Feb 08, 2014

Bench and Pedestal Grinders: Safety Dos and Don’ts

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When working with bench and pedestal grinders, certain precautions should be taken to avoid injuries. Always follow posted safety guidelines, and read all instructions provided by the manufacturer. In addition, here are some basic safety dos and don’ts when working with these tools.

DOs when working with bench and pedestal grinders:

  • Fasten pedestal and bench grinders securely.
  • Ensure that all the guards are in place and secure before use.
  • Adjust tool rests to within 1/8” (3 mm) of wheels. Never adjust rests while wheels are moving. Work rest height should be on horizontal center line of the machine spindle.
  • Maintain 1/4” (6 mm) wheel exposure with a tongue guard or a movable guard.
  • Check that wheels have blotters on each side.
  • Ensure that the wheel fits properly to the spindle when mounting. If it is loose, replace with a wheel that fits properly.
  • Stand to one side of the grinder until the wheel reaches operating speed.
  • Bring work into contact with the grinding wheel slowly and smoothly, without bumping.
  • Apply gradual pressure to allow the wheel to warm up evenly. Use only the pressure required to complete a job.
  • Move the work back and forth across the face of the wheel. This movement prevents grooves from forming.
  • Wheels are made only for grinding certain items. Make sure that you use the appropriate wheel for each job, (e.g., do not grind rough forgings on a small precision grinding wheel).
  • Dress wheels regularly. Do frequent, light dressings rather than one heavy dressing.
  • Support dressing tools so you can apply leverage without unnecessary effort. With revolving cutter dressing tools, use the lugs as anchors.
  • Replace worn wheel if you cannot dress it.
  • Ensure that the grinder speed does not exceed the recommended operating speed marked on the wheel.
  • Visually inspect wheels for possible damage before mounting.
  • Wear proper personal protective equipment:
    • eye, ear and face protection,
    • metatarsal safety boots, where required, and
    • respiratory protection, where required.
  • Wear gloves only where necessary.

DON’Ts when working with bench and pedestal grinders:

  • Do not use a wheel that has been dropped.
  • Do not use a wheel that does not fit properly to the spindle.
  • Do not use excessive force to tighten the nut of the wheel. The force can crack the wheel.
  • Do not grind wood, plastics, or non-iron metals on ordinary wheels.
  • Do not leave grinding wheels standing in liquids. The liquid can cause balance problems.
  • Do not grind on the side of a regular wheel.

Visit our blog for more safety tips, and learn more about Awane’s Trade Association for the automotive industry.