Part 1- Getting the tool


These articles are intended for the Home Shop Machinists

that have obtained or are considering the purchase of the

Asian Built copies of the Deckel Model SO Grinder.

(Started July, 2014)

(Message from the author: This is a continuous article intended to be updated by myself

as new and better information is compiled. Any comments or additions for my article,

please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If your information can be of help to these articles,

I will include the information and your name.

If you do not want your information or name included let me know. James Long)


 (Universal Tool and Cutter Grinder-

Paraphrased from Wikipedia)

A Universal Tool and Cutter Grinder is used for sharpening or grinding high speed steel and carbide cutting tools, milling cutters and tool bits along with a host of other tools.

It is an extremely versatile machine used to perform a variety of grinding operations: cylindrical or complex shapes.

The operation of this machine (in particular, the manually operated variety) requires a high level of skill. The two main skills needed are understanding of the relationship between the grinding wheel and the metal being cut and knowledge of tool geometry. The huge variety in shapes and types of machining cutters requires flexibility in usage. A variety of dedicated fixtures are included that allow cylindrical grinding operations or complex angles to be ground.

The Tool Holder moves longitudinally and laterally and can swivel as well as being adjustable in the horizontal plane, this flexibility in the head allows the critical clearance angles required by the various cutters to be achieved.



The cold hard fact is the home shop machinists does not have the budget and/or the room to acquire the high quality precision sharpening tools that in a perfect world we would like to own.


I have always desired to sharpen all my own tools and, I have obtained over the years some very nice machines like the Darex End Mill Sharpener. I took a hard look at the Tinker, the Quorn and others that can be made in the home shop but balancing the hours it would take to build these and the other projects on my list, I decided to try something already built and make it to work for me.


  These are the three most common Tool and cutter Grinders

built by the Home Shop Machinist.


This is not a beginner project and not every machining process is detailed.

It is assumed that some of the procedures are routine and do not need

explanation for the journeyman machinist.


The Deckel SO Single Lip Grinder:

Deckel SO Cutter grinder History:


"Deckel" was formed in 1903 under the name of "Bruns & Deckel". Bruns dropped out after 2 years, and so it became Friedrich Deckel, of Munich. The original Business objective was it to develop and produce camera shutters.


In 1950 The company,, started the manufacture of precision mechanic appliances and  became Feinmechanik Michael Deckel GmbH & Co. The company, still in business is now ISOG ( ).


In 1956 Single-lip cutter grinding machine S0 introduced to make and sharpen cutters for the company’s engraving machines. The '0' in "S0" is a zero.  The 'S' stands for "Schleif," indicating that the machine is for grinding. The S0 is the company’s proven basic model, whose careful finish and solid machine design guarantee long-term precision even after being through many years of hard workshop use.


The Deckel Single Lip Grinder seems to be a machine that could work for the home shop and basically is the same design as most of the small grinding machines. Deckel grinders are pricey, even used. They utilize proprietary collets that are expensive. These machines were originally designed to make and sharpen single-lip-cutters for use in the Deckel Engraving Machine.

The Asian copy of the Deckel includes attachments that will allow you to sharpen many different types of cutters. It seemed to me that with the proper engineering one could sharpen just most small cutting tool. I read many reviews of this product and most were not positive. With some trepidation, I decided to make this purchase. It is my hope that my article will guide you through the pros and cons of this Asian built machine. Perhaps you will find yourself wanting one for yourself.


My Goals:

·        Increase the Main Axle travel to 1”+

·        Remove all excess play from rotational parts

·        Allow all moving parts to move smoothly

·        Make all adjustments as quick, simple and repeatable as possible

·        Explain and demonstrate the function of every part

·        Demonstrate the sharpening techniques I have achieved so far


Let’s get started (July, 2014):

When my machine arrived, I was concerned as I pulled out the rusty nails from the wooden crate.

(Photo #001)


Care must be taken while removing the box from the crate; hundreds of sharp rusty nails stick out everywhere. This might be a good time to check when you had your most recent tetanus shot?






I am impressed with the heavy cardboard box that the tool

is packed in. (Photo #002)

Upon opening the box, I can already see that this tool has been bounced around quite a bit, the parts are not in the Styrofoam pockets they were originally packed in. (Photo #003)

The machine is too heavy for me to lift, (110 lbs), so I cut the box off around it to slide it out. I have orders from a higher authority, (my wife), that I may no longer lift heavy tools, my back agrees with her.


I gently rolled the Grinder out of the box and onto its' back. You can see that the bottom  tool cover is crude and approximately the correct shape. (Photo #004). Ultimately, I decided this bottom cover serves no practical purpose so I removed the bottom cover and only put the rubber feet back on.


The only damage I can find with a visual inspection is a small chip in the paint where two parts banged together, this is not an issue; I caused much more damage to the paint with all my modifications and tests that follow.

The Belt Cover Housing is made of plastic material, same as a car bumper but the rest of the machine is cast iron and steel.


Parts list (what you get with the machine):

·        Cast Iron Frame

·        Wheel Cover

·        Motor

·        Two Drive Belts

·        Work Light with spare bulb

·        Diamond Dresser with diamond

·        100 Grit Pink Grinding Wheel (it looks to me that some of the grinders come with Diamond/BNC Wheels)

·        Indexing head

·        3 tool holders:

·        R8 Dividing Head

·        Rectangular tool holder

·        End Mill Sharpener

·        Drill Sharpening Fixture

·        R8 Cutter Alignment Tool

·        5 R8 Collets (1/8”, ¼”, 5/16”, 3/8” and ½”)

·        3mm, 4mm, 5mm and 6mm Metric Hex Wrenches

·        Spindle Locking Pin

·        2- 7/16-20 R8 Drawbar Knobs & Handles

·        Hub Wrench for removing grinding wheel nut


Upon close examination of the machine I found it to be much more complex than I had expected with some of the parts not machined properly or simply stuck with dried-up grease, I had to tear it down completely, at times re-machining or making replacement parts. It was also a challenge to figure out the function of each part.


Because I repaired/modified the machine as I learned how to use it, the order of tear-down and repairs in this article is not how I actually did them and at times you will see a repair or modification that has not been  addressed yet in this part of the article. I went back many times to fix things that could have been easily corrected when I first worked on it; following my article should be the most efficient approach.


I will divide the steps into MUST DO, (those steps necessary for proper execution of the machine) and, ALTERNATE STEPS, (steps that I did just because I did not like the looks or function of the stock part).

After reading this article, eliminate the steps that you feel are not important for your needs or perhaps add changes that you feel I should have addressed.


 Technical Notes:

·        Machine footprint-12” deep, 18” wide including knobs that stick out, 13” high (not including work light).

·        Machine weight is approximately 110 LBS.

·        The chrome adjustable clamping handles are spring loaded to allow you to place the lever in any position.

·        All degree ring markings in this article are referred as: to the left of zero is always minus (-) and to the right of zero is always plus (+)

    (eg. set the Index Drum Quadrant Ring to -10 degrees).

·        Replace all the screws possible with USA made; stock screws are poor quality.

·        While working on the grinder, I found it was easier to remove some the

     handles and use 5 & 12 mm nut drivers to make adjustments.

·        The Spindle turns at 5,300 RPM’s.

·        The stock work light is too dim; appears to have a 12 volt DC base but uses a 110 VAC bulb?


Terminology of parts Disclaimer:

Several names of the parts have been taken from the Deckel Catalog; to insure you the reader, will always know what part I am referring to. I have applied the identification of parts from other machines, catalogs and some I created for a clear description of the parts function, (eg. Top Slide Tool Holder).