Do not purposely cut glass large with the intention of grinding. Ideally no grinding would have to be done. It should be used only for minor adjustments, for grinding tough-to-cut inside curves and roughing up edge for foil to adhere to.
The water reservoir should be emptied each day after use. It is not advisable to have standing water in your grinder for avoiding unpleasant smells, and moving a grinder with water risks damaging the grinder’s motor. Even if you do not move your grinder about, the water needs changing just as frequently as the glass sludge needs removing.
Ensure you clean your sponge, located behind the wheel, when cleaning out the reservoir. If you do not clean it regularly, it will become hard and stop bringing water to your grinding head.
The accumulated glass sludge should be cleaned out with scraper and disposed of in the waste, not down a sink. The glass sludge is relatively heavy and will bind to pipes becoming solid and block your drains. The glass sludge will restrict the flow of water to your grinding head.
Clean the plastic eye shield with running water, avoid rubbing it as that will scratch the surface.
ALWAYS be sure there is water in the reservoir before starting any grinding, but do not over fill as the excess water could get into the motor.
Grinder Head Maintenance
There seem to be two main indications of wear – chipping of the glass, and slow grinding. There are a number of reasons that may cause the grinder to chip the glass surface and not all are indications of wear. Some of the things to check are:
Too much pressure will cause the glass to chip.
Grit size has an influence on the way the edge appears. The coarser the grit is, the larger the chips will be taken off the edge surfaces. Smaller grits take smaller chips off the edges, and so are less obvious.
New bits can be a source of chipping.
Remove protruding diamonds, or cleaning and exposing new ones on a worn bit.
A worn or damaged grinder bit/head can cause chipping.
Inspect your bit carefully for smooth areas showing that the diamonds have been worn away. Also look for dents, and other irregularities on the surface, indicating that the bit is damaged. Any dents or smooth places on the bit cause a vibration that is similar to a tiny hammer tapping the edge of the glass.
Water is needed for grinding
Insufficient water supply can reduce the life of the grinder head.
If there is too little water reaching the head to lubricate the diamonds and keep the glass cool it can reduce the life of the grinder head, by overheating it too. If you are getting a white paste on or near the glass, you need to increase the water supply.
Vaseline for the shaft and set screw. Smooth any corrosion from the shaft with fine sandpaper and lubricate the shaft. Periodic removal of the bit and lubrication of the shaft should be part of the regular maintenance of the grinder. Also ensure the set screw is kept clear of glass grit by putting some Vaseline in the recess. This keeps the threads and the slot for the allen wrench from clogging up with glass grit.
Removing the Head
The first step in removing the grinding head is to loosen the set screw that fixes the head to the shaft. Insert the allen wrench as far as possible and while holding it in turn the key in an counterclockwise direction.
If the bit is firmly stuck, you will need a small gear puller to get the bit off the shaft. Small gear pullers are available from most auto supply stores.
Once you have the bit off, smooth any corrosion from the shaft with fine sandpaper and lubricate the shaft. Periodic removal of the bit and lubrication of the shaft should be part of the regular maintenance of the grinder.
If your grinder bit is too low or too high the diamond surface will not grind the whole of the glass edge. This can lead to chipping of the surface of the glass at the edges.
A good practice is to start with the bit as high as possible to allow for differing thicknesses of glass. This will ensure that you can deal with varying thicknesses of glass without immediate adjustment. You can then lower the bit as it wears.
Be certain that you secure the grinding head with the set screw facing the flat part of the shaft.
Of course, you need to ensure there is adequate water reaching the grinding bit to avoid overheating the glass, and to keep the dust from grinding from getting into the air.
Care in Use
Water is the primary lubricant. It washes the grit from between the diamonds and keeps the head cool. It also cools the glass, of course.
You can buy an additive for the water – often called a diamond or grinder coolant – which is intended to provide a kind of lubrication for the diamonds. This may also extend the life of the bit.
The diamond bit must be kept wet in order to reduce wear on the diamond and prevent glass dust from developing and being inhaled. There are several grits available. "Fine" grinds slower but leaves fewer chips out of the glass. "Coarse" grinds very fast but leaves larger chips. "Standard" is a central compromise.
Smooth any corrosion from the shaft with fine sandpaper and lubricate the shaft. Periodic removal of the bit and lubrication of the shaft should be part of the regular maintenance of the grinder.
The maintenance is not only on the shaft but also on the fixings. Putting a dab of Vaseline or bearing grease into the set screw socket will help keep it clear of the glass residue.
It may be that you are pressing the glass into the grinder head too hard. The grinder head should do the work. Firm rather than hard pressure should be applied. If the grinder slows, it is an indication that too much pressure is being applied.
If the grinder is not taking glass off fast enough for your purposes, you should put a coarser bit on the grinder, rather than press harder. The bits do come in a variety of grits. Try out some different grits to find the one that works best for the speed at which you want to remove the glass.
A maintenance routine for your grinder is a practice that will reward you with longer lives for your grinder heads and the machine itself.
*Empty water reservoir
*Clean out glass sludge
*Clean eye shield
*Inspect bit for wear. Adjust up or down or replace
*Inspect grub screw is free of glass grit. Clean and re-fill with Vaseline
*Check head moves freely up and down on shaft
A well cared for grinder can last over 10 years or more.
Any questions please email or call me
Keep art in your heART!