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Building your own grinder

I got the idea for this grinder when I was working on a 7 day set that needed regrinding. I did the first one by hand, but it was a lot of work because of all the damage. the thought of doing 6 more like that was not appealing so I went looking for something better that would not break the bank. I finally came up with an electrical sander costing all of 30 dollars, and easy to make.



This is one of those e-z sharp appliances that you can find in many hardware stores. These things are advertised as wet grinders, but they are worthless, and often not even trued. I've tried using them as wet grinder for de-pitting a wedge, and they suck. But luckily, you can turn them into something useful.

How to build the grinder

The first step is to remove the water reservoir. This is not necessary if there is plenty of room between the stone and the sides / bottom of the reservoir, but even then it is more convenient.

The result

And voilà: here you have a very cheap grinder that will do a reasonable job. I restored that entire 7 day set with it, and you can see the results here: Restoration mega project: Joseph Rodgers 7 day set

It died pretty much immediately when that set was done. The gearbox was made of plastic cogwheels, and I had accidentally run the motor into its thermal protection a couple of times.

Usage instructions

The grinder should only be used in 20 - 30 minute intervals, and then given an hour at least to cool off. It will depend on the way the grinder is built, but for 30$ or less, you cannot expect much. It had thermal protection, but after I used it for an hour+ and the protection kicked in for the first time, it lost a significant amount of torque. I suspect I shorted out a good number of coils.

Also, it pays to use good sandpaper. Don't use wet / dry because it clogs up faster if used dry then plain dry paper. I found aluminium oxide paper to be excellent. silicon carbide might be better still, but I haven't tried it yet.

This is by no means an equal alternative to a Bader or KMG belt grinder. Grinding pitting damage from a wedge will take some time. But at least the amount of time will be reasonable, and you won't get a tennis elbow in the process.


This article was originally written by Bruno[1] in

See also

  • Mirror Finishing by Rob Brown[2]



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