Saturday, February 2, 2013

CBN Wheel

I had been reading a lot about Cubic Boron Nitride or CBN grinding wheels. Everyone who got one was very happy with the improved performance over their AO wheels.  I ordered it from D Way Tools on Wednesday and it showed up today, Saturday, just three days later. I mounted it on my WC 8" slow speed grinder as a replacement for my 120 grit wheel. Wow, what an improvement!  CBN is nearly as hard as diamond and is 4 times harder than aluminum oxide thus revolutionizing the grinding of hardened steel. The 180 grit wheel cuts more aggressively than my old Aluminum Oxide wheel and takes a light touch.

Some advantages:
  • It is an inch and a half wide and is machined balanced so it runs like a top. 
  • No more tool bouncing because it runs so smooth. 
  • It even makes my 60 grit wheel run smoother. Takes a lot longer for the grinder to stop spinning.
  • Never needs dressing so less mess around the grinder
  • Tools do not get hot while sharpening.
  • It leaves a superb cutting edge
  • Will last for many years if not my lifetime.
I had to take off the existing shroud for the wheel to fit my grinder without scraping. No problem since the wheel can't explode.  With the shroud removed it is easier to see what you are doing with less interference from the shroud. Crafts Supplies just came out with a competing version for about the same price but it is only 1" wide.  Cindy Drozda provides some additional information on her blog re: CBN sharpening of powdered metal tools like Doug Thompson's.