Well, the build finally came together yesterday. Hurray! I put a significant amount of time and money into this project and to see it in its finished state, and to see how well it works, put the biggest grin on my face that I've had in a long time. Here are some photos of the final few steps of this surface grinder attachment build.
In order to keep the liner guide from sliding right off and onto the floor, I needed a stop in place at the top end. I cut a chunk of rubber off of an old hand sanding block, drilled and tapped a hole in the guide, and bolted it in.
Next, I needed a handle to hold onto as I raise and lower the grinder. I almost used a piece of wood, but I wanted something more durable. I didn't have any dowel rod, so I cut a 3/4" square out of a scrap piece of aluminum and decided to turn my own. Here I am drilling the hole that will be tapped which will connect the handle to the linear guide.
The rectangular bar is now a cylinder. I turned a few grooves in the handle and rounded over the top, but I didn't get any pics of that process.
Here's the handle fastened in place. It's pretty comfortable and should last as long as the grinder itself.
The knob on the cross slide table is really small, so I decided to turn a much larger replacement for it. I grabbed a chunk of aluminum, drilled a hole through it, and screwed it onto a mandrel so I could turn it round. The knob will be build in two pieces. This is the first piece which will attach to the lead screw and a bigger knob will be attached to this piece.
Here's that part being tapped after it has been turned and drilled.
Here's a better pic of that part. The small hole in the side will have a set screw that will lock the part to the lead screw of the cross slide table. It's attached to another piece of aluminum which will be turned round and be the second part of the knob.
And here's the part after being turned round. It's all ready to be attached to the cross slide table.
And here it is in all of its glory!!! The darn thing works great too. I did take the time to face off the magnetic chuck to bring the surface down closer to the magnets to give it more holding power.
Here's a view from the other side of the surface grinder attachment.
For a test run, I took a small folder blade and gave it a go. The tolerances were very good, less than half a thousandth of an inch. Much better than the 5 thousandths I got with my old surface grinder attachment and on par with a commercially available tool. Of course, it's not a full-fledged surface grinder, but I'm happy with it.
There is something extremely satisfying about making your own tools and having them function as expected. Even after spending quite a bit of money, this attachment is literally 1/4 to 1/5 of the price of those commercially available. I appreciate those who have stuck with me throughout this build. I promise I'll get back to making knives in the next post.
- Brandant Robinson