I am new to thw lapidary word and before making or buying a lapidary grinder
I would like to be able to understand the pros or cons of each kind of grinding wheel.
What kind of wheel you use and why? The diamond wheels seem to be verry good
but are very expensive. The Expanding drum is a option not too expensive to build a
simple and "cheap" grinder, but what kind of belt using ? (and why?).
I make a little inventory of what is available (this may help other beginners).
Feel free to add those that I forgot and give me some feedback on what you prefer
and where it is cheapest to buy.
Expanding Drum (~$50 to $100)
The drum expands as the wheel rotates, holding the belt firmly in place. Slightly cushioned
sanding surface makes smoothing and shaping of contoured surfaces quick and easy
Textured Diamond Grinding Wheel (~$140 to $200)
The interrupted surface texture improves the rate of stock removal and keeps the cutting
action clean and free.
Diamond Wheel (~$100 to $200)
This wheel is evenly electroplated with diamond to provide a smooth finish.
Diamond Resin Wheel (~$60)
No more wasting time changing belts! This ready to use diamond resin wheel is ideal for
lapidary applications. Put on any wet arbor or cabbing machines. Take advantage of the
softness of this affordable wheel compared to metal bonded wheels, as it will allow you to
contour your piece
Silicon Carbide Grinding Wheels
Made with the finest quality graded silicon carbide grit, these grinding wheels are bonded
especially for lapiday work. Important: For your safety, always run silicon carbide wheels until
they're completely dry. Residual moisture will drain to the botton of the wheel and can create
an imbalance in the wheel weight that could cause spontaneous, high–velocity fracturing
Silicon carbide belt (~$1 to $2 by belt)
Use silicon carbide sanding belts wet or dry for excellent results in lapiday and metalworking
applications. Carefully graded silicon carbide abrasive is resin–bonded to durable backing
3M IMFF Aluminum oxide Sanding Belts (~$3 by belt)
Long-wearing flexible film backing with aluminum oxide abrasives for fast repeatable results.
These belts are suitable for both; lapidary and metalworking applications, use them wet or dry
3M Diamond Belts (~$30 by belt)
Use for all lapidary finishing as well as for cutting, shaping and smoothing;just about any
material. Belts should be run wet for best results. • Cloth-backed diamond abrasive graded
from .5 micron to 15 microns produces an ultra-high finish on most materials
3M Diamond Micro-Finishing Film Belt (~$15 to $40 by belt)
This long-wearing, flexible film backing with diamond abrasive for fast, repeatable results
is suitable for Lapidary or metal working applications
3M Trizact Belts
Advanced technology called Microreplication makes these aluminum oxide abrasive belts a
time saver - as much as 50% reduction in buffing time along with unprecedented consistency
and precision is provided.