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Grinding techniques of the medieval period
Spencer Farrell posted a topic in HistoryHello, This is my first post on the forums and after lurking for a while I've come across a subject that has been spoken around the forums quite a bit but never in a very specific way.(Or perhaps it has and I just completely missed it. If this is the case feel free to post a link to such a post.) I'd like to start a topic regarding the techniques and grinding setups of the medieval period(Early or Late) to see if anyone has any information or perhaps would be inclined to share personal theories of how metal weapons/tools we're grinded in this timeframe. To be more specific, I'm very interested in understanding how long blades we're grinded on those huge water-powered sandstone grinding wheels found in europe. I myself have recently started making quite a long sword myself, and because of my fear of ruining it on my belt grinder, I decided to rough grind it by filing and draw-filing (after forging it as close to finish as possible) and although I love using files, after heat-treating the blade the files are no longer a suitable option to make the final grind on the sword. This made me stop and think, perhaps historically because of how large-scale sword production was, rough grinding a sword with a file was a luxury not available to the grinder user of the period, and on top of that once the sword is hardened and tempered there's no point ruining files trying to finish it like that. Why not just cut out the files entirely and develop the skill to use a grinder effectively from rough grind to finish. And that brings me here to this topic today. I'd like to learn (if possible as this knowledge may not be available) how exactly a skilled grinder in the medieval period would rough grind and finish grind a sword, what techniques would he use differently for a hollow grind versus a diamond cross-section and how he would hold it steady. Based on sparse images of grinding in the medieval period in addition to a few images of renaissance era grinding and so forth, as well as testing myself on how to grind a long blade only on my belt grinders wheel section I will illustrate my own theory on how a sword would be grinded, whether diamond cross-section or hollow-grinded. Following my theory will be questions on what I simply have no idea about regarding this subject. So here goes just gonna list them off one by one, So for a diamond cross section, the sword would have to be grinded vertically up and down the grinding wheel very carefully in a straight line and not follow the curvature of the wheel so as not to develop any shallow spots where the sword is held to the wheel for too long. I believe this would be the same method whether for rough grinding or finish grinding, as long as the blade doesn't get too hot on the finishing (but since grinding wheels of the time have water troughs I doubt it ever gets too hot) Hollow grind cross-section or concave would require the blade to be pushed side to side horizontally on the wheel until enough of a concave shape is acquired. Whether this was done for finish grinding AND rough grinding I'm not sure. I've seen people say that for heat treating it's best to keep it diamond in cross-section, then grind it into a hollow grind shape afterwards. Also I'm unsure when grinding this way if it is preferable to grind the top bevel (in the bottom illustration as 1.) or the bottom bevel (number 2.) on the grinding wheel. Perhaps one of them is more stable than the other? I've no clue. Finally after the finish grinding is complete the edge must be grinded as well. Although there are many different edges found on surviving medieval swords I will try to illustrate the three types I know and how I think they we're made. For hollow grind and appleseed edges, I believe they we're made horizontally on the wheel. Whereas for a straight flat grind edge I believe would have been done vertically on the wheel. Then I believe the blade would be clamped and polished on a bench of some kind thereafter with some form of gritty substance on a rag, brought to a desired shine or buffed on a water powered polishing grinder and assembled with it's corresponding parts for final sale/use. That is as far as I know, how grinding would be done for this specific period, please do correct any faults or misconceptions in my theory. Now for what I really have no clue on; 1. Did they free-hand grind these long blades or did they use a jig? I'm not sure how much force a gigantic grinding wheel spun by waterpower has, but I'm assuming it must have some bite to it. If it indeed does, how would the user keep the blade stable enough in their hands to grind clean bevels? Does anyone believe with practice one can have enough stability to get the job done, or are there any photos/evidence of jigs being used? 2. Is there any images or evidence of blades being handles vertically on these grinding wheels? Although my drawn examples have worked for me to work a diamond cross-sectioned blade vertically on the wheel, I have yet to see any evidence of it being done this way. Images of grinding swords are rare but so far I've only seen blades held horizontally or at a diagonal. This makes me wonder if it simply wasn't held vertically. (This might be vertical, but it looks diagonally placed on the wheel to me. I can't ask the artist to explain in detail what he meant unfortunately.) 3. Lastly, I believe I've read somewhere on the forums how the blade could be held on the thighs of the user to stabilize it for grinding on the wheel. Can anyone confirm this or am I just making stuff up at this point. If you've made it this far I thank you for giving my post a read. If you have any ideas or theories please do reply, I'm keen on knowing more about how grinding was done historically. Likewise any corrections are appreciated. Best regards, Spencer Farrell
Tools, Heating, and Materials
Joshua Pitre posted a topic in Beginners PlaceGentlemen, I am not sure if I should post this under tools, but his is the newby section, so here I go. I am rather new to making knives and would like to eventually work my way up to swords, I would like some advice on a few different items in regards to tools, heating and materials. 1) After combing through the internet I believe I have decided upon a grinder to purchase, I have decided spend the cash first, (and once). I am look in at a BEE Grinder 2 x 72 but I am wondering what the difference/advantage/disadvantage would be between: A) The 1 hp and the 2 hp, The single speed vs the variable speed, C) A 8” contact wheel vs a 10 “ contact wheel, D) A smooth contact wheel vs a serrated wheel. Obviously the price goes up depending upon which accessories are added and I am trying not to break the bank. Below is a link to a supplier I have located with the descriptions. https://www.knifemaker.ca/BEE-Grinders 2) I am considering a heat treating oven as opposed to a propane forge due to the accurate temperature control capabilities for annealing, heat treating and tempering. I have found one that may be sufficient in regards to size for a sword and may be used for a knife simultaneously (I believe, although it may waste a lot of energy for knives alone). It is an Evenheat KF 49.5 Oven Setpro Control 10"W x 6.5"H x 49.5"D 240v. What I am wondering is: A) Am I nuts or should I be looking into a propane forge for one third or less of the price Could this do the job for both a knife and a sword C) Would I be better off getting a custom one built where it opens like a coffin from the top (as I have read nothing but good reviews about these coffin custom builds) D) Does anyone have any experience with this type of oven and what is your opinion on the Setpro temperature controller Here is a link to the oven I am considering with its description. http://usaknifemaker.com/knife-making-machinery/heat-treat-ovens-and-accessories-c-57/evenheat-kf-49-5-10-wx6-5-hx49-5-d-w-setpro-control-240v.html 3) I am having trouble locating a band saw that can cut metal under $1000.00, but the Proxxon MICRO Bandsaw MBS/E may be suitable for a decent shop, any thoughts or opinions? http://www.proxxon.com/us/micromot/37172.php?list 4) My final question is in regards to the handle material known a Pakkawood/Dymondwood, I have worked with this material in the past and now knowing that the factory has gone the way of the dinosaur, I have found a replacement that may be suitable, so this is also a passing on of information to those whom may not know of it, but I would like to know if anybody has used it and would recommend it. Webb Wood. https://webbwood.com/about_webbwood.php Thanks for any assistance you are willing to give. Josh
Steve Karakostas posted a topic in Tools and Tool MakingHello everyone. I wanted to show my new grinder made by TDM Grinders in Alberta Canada. Terry is a great guy to deal with, he gets back to you really fast and will take the time to call you and speak to you. The first thing you will notice is that it looks a lot like the Wilmont TAG-101, that's because Terry designed that one as well . One feature that is great is that you have complete control adjusting the belt tension. It runs smooth and the tracking is great. I had a Pheer grinder for years and it served me well but this machine is amazing, I absolutely love it. It comes with an adjustable tool rest. I got him to build me an adjustable 24" tool rest for grinding my swords and I also got the small wheel attachment. Grinding fullers is much easier now with the adjustable tool rest. The small wheel attachment accepts KMG wheels. He has a three arm bolt together grinder that I have and he has a five arm welded version. The price is great for what you get. $1,250CAD for the bolt together and $1,350CAD for the welded version. These were the prices when I ordered mine so they may have changed. This includes the flat plated and adjustable tool rest. The small wheel attachment is extra and I can't remember what it cost me. Since the Canadian dollar is doing terrible this is a steal of a deal for everyone in the US. His online store is under construction right now but you can still order. Steve email@example.com Bolt Together http://www.2x72grind...grinder-7359120 and http://www.2x72grind...grinder-7349189 Welded http://www.2x72grinders.com/post/5-arm-welded-super-grinder-8092576?pid=1292133167 Horizontal Tilt http://www.2x72grind...achment-7374208 Knife Grinding Jig http://www.2x72grind...ing-jig-7204331 Adjustable tension.
Belt Grinder Issues
Ross Jones posted a topic in Beginners PlaceAfter only a few years of use, my 4x36 Ryobi grinder is starting to give me issues. I was flat grinding something when it started to stall. I let up on the pressure, but it persisted even when grinding small 1/8" rod with light pressure. The stalling is continuous and gets to the point where the grinder stops moving but it keeps humming like it's trying keep going. This is making me think that it's something with motor. Anyone have any ideas what I could do to fix this?
Making grinder. I'll start with the project.
Vladislav posted a topic in Pinned Tools and ToolmakingHello everyone! I'm originally from Russia, now living in the Czech Republic and begin to build a grinder. I will begin to lay out drawings of the project (as I see it, my machine), criticism and questions - welcome!
KMG Grinder Modification
Bill Kirkley posted a topic in Tools and Tool MakingI went to the ABS Symposium in Clyde, NC and had a blast. Being a beginner I went to the sessions that were about the basics. One session was by Chris Williams of Wilmont Grinders ( wilmontgrinders.com ). His grinder has three slots for accepting the grinder attachments, tool rests, and tables. It is a bit of a chore loosening the two bolts to slide the table on and off my KMG grinding attachments so I decided to add a slot to my grinder. I purchased the cold roll steel from a local supplier (Metal Supermarket). I got a piece of 1/2 X 1 1/2 X 22 inch cold roll flat bar. and 3 X 1/2 X 11 inch cold roll flat bar. I wanted 2 1/2 wide flat bar but they did not have it. I decided to keep it at 3 inches width so it sticks out 1/4 inch on each side. The cost for those two pieces was about $35.00. I cut them down to three pieces 10 7/8 inches long each. I also purchased a piece of cold roll 1 1/2 inch square bar for about $35.00. It was a fun project. I attached photos including my drawing. If anyone decides to make one, don't forget that the holes in the uprights are .0125 inches off center. I marked the inside so I would put it together correctly. I now have to make a table.
DIY Belt Grinder Build for Under $200
Dave Wood posted a topic in Pinned Tools and ToolmakingHey all! I have been working on this belt grinder since last friday and I was able to complete it today! This is another tool I have been planing to build for years and it is so exciting to finaly have it in my shop! Here is a video showing how it works.
Anyone know where to find a good belt grinder?
Jacob Neva posted a topic in Beginners PlaceOkay, so I've been searching around the forum and haven't quite been able to find the answer to this question. I mostly do stock removal, and my current tools consist of a vise and a hand-held angle-grinder. These tools are good enough for now, but eventually (when I have the funds) I'd like to get some more "professional" equipment. Does anyone know where I should look for an affordable belt-grinder?