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GRINDING DRESSERS (diamond / abrasive)

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A grinding dresser or wheel dresser is a tool to dress (that is, slightly trim) the surface of a grinding wheel. Grinding dressers are used to return a wheel to its original round shape (that is, to true it up), to expose fresh grains for renewed cutting action (including cleaning away clogged areas), or to make a different profile (cross-sectional shape) on the wheel's edge.

The objective of dressing the wheel with a wheel dresser is to “True” the grinding wheel by knocking abrasive particles from the wheel's surface and making the wheel concentric. This minimizes vibration and improves surface finish, eliminating the vibration of the out-of-balance wheel across the workpiece's surface. It is not unusual for grinding wheels to become out of round with use. This is partially from loaded (clogged) areas of the wheel wearing at different rates from less loaded areas. It can also be exacerbated by grinding when the wheel is not under power, such as using the work to apply braking action to the wheel to stop it from coasting. Dressing restores the roundness. When bench grinders vibrate excessively, it is usually because the wheels have worn out of round and are thus out of balance. Truing them by dressing resolves this problem.

Dislodge these abrasive particles to expose fresh abrasive from the wheel's surface. Each abrasive grain is a small cutting tool; a worn grain has its edges dulled and loses its effectiveness. Exposing the fresh grains is thus a sharpening process. Glazing of the wheel is evidence of rounded grains and is noticeable by a reflective surface on the spinning wheel.

Clean the wheel. If a workpiece is softer than the grade for which the wheel is designed, the abrasive particles will not be dislodged in time to present fresh, sharp grains. The wheel therefore appears to lose its edge especially as the pores between grains fill with fragments of the workpiece. The wheel is then said to be loaded. This is one reason why the selection of wheel is extremely important

grinding dresser04.jpg Star wheel dressers — A long handled tool with a row of free running, hardened and serrated, wavy discs or star-shaped cutters running at right angles to the handle. These are presented to the grinding wheel as it is turned off and slows down.

Force is applied to the face of the slowing wheel with the result that the hardened discs match speed with the face of the wheel allowing the fingers or undulating surface of the dresser, to knock the abrasive grains out.

Diamond dressers — Shorter handled diamond tools that either have a matrix of small diamonds bonded to a broad surface on the end of the diamond dresser or a single diamond mounted in their face. As the diamond is introduced to the wheel's face, the harder diamond remains attached and the looser grains fall away. The ½ carat diamond dressing stick is the most popular dresser. grinding dresser05.jpg

grinding dresser07.jpg Abrasive Dressing sticks — A rectangle stick of hard material, usually made from the same materials (silicon carbide dresser stick or coarse aluminium oxide dresser stick)  but with a stronger bonding agent. Norbide is one brand of dressing stick made by Norton Abrasives, from boron carbide. Abrasive Dressing sticks are aprox. 20mm square X 150mm long.