As part of a big haul of heirloom (my great grandfather) tools I got a hand grinder. It will hold a 6 inch wheel, clamps to a surface, and gets powered by tacos and coffee. Gorgeous!
It was pretty dirty when I started in on it. A little brushing with a brass brush got rust and dirt all over my newly cleaned work top. So much for a pristine work surface.
I didn’t really bother with any rust conversions. It wasn’t very rusty, just mostly dirty, and I was worried about getting wet stuff into a nook and not being able to get it back out again.
A flat piece of wood with a nice cleat attached served as a good base to clamp to. I started with a single layer of oak, but later doubled up because it warped too much under heavy grinding.
Time to accessorize! I picked up a grinding set from lee valley. The veritas set came with a soft 150 grit cool grinding wheel, Adjustable tool rest, blade holding jig, and angle setting guide. I have to say it was pricey but feels really well put together. Link to the product.
I had to cut off the loop that would hold the original tool rest. It was a simple right angle bit of metal with a screw to hold it in place. With this upgrade I don’t think it will be missed. To test it I pulled out an old Ohio Tools chisel. It was part of a small lot purchase from ebay. I really wanted the mortise chisel but wasn’t sure what to do with this guy.
Still, no reason to get rid of it. Ohio Tools made good stuff, and it was a socket chisel. Instead of making another bench chisel I could use a skew chisel. I don’t own any, and this guy requires a lot of grinding no matter what. Lets get it clamped up and going. The blade holder jig has pins that help hold the blade either square or at a 30 degree angle. Handy for grinding a skew!
I was able to keep a finger on the back of the blade and control pressure while feeling for heat. The slow speed and a close finger meant that heat damage was not an issue. The whole process took a while. 150 grit leaves a great surface that will only need a bit of work at the stone, but moves slowly when trying to make a radical change. I might use my power grinder to rough in something like this next time.
A somewhat shiny new skew chisel for me all by hand, what a great feeling. It is so satisfying to take old misfit tools and give them a good home. Well, more of a work home. No rest for the wicked!
As I mentioned earlier the single board was not stiff enough under heavy grinding. The gearing ratio means it takes a good bit of force on the handle to keep the wheel spinning quickly. I glued up another layer and put everything back on. A quick test showed that this was what the doctor ordered. Very stiff and very ready for its next job. The whole thing sits on a shelf and gets clamped into my front vice when needed.