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A Question for Stephen Bader Co. B3 Owners

Patrick Pointer

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This is A Question for Stephen Bader Co. B3 Owners or those familiar with the B3's.


I was just blessed with 2 Stephen Bader Co. B3's and I am working at upgrading and adding attachments to them.  Now, forgive me of my ignorance, I am very new to the 2" x 72" Belt Grinders.  Both of these grinders were purchased from a polishing company that went out of business... I will not post the prices I paid but I can say that the two of them came together with 6" contact wheels and 1" Slack belt arms on industrial rolling tables that adjust up and down and a dual 6" Wheel Polishing machine all for less than the price of one B3.  


They both had original 2 h.p. single speed motors. I upgraded one with a 1.5 h.p. motor with a VFD controller.  I purchased a platen with a ceramic glass insert for the variable speed machine: "DARTH" (Nickname  Darth Bader) and the other single speed  "Garth"  is now outfitted with a 14" Serrated Contact wheel. (Still falls under the price of one new B3).


I am a bit frustrated with the Bader Website because of lack of photos as will as descriptions for their products.  My question for those of you who have a B3 is: I am a sword maker and I want to be able to create fullers for many of my blades.  Many of the other Grinders on the market have a Small Wheels attachment, but I am not finding one on the Bader sight nor other suppliers that sell the B3's.  I have sent out emails to many of the different supplies as well as Bader Co. but am not getting clarifying responses.


Are there special attachments that Bader makes that will allow for a 3/8", - 1 1/2" wheel that will either create fullers or help to polish/Sand fullers?  Or... do I need to look for a different attachment from a different company to make fullers?  I Forge many of my blades and really want this attachment for cleanup especially.


Also... Tool Rests/ Work Tables that are either stationary or able to change the angle... I know I will most likely have to make my own.  Does anyone have pictures of their's or plans to make the work rests/tables?  I am looking at making a 22" Wide on Center work rest.


And finally... I have seen many jigs out there that are junk and those that are good that will make a 12"-14" Any recommendations of a jig that will assist me in creating longer blades?  I specialize in Roman Swords from 300b.c. to 4th Century ad and especially the Gladii of the 1st and 2nd Centuries. These blades are from 19"L x 2" wide to 23"L to 3.250 Wide double edged blades.   


As my research takes me into the 3rd and 4th centuries the blades get longer up to 33".  Suggestions for jigs?


Your insights and information will be greatly appreciated.


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And I didn't look for a tool rest, but I'm sure they're out there.  Another option some of the production sword guys use is not a small wheel, but a crowned narrow wheel.  As in, get a 14" wheel that's 1" wide and shape it into a domed profile. Use a 1" belt (made by splitting 2" belts, btw) and you have an excellent fuller grinding wheel.  Use it with the blade vertical.  That way you needn't worry about the fiddly small wheels that tend to go flying when you change belts.  


I don't do jigs, but there are some good ones around here somewhere.  Florian Fortner made a really nice one for distal tapers, IIRC.

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Bader is easier to contact via phone in my experience.  I haven't had any luck with emails.  Very knowledgeable and helpful folks have always answered the phone there tho. 

I sold my B2 (round tool arm) a couple years ago so it's been a while since I called. 

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