Author Topic: Clarkson Tool & Cutter Grinder  (Read 21037 times)

Offline Steam Haulage

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Clarkson Tool & Cutter Grinder
« on: June 17, 2014, 08:12:35 PM »
Yet again I turn to the group for some commentary and advice.
I try to be as self sufficient as I can, which means that I don't like putting work out to third parties, if I can possibly avoid it. I also have found that if I make too many compromises I end up with kit that that leaves me feeling I should have spent a bit more or waited a little longer to get what I really wanted.

I know that some members have their own equipment for tool & cutter grinding. I have looked at the various build it yourself from castings routes, from the Quorn downwards/upwards depending on your point of view and my mood at the time. I do not have time to build the Quorn, and it appears to take patience to set-up the various functions.

I have in mind that the Clarkson would enable me to do everything in this line, but others will no doubt have their own views.?

Jerry
Dogs look up to you, cats look down on you, pigs treat you as equal.

Offline fumopuc

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Re: Clarkson Tool & Cutter Grinder
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2014, 08:31:46 PM »
Kind Regards
Achim

Offline vcutajar

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Re: Clarkson Tool & Cutter Grinder
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2014, 08:33:17 PM »
My next project (when I finish the current one) will most probably be a tool / cutter grinder.  I was thinking of the Worden.

Vince

Offline Jo

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Re: Clarkson Tool & Cutter Grinder
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2014, 08:52:45 PM »
Jerry the question is what to you want to sharpen?

The Quorn was designed by Prof Chaddock it was based on the original Alexander cutter grinder (I sold one last year  ;)) which was originally used to sharpen engraving tools And those German machines are again clones of the old Alexander machine. They are good at sharpening the ends of milling cutters. You can also sharpen ball nose cutters and by replacing the mount with something to take a bit of square toolsteel you can even do lathe tools. But that is where they start to fall down  :shrug:

Yes the Prof added a support to enable between centres support of cutters so that you can do the sides of flutes and taps but its a bit of a thin spindle it mounts on. And it does not have the freedom of movement that a real cutter grinder gives you.

I kept my Union Tool and Cutter grinder http://www.lathes.co.uk/uniontool%26cuttergrinder/: Its faults? It won't sharpen the ends of very, very long large cutters as there is not enough bed space to get the head away from the holder.

Stu did a really simple design that he put on the forum that will let you sharpen the ends of milling cutters  ;).

Jo
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Offline pgp001

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Re: Clarkson Tool & Cutter Grinder
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2014, 11:21:43 PM »
I made a completely new head for my Union tool and cutter grinder, the original motor had quite a few limitations that I could not live with. This one is three phase and runs on a variable speed inverter.
This head is also designed to fit onto the Myford cross slide and be used for cylindrical grinding, you will see that the adapter plate on the Union has two positions so its range is a lot more than original.





I have set it up with an indexing head that takes DA180 collets, this allows me to hold anything up to 20mm diameter and twist drills can be held on the flutes to sharpen them using the four facet method.



It also gets used for sharpening the hobs for my Mikron gear hobber.



Plus a bit of surface grinding now and again.



And yes, those are the rim segments for Agnes's flywheel, but I have done my usual trick of breaking off to work on more tools, namely my new Pultra lathes.

Phil



« Last Edit: June 17, 2014, 11:26:10 PM by pgp001 »

Offline sbwhart

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Re: Clarkson Tool & Cutter Grinder
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2014, 06:27:11 AM »
Hi this is my home brewed cutter grinder:-





This is a end mill sharpening fixture I made for it.



Like you I didn't want to put the effort in to make a Quorn so I simply put together a commercial X/Y table a myford type vertical slide with a cheap bench grinder suitably modified to do the job.

It works well I've sharpened lots of cutters with it.

Her is a video of it

Stew
A little bit of clearance never got in the way

Offline Steam Haulage

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Re: Clarkson Tool & Cutter Grinder
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2014, 07:44:43 AM »
I see nobody has come back with anything about the Clarkson.

As I said in my OP time is a consideration so I am not going to even look at the Quorn and its siblings. I built one many moons ago and do not want to go down that route again. That's why I am looking at the possibility of an industrial machine. My need is for sharpening end mills slot drills etc.. I have a Tormek which has everything needed for 4-facet Morse drills. It produces the nearest thing to scalpel sharp that I have ever experienced on the kitchen knives as well, even better than the knife makers achieve, as well as doing scissors, and a myriad of other tasks.

Examples of the  Clarkson appear from time-to-time, just within my budget. I had not thought of the Union but looking at Phil's pix that looks a good machine and offers facilities that I do not think are possible on the Clarkson, such as surface grinding.

Thanks for the contributions.

Jerry

Dogs look up to you, cats look down on you, pigs treat you as equal.

Arbalest

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Re: Clarkson Tool & Cutter Grinder
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2014, 09:33:15 AM »
Looks like how useful it is depends on how many of the accessories come with it.

http://www.lathes.co.uk/clarkson/

Milling cutters are relatively cheap these days so any cutter grinder needs to be a real steal to make financial sense. Cutting special profiles is another issue though I guess.

Offline PStechPaul

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Re: Clarkson Tool & Cutter Grinder
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2014, 10:07:19 AM »
Stew's cutter grinder seems quite clever and can probably be built at reasonable cost with some investment in time and skill. I do wonder about the practicality of sharpening your own tooling unless you are in a production environment, and even there it may be cheaper to buy new end mills rather than pay someone with the skills to do it properly. It might be a profitable cottage industry to offer sharpening of end mills and other tools, but I don't think I'd spend any more than, say, $5 to have an end mill sharpened when I can buy a new one for about $20. By the time you pack up and ship a package of end mills to someone and wait for them to come back, you may spend a significant amount of time and postage and you take a chance that whoever sharpens them knows what they are doing.  :shrug:
 
I have touched up some end mills with diamond files and they seemed to work reasonably well, at least for fairly rough work, and I have some nearly new mills I'm saving for when I need more precision. Using a HF mill/drill probably won't get much better results from a new or perfectly sharpened tool anyway.  ;)

Offline Steam Haulage

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Re: Clarkson Tool & Cutter Grinder
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2014, 12:52:21 PM »
Now I'm pleased I asked the question. The answers are what might be called a 'Wake up call'. Especially the reminder of the economics. I  shall have to look at the cost of new gear cutters and horizontal mill cutters and work out the 'is it worth it?' conun.drum

Thank you all for the contributions.
Jerry
Dogs look up to you, cats look down on you, pigs treat you as equal.

Offline Roger B

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Re: Clarkson Tool & Cutter Grinder
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2014, 01:50:13 PM »
I had some similar questions a while ago,

http://www.modelenginemaker.com/index.php?topic=2978.0

My final conclusion was that a cutter grinder does not make sense for me at the moment on space, time or economic grounds. My workshop time is currently very limited due to business travel and I don't want to spend it sharpening tools. I have, however bought a couple of replaceable tip tools to see how I get on with them.
Best regards

Roger

Offline fumopuc

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Re: Clarkson Tool & Cutter Grinder
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2014, 02:09:49 PM »
Hello everybody, if someone has interest for a good cutter source in Europe,
http://www.xact-gmbh.de/index.php/hss-hardal-fraeser-c-24_33
or here the catalog download
http://www.xact-gmbh.de/product_info.php/hauptkatalog-hauptkatalog-p-699
Kind Regards
Achim

Offline Don1966

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Re: Clarkson Tool & Cutter Grinder
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2014, 01:19:25 AM »
This is the grinder I have and it's pretty easy to use and of coarse it has some limitations.
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200414732_200414732

Don

Offline Jo

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Re: Clarkson Tool & Cutter Grinder
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2014, 07:37:49 AM »
Jerry, the cost question: I paid the vast sum of 50 for my Union  :mischief: it has paid for itself. (I paid 100 for the Alexander and sold it for 250 ten years later: I know I could have got more for it but he was a mate  :naughty:)

But the same guy I sold the Alexander to was a toolmaker in his youth  :Lol: and he said that other than getting the apprentice to sharpen all the blunt cutters on the T&CG, they were normally used to make specialist cutters. The idea of cutting a lathe tool on one had him in hysterics  :-[

For your average model maker you might as well buy new cutters rather than paying out the silly prices asked for a T&CG, or make something up like Stew did as a project. Or see if you have a local club which has one, collect up all your old cutters and once a year or so go and have a sharpening afternoon  ;).

And small cutters under 6mm: don't even bother trying to sharpen them.

-----

Another friend has just brought this never been used Dormer drill sharpener for 500  :o I will of course be visiting to try it out on my drill collection  ;D

Jo
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Offline Steam Haulage

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Re: Clarkson Tool & Cutter Grinder
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2014, 07:46:04 AM »
Good advice Jo, as usual.

I think I shall put the idea behind me and knock my normal desire to be self-sufficient on the head.

Jerry
Dogs look up to you, cats look down on you, pigs treat you as equal.