutters, valve guide pilots, core drills, core reamers, ID reamers and single or multi angle cutters. Carbide is the most affordable material that provides long life, holds size and can be formed into a variety of shapes and is readily available. However, it needs tender loving care. Carbide by its very nature is more brittle than high-speed steel.

Carbide Pilots

Due to engine manufacturers putting as many five valves into each cylinder, some with stem diameters as small as 4.5mm the only way to have any chance of seat centricity is to use a solid carbide pilot. Let’s face it; with all three angles being machined simultaneously the weak link in the equation is the pilot. The high-speed steel pilot is actually bent over by the cutting pressure. It can flex by as much as .002″. To hold centricity the automotive aftermarket started making pilots out of solid carbide. While carbide is very stable, it is also very brittle. If you drop a carbide pilot onto a concrete floor you will have many smaller, unusable carbide pilots. Since carbide pilots can cost a pretty good chunk of change, it’s in your best interests to treat them with the utmost care!

At the very least you should put a fatigue mat in front of the work area for two reasons:

  • It makes it more comfortable for your operator.
  • It provides a somewhat soft landing for your tooling.

Store your pilots away from each other during when not in use. That’s what all the little vertical holes in your tool board are for. Don’t let them bang away at each other in a drawer. Organize them according to size; mark your tool board so you know when one is missing. Always wipe the pilots down when done, which cleans the machining dust off and prevents that dust from transmitting into the next job. Periodically check the top and bottom size to insure they are still accurate. They will wear over time. Replace as necessary.

Three angle cutter tips

These little guys are the real worker when it comes to cutting the seats on multi-valve overhead cam type cylinder heads as well as performance and diesel cylinder heads. Although they are readily affordable they are not free. Take a magnifying glass and inspect the cutting edge, look for nicks, burrs and burn marks. If you find damage, you can sharpen the cutting edge. It won’t reshape the degree of angle it just sharpens the cutting edge.

Keep the tips in a protected environment to prevent them from banging against each other. Be sure to keep the little plastic sleeves that your supplier always ships them in. When you acquire enough of them, take the time to mark the out side of the box and then only store that blade in that box. Over time you will have a complete and well-organized inventory of tips. In a perfect world you would have your most popular tips installed in holders and ready to go for the next job.

Another tip to prolong the life and improve the cutting action of your tips is to use a cutting fluid. I found some stuff that really works well.

Seat counter-bore cutters

Counter-bore cutters are generally fixed in size and the carbide tips are either indexable and replaceable, or they are brazed. They are available in a variety of sizes and some manufacturers offer a fully adjustable type of counter bore cutter. Again don’t let them come in contact with each other and periodically inspect for chips or burrs. They can be resharpened or rebuilt by a quality supplier. Always test bore or measure them prior to using them on a customer’s cylinder head to insure the counter bore size is correct.

Core Drills and Reamers

The core drill is the tool for cutting out integral-type valve guides. Core drills are made mostly from high-speed steel, but you can get them in carbide as well. Your core reamers are made from the same material and again you can’t just toss them into a drawer. Organize them according to size on your tool board. Periodically inspect the cutting flutes for nicks and burrs. Also look for overheating, this will create a blue color change in the flute area. Core drills and reamers can be resharpend by a quality supply house or take them to a professional sharpening service close to your shop.

Finish Reamers
Finish reamers are used to size the ID of the valve guide. This sets the amount of oil clearance you choose for that application. They can be made from carbide or coated with Titanium Nitride. You will probably have one for each guide size known to man and have them .001 increments. If you run out of room on your tool board, I saw a clever idea in a shop a few years back. Take a 2×4 and drill 5/16″holes about 1″to 2″apart and bolt that 2×4 to your workstation. Then you can mark the board and organize them according to size.

Sizing balls

Most bronze guide liners being installed today are finished on the inside diameter by a carbide sizing ball. The neat thing about a carbide-sizing ball is, its carbide, it rotates as it is being used and by rotating it wears evenly and its life is greatly extended. Drop one of these little guys and you will spend a while looking everywhere for it. I suggest you put a tray (even a cookie tray) and (be sure to ask the wife first) under the cylinder head stands. I would even go so far as to line the tray with a rubber cushion so that when you send the carbide ball through the valve guide it will stay in the tray and the rubber cushion will prevent it from being damaged and keep it from bouncing onto the shop floor.

Rotary files
Rotary files are used mostly for machining the ports on high performance cylinder heads. They are also used to chamfer the oil holes in crankshafts or cylinder heads and blocks. Again arrange them according to size and protect them from each other by proper storage. Inspect them for nicks and burrs; also make sure the shanks are not bent! If you put a bent rotary file into a high-speed die grinder, it will shake so hard you will probably drop the whole assembly on the floor. Always work in a deliberate cut. And don’t let the carbide bounce, it will chip. For light material removal, use a stone or abrasive roll.Boring tools

Boring tips or brazed cutters are brittle and need periodic inspection as well as in house resharpening. Always store away from other boring tools and keep them sharp to maintain fast and efficient boring cycles.

Brake lathe cutters
These types of tools are generally throwaway types of carbide. They are readily available and can be dressed to keep the edge sharp. Also the super heavy duty can be resharpen when they become dull.Tools that can be resharpened

Core drill, core reamers, finish reamers, three angle seat cutters, brazed counter bore cutters, brake lathe tips, boring tools and rotary files can all be resharpened. When resharpened properly they will reduce your over-all cost in tooling. Make sure they are resharpened by a qualified sharpening service, and always measure to insure the size is correct before you use them

Remember your tools are your machine’s best friends. Take care of them! They will take care of you! If you don’t, that job you need to get out on Friday will be compromised due to the fact your tooling was not up to the challenge. Remember – be true to your tools and they’ll be true to you.

Remember, if you have more questions, contact the Goodson Tech Department at 1-800-533-8010 (customers outside the US & Canada, please call 507-452-1830).

How to Properly Dress Crankshaft Grinding Wheels

Manual dressing of the grinding wheel is an important factor in producing satisfactory work on your crankshaft grinder. The wheel must be dressed each time it is placed on the machine, even though it may not have been removed from the wheel center.

Crankshaft Grinding Tips

Working in technical support, hardly a day passes without at least one crank grinding question. For the most part, these questions involve properly using, dressing, mounting and balancing the crankwheel.

The other question we’ve been hearing a lot lately is, “What can I do with my grinding wheels that aren’t the right size? Can they be changed to fit another machine or another application?” The short answer is, YES. With our expanded resizing services we can easily extend the life of a wheel. We’re able to make arbors bigger, reduce the thickness, reduce the diameter, change the profile, and so on. Not only will this save the environment, it’ll save you money as well. For more information, call Goodson at 1-800-533-8010.

The importance of crank grinding wheel selection
Wheel selection is critical and often overlooked. Take into consideration  a high-performance engine rebuild. The correct components for a race engine are distinctly different from those of the family car. Going for the checkered flag involves much more than going for the groceries. Therefore, it wouldn’t make any sense to build a 12:5 to 1 compression engine for a grocery-getter.

In the same respect, using a grinding wheel intended for grinding cast iron crankshafts won’t have the right stuff to do the job correctly on a high-performance crank. Grinding wheels come in a variety of abrasive grains, grit sizes, hardness grades, structures and bond modifications. It is important to select the proper grinding wheel for the intended application. One wheel cannot do everything.

For cast iron crankshafts, you need a wheel that can be used on journals with a Rockwell hardness of 35Rc or less. Goodson’s GCS-wheels are ideal for these applications. They feature a blue-gray, semi-friable abrasive for standard cranks and are specifically designed for straight journals with a minimum of radius and / or thrust grinding.

For more versatile crankshaft grinding, you may want to step up to a better wheel. Goodson’s GCH-wheels are ideal for domestic, import or high-performance crankshafts made of cast or forged steel and nodular iron. They feature a slate-gray abrasive that removes more material, loads less and holds shape longer. GCH-wheels are specifically designed to handle large radii, as well as thrust and plunge grinding common for high-performance crankshafts. Like the GCS-wheel, the GCH-wheel can be used on journals with Rockwell hardness of 35Rc or less.

For diesel crankshafts, you need a wheel that can be used on journals with a Rockwell hardness of 35Rc or more. Goodson’s GCD-wheels are a premium grade wheel ideal for harder materials such as diesel, high-performance, industrial and billet steel crankshafts. It features a mixture of premium white friable and black semi-friable abrasives. In addition to having better form holding capabilities, GCD-wheels cut cooler and require less dressing. These distinctively “salt & pepper” colored wheels are specifically designed for grinding harder crank materials and crankshafts with large radii journals.

Crankshaft grinding techniques
Once you have chosen the proper wheel, the following steps must be taken to safely and successfully grind your crankshaft.

Before mounting any grinding wheel, inspect it for cracks or damage. This can be done visually or by giving the wheel a “Ring Test.” A good vitrified wheel with no cracks will give a clear ringing tone when tapped with a wooden or plastic mallet. A cracked wheel gives off a dull sound which is quite different.

Every wheel is marked with its maximum operating speed in RPM. This rating must be checked against the actual RPM of the spindle which will drive the wheel. The spindle speed should be checked from time to time with a tachometer to be sure nothing has changed.

The majority of on-machine wheel breakages are caused by incorrect mounting. Pay special attention to the condition of the flanges. They must be flat and of equal diameter plus have full contact with the sides of the wheel. The flanges must also be relieved so that they do not contact the grinding wheel in the area of the arbor hole.

Use a new blotter every time the wheel is mounted. The blotters are made of compressible paper which takes up any high points on the side of the grinding wheel. Direct contact between the flange and the side of the wheel could cause a stress point where a crack could begin.

In order to achieve the best results from your grinder, every grinding wheel installed on the machine must be balanced. Rebalancing wheels is a good habit to get into and balance should be checked each time a wheel is reinstalled on the machine.

Wheel balancing is a relatively easy process. First, install the grinding wheel on a wheel center and snug the cap screws. However, do not tighten the screws yet. Then mount the wheel on a balancing  arbor and place it on the balancing stand. With the arrow on the wheel pointing as directed. Loosen the cap screws so the wheel will settle downward on the wheel center, then gradually torque them all to recommended specification in ft./lb. Do not rotate the wheel until all fasteners are secure. Remove the balancing weights from the wheel center and let the wheel rotate to its rest position. Mark the 12:00 position (the lightest part of the grinding wheel) on the wheel using a piece of chalk. Install two balance weights approximately on the horizontal centerline and then move the weights up toward the top of the wheel hub.

Double check the wheel balance again. If the wheel will hold position at 12:00, 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00; the wheel is properly balanced. If the chalk mark still comes to rest at 12:00, move each weight upward slightly again until balance is achieved. If the chalk mark moves to the bottom 6:00 position, move the weights the opposite directions. If two weights are not adequate to achieve balance, use additional weight.

Install the grinding wheel on the machine and true the wheel to clean up its grinding face and sides. After truing, remove the wheel and recheck the wheel balance. Adjust the weights as necessary.

Do not allow grinding coolant to run on the grinding wheel when it isn’t rotating. This will cause the wheel to become saturated with coolant on one side and the wheel will be thrown out of balance. This condition can be corrected by turning off the coolant and running the wheel until all the coolant has been removed.

Manual dressing of the grinding wheel is another important factor in producing satisfactory work on your crankshaft grinder. The wheel must be dressed each time it is placed on the machine, even though it may not have been removed from the wheel center.  Mount the wheel dresser on the grinder table. Bring the rotating grinding wheel up close to the diamond and start the coolant flow. Never dress without coolant! Frictional heat buildup can cause the diamond to come loose or separate from its mount. Lack of lubricating properties (along with cooling) abrades diamond needlessly.

Best results will be obtained if the diamond is brought into contact with the center of the wheel, feed in a maximum of .002″ then traversed each direction (left and right) off the edge of the wheel. Learning the best traverse rate for dressing the wheel is a matter of trial and error for each operator. You have to be fast enough to prevent glazing, but slow enough to minimize spiral lead marks. Dressing from the center of the wheel outward to each edge helps minimize the effect of the spiral lead marks on the finish of the workpiece. Do not remove over .002″ per pass. Excessive in feed will cause the wheel to act like it’s loaded. This results from wheel material being “pasted” into new exposed wheel porosity.

The type of dress applied to the grinding wheel may be changed to suit different grinding needs. A rapid traverse will remove large amounts of material quickly. A slower traverse will produce a more desireable finish, but won’t remove material as rapidly.

Whenever the sides of a grinding wheel are found to run out, they should be dressed. With the dresser mounted to the table, bring the diamond into contact with the grinding wheel near its front corner, feed in a maximum .002″.  The wheel is then fed in and out until the necessary amount has been dressed from the wheel. Dress off enough material to provide a continuous, smooth surface on each side of the wheel.

When regrinding a crankshaft, every attempt should be made to duplicate the original corner radii to prevent the crankshaft from being weakened. Position the diamond in the holder facing out the front. Slide the holder back, position and lock the radius adjuster at the desired dimension. Then slide the diamond holder forward until the diamond contacts the radius adjustment stop. Tighten the diamond holder, unlock and retract the adjustment stop. Feed the wheel into position fully forward.Using fine feed, bring the diamond into contact with the front face of the wheel and dress full width. Then back the wheel away from the diamond .004″; loosen the swivel lock and remove one of the stop pins so the upper swivel can be rotated though 90° of travel. While pivoting the diamond through its 90° arc, bring the wheel into contact and dress off the required amount from one corner. Repeat this process for the opposite corner by replacing the first stop pin and removing the second pin to provide 90° rotation in the opposite direction.

Be sure to keep your diamond dresser tools sharp. Rotate the diamond 30-45° after each dressing operation.

Final words of advice…
When you shop for crank grinding wheels, you need to take into consideration the overall-quality of the wheel; its abrasive composition, grit, bond, hardness and application. As important as wheel selection is to quality crankshaft grinding work, so is working with a reputable supplier. Be sure that your supplier cannot only sell you the wheel, but can also offer technical support, wheel shaping and resizing services and fast, reliable delivery.

The true value of a grinding wheel is not simply based on price, but on a combination of all of these attributes.  A top-quality, well-selected wheel for the application will deliver excellent results and trouble-free operation.

Troubleshooting Common Crank Grinding Problems

PROBLEM: Wheel loading

Using an improper wheel is most likely to blame for metal particles lodging in abrasive grains or in wheel pores. Try using a wheel with a coarser grit or more open structure to provide chip clearance. Also try using more coolant. Faulty dressing could be another cause of wheel loading. Examine your diamond tool and replace it if it appears to be worn. A worn diamond will appear rounded. During the dressing process, a rounded diamond will roll some of the severed wheel back into its pores. This causes the wheel to become loaded, even before grinding. Also, check your coolant to make sure it’s not too concentrated. And, be sure to change dirty coolant.

PROBLEM: Wheel glazing

If your wheel looks shiny and feels slick, be sure that the wheel you are using is the right one for the application. You may need to choose a wheel with a coarser grit or softer grade. Or, you can try manipulating the wheel to get a softer grinding effect. Be sure to use a sharp diamond tool to dress the wheel. Turn the diamond 1/4 turn every fifth dressing. Use faster traverse and deeper penetration. The grinding operator should try using more in-feed, this should help deter wheel glazing.

PROBLEM: Fine spiral or thread on work

This is most likely caused by a faulty wheel dresser. Replace cracked diamond or reseat diamond. Try using a slower traverse speed. Rotate diamond every fifth dressing. Be sure that set screw on diamond is tight. Dress with less in-feed and do not allow the diamond to stop while in contact with the wheel. Make sure the you move the diamond evenly across the face of the wheel and re-radius the edges of the wheel.

PROBLEM: Tapered journal

Examine your grinding machine thoroughly. Correct worn ways and alignment of tail-stock and head-stock. Tighten their spindle bearings or replace worn out bearings. Re-level the machine. Check the dressing fixture for rigidity and examine the diamond itself. Try moving the point of the diamond closer to the fixture, but do not over-extend. Diamonds must be submerged in coolant continuously during dressing to maintain constant temperature. If the diamond’s shank is allowed to expand or contract with temperature change, taper will result.

PROBLEM: Chatter marks

Long, regular-spaced chatter marks that form a checkerboard pattern woould indicate that your wheel is out of balance. Re-balance the mounted wheel using th appropriate stand provided with the grinder. Remember to run the wheel without coolant to throw-off excess water to prevent water from settling at the lower edge of the wheel during storage. The wheel might also be out of round. To remedy this, true sides to face and rebalance. Regular-spaced chatter marks are usually caused by general vibration. Check for loose motor mounting bolts (head stock or wheel head) or a loose spindle pulley. Also check the balance of the motor. General chatter marks are typically due to faulty dressing. For best results, be sure to use a sharp diamond tool, rigidly held close to the wheel.

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