If you're unfamiliar with machine shop equipment, the term "surface grinding" might seem odd - after all, every machining operation except heat treating happens at some surface or another. But "surface grinding" refers specifically to those operations performed on a machine termed a "surface grinder" which is particularly adapted to the production of relatively large, usually flat, surfaces. The surface grinder is the simplest grinding machine tool (the bench or pedestal grinder is simpler, true, but while it is often found in machine shops it isn't generally thought of as a "machine tool.") It is basically a grinding wheel mounted on a fine-control downfeed above an X-Y table which holds the workpiece.
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