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The Newbies Arena Are you new to knife making? Here is all the help you will need.

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  #1  
Old 06-20-2014, 12:18 PM
MTDuke MTDuke is offline
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Tool advice

Hey all, first post here although I have been reading and admiring for some time.

I have been interested for a couple years in diving into knife making, and along with that blacksmithing. I have a bit of background (farrier school many moons ago) but have a lifetime of learning ahead me. My professional life is such that I need a hobby that allows me to make things that are "real". So you know where I am at, I have never made a knife, and outside of shaping horse shoes blacksmithing will be new as well.

I am in the process of organizing a facility this summer to begin actual work. And tool acquisition. I am a "buy once, cry once" kind of guy, so it may take a while to assemble what I think I need.

Typical newbie questions are answered so much I have benefited greatly about "which grinder" etc.. that I have a good sense of what tools to be putting in the shop. So, I will not ask that particular question. However, for the tool buffs I do have a question I am not sure where to go with.

Recently, I was given a very large antique free standing grinder. Its greasy, dirty, and likely to cause me a hernia or two. But, I want to clean it up and setup so that its usable.

Here are some pics:





The wheel that is on it is very course, 16". The axle appears to have been turned by a separate motor, there are two belts hanging over over a fixed area in the center of the axle.


So, here are my questions, I apologize if they seem elementary:

1. What set of wheels would make this grinder most useable in a knife/blacksmith shop?
2. Any advice for the type of motor I would need to run this? I assume low rpm, high torque, as much hp is possible?
3. I am going to spend some time really cleaning this thing. Would you consider painting it? It is antique. Would it be better to clean and oil?


I ask about painting because I just spent a few days working on a combo belt/disc grinder I was given as well. I welded up a stand out of scrap and painted it to match the grinder but I did not paint the grinder itself.






Thanks for any insights you have on getting the old grinder up and running.
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  #2  
Old 06-20-2014, 01:50 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Honestly, I wouldn't bother with it. Its a pretty cool thing but not terribly useful in knife making. I guess if you replaced the stone wheel with a Cone-Lok wheel it would have some use for hollow grinding but, in the last 20 years, I have only known one knife maker who could actually use a stone wheel to grind a blade bevel and do as good a job at it as most can do on a belt sander. Bottom line, there is nothing you can do on that stone wheel where knife making is concerned that a good belt sander won't do better.

It might be worth building a heavy table under the wheel such that you could use the wheel as a surface grinder. Most guys wish they had a surface grinder but few actually have one. Wouldn't be the easiest thing to build nor any big priority but it would be something useful to do with that tool ...


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Old 06-21-2014, 05:00 PM
MTDuke MTDuke is offline
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Thanks Ray, sounds like wisdom. I cleaned it up, went through a wire wheel on my angle grinder and painted it. Looks nice, seems kinda cool to have around a shop. I'm guessing tho it wont get used much unless I find a blacksmithing purpose for it.

I do want to wake up early one Thanksgiving morning and sharpen an axe on those big wheels on my way to the turkey pen. Gotta do that at least once.
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Old 06-21-2014, 05:12 PM
MTDuke MTDuke is offline
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Here is a pic of it cleaned up. Heavy duty to say the least.



I also found a mini mill for sale local for cheap. It came from a gunsmith who built it himself, I have been leery of cheap import mini mills but this seems like it will work for my purposes.

Any wisdom on a DRO that would work for such a mill?

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Old 06-21-2014, 06:45 PM
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ATalley ATalley is offline
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I think its cool as heck! Heavy on the Character, I've got a small camel back drill press that was given to me by a friend with aloft of the same character as that piece. ...very cool


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Old 06-21-2014, 08:15 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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First off, don't be too afraid of at least some of the import mills. I have a Grizzly and its been great for 15 years so far.

Second, I'm a tool junkie like most knife makers and I tried like crazy to find a reason why I needed a DRO and couldn't do it. We're making knives, not Swiss watches. I also have a small CNC machine which is very cool while being basically useless to me as far as the CNC part goes. I bought it when I was a raw beginner with the hope that CNC would help with my concerns about knife design, profiling parts, making patterns and all the other stuff that comes from trying to buy equipment to solve problems you don't actually have yet. I did do a little of those types of things with it for a while but quickly discovered that I could either spend my time learning to make knives or I could spend my time learning to program my CNC to make knives for me. I don't want to be a manufacturer, I want to be an artist in cutlery. So, once again, didn't need the fancy equipment. I still use it manually to slot my guards because its much smaller than my heavy mill and better suited to doing tiny work but $3k for a machine to slot guards seems excessive in hindsight.

In short, forget the DRO for now. Maybe later when you have established exactly what knives you want to make and how you want them made you may find a use for a DRO but by any logic I can see that should be at least a few years down the road ...


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Old 06-21-2014, 10:09 PM
MTDuke MTDuke is offline
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More sound advice that makes some sense. Thanks much, tool acquisition continues! For some reason my post with mill pic and cleaned up grinder is not showing.
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Old 06-22-2014, 07:52 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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I'm not sure why you don't see it but I see your mill and the cleaned up grinder just fine ...


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