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Use of Bench and Pedestal Grinders

What safety procedures should you follow when using bench and pedestal grinders?

  • Fasten pedestal and bench grinders on a solid surface securely.
  • Ensure all the guards are in place and secure before using a grinder.
  • Adjust tool rests to within 3 mm (1/8 in.) of wheels. Never adjust rests while wheels are moving. Work rest height should be on horizontal centre line of the machine spindle.
  • Maintain 6 mm (1/4 in.) wheel exposure with a tongue guard or a movable guard.
  • Check that wheels have blotters on each side.
  • Check the wheel fits properly to the spindle when mounting. If it is loose, get another wheel.
  • Tighten the nuts before you turn the grinder on.
  • Before you plug in the grinder, manually spin the wheel to make sure it is spinning freely.
Safety procedures to follow when using bench and pedestal grinders
  • Make sure the cables are not damaged and in good condition.
  • Keep the cables out of the work area.
  • Wear proper personal protective equipment:
    • eye, ear and face protection,
    • metatarsal safety boots, where required,
    • respiratory protection may be required, depending on the work.
  • Wear gloves only where necessary and if there is no risk of entanglement.
  • 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. Do not grind rough forgings on a small precision grinding wheel.
Support dressing tool so you can apply leverage without undue effort
  • Dress wheels regularly. Do frequent, light dressings rather than one heavy dressings.
  • Support dressing tools so you can apply leverage without undue effort. With revolving cutter dressing tools use the lugs as anchors.
  • Replace worn wheels if you cannot dress it.
  • Ensure the grinder speed does not exceed the operating speed marked on the wheel.
  • Visually inspect wheels for possible damage before mounting.

What should you avoid when using bench and pedestal grinders?

  • Do not plug the grinder in before making sure it and the wheel are stable and secured properly.
  • 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 and 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.

Document last updated on October 3, 2016

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Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.