Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bench grinder bases

This is the third of three "quickie" projects that I turned to near the end of my week-long vacation, once I realized that my "main" projects weren't going to get finished.

So:  I have two "bench grinders" (as they're called locally; in Seattle they might just be referred to as "grinding wheels").  One I received as a gift (birthday?  Christmas?  I forget) from BrotherDave; the other I picked up used from a pawn shop.  One has a coarse and a medium wheel; the other has a coarse wheel and a wire brush.

(Update on 11 Aug 2014:  I've since replaced one of the coarse wheel with a white, aluminum oxide wheel -- to minimize the burning (i.e. ruining the temper of the metal) when I sharpen blades.  So now each of the four wheels has a different purpose.)

Previously I'd clamp the base of the grinders to a saw horse or my little sawbench.  However, there wasn't much surface to clamp on to, and occasionally the clamp would slip off.  I've been meaning to bolt the bench grinders to a slab of wood -- so that I could then clamp the wood, not the base of the grinders.

I rummaged through my stash of scrap lumber.  These two pieces are marked as "wet", because for a while they were stored outdoors, in the weather -- so they got rained on a bit.  There **could** be some minor rot -- so wood from this stash may not be not suited for load-bearing applications.

My thought was that I'd clean up each board (with a handplane), then cut each in half and glue it side-by-side.  This would result in a platform that was half as long as the original piece of wood, but twice as wide.  (Of course.)

In the above photo, the top board is mostly cleaned up, but the bottom one needs tidying.

The below photo shows my set-up on my workbench.  I have a series of large screws in the surface of my workbench.  Usually they're recessed, but I extend them as the need arises, to serve as planing stops.  You can also see the scraps of wood that I'm using as cleats, to bridge the gaps between the screws (and also prevent the screw heads from digging into my workpiece).  The scrub plane that I'm using is above and to the right.

Cleaned up a little more:

Same thing, different angle (and the workpiece pushed more firmly against the rear cleat):

By the way, note that I've painted one of my cleats purple:  this indicates that it's a piece of wood that I use for a particular purpose, not just a "scrap".  (In other words:  "Don't cut this up!  Leave it as it is!")

So, "day 1" of this project included cutting the wood, preliminary planing, and then gluing.

The below photo shows the wood after I joined the two halves together, and cleaned the seams up a little bit with a handplane.  I also flattened them a little, since the wood was a little cupped.

The photo is a little dark, since it was taken very late in the afternoon. I haven't yet wiped on the tung oil (which is pretty much the same as Danish oil).  Note that I've already marked out, and drilled, the mounting holes.

So, "day 2" was tidying up a little with the handplane, drilling the mounting holes, and then wiping on some tung oil.

And, here's what it looks like after the oil has dried:  I **do** like the look of oiled wood that's been handplaned.

So, this is day 3:  now that the oil has dried, it's time to mount the bench grinders to the wood.

One of them was pretty easy to mount, because the mounting holes were on the corners of the base.  But the other one...

...urgh.  I had to remove the safety cowls, just to gain access to the holes.  Above you can see the Allen wrench that I used to tighten the screws.  Note that I've painted it pink -- and also put a "flag" of red electrical tape on it.  This helps me find the darned thing when I accidentally drop it into the grass.

And, here's the final product!

A **lot** easier to mount to a sawhorse or (as pictured) my sawbench.


Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home