Cylindrical Grinder

A cylindrical grinder is a grinding machine that is designed to create shape of the outside of an object. Although it can machine an array of different shapes, the body of whatever it is you are trying to fashion has to have a pivotal axis on which to rotate. Usually the shape will be cylindrical but it is versatile as long as the item can be turned like a lathe.

When in use the cylindrical grinder will be continually grinding the object when it’s spinning, though the grinding tool will be pushed towards and pulled back from the object being shaped as required.


Origins of the cylindrical grinder

Dating back to the industrial revolution in the UK, which was when the transition to new manufacturing processes really started, was when the grinder was invented. Around this time in our history (1800 – 1830) boring and lathe machines were first used.

This was when steel production took off in a big way making it more affordable. With big improvements in grinding wheels, their development continued until what we would recognise as a cylindrical grinder became available in factories.

It took many years of development and continual improvement before the machines had advanced to the point of being able to do precision engineering. Until quite late into the nineteenth century it still wasn’t possible to produce highly accurate work time after time.

Charles Norton took on the task of pushing the boundaries of what was possible as he believed that a cylindrical grinder could be at the forefront of every machine shop and not just be used as a tool to complete the work.

His work improved the tolerances of the machine and this enabled him to greatly speed up the revs per minute thus giving more accurate work more consistently. It wasn’t until 1925 however when his pioneering work was recognised by being awarded the John Scott Medal for his invention.

From then on, as with all machine tools, they started to improve further with “numerical control”. The Second World War meant that the war effort needed to produce planes, tanks, ammunition etc better and faster than ever before so the development of machine tools advanced very quickly.

In more modern times the computer age obviously gave industry a giant leap forward as it brought Computer Numerical Control to the party and this transformed cylindrical grinders to new heights.

Absolute precision, on almost any dimension and measurement that the Victorians could only have dreamed of was now at our finger tips. In the modern computer world the mastery in the engineering sector allows for so much manufacturing to take place with very little in the way of human intervention.

Apart from normal cylindrical grinding it is now possible to have centreless grinding where there isn’t a pair of centres fixing the object to be grinded in position – this allows improvements to be made in the roundness of what is being grinded.

At West Midland Grinding limited our grinders are so advanced and our computer numerical control is so precise that the work we produce is exceptional time after time.

Contact us now for all your grinding needs.