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I was thinking about the benefits of different grinders like the common 2x72 platen/wheel setup and the large stone grinding wheels that are common in Japanese/European cutlery factories and shops. It seems to me that the stone wheel setups are more stable and ergonomic, and many of the stone wheel setups have the user sitting down with the wheel rotating away from them.

Why don't we do this with belt grinders? I know that in order to use some types of jigs, you need a 90 degree surface for the jig to slide on, but jigs can be made for the other style, too. The grinder that I had in mind would use a 3" or 2" by 132" belt with the largest wheel size possible (and platen, too). Essentially a regular grinder that has been rotated 90 degrees so the arm is vertical. It could be mounted in some sort of box so that it could be water cooled, and a seat mounted in front. The bench design is great because it doesn't take up much shop space, but if shop space is not an issue, and for many people the grinder is the most important piece of equipment, I wonder if it is a good idea to make a grinder this way?

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Ever since I read that thread it has been my dream to build a belt grinder Just like you describe, but maybe even with a 4 inch wide belt.

As I see it the huge wheel grinders are unbeatable in stock removal speed, but far less versatile than the standard 2x72.

It would never replace my 2x72, but a huge wet grinder looks amazing for swords and kitchen knives. The dream is to heat treat thick blades and remove bulk with the wet grinder.

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I've also had this one on the bucket list for quite a while after seeing photos of industrial sized grinders in American factories from the first half of the last century.

I'm planning on some sort of motorcycle style seat, I also think belts are a better setup than wheels due to the fact that wheels can and do become uneven.

post some pics if you get to it before me :P

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In this video around the 4:06 mark, you can see the grinder posture with the smaller wheel, which is a lot like a 2x72 grinder, except sitting down. Now, he is using his arms to move the work, rather than locking his arms and using his body, so it isn't as stable as swaying in front of a 2x72. However, at the 6:12 mark with the grinder pulling the work away from you, your arms are being pulled and it creates some stability because your arms can't be pulled out any further. I used to use a harbor freight belt sander to grind my knives, and I had it in a similar setup where my arms were almost fully extended, and it was a pretty comfortable position, and I felt like I had control on the work. It seems like sit down grinders are a matter of compromise between an uncomfortable leaning posture and intense pressure, and a comfortable upright posture and weak pressure. I would want a comfortable posture over a back-breaking posture. 36 grit is really fast even with low pressure. 

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