Grinder Wheel Alignment

I recently bought a slow speed grinder as I’ve grown beyond weary sharpening A2 steel entirely by hand. If my plane irons were thin Stanley O1 blades, then I would never need a grinder even if the blade was nicked. However, it is what it is and life goes on.

With every new grinder or with every new wheel replacement, you will need to balance or align the wheels. You also may have to periodically balance the wheels throughout the life of the wheel due to dressing, wear and profiling. The balancing of grinding wheels is essential despite dressing them! Skipping this step may cause chatter marks, excessive wheel wear and spindle head wear to name but a few.

When you start the grinder, you may notice that the wheel has a slight wobble. This can be due to the large flange washers not running true. Fixing this isn’t as difficult or time consuming as you may think.

First turn the machine on and look at the wheel to see if there is a wobble. The chances are high that there will be. If there is, turn the machine off, unplug it from the wall, wait for the wheels to stop turning and take the covers off.

Make a reference mark on each flange washer and the wheel to record their original location.

Next, loosen the shaft nut and rotate the flange washer clockwise and the other wheel counter clockwise by ½”.

Tip: If the wheel is new, you may notice the flange washer won’t rotate due to it being stuck to the paper. I used the tip of a flat blade screwdriver to strike the flange washer, a light tap is all that is needed to unstick it from the paper.

Tighten the shaft nut by hand and rotate the wheel by hand. If you don’t feel confident that you will observe any change, then tighten the shaft nut and turn the machine on. If there is still wobble in the wheel, turn it another ½”. Keep doing this until you’re satisfied. You could spend an eternity finding that sweet spot, but at some point you will have to stop and say it’s good enough for my purpose. A small amount of wobble is fine.

The final step is to dress the wheel. The centre bushings “roughly” centre the wheel on the shaft. Inaccuracies in the manufacturing process may cause fluctuation in the wheel and to address this, a wheel dresser can be used to make the wheel run true.

Place the wheel dresser on the tool rest angled upwards with the edge of the wheel dresser facing the wheel. Slowly bring the wheel dresser to the stone until you hear the untrue side touch the dresser. As you apply light pressure, the face of the stone becomes true.

Some things to be aware of:

The left side shaft nut has left-handed threads and so the nut is tightened counter clockwise. The right-side shaft nut has right-handed threads and is tightened by rotating it clockwise.

Do not over tighten the shaft nuts. Doing so can cause damage to the wheel and the flange washers. A light touch is all that is needed. The direction of travel will keep the nuts tight.

When buying a new wheel make sure the R.P.M. rating is greater than the grinder’s motor. The outer diameter of the wheel must be according to the size specification of your grinder. The bore diameter of the wheel must be the same as the original wheel.

Do not remove the labels on the sides of the wheels. They help to spread the holding pressure of the tightened nuts on the grinding wheel flanges.

Applying the entire face of the wheel dresser to the stone without the support of a tool rest may introduce deeper grooves and further untrue the stone.

Troubleshooting as is in the manual

If the adjustment of the flange washers does not make the wheel run without side to side oscillation, then remove the wheel and flange washers and check the shoulder on the motor shaft at the point where the flange washer seats against it. A slight burr on the edge of the shoulder can stop the flange washer from seating properly. The burr can be removed using a file to smooth the edge of the shoulder. Look for any roughness on the surfaces of the flange washers and smooth these spots on sandpaper placed on a flat surface. Then replace the wheel, re-adjust the flange washers, and dress the wheel.

With wheels properly aligned,this is a wonderful machine that serves its purpose in eliminating the drudgery of sharpening A2 plane blades. With the further aid of an after-market tool rest, you’ll have one powerful addition to your sharpening tool kit.

How to re-handle axes

If an axe breaks, it is almost always the shaft/handle that is the culprit. A poor quality or damaged shaft is a major safety risk. However, if the head is still in good condition, you can re-use your tool by fitting a new shaft.

When fitting a new shaft to your tool, it’s important to ensure that the shaft is dry. If it’s not and dries after the head as been fitted, there is a danger that the head will come loose. This also applies to the wedge if you fit a new shaft using a wooden wedge.

To fit a new shaft to your axe, do the following:

  1. Cut off the existing shaft just below the head.
  2. Drill a number of holes in the eye.
  3. Tap out what is left and clean the eye.
  4. Press and tap the head onto the new shaft, firmly but carefully. Cut off the protruding part of the shaft.
  5. Fit the steel wedge so that the end of the shaft fills the eye. If the steel wedge is not sufficient, you should fit a wooden wedge before the steel wedge. You can make this by cutting a wedge from a dry piece of hard timber. Then split the end of the shaft using a chisel. Apply some wood glue, tap in the wooden wedge and then cut off the excess.
  6. Tap the steel wedge out so that it locks the wooden wedge in position. Then apply oil to the end of the shaft to protect it against moisture.

How to sharpen, store and use an axe

Sharpening

  1. Use a convex edge for applications such as delimbing, felling and splitting.
  2. Use a straight edge for hacking.
  3. An axe that has been sharpened at an angle is dangerous to use as it can easily slip!
  4. A concave edge entails a high risk of the axe splintering.

You can sharpen your axe edge using sandpaper or a bench grinder. The safest way to sharpen is using a wet grinder, but sometimes it may be necessary to first grind out burrs or other damage using a different method, e.g. a bench grinder.

NB: It is very important that you take care when sharpening and ensure that the axe is not affected by heat! If any part of the axe turns a blue colour, it signals that its tempered zone has disappeared in that part of the axe and it is no longer as resistant to wear.

Storage

Never store your axe in excessively dry places, e.g. in boiler rooms or leaning against a heater. You then risk the shaft drying out and the axe head coming loose whilst being used.

Use

Never strike the neck of the axe with another tool. Never use the axe as a sledge. Only sledge axes can withstand being used as a sledge.

The Best Axe Review

I’ve been on the hunt for an axe, a hewing axe in particular. The prices vary and for a quality hewing axe is quite cost prohibitive, $330 to be exact. So, unless you can afford to part with that sort of money you have to ask yourself how badly do I need one and is there another other work around to achieve the same results.

The type of work I need doing is to hew slabs of varying thicknesses with live edges A drawknife should do the trick, but a broad hewing axe that has a bevel on one side and is flat on the other would do a quicker job. There is an issue of clamping slabs securely whilst working it with the drawnife. This wouldn’t be the case with an axe as I can hold the slab in one hand and work it with the other so, clamping is definitely an issue. Here is a picture of the broad axe I would like to get

https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/670506242/right-handed-carving-axe-carpentry-axe?

It’s hand made in Ukraine and is really quite beautiful isn’t it?. Just by looking at it, the quality of workmanship is just striking and that’s the thing. This is a tool that will last a lifetime and beyond and if one will use that tool consistently then price shouldn’t be the reason not to buy it. But in my case it just may end up being in the tool box more often than not. So I’m conflicted on what to do.

Here is the website as promised that offers good unbiased with no bias preference to country reviews.

https://axethis.com/

Victorian/Art Nouveau inspired woodworking hand saw

by Kevin Mowrer

http://madebyhandtools.blogspot.com/

Being a woodworker and a steampunk illustrator (amongst other things), I really like to have tools that reflect my personal aesthetic. This saw was designed using a modern Disston blade, ground and altered to fit and flow with the custom tiger maple handle I created. It’s crosscut and cuts like a dream with its Japanese style teeth and feels marvelous in the hand.  I don’t mind the few nicks it gets in it over time as it all becomes history on the wood.
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Amazing how sometimes when browsing the net you come across something that blows your mind away.  Just like this guy who made that handle. Not once has it occurred to me to do this. It’s a brilliant idea for those who have saws from the big box store with those ugly-looking handles. Now you can replace those ugly plastic handles by making your own traditional wooden ones, and one that fit’s your hand. One thing you can’t do is sharpen those saws as the teeth are specially hardened teeth. They’re meant to be throw away saws as soon as the teeth get blunt. In Australia they sell for about $30, and in the US I’m sure it will be much less. Anyway, If you don’t want to spend a few hundred dollars on an oldie, then this may end up being a good inexpensive viable option.

The Birth Of A Tool. Part I. Axe Making (by Northmen)

This is a short documentary movie that shows the whole process of how Northmen tools are being hand crafted. “It is a tragedy of the first magnitude that millions of people have ceased to use their hands as hands. Nature has bestowed upon us this great gift which is our hands. If the craze for machinery methods continues, it is highly likely that a time will come when we shall be so incapacitated and weak that we shall begin to curse ourselves for having forgotten the use of the living machines given to us by God.” Mahathma Ghandi Music by Foreign Fields – “Names and Races”. Special thanks to the band Foreign Fields from Nashvile (especially for Clayton Fike) for allowing to use their music as a soundtrack for our movie. foreignfields.bandcamp.com/

How to Correctly Use a Hand Saw

This episode originally aired on July 25, 2009. The hand saws are the workhorses of the hand tool shop. They’re used for just about every operation on just about every part of a project. So it’s important to be able to saw accurately in order to be efficient. In this episode, I share three tips I’ve learned for making consistently more accurate saw cuts.