Hand Grinder

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!

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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.

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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.

DSC_0403 ResizedTime 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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