Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Heap of a Grinder

Recommended Posts

I've been working on this grinder for a while.  Its not quite done yet, but its starting to look like something... something like a heap of grinder to go with my heap of a Jeep.

Just been piecing it together with a lot of scrap I have lying around.  I did buy the wheels, pillow blocks, and step pulleys, but everything else is from whatever I could scrounge.  I only have a 3/4 HP motor for it, but I'll eventually upgrade that... again, its just what I have lying around that has any chance of working for now.  Since I've been using salvaged steel, I only have a total of about $200 in to it.  Hopefully it will work okay.  I'm not a machinist, so I was quite surprised it actually is coming out square.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Greetings Neighbor, 

Just an ol boys 2c .. I would add a bearing block as close to the sanding belt drive as you can and move the motor drive pulley to the center of the other two.. Shaft flex and vibration will be a factor.. My friend Wayne has some great plans that may do some good.. He has a web sight and I hope he chimes in with some info. Have fun with your build.. 

Forge on and make beautiful things


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jim, glad to meet a fellow northern Michigander.  Following a bit of your advice, and since everything was just tacked in place and easy to move, I did separate the two blocks and put the pulley between them, then moved the whole assembly over so the drive wheel is about an inch from the block.  I forgot to get pictures before leaving for work, but besides adding a third block, which I have to order, it seemed logical to me... of course, I'm making this whole thing up as I go along, so "logic" might not be the proper term.

I got the tension arm and tracking wheel in place, and with just turning it by hand, it looks like it should track fairly well, right off the bat, but I won't really know until I have the motor hooked up.  I had the motor hooked up last night, but then the failed logic hit.  In my head, I had it all planned out, the motor mounts worked just as I had intended.  I'm using an old industrial sewing machine table to mount it on.  I haven't used the machine in years, so figured I'd just remove the head of the machine and use the table rather than let it keep wasting space.  I got the motor wired up to the control box that came with the table, and lo and behold, it was running the wrong direction.  No worries, just swap the leads... no joy.  Then, clear as day, and something I had never noticed, even though its was printed right there on the motor.... "non-reversible"

So had to move the motor to the back and turn it around... a little on-the-fly designing, a little more cutting, drilling, and grinding, and I'm ready to mount it up in its new location, only to find out that the v-belt I have is now a good 4" to short for the new design and with how it is built, there is no way to make it work without tearing it apart and redesigning the whole thing.  Thankfully I'm picking up an alternator for one of my Jeeps today, and the parts store has the proper belt in the proper size.  If I can get the garage warm enough to actually work out there tonight, there is a good chance I should have this up and running this evening after work. 

If I had really thought this through, I should have dropped the old sewing machine motor from underneath the table (too small to power the grinder), and hooked up the motor I am using.  Then I could have run the belt up from underneath to the pulley, and used the foot pedal/clutch assembly from the sewing machine to control the speed of the grinder.  Oh well, maybe that's an upgrade for a nice warm summer day.  Its hard to concentrate and stay motivated when its only 11 degrees in the garage.  My brake drum forge table is on wheels so I can just wheel it out of the garage, but I would sure love to build some kind of chimney/vent system to be able to fire it up inside.  That would warm things up in a hurry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got her up and running tonight.  Had to double nut all of the wheels because they kept coming loose while it was running.  Also had to use some washers as shims in a couple of areas to get everything lined up just right, but its tracking pretty good.  On the fastest speed, the 3/4 hp motor does pretty good.  It will need to be upgraded at some point, but its already a ton better than the 2x36 bench grinder attachment I've been using.

Its to cold to anything more on it tonight, but after it warms up, I'll give it a coat of paint and make it look a little nicer, but for now, this project is done and its time to get back to forging.12508919_935568549856703_65681554027408712439217_935568536523371_68240410314074912376368_935568516523373_11075917491674012541079_935568493190042_613498388527454

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just wanted to give some props to the company I ordered the grinder wheels from.  I got them from a company called Oregon Blade Maker.  The price was good and I figured it was worth taking a shot.  So now that everything is up and running, I have to say the wheels are great, but I had a problem with the bearings in the tracking wheel.  I was getting a nasty whine, and the wheel was getting pretty warm, compared to the two platen wheels.  When they arrived in the mail, I spun them in my fingers, just because that's what guys do when they get new toys, and I did notice a hesitation in that wheel but thought it just needed a little break in period.  After getting some time one the grinder though, the hesitation is getting worse.

Bearings are cheap, and available locally, so I figured, no big deal, I'll just pick some up in town, but I needed the right size and since I was at work and couldn't measure them, I just dropped Oregon Blade Makers and email, explaining what happened and just asked for the size of the bearings so I could get the correct ones.  Within five minutes, they had responded.  That alone gave them major points in my book, since it can take days for businesses to get to me, even the local mom and pop shops.  The person that responded apologized for the bad bearing, gave me some advice about attaching it to my grinder, and informed me that they had already put a couple of new bearings in the mail to me, even though I hadn't asked for them to replace them.

That, my friends, is what customer service is all about.  I wanted to give the guys/gals at Oregon Blade Makers a shout out on here, because I think the customer service was perfect. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

That's a pretty cool little grinder. I like the repurposing of the table and materials. I'm all into that whenever I can ;) 

How is the motor working out for you? I put a 1.5 HP on the 2" X 72" Kalamazoo I "built" (well, heavily modified) and it does pretty well, but I can stall it out if I really lean into it. My bigger Kalamazoo, I put a 230 volt 3 HP (pretty sure on the HP anyways) from Harbor Freight in it and it runs like a raped ape. The VFD powered motor setups are real nice, but not necessary especially if you're on a tight budget.

Im excited to get that Ryman up and running. It needs some TLC but I paid $180 for it so I can't really complain.

Sounds like the company you got the wheels from is top notch. That's great. If you got recent photos, post them up. You got a nice machine, plus the satisfaction of knowing you built it yourself 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...