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  • Writer's pictureBrandant Robinson

Surface Grinder Build

Well, it's been a few weeks since I've shared my adventures in knife making with my faithful followers. I've been tied up in some home improvement projects which always cut into my shop time. I just finished up a folder that I made for my daughter to make good on a promise. I didn't take any WIP pics, but I'll post some photos of the finished piece here soon. In the mean time, I've been collecting parts to build a new, more accurate and more robust surface grinder attachment for my 2x72 grinder. The materials finally all came in, so I decided to build the grinder before I started on any other knife projects. I hope you will enjoy following along with me as I stumble through this build.

Here are the raw materials and parts that will be used to make this new attachment. I'm building the main platform out of aluminum stock. It should be rigid enough to hold fairly tight tolerances without weighing a metric ton. I ordered the linear guide rail and cross slide table from the internet and had the wheel made from a specialty manufacturer.

I'm going to work on the 12 inch magnetic chuck first and work out the other parts as I go. Typically I start a build with exact drawings of a well-thought-out design, but I'm just kind of winging this one. Since this has to fit my own grinder, I will just take measurements and figure angles on the shop. I did get plenty of extra aluminum to remark parts when I mess up.

Here I am cutting groves along the chuck that will accept 5/8" wide rare earth magnets. The magnets will hold the work piece onto the chuck with magnetic force alone.

After about an hour I have 15 groves cut and ready for magnets to be epoxied in place. I cut the groves a full 1/8" deeper than the thickness of the magnets. After the surface grinder is built I'll grind off the full surface of the chuck to make it absolutely parallel to the wheel. Leaving the extra gives me something to work with. I missed taking a pic of the magnets glued in place, but I'll be sure to include one next week.

I don't have a good band saw or chop saw that will cut this thick of material, but I've found that aluminum cuts really well on a table saw with a carbide-tipped blade. This is a 1-1/2" square bar that I cut to length for the tool arm. It cuts as easily as most hardwoods do.

I drilled a 1/2" hole through the tool arm that will become the a hole for the wheel axle.

Here's the tool arm with the wheel temporarily mounted in order to work out the needed spacing to maintain good tracking alignment.

That's as far as I got this weekend. I spent a lot of time scratching my head to figure out how this thing is going to come together. I take no credit for this design as I've just looked at what others have done and am combining those features that I liked best and what will work with my specific grinder. I'm still not sure if this thing is going to come together and work correctly, but I'm an optimist. At least it all works in my head! That sounds like famous last words.

Thanks for following along with me on this build. Stop by again soon to see the next stages of this build.

- Brandant Robinson

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