Why sand cast clipper wheels and not clipper wheels made from
rolled long grain aluminum plate? First cast aluminum is not long
grain in structure it is granular. This is important because of how the
two different types of aluminum machine on a lathe. When
machining long grain plate aluminum the material comes off in long
spirals, then as the aluminum is cut pent up tension within the plate is
released causing a small amount of warpage on the surface of the
wheel as the material is removed. This warpage makes it
harder to get a perfect flat cut. Unlike long grain rolled aluminum plate,
cast aluminum is granular and not pressed with heavy rollers so
there is much less tension within the material.
When cutting cast aluminum on a lathe the material comes off in
grains like sand and not long spiral strips so the cut is not
hampered with any of the same tension problems of long grain
aluminum. Cutting cast aluminum results in a much truer smoother
cut than what you get with long grain aluminum plate.
Andis and Oster make their professional clipper wheels out of
cast aluminum for the same reasons, but there is a problem,
Andis and Oster clipper wheels are full of large air bubbles. These air
bubbles in the cast aluminum makes the wheel lighter, but the
random air bubbles also cause their clipper wheels to be more
unbalanced than they need to be. To remedy this unbalance Andis,
and Oster will usually only surface one side of the wheel and then
attach lead weights to the underside of the wheel to balance the
This works, but then when the wheel needs to be resurfaced again
the aluminum is cut, exposing more large air bubble cavities.
This throws off the balance so the wheel will then have to be re-
balanced again after each resurfacing. If not done correctly the
wheels will vibrate (sometimes very violently) until they are balanced.
When these same companies make a double-sided clipper wheel
you will see holes drilled directly into the outer edge of the wheel.
This is the only way to balance a double-sided clipper wheel.
When there are lots of air bubbles then it takes more holes,
(and deeper holes) on the outer edge to get the
wheel balanced again.
Ace sand cast clipper wheels are purposely made with no large air
bubble cavities in the body of the clipper wheel. The only thing you
might see are very small pin-holes, but nothing that will throw
the wheel way off balance after it has been resurfaced. Of course it will
have to be balanced again after resurfacing, but because of a lack of
large air cavities it will take fewer holes drilled in the outer edge
to get the job done.