Can You Use a Bench Grinder on Wood

Can You Use a Bench Grinder on Wood? (Helpful How-To Guide)

Stone grinding wheels are designed to handle hard metals. Soft metals and wood items do not usually grind away nice and smoothly on this wheels. They usually break off into small chunks and you run the risk of permanently damaging your wood project.

Can you use a bench grinder on wood? Yes, you can. You can use a bench grinder to reshape or polish your wood project. But it will require changing the grinding wheel.

You need the right wheel for the job you have in mind.

How to use Bench Grinder on Wood

Once you get the right wheel on your bench grinder there are some tricks you should implement. Grinding and polishing wood is not the same as grinding and polishing hard metals. You need to master these tricks to make sure you get the results you want:

  • Replace the standard wheel with one designed to work with wood
  • Turn the grinder on and get your materials ready
  • Place the wood against the wheel gradually. You do not want to press too hard or you will ruin your wood piece
  • Use a back and forth motion to make sure you get an even finish to the wood
  • Do not hold the wood piece against the grinding wheel for to long. This will heat up the wood and the wood piece may catch fire.

How to Polish a Piece of Wood on a Bench Grinder

To polish a piece of wood on a bench grinder just follow these few instructions:P

  • Exchange the grinding wheel with a buffering wheel
  • If possible use a slower speed on your grinder
  • Add a little wax to your wood piece and let dry
  • Carefully move your wood piece against the polishing wheel
  • Again, the object is to keep moving the wood piece so it does not over heat and catch fire

How to Cut Through a Piece of Wood Using a Grinder

There will be times where it is easier and more convenient to use a bench grinder to cut through a piece of wood. Here are some tips to help you get through this task cleanly and safely:

  • Make sure you have the right wheel on your grinder. A buffering or polishing wheel won’t do it here
  • Get your wood piece into position on the tool rest and turn your grinder on
  • Slowly move your piece of wood towards the grinder
  • After contact gently rotate the wood piece. You do this until the piece of wood breaks in half
  • Do not hold the wood piece in place for too long as this will give you a very bad cut and m,ore finish work to do before yo install it. Also, you may over heat the wood piece and start a fire.

Bench Grinder Wood Wheel

As you already know, most bench grinders come with a very coarse and medium coarse grinding wheels. Also, as you know, these wheels are designed to handle hard metals only. Softer metals and other materials just do not work well with these grinding wheels.

The trick to getting your wood pieces ground the way you want is to use a softer grinding wheel that has a fine course finish to it. What you need to so is replace the standard grinding wheel with a 100 or 120 grit aluminum oxide grinding wheel or a silicone carbide wheel of the same grit.

The aluminum oxide wheel is softer and will wear faster but it should work with your wood project a lot easier and give you the results you want. It also grinds cooler protecting your from any potential fire hazard that may arise.

Plus, if you have a variable speed bench grinder, use the slowest speed. This lets you stay in control of your grinding and keeps the wood from being damaged.

Best Bench Grinder for Woodworking

When we did our research for this section, we found out that almost all bench grinders good for woodworking came in at 4 stars each. This means you will find a lot of good bench grinders to use when you have a woodworking project to complete.

Here is the one we liked the most:

WEN 4286 8-Inch Slow Speed Bench Grinder

Just click on the word grinder to see this bench grinder for yourself. This model comes with a 60 grit grinding wheel and a 120 grit one. This means that you save time and do not have to change wheels when doing your wood grinding.

Its powerful 3 amp motor doe snot make a lot of noise and helps you get the finish you want quickly. The slow speed makes this a perfect tool to use when making those finishing touches on your wood project and sharpening your woodworking tools. The wheels spin at a low 1750 RPM.

Plus, the wheels are 8 by 1 inches in size giving yo lots of grinding action and allows you to grind wider objects as well. Its 5/8 inch arbor should have it fitting most grinding wheels on the market today.

Also, each grinding wheel comes with its own individual eye protector. You can keep your eyes safe from flying sparks and wood chips. If you need to change wheels, the process is not difficult and it should only take you a few minutes to get the job done.

The key to using this grinder is to let it get up to speed first then start your grinding process. When you turn the grinder off, the wheels will take some time before they stop spinning.

Some Final Comments

Grinding wood pieces is similar to grinding aluminum ones. You just have to be careful which type of grinding wheel you use. It is not wise to use a grinding wheel made for hard metals on soft wood pieces. You will ruin the piece very quickly and have to start all over again.

Once you get the right wheel for the job on the bench grinder then your wood working project should progress smoothly. A good polishing wheel handled just right will bring that shine out of your wood piece and make it look like a professional did the job.

Also, you will need a little patience as soft wood takes longer to work with. Plus, you should practice a lot first before trying to shape the piece of wood you want to use, especially if that piece is going to be seen by everyone.

As they say- Practice always makes perfect.

Leave a Comment: