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05-13-2008, 04:20 PM #1
Build your own grinder
I have attached a complete set of mechanical construction plans for a KMG style grinder to this post.
Special thanks to Michael Clerc for allowing us to share these plans.
I read an early version of these plans, and they were very good so I wanted to post them here.
Before I did I mailed the author to ask permission. And lo and behold: not only did I get permission, but I even got the latest version.
Thanks again MikeLife is too short to make mono-steel blades.
05-13-2008, 04:22 PM #2
Bruno, have you made and used it yet? I'm seriously considering buying a Bader or KMG. Obviously building one would save a lot of money, but is it of the same quality? Thanks!
05-13-2008, 04:30 PM #3
Awesome, Bruno, thanks for posting and getting permission and thanks to Mike for such a generous contribution of his talent. I saved that PDF to my desktop so fast I think my finger almost started on fire!
One question: Since the width of the Platen is 2", I'm assuming these plans would build a 2"x72" abrasive belt grinder?
05-13-2008, 04:39 PM #4
My grinder is similar to this one, and the plans are great.
And yep, these plans are for a 2x72" grinder, which is the gold standard for knife and razor making.
05-13-2008, 06:28 PM #5
I haven't made one yet. It's on my to do list. I hope to have made some progress by the end of the year
It's funny though: beltgrinders like the bader and the kmg are sold without problems in lawsuit happy USA, but in europe you can't find them because there are strict regulations regarding power tools, and noone can sell grinders like that with accessible free rolling belts that can grab and crush fingers.
Anyway that is why Europeans are force to build their own, or pay someone to build one.Life is too short to make mono-steel blades.
05-13-2008, 07:09 PM #6
I was checking out those instructions and they look great but are very precise! Anyone have any clue as to the whole cost including motor and all? Preferably variable speed? I would probably use a lot of the distributors listed. Maybe Josh can let us in on his cost?
05-13-2008, 07:21 PM #7
With a fairly large platten like this one and its design, the only areas of access to use the slack belt would be awkwardly behind the grinder? It's been awhile since I've viewed my Bill Ellis DVD, but he has just a huge area of slack belt to easily gain access to for shaping, etc. Did Bill just have the platten removed? If I build my own grinder (a distinct possibility), I'd want very easily accessible slack belt access to shape (scales, etc) like the dickens.
Could this grinder accommodate me and if so, how? I'm very ignorant to grinders in general, so please forgive if it's a "duh" kind of a thing.
05-13-2008, 07:34 PM #8
On this one, the platen are exchangable with a variety of contact wheels.
If you'd use a contact wheel you'd have a lot of slack belt.Life is too short to make mono-steel blades.
05-13-2008, 10:16 PM #9
Bruno's right--with the contact wheel, there's a lot of slack. It's a little dangerous to use that section, although I do it regularly. The safest bet is taking the platen off and just running the belt between the two idler wheels.
My total cost for the machine was somewhere between $500 and $800. I got a lot of parts for free or almost free. The two biggest costs are contact wheels and motors. An 8" contact wheel will run you $250 at least, but I got my wheel for free and had it trued up at a machine shop for about $40.
Check out www.usaknifemaker.com. Tracy, the owner, is a great guy, and his prices are hard to beat.
05-14-2008, 06:41 AM #10
- Join Date
- May 2005
- Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
- Blog Entries
Those are a great set of plans and thanks for sharing!
I used the plans from Tracy at www.usaknifemakers.com and just finished the first grinder today. It runs really smooth.The others will be done in about 2 weeks when the other motor mounts arrive. he has some good photos at
I saved money by finding or making my own wheels and by using motors I purchased at auctions/estate sales.
Making a grinder does take a good bit of time but I did learn a lot and it sure is nice when it all comes together. If anyone builds a grinder from Tracy's plans feel free to call me at any time. Pics later.
For a slack belt attachment just take off the platen or make a seperate tool arm with just the two wheels. Kinda easy really.Randolph Tuttle, a SRP Mentor for residents of Minnesota & western Wisconsin