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Backwards grinder mod

Discussion in 'Hammer & Tongs' started by Mecha, Aug 24, 2016.

  1. Mecha

    Mecha Madscienceforge.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    Hello all,

    This KMG-style grinder, with the tracking wheel in the normal position on top, was no good trying to run in reverse. The belt just wouldn't track right. So I took off the tracking arm, drilled a new hole down low, put the thing down flipped it and reversed it, and viola! Works like a charm. :]


    [​IMG]


    When grinding a large titanium alloy blade, it's hard to avoid launching very hot sparks, and igniting combustible titanium dust into a miniature magnesium inferno. If you want to grind lengthwise, then the dust comes right at you. It's a bad idea to be getting covered in ti dust and launching the sparks on yourself. Wet grinding helps, but can lull you into a false sense of security. Hence, I run my grinder backwards, which is one of the reasons I used a two-wheel grinder for so long. This new setup, with VFD, should make for a nice improvement in grinding quality over the old two-wheeler! :D A titanium sword grinding machine.
     
  2. Josh Rider

    Josh Rider KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 2, 2014
    Nice! Is it easy to switch back or are you permanently grinding like that?

    Was that an intentional Missy Elliot quote?:thumbup:
     
  3. Mecha

    Mecha Madscienceforge.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    Apparently Missy Elliott knows a thing or two about grinding modifications. :D Just a little twerking to make the tracking system proper.

    It would take about 5 mins to switch it back to normal: just 1 regular bolt and a few small allen head bolts.

    This is how I do pretty much all of my normal grinding, so it would only get switched back for some random oddball thing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
  4. Josh Rider

    Josh Rider KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 2, 2014
    Looks great! I would be interested in doing it for sharpening ala Nathan Carothers style.
    My kmg wouldn't track backwards as is.
     
  5. erinh

    erinh

    1
    Nov 2, 2016
    Hello-

    Getting ready to buy my first real grinder, which I thought would be a KMG. I want to run my belt in reverse and don't want to struggle with tracking issues. The grinder you modified is a North Ridge, and I think I am going
    to go this route so I can modify the tension pulley to the underside just like you did. Can you post a couple more photos of how you did it? Also have you found any limitations of having the pulley on the bottom? Would really appreciate your insight, thanks!

    Erin







     
  6. Mecha

    Mecha Madscienceforge.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    Sure thing, erinh.

    Up on the top rear of the grinder's frame, you can see the bolt holes; that's where the tracking arm was bolted, with a spacer on either side of the arm, between it and the frame. I drilled a hole down below, and used the same spacers and bolt to attach the arm below, but the arm is upside-down. This puts the tracking arm hardware in the way of the belt.

    Then, on the arm itself, I unbolted the handle and tracking knob assembly (three allen head screws), and re-attached them to the other side. Everything on this grinder is square and symmetrical so it's natural and easy to do. The only permanent change was drilling the harmless hole down low for the tracking arm mount.

    The limitations are that the belt gets very close to the frame's mount, so there isn't much wiggle room - the tooling arm must be extended to the right point so that the belt rides above frame; this could be alleviated somewhat by mounting the motor up higher. The other problem is that there isn't anywhere for the gas shock to mount, so I propped it into a piece of wood, as shown (one of those temporary solutions that just seems to never get refined).

    A few photos:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    FWIW, the North Ridge grinder is one of the most finely-made power tools I've ever seen.
     

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