The Best Measuring Tools for Grinding! A Case Study With LAW Universal Grinding Ltd
Here at DML we sell metrology equipment into a wide range of industry, with grinding shops being a common end location for many of our dispatched goods.
This week, we visited one of our longest-standing customers, LAW Universal Grinding and Precision Engineering to look more closely at the measuring equipment they use, and in general at the different tools for grinding they use – a good excuse to ogle some impressive machinery!
Who are LAW Universal Grinding?
Established in 1988, they are a highly regarded company producing high spec components to clients across the UK. Les, the company director and a skilled-grinder of high standing in Sheffield and beyond, established the company in 1988.
Before setting up LAW Universal Grinding, his career started in the tool room of Laycock Engineering in 1974. A successful start in industry stalled due to redundancy in 1988. However, Les saw the loss of his job as an opportunity, establishing a company that 33 years later has a lofty reputation and a loyal client list of enviable standing.
These days, Les is joined in the workshop by Mel and Henry – machinists of equally impressive knowledge and experience. When not using their skilful grinding and milling skills to deftly wield tools for grinding and produce complex components for universities, measuring gauge manufacturers and classic motorcycle repair shops. Mel spends his free time hunting down remote distilleries in the Scottish Highlands to add to his already impressive whiskey collection, while Henry prefers a cold beer with his feet up in front of a crime film.
The Components they Make
From plans to completion, here Henry uses a Bridgeport milling machine to drill holes into steel components. Care and precision is key during this technical process, each of the components must be identical while also corresponding to the measurements and tolerances found in the specifications. Once produced through skilful use of his tools for grinding, metrology instruments such as calipers, micrometers and telescopic gauges will be used to check the dimensions of the components.
The lathe and coolant spray rarely stop within the LAW workshop as the guys use the tools for grinding processes they have at their disposal with confident ease. Here, Mel works on a cylindrical component that requires a hole drilling through the length of the piece. To complete this tricky task, the hole is initially drilled halfway into the steel component before the component is turned around and drilled again creating a through bore.
How they use our Metrology Instruments to Check Components
Below, Mel is checking the dimensions of a rectangular work piece, a bore has been made in the component with tools for grinding and machining, the bore has a screw thread created within the holes so the component can accept a corresponding screw part.
First of all, Mel uses a micrometer to set and check the length of the telescopic gauge which he then uses to check the accuracy of the diameter of the hole. He then uses a Lever Dial Test Indicator to test the surface of the screw thread, checking for any inconsistencies. A run-down of how Lever Dial Test Indicators can be used for this purpose can be viewed here.
Les, the Grinding Master!
Les shows off his grinding skills and some nice looking tools for grinding – firstly ‘clocking up’ the piece with a dial indicator to test the alignment of the component before grinding the internal hole and outside edge of the component.
To see a video of Les ‘clocking up’, check out our Instagram feed.
The CMM in Action
Below, Mel works on the CMM (Coordinate Measuring Machine), a machine that has become one of the essential tools for grinding and finishing shops. He is using the probe and software to plot a series of points, checking the dimensions of the disc-shaped component, ensuring the machined holes in the component are within tolerance and that they are on a PCD specified on the drawing.
LAW Grinding and DML
Les and Allen (our company director) go way back, their paths often crossing within the engineering world over the past 20 or so years! Occasionally crossing over a pint of beer and a game of snooker, with some gentle banter!
Over more recent times, a mutual relationship has grown between the two companies. With LAW making the specialised anvils and components we need to provide bespoke metrology instruments for our customers. And, LAW knowing they can purchase high quality, reliable hand-held metrology equipment at fair prices from DML. They also know we’ll respond quickly, providing a range of options if they need a piece of equipment urgently, be it a new micrometer, a set of telescopic gauges, or a dial indicator or two!
We hope you’ve enjoyed getting an insight into the workings of one of our customer’s workshops. If you have any questions, please let us know. Or, if you’d like to invite us round for a cuppa and to show us what you do, then give us a shout too – we’ll bring our camera!