May 28

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CBN grinding wheel review

CBN grinding wheel in the box - Dailey Woodworking

CBN grinding wheel in the box

This review has been almost three years in the making. Way back in June of 2014, I did a sharpening demo for our local turning club, the Western Mountain Woodturners Association. The demo day also happened to be my wife, Mary and my 26th wedding anniversary. I made some joke about it as I started the demo and didn’t think much more about it during the demo. However, it must have struck a chord with one of the members because about a week later a package arrived in the mail from D-Way Tools. Mary asked me what I had ordered and I promised her that I hadn’t ordered anything. Inside the box was the CBN sharpening wheel that you see pictured above. For those that don’t know, CBN stands for Cubic Boron Nitride (CBN).  I know, it doesn’t mean much to me either but I’m guessing that there is someone out there that will want to look it up and find out all about the process to make them. What really matters to me is whether the CBN wheel can sharpen my tools and does it last.

The wheel that was sent to me was an 8 inch x 1 1/2 inch, 180 grit CBN wheel with a flat face, it does not have the radius. In the package was also a bushing kit for my grinder. Why a bushing kit? If you’ve ever sharpened your tools on a grinder with friable (white, blue, brown, etc.) wheels and the whole grinder seems to be bouncing, most likely, the bouncing is caused by an out of balance wheel or wheels. There are, probably, a stack of nylon bushings to make the wheel fit the shaft of your grinder. The nylon bushings are a very poor way of fitting the wheel to the grinders’ shaft and unless the sharpening fairies are on your side when you install the friable wheel it’s going to be out of alignment. You can spend a lot of time using a balancing system or keep moving the wheel a fraction of an inch at a time to try and balance them or you can get a bushing kit like what can be ordered with the CBN wheel.

My sharpening set-up consists of an 8 inch slow speed grinder (1720 rpm), Oneway Wolverine Sharpening system with the Vari-Grind gig, a 60 grit friable white wheel and the 180 grit CBN wheel.

I installed the wheel on my grinder and started using it almost immediately and, because I turn for a living, the wheel has had a very good workout over the last three years. During that time, much of my sharpening has been done on this wheel. The wheel has stayed balanced and true. My tools don’t get as hot during sharpening as they used to on a friable wheel. There isn’t any appreciable wear to the wheel that I can see and, no, I didn’t check it out under a microscope. After each time at the grinder, my tools have a nice sharp edge to them and turn wood or acrylics with ease.

I will say that I’ve only ever sharpened high speed steel tools on the wheel because that’s what I own. So, I can’t say how the wheel would handle other steels or metals.

My conclusion on the CBN wheels is that I think the wheels are a worthwhile investment and I will be replacing the 60-grit friable wheel soon with an 80-grit CBN wheel and bushing kit.


I haven’t been endorsed, paid or even asked by any manufacturer or seller to do this review. 


Permanent link to this article: http://thedaileygrind.com/2017/05/cbn-grinding-wheel-review/