Wet grinder

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Project by dgom posted 02-09-2014 08:17 PM 22205 views 37 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Since I have had the dia. 250 mm (10”) stone laying around unused for about twentyfive years now and there was a need to be able to sharpen the blades of all my old wooden hand planes, chisels, etc., I realised that it was time to make some use of the stone. I got inspired when I saw Bob Rozaieski's wooden wet grinder and decided to do something similar from birch plywood.

The arbor is just a piece of 1/2” steel tube, glued with epoxy squarely through the wheel’s arbor hole. The arbor spins in a pair of home made flanged sleeve bearings (made from copper tube) greased with copper paste. Initially the grinder was set up to be hand cranked, but after sharpening a half dozen plane blades I realized that I needed to upgrade the rig with a motor.

That was then I started to study how Tormek solved the motor drive of their products and stumbled upon their rolling friction drive which was so ingeniously simple and easy to implement. Hence I turned the honing wheel/friction disc on the lathe from MDF. I covered the friction drive surface with a strip of bicycle inner tube and the larger honing surface with a piece of leather from an old belt. I then had to add another piece of birch plywood (fastened to the original base with flat irons screwed from below) to prolong the base to be able to support the motor housing and the prolonged arbor. The motor was reclaimed from an at least 40 years old electrical typewriter. I just had to find a suitable bushing to fit on the motor axle to get the desired rotation speed of the stone of about 180 r.p.m..

Using the wet grinder together with the original tool rest revealed limitations of the system and I realized I needed something better. I found that Tormeks universal tool rest seemed simple and versatile and decided to fabricate a similar solution and at the same time also made a gouge jig and a square edge jig. The nice thing is that I can use any of Tormeks original jigs since the dimensions of the tool rest are identical with the original.

The set of profiled honing wheels is a later addition turned from MDF.

I’m satisfied with the grinder and think it suits my needs well. However after some extensive use I have noticed that the stone needs to be trued so I will have to make a jig to be able to fix that.

I also made another universal tool rest holder for the bench grinder to be able to rough sharpen if necessary before bringing the tools to the wet grinder.

10 comments so far

View Woodknack's profile


13471 posts in 3228 days

#1 posted 02-09-2014 08:49 PM

Wet grinder has been one of my back burner projects if I ever happened on a wet grinding stone for cheap. You’ve done well with this one. Do you plan a cover to keep the wheel from flinging water everywhere and what is the final rpm on the wheel? Thanks and nice job.

-- Rick M,

View mafe's profile


12609 posts in 3937 days

#2 posted 02-09-2014 08:57 PM

Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Northwest29's profile


1703 posts in 3338 days

#3 posted 02-09-2014 09:53 PM

Now that’s just too good. Makes my wheels start to turn -

-- Ron, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View Woodknack's profile


13471 posts in 3228 days

#4 posted 02-09-2014 10:38 PM

Oops, I noticed too late the rpm is ~180

-- Rick M,

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3140 days

#5 posted 02-09-2014 11:27 PM

Great innovation!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1343 posts in 2561 days

#6 posted 02-09-2014 11:46 PM

Just have to love homemade machines! Great and simple solutions there. If that stone you got there is the same natural sand stone that came with my old grinder that were super soft you are probably gonna want a new stone soon. Bought one similar to this one that is great (and cheap):
Like the solution with the mdf for polishing. Are going to try that out!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View cyclops4069's profile


66 posts in 2425 days

#7 posted 02-10-2014 09:25 AM

this is a great tool…...will look to have a go at one of these at some stage…...............

-- regards, cyclops4069

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 3924 days

#8 posted 02-10-2014 05:59 PM

Very cool!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View tyvekboy's profile


2045 posts in 3861 days

#9 posted 02-10-2014 06:01 PM

Great project. May have to try doing something similar.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View madts's profile


1942 posts in 3187 days

#10 posted 02-10-2014 07:50 PM

Very nicely done. Dang. I just bought a tormek!

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

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