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I've been looking for a mini benchtop surface grinder and don't see too much. I don't have the space for a floor model. I don't need a very big one to do knife blade material. Currently I just flatten on the belt grinder. It works okay besides grinding the tips of my fingers occasionally! Some of the O1 tool steel I have isn't completely flat. I'll most likely not make anything bigger than skinning knives about 8" overall length. Anybody see anything that might fit what I'm looking for in the U.S.A.?

 Thanks again

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If you don't need the precision to do folders, a disk grinder is great for flattening stuff.  If you need to maintain +/- 0.0015" flatness, a real surface grinder is needed.  Then there are the various surface grinding attachments for belt grinders.  Travis Wuertz, OBM, and KMG all make those now.  They are not cheap by any means, and they may or may not be able to hold that 0.0015" accuracy.  There's a guy on YouTube who made his own, and if you have a decent milling machine you can follow his instructions. 

 

(1) Homemade Surface Grinder Attachment - Want Flat Things? - YouTube

 

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I'm in pretty much the same boat as you are.  I'd really like to purchase an OBM or KMG with their attachment, but that's not really in the cards at the moment. I've been toying with some ideas to put together a DIY one for my shop.  I think it's about time to finish the design for it. 

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Ive recently gotten into surface grinders as a tool for hogging out blades....they are amazing bits of kit if you make up a conversion to take a contact wheel and belt (2 x 72 or whatever you use). Ive ended up going down my owh wormhole with them and just had one delivered that weight 10000lb!.

 

with out a belt conversion they are really not that usefull for removing a lot of material.

 

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I was doing that with a disk grinder. Not good enough for folders for me, anyway. Plenty good enough for anything else, though.

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The problem I have with disc grinders, is they move faster on the outer rim than they do in the inner parts and never seem to grind flat and parallel sides. They also cut faster on the top of the workpiece than they do at the bottom. This also exacerbates the uneven grind. Maybe I just don't have the dexterity to get it right.

For folders, I suggest buying precision ground flat stock and hand sanding on a granite slab. I made most of my early folders that way. The trick is to super glue a piece of micarta to one side to use as a handle.

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9 hours ago, Joshua States said:

The trick is to super glue a piece of micarta to one side to use as a handle.

Dang!  I never thought to do that.  I've been repeatedly sanding off the tips of my thumb and index finger all this time...

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Now use the same thing for guards, spacers, and anything else you need a really flat surface on.

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I also use the ol' manual surface grinder granite-and-paper for those things.  I just want an actual surface grinder to be able to use a stainless other than CPM154 or 440-C for folders, and those are the only one's I've found that come in precision ground form.  The AEB-L I got from Alpha was .15" oversized HRA, which is a real pain to manually take down to the desired thickness.

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2 hours ago, Brian Dougherty said:

Dang!  I never thought to do that.  I've been repeatedly sanding off the tips of my thumb and index finger all this time...

Didnt need the tips anyway

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There is a delta Milwaukee tool maker surface grinder that i guess could be on a bench they come with legs and i made a base for mine so it was up higher managed to snag one for less than the belt grinder  attachment but man its a lot of cranking also heavy as all get out so add some legs to your bench

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3 hours ago, Brian Dougherty said:

Dang!  I never thought to do that.  I've been repeatedly sanding off the tips of my thumb and index finger all this time...

So I'm not the only one?

Thats good news... lol.

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Sometimes I glue the micarta handle to a piece, turn on the disc grinder going clockwise, and press the piece against the disc and move it counter-clockwise. If you hold the workpiece in the same orientation without rotating it, you can defeat the uneven grinding.

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