Grinder Sculpting #4: The Grinding

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Blog entry by JoeyG posted 12-29-2011 07:13 PM 3682 reads 15 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: setting the handle and lid Part 4 of Grinder Sculpting series Part 5: Sanding »

Well my shop is now a wreck, my eyes are full of dust and I had a blast. LOL.

Lets start with the box and grinder. As you can see I drew in the lines on the handle to match up to the box.

In the next pictures you will see the grinding process. I thought long and hard about making a video and decided that there wasn’t really a way for me to do it at this time. Maybe I will revisit the idea in the future.

I start at my line and gentle pull into the center. I then go to the next line and pull to the center again, creating a hollow. I try to just take a little at a time. I must also mention that you need to keep in mind the position of the hinge pins and the dado for the bottom. Going to deep at either place will result in a pretty box for the shop. LOL. When I drew my layout onto the box, I put the hinge pins in the center of the hollows and had to redraw them before I started grinding. The more “beef” you can leave around the pins, the stronger the lid will be. Well here are the pictures you have been waiting for. I hope they help show the process I use to make this type of box. I know a lot of others have perfected this style box, like Andy and Greg, and I am still working to reach their level, but I learn with each box and have fun doing it. I hope this helps you to give it a try.

The last picture is a reminder to use your common sense. Grinding throws up a lot of dust and is loud. I use, safety glasses and will be investing in goggles soon because of the dust build up in my eyes. I would also recommend a respirator over a dust mask but use something. You don’t want to be breathing that stuff. Finally don’t forget the ear protection. The grinders are loud and dangerous and should be respected in every aspect of their use. It is also not recommended to take off the guard. You can see in the picture that I have, but beware, it does make this more dangerous than it all ready is.

Finally as you will see in my pictures, make sure the box is secured. The grinder can and will sling the box across the shop if it is not. At first I clamped it down, but having to move it around in all kinds of different positions, it is not always possible to clamp the box to the work surface. A vise may work but not having one, I found a different way. I use blocks that are screwed to a piece of plywood that is clamped to my table saw. I can quickly unscrew the blocks and move them as I need to.

If I left anything out, please ask and I will try to answer. Or if you can think of a different or better way to make any of these steps safer or easier my ears are open.

Next will be lots and lots of sanding. The not so fun part. LOL. I have found a “zen” place I go in my mind when sanding and it has become like a meditative exercise. It helps when there is hours of sanding to do, but more on that next episode.

As always, thanks for joining me on the journey.

See ya next time

-- JoeyG ~~~

13 comments so far

View sras's profile


6105 posts in 4213 days

#1 posted 12-29-2011 07:22 PM

Looks like you are meaking great progress!

This is a very clear description – a well written blog.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3492 days

#2 posted 12-29-2011 08:09 PM

Nice work and easy to understand. Do you have any preferences on the type grinding wheels you use? Thanks and looking forward to the next step.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 3709 days

#3 posted 12-29-2011 08:38 PM

Hey jaykaypur, I posted a picture back in episode 2 of the ones I use. On this one I am using a old one. They have a corner that tends to cut a hard edge when they are new. Once the get used a little they soften up and it’s easier to avoid hard cuts and keep the curves smooth. If that makes any sense. As far as brands, I have used a few different, but can’t really tell a difference in performance.

Thanks you Steve. I am trying to achieve a easy to follow format, without it feeling like a text book. I hope I am getting there. I figured by this time next year I should have this blog thing down. LOL

-- JoeyG ~~~

View Sanman's profile


78 posts in 3441 days

#4 posted 12-29-2011 09:39 PM

WOW, great work

-- I'll get it done when I get a-round-tuit.

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 4018 days

#5 posted 12-30-2011 12:03 AM

Nice to see grinding in action.

I have to trty that someday.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View amagineer's profile


1415 posts in 3681 days

#6 posted 12-30-2011 12:56 AM

Joey; Thanks for the grinding lesson. I made a sculptured cross out of purpleheart using a dremel tool and enjoyed it so much, you have inspired me to go bigger and buy a grinder to create something larger.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3774 days

#7 posted 12-30-2011 06:37 AM

Good job Joey (on both the box and the blog). You appear well on the way to a Greg box. I assume you cut the scallops on the bottom edge with a bandsaw before you started grinding?

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 3709 days

#8 posted 12-30-2011 05:45 PM

I am glad the blog is clear and inspiring. Amagineer, I look forward to seeing what you can create once you get a grinder. It’s a lot of fun.

@ gfadvm, I cut the bottom detail the same time I did the Ambrosia-birdseye boxes, you can see it here; I used a jig saw and a drum sander in my drill press. When I was making my Christmas boxes I made a couple extra for last minute orders and had this one left over. A bandsaw is on my to get list but at the moment it will have to wait and I have to do things the hard way.

Thanks to you all for the kind words, I hope everyone is learning a little and will give this a try. It is a lot of fun, and who doesn’t like to make a big mess?

-- JoeyG ~~~

View rance's profile


4278 posts in 4244 days

#9 posted 01-06-2012 12:45 AM

Joey, It looks like on of those carving vises could be useful with this kind of work. Nice blog.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 3709 days

#10 posted 01-06-2012 01:27 AM

Thanks rance. I never thought about a carving vise. I could see where that could possible be useful. I may have to look into them. Thanks for the idea.


-- JoeyG ~~~

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 4134 days

#11 posted 01-19-2012 05:07 PM

Joey, Great pictures of this box coming to life. You are fleshing it out nicely. Again, thanks for taking all the extra time to get the in-progress pictures, as well as the time to write the blog. I’m enjoying reading this series, even if I am a bit late to the show!

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View DocSavage45's profile


9048 posts in 3926 days

#12 posted 01-19-2012 05:15 PM

Thanks for your sharing and narrating your learning process.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 3709 days

#13 posted 01-19-2012 06:12 PM

Your welcome. I am happy that your guys enjoyed it. Thanks for taking a look and commenting.

-- JoeyG ~~~

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