Atterton & Ellis Pilot Cylinder Grinder

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tomds
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Atterton & Ellis Pilot Cylinder Grinder

Picked up one of these today as a bit of an impulse buy. Does anyone know much about them or whether or not they are any good? It seems pretty solid but needs a clean... I’ve watched a few YouTube videos but can’t find any pilots running. I’m hoping to grind my own cylinder blades now along with the mowers I work on for others. If anyone knows about or has one of these I’d love to know if there is anything to keep an eye on etc. I’ve never used a cylinder grinder before and have just paid a local shop to do mine in the past. 

Thanks

Tom

hortimech
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Never used a pilot, but I

Never used a pilot, but I have extensive experience of the Dual, which is basically the pilot on steroids ;-)

Things to look out for, was the machine cleaned regularly so that the long grindstone shaft didn't get worn, is the key in the grindstone carrier in good order (it isn't a separate part), are the shaft bearings okay, do you have all the collets.

It isn't as easy to grind as you might think, one thing to know and remember, you do not grind the cylinder until it stops sparking, the last few passes along the cylinder need to be fairly hard on to get the correct angle on each blade.

I hope you realise that you still need a bottom blade grinder.

NOTE to administrator: Do you think the spellchecker can be changed to an English one ? there is no 'z' in realise 

tomds
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Thanks for the info.

Thanks for the info.

When you say collets do you mean the adaptors that hold the cylinder? Do you know roughly what should I have in regard to this? I think there were a few with it, it’s currently in my lock up so can’t check until tomorrow. Fingers crossed they are all present as I’m guessing you can no longer get them? 

 

I have got the bottom blade grinder to so should have everything ready to go providing the adaptors are there. 

wristpin
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NOTE to administrator: Do you

NOTE to administrator: Do you think the spellchecker can be changed to an English one ? there is no 'z' in realise 

The ABC box in the header offers the choice of American or English spellings but annoyingly even having chosen English spellings there appears to be no way to lock the choice - it reverts to American on each visit.. 

wristpin
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It isn't as easy to grind as

It isn't as easy to grind as you might think, one thing to know and remember, you do not grind the cylinder until it stops sparking, the last few passes along the cylinder need to be fairly hard on to get the correct angle on each blade.

I too was taught that a few hard finishing passes was the way to go. However over the years I've done a few experiments comparing that method and allowing the wheel to "spark out" and have not detected a lot of difference in the final set up of the cylinder against a skimmed bottom blade. That said, rightly or wrongly, I always grind a very small amount of relief onto both lipped and flat bottom blades so that the moving blade passes over the very front edge of the bottom blade with a reduced possibility of  "jacking" or binding..

I can recall two models of machine that due (in my opinion) to a detrimental relationship between the centre line of the cylinder and the front edge of the bottom blade, never set up sweetly. They were the Dennis Paragon, particularly with the split helix blades and the last generation true Webbs, 14,18 and 21" cut machines - the ones with the thick blades. Maybe they were an example of machines requiring a hard final pass of the grinding wheel. 

Other than individual grinding machine manufacturer's operator's manuals I have never come across any definitive work on the art of grinding. The nearest thing being a publication from the Toro "University" which takes the theory and practice of fine turf machinery setup to a new level. A bit OTT for domestic machines but never the less very interesting.

https://cdn2.toro.com/en/-/media/Files/Toro/Commercial/education-technic...

tomds
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Thanks for the response

Thanks for the response wristpin. After an early start this morning I have checked what came with the grinder and unfortunately I have no collets.. I have emailed the chap I brought it from to see if he has them, but failing him having any how can I get round this? The machine was his late father in-laws and he knew nothing about it. I’m therefore not holding my breath. They look quite simple to make, could a machinist knock some of these up for me? 

wristpin
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Collets. My experience is

Collets. My experience is confined to my BRL machine bought reconditioned in 1978 and still going strong; well maintained and treated with respect.

It came with various collets for individual types of cutting cylinder but also what might be described as a starter kit of split ring adaptors that could be assembled in various combinations to cater for the popular cylinders of the day.

Then as time went on I built up a collection of adaptors for individual machines.

 

hortimech
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If you 'relief' grind, then

If you 'relief' grind, then you can allow the grind to spark out, but if not, you need to do a few hard passes to finish.

Somewhere I have hard copies of the toro pdf Wristpin posted, guess who was a Toro mechanic for over twenty years ;-)

The collets probably are still available, but should be easy to make. A piece of round bar turned down to fit the collet holders, then Internally machined to the required bearing size. You could make two at once, then split them, you would then cut a slot with an hacksaw through one side of each collet, this would make it easier to fit the bearing into the collet.

One other thing I should advise you, do not use any grease to lubricate anything, use oil, grease plus grinding dust equals grinding paste.

gtc
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The ABC box in the header

The ABC box in the header offers the choice of American or English spellings

My gripe with the on-the-fly spelling checker's dictionary on here is that it accepts 'teh' as being valid, and one of my bad typing habits is to frequently type 'teh' instead of 'the'. I asked Admin to remove 'teh' from that dictionary, but apparently he cannot.

I have my Language set to British English and it sticks between login sessions.

tomds
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Thanks for the info? Do you

Thanks for the info? Do you know where I might find collets for sale? 

wristpin
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I think that you will be

I think that you will be fortunate to find collets separated from their machine, unless some misfortune has befallen it and the collets have survived in a box of odds and s**s and turn up at a machinery or auto jumble.  Our local agricultural market hold a monthly collective sale for mowers and all sorts and there are always boxes of old tools and rusty spanners etc and it’s that sort of place that they might turn up unrecognised for what they are.

I think that Hortimech’s suggestion is your best bet, especially if you can find “ a man in a shed” with a lathe and a local firm with suitable off cuts or willing to sell you short lengths from their bulk stock. You need to assess what your “ customer base” base is likely to be and start with the most popular sizes. When I bought my BRL I was fortunate to inherit a good selection of collets and adaptors, mainly in imperial sizes, and have built on that.