After four years of grinding with a 2×42 Craftsman, I finally finished my “big boy” knife grinder. Back in January 2012 I bought the frame from another knifemaker who fell on hard times. Over the past 8 months I’ve picked up parts here and there, and finally got the machine running last week. The grinder is built off of the “No Weld Grinder” plans, but it’s welded. I have a flat platen arm with 2 and 4 inch contact wheels, and I also rigged up a small wheel arm. The motor is 1 HP with three step pullies yielding belt speeds of about 1400, 2400, and 4400 surface-feet-per-minute.
There are many advantages to this grinder compared to my old one. First and foremost, it runs slower. Slower speed means slower metal removal, which means more control, which means higher quality with less effort. Second, it runs a 72 inch belt compared to the old 42 inch belt. This translates into longer belt life. The 2×72 is the standard knifemaking size, and so the belt selection of the 72 inch belts is much greater. Third, I have a much more versatile setup. The Craftsman was limited to a flat platen and a 4″ aluminum wheel. My new grinder has three different wheel sizes so far, and can also be set up for hollow grinding once I buy the contact wheel for that.
While I’m talking about my grinder, I’ll post a few pics about how I modified the NWG tool arm to fit a Bader small wheel attachment. The Bader attachment has a 3/4″ peg and a 1/4″ roll pin. I drilled a 3/4″ hole with a step bit into a spare tool arm. I took out the roll pin, and drilled a 1/4″ hole through the tool arm. Line the holes up, put a 1/4″ bolt in, and you’re good to go. Also notice my Top Flite tracking adjustment knob 🙂