How to Use a Surface Grinder Safely?

A surface grinding machine is needed to create smooth accurate finish on materials that are either metallic or non-metallic. This machine makes use of a round stationary abrasive grinding wheel that rotates as the feed table runs in a left and right motion.


The amount of material that needs to be removed is determined by simply touching off on the work feeding the grinding head and grinding wheel rotating downwards to a certain distance.

Normally surface grinders have the ability to grind within .0001 - .0002 but since they are not created equal, it’s important to note that the cheaper models may not have very good tool room accuracies.

They can, however, be used to sharpen punches and dies as well as to handle some repair shop work. High end models have better quality spindle bearings and other components to achieve tool room accuracies.

Also Read: Things You Should Do before Surface Grinding

An Overview of the Surface Grinding Machine

First, you need to select the correct grinding wheel. There are a variety of wheels that you can choose from:

  • Alloys That are Nonferrous
  • 400 Series Stainless
  • High Speed Steel RC 50-68
  • Soft Steels RC 30-45
  • Ductile & Gray for Cast Iron
  • 300 Series Stainless

In any of the above categories, you have to know the wheel type by determining if you need light stock (.001), moderate (.002-.004) or heavy (> .004) removal characteristics. Also, you'll got to choose a Grit size.

Forty six grit being for general purpose, sixty grit for commercial, eighty grit for fine finish and one hundred twenty grit for super fine finishes.

After choosing the proper wheel, visually examine it for any cracks or damage. If none is found, install the wheel, tightening the left-hand spindle nut rigorously using wrench. 


See to it that you replace the guard covering the wheel, place safety glasses on then flip the spindle on. Step away and allow the spindle to run for about a minute.

After you have dressed the grinding wheel remember not to turn off the spindle since doing so would require the wheel to be dressed once more. 

You are currently able to dress the wheel employing a single purpose diamond dressing tool that's placed by means of a magnetic chuck. A minor amount of grinding wheel ought to be dressed off of the diameter so as to form the wheel run concentric.

Place the diamond dresser below the rotating wheel and produce down the grinding head rigorously therefore it simply touches the dresser. Using the cross feed, diamond dresser should be swept across the rotating wheel.

After you feed the grinding head down to as low as .002 you need to sweep the diamond dresser across the rotating wheel. Repeat the process several times until the face of the grinding wheel is clean.

After the wheel is dressed and is operating in circular direction, you'll then be able to gently turn off the work. Now it’s time to set your "zero" on the down feed handle, slightly raise its head to clear work then the cross feed handle to distance the grinding wheel from your work.

Then you need to feed the grinding head down to no more than .005. The fabric quantity being removed should serve as your basis for how far you can feed the cross-feed for every pass.

Surface Grinding Benefits

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  • You can grind abrasive or hard materials.
  • It has very good dimensional accuracy.
  • It produces high finish textures.
  • Tooling is more affordable.
  • It can be performed automatically.

Safety Rules

To avoid injuries, follow the security precautions for using surface grinders listed below:

  • If the grinding wheel is allowed to go over the maximum safe speed, it's going to disintegrate and may injure the operator.
  • Always wear safety goggles when dealing with any grinding machine operations.
  • Before mounting, inspect the grinding wheels for cracks.
  • Do not operate the machine at a speed higher than the recommended speed in your instructions manual.
  • Do not modify anything once the machine is running.
  • Do not go over the recommended cut depth for the machine particularly the grinding wheel.
  • Before turning the machine off, remove the workpiece from the grinding wheel.
  • Always use the proper wheel guards.

Look at Your Preferred Support

As with any other operations that make use of machines, changes in the set up should be avoided as much as possible. This can be achievable if all flat ground surfaces are on the same side as the part and are matching.

Remember that the magnetic chucks are primarily designed to hold down components as the operator works on surface grinding. If the part is compatible with the magnetic chuck, operating the machine becomes easier and you become more productive.


The magnetic chuck requires a magnetic (ferrous) material as well as a flat seating surface that is situated opposite the bottom surface.

Make sure the ground surfaces are way above any obstructions because they need to run as continuously as possible and should be securely supported as well.

Final Thoughts

The use of surface grinding machines require skill and common sense. Make sure to practice and understand all the safety guidelines to avoid any injuries. Whether you are the operator or you have a team of operators, knowledge of the basic precautionary guidelines will certainly come in handy.

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