Sharpening Station for bench grinder.

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Project by Mainiac Matt posted 09-08-2017 03:08 PM 3533 views 11 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been picking away at this project for a while and finally put it to use last night. It’s both a metal and woodworking project, and was a lot of fun to make.

I bought this cheap China grinder 25 years ago at a Homier Distributor auction (think Harbor Freight crossed with a traveling gypsy road show) and used it for lawn mower blades and axes, and even though I had put new CGW wheels on it, it had a terrible wobble. I’m setting up to sharpen lathe tools, so I figured I would replace it with an 8” slow speed grinder.

1. I checked the shaft run out and it was < 0.001” .... it turned out that my wobble problem was due to the plastic center hole adapters and the washers I was using for wheel flanges.
2. I read on a metal working forum that many machinist scorn the use of slow speed grinders, and widely use 6” grinders turning at 3,400 rpm.

Giving an old dog a new life
> I made custom hole adaptors and new flanges on my metal lathe and got rid of the wobble.
> I set up a cheap diamond pointed wheel dresser and trued up the wheels.

Then I set about designing and fabricating my own version of the Wolverine style grinding jig using small pieces of aluminum scrap and a stub of 1”x1” 80/20 T-track.

I got lucky and Peachtree Woodworking ran a sale on their grinding jig (looks a lot like the Veritas) for $20.

Next came figuring out the base, so I could easily swap the jigs from side to side and never have to move the wheels. I used a scrap piece of 1/4” Melamine faced MDF for the top, as it will be continually peppered with grinding wheel grit. I used scraps of 1” birch plywood that already had poly finish on them for the blocking and used the actual pipe with a 0.005” feeler gauge to set up the TS fence, so the clearance is very close and hopefully will be immune from humidity effects.

The setup is sized to clamp to any bench and then stash away in the base of a cheapo HF tool cart I was given.

I ground a roughing gouge and spindle gouges using the Wolverine type setup and then a skew on the Peachtree fixture, all with the 120 grit white wheel and was quite pleased at how fast I was able to put a very nice edge on these tools.

Calling this one done… thanks for looking.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

8 comments so far

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Mainiac Matt

9645 posts in 3176 days

#1 posted 09-08-2017 03:35 PM

Musings on the use of bench grinders to sharpen edged tools…

1. Woodworkers and machinist have been using them to good effect for decades. If they worked for the old masters, don’t let the sales and marketing peeps convince you that you MUST have other equipment.

2. There are certainly better (and much more expensive) options out there, but bench grinders are a very versatile tool.

3. Sharpening doesn’t have to be an obsessive pursuit of OCD perfection… (though it can be fun geeking out with it).

2. Knowledge and skill are required to deploy a bench grinder successfully:
> Use light pressure
> Limit the time you apply the tool to the wheel.
> Cool your tool frequently by dipping it in water.
> Use the right grit wheel for the task at hand (i.e. courser for re-shaping & finer for touching up)
> Use your sense of touch to frequently inform you about heat build up. If you can touch it, it’s not too hot.
> Use your eyes to watch for discoloration as a sign of excessive heat.
> Discoloration does not necessarily mean that you’ve lost your temper.

I have and use…
Bench grinder
Work Sharp
Oil Stones
Granite surface plate and sand paper/emery cloth

I probably have everything (and more) than I’ll ever need…. yet I suspect some day I’ll get water stones and maybe even a wet grinding system… just to keep life interesting and to learn something new :^)

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View DS's profile


3546 posts in 3268 days

#2 posted 09-08-2017 03:36 PM

I am super-jealous. This is on my to do list.
Waaay down there at the moment, but, still needs to get done someday.
My grinder vibrates something awful. I’ll have to look at the wheel holes now.

So awesome. You have a slick looking set up there.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View lightcs1776's profile


4257 posts in 2502 days

#3 posted 09-08-2017 04:38 PM

Great work on the grinder. I have Captain Eddie’s Blackhawk sharpening rig on the grinder (works great) . You will appreciate having something that keeps the right setup for you.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View Jerry's profile


3484 posts in 2496 days

#4 posted 09-08-2017 09:06 PM

Matt this is genius!

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3714 days

#5 posted 09-09-2017 01:07 PM

This is a very nice sharpening jig. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View CFrye's profile


11074 posts in 2687 days

#6 posted 09-09-2017 01:38 PM

Nice setup, Matt!

-- God bless, Candy

View HokieKen's profile


15039 posts in 1986 days

#7 posted 09-11-2017 12:24 PM

Well Matt, you rock buddy. I have virtually the same setup on my grinder except I used wood for the cradle rig. I have the same Peachtree rest but have wished I could buy a spare base for it. When I saw that you cut the base in half so you could move it between wheels, it was a slap-my-head-aha-duh-uh moment! I’ll be doing that tonight…

Thanks brother!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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Mainiac Matt

9645 posts in 3176 days

#8 posted 09-11-2017 02:17 PM

The Peach Tree mount is almost exactly twice as long at the base of the rest, so it worked out very well….

the rest pivots and angles, so I can’t picture a situation where I will miss not being able to slide it as well.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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