Cylindrical Grinders: Production Ready
My brother-in-law was responsible for the shops’ two cylindrical grinders. Both were Myford model MG12-HPs, built in 1975. He bragged that he could hold a tenth all day long, no sweat, and he usually did. I was one of the CNC lathe guys, and many of my parts ended up on his bench after heat treatment. I was sure to hear about it over lunch if I left too much stock.
Cylindrical grinders need love too
Those old machines have gone the way of the dinosaur (and my brother-in-law, unfortunately), but you can still find them. I saw an ad for Myford cylindrical grinders at auction the other day. You might also stumble across one sitting dust-covered in some forgotten corner of a used equipment warehouse. I have to ask, though: do you really want that headache?
Oldies…but still goodies?
Used machines are a lot like used cars. If you can find one that’s been lovingly maintained, at a fair price, why not? You’ll probably need some electrical and hydraulic skills, though, and a willingness to fix things. Also, parts for those old cylindrical grinders are getting scarce. You might want to check around. You might also want to find a serviceman (or woman) able to repair a three or four decades-old machine. They’re getting scarce, too.
Nor are yesterday’s grinders as easy to operate (or dependable) as a modern machine. Kent’s KCG-series centerless grinders, for example, have rapid advance and retract of the wheel head. This makes setups much faster. They have an auto-lube system. There’s a variable speed spindle. hydraulic wheel dressing and table traverse. If you’re doing production work, some are equipped with automatic plunge cycles.
But if you’re okay with the occasional breakdown, and you’re a journeyman like my brother-in-law (able to hold a tenth all day), I say go for it. Used centerless grinders have their place. Me, I’d rather have predictable processes, non-stop uptime, and perfect parts. Anyway, I miss talking about it at lunch.