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Thread: 6x12 surface grinder purchase?

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    Plastic
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    6x12 surface grinder purchase?

    I have a chance to pickup a DoAll 6x12 manual surface grinder for my home shop and I wonder if anyone has experience with this brand and if it is a good tool for the home hobbyist. I have just started working in the machining hobby, being a long time woodworker and furniture maker. I want the machine mainly for trueing up surfaces etc and not so much for sharpening. The machine has some use and for the price I am wondering if I am making a wise investment. I can get the machine for $500.00 but I have to go about 400 miles to pick it up.
    Please if you can, give a an honest appraisal for its purchase. Thanks

    Skipd1

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    Bronze Pacer's Avatar
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    Re: 6x12 surface grinder purchase?

    Just my 2 cents but --- A surface grinder in the "average" home shop is very seldom used/needed. My mentor/friend has a KO lee and rarely uses it. I cant recall ever really needing one in my shop. Then you have the very real problem of buying one and the wear will be enough to negate the very precision that is needed in use of a surface grinder, along with the usual missing parts. The wear will be in the table ways and screws with both requiring skill - and expense - to repair, and parts can be scarce and pricey when found, all of which can be hard to justify the limited use gained from one, unlike a lathe or mill.

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    Precision Matthews Sales/Support Ray C's Avatar
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    Re: 6x12 surface grinder purchase?

    I have a 6-18 SG (B&S) and was apprehensive about getting it but two things changed my mind. 1) It was in very good condition and cost $500 and 2) I recall that much, if not most of my father's tool & die projects started with a mill or lathe and were completed with a surface grinder.

    Guess what? About 1/2 of my personal, pet projects start as pieces in the lathe and/or mill -and the true accuracy and precision happen at the last steps on the surface grinder.


    As for that particular one... Don't know. DoAll seems to be pretty common and it looks pretty solid. The parts on mine are fairly easy to see/understand and I could make anything on it if I wanted to. If the ways need to be scraped, that could cost some money... Lot's of folks are willing to shell-out good money for rusty, worn lathes and some of them are worth reconditioning... My guess is that a SG rebuild will cost about as much as a lathe refurb and just like a lathe, might need way scraping.


    Ray
    ...and a rock feels no pain; and an island never cries.

    www.cmf-llc.com

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    Cast Iron bvd1940's Avatar
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    Re: 6x12 surface grinder purchase?

    If you like precision and purddy work you will use it a lot, but ifin you want fast a dirty job you wont. I finally broke down and bought a Rockwell tool & surface grinder and it aint much in the world of surface grinders but I love it and its simplicity ( and precision)
    Just my 2 cents worth
    Bill in SE Idaho, Given enough incentive and proper motivation anything can be fixed

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    Bronze fastback's Avatar
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    Re: 6x12 surface grinder purchase?

    I have a Freeport surface grinder and use it more that I thought I would. Mine is a 6 x 18 and I may try using it for sharpening my 15 inch wood planer blades.

    So to answer your question I think that having one available is a good thing. Don't know about their surface grinders, but DoAll has been around for a long time and made a lot of good equipment.

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    Re: 6x12 surface grinder purchase?

    I don't know what your location is...that seems to make a big difference in the value of used machines. I'm guessing if your going to drive that far for a sg, you must be in an area where uses machines are not plentiful. In my area, 500 for a used, in good condition 612 manual surface grinder would be about top dollar. If the spindle bearings are worn....it's scrap...and there isn't a lot of scrap value in it. It is a nice machine to have available like the others have said, but I can somtimes go months without using mine.

    Chuck

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    Aluminum Professor's Avatar
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    Re: 6x12 surface grinder purchase?

    I paid only $110 for mine (a Reid 2B) but it did need a LOT of cleanup. The ways were straight and the spindle could be adjusted to run true. As George says, if the spindle is shot, you don't have anything. If you can, run a test piece on it first to see if it will produce a smooth surface (shiny isn't as important, smooth and consistent is).

    I got mine to sharpen planer and chipper/shredder blades. Like an i-pad, you find a lot of other "apps" for it, once it's yours. I don't use it often but when I do, it's nice to have. You do need space for it and a place to put it (or some good dust control) so the grinding dust won't wreck your other machines.
    Atlas 10F lathe, Southbend Model A lathe
    Bridgeport J-head mill, Reid 2B Surface grinder
    An original ShopSmith 10ER
    Plus various support equipment (drill press, band saws, welder, etc.)

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    Aluminum twowheelinjim's Avatar
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    Re: 6x12 surface grinder purchase?

    Hi, I was just looking around here and stumbled on your post. I recently sold my surface grinder that I purchased 5 or 6 years ago. The funny thing is, I needed it only hours after it left my shop. As I remember I purchased it for a few reasons, one was the need to precisely fit some parts together and grinding was the way to get this done. Second the price price was right. Third, it was located less than 3 miles from my house. In retrospect, I spent more money on extra arbors, wheels, wiring, and the tools associated with the surface grinder than the actual purchase of the surface grinder. In the first months I used it frequently enough to get surface grinder elbow on the left arm. The only thing fun about that was watching the kids get sea sick from watching the table go back and forth. As time passed, I used it less frequently until I almost never used it at all. I have a very limited space in my shop and reluctantly decided to sell it. I needed the space for a CNC mill I had an opportunity to get but the deal fell through about a week after I sold the grinder. That's the story of my life in a nutshell.

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    Precision Matthews Sales/Support Ray C's Avatar
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    Re: 6x12 surface grinder purchase?

    That's a bummer...

    Truth be known, mine is one of the lesser used items in the shop. -Probably only 1-2 times a month but, when it's needed, it serves a great purpose and it adds a new level of fit and finish to some types of projects. BTW: I made a couple grand when I got my hands on 5-6 old/abused magnetic chucks and rebuilt them. The final touch was to true-up the bottoms and top. They sold on eBay like hotcakes. Couldn't do it w/o the SG and it paid for itself in that 1 week.


    Ray

    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelinjim View Post
    Hi, I was just looking around here and stumbled on your post. I recently sold my surface grinder that I purchased 5 or 6 years ago. The funny thing is, I needed it only hours after it left my shop. As I remember I purchased it for a few reasons, one was the need to precisely fit some parts together and grinding was the way to get this done. Second the price price was right. Third, it was located less than 3 miles from my house. In retrospect, I spent more money on extra arbors, wheels, wiring, and the tools associated with the surface grinder than the actual purchase of the surface grinder. In the first months I used it frequently enough to get surface grinder elbow on the left arm. The only thing fun about that was watching the kids get sea sick from watching the table go back and forth. As time passed, I used it less frequently until I almost never used it at all. I have a very limited space in my shop and reluctantly decided to sell it. I needed the space for a CNC mill I had an opportunity to get but the deal fell through about a week after I sold the grinder. That's the story of my life in a nutshell.
    ...and a rock feels no pain; and an island never cries.

    www.cmf-llc.com

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