Sunday, March 3, 2013

My Grinding Gear (Part I)

So I was told by my grandson (Titus) that I need to update my blog.  I appreciate all the people that read about my stuff but his comment kicked me into gear.

All the knife forums I frequent have often and repeated questions about what grinders are used and which is better.  I thought I would show what I use and why.

My KMG (Beaumont Metal Works) as delivered (4/10) and first installed; for those familiar with this grinder  it is belt driven.  The motor normally sits on the bench to the left of the grinder in front of the pulleys.  I did not want to lose this space so I mounted the motor under the bench on a swing plate with the belt running through the bench top.
Almost 3 yrs later and the bench is much dirtier and more crowded
If you want to make knives good lighting is a must. I have tried many set-ups including direct task lighting (too many shadows because your head is directly above your work so task lighting is to one side or the other).  The above unit seems to work best for me.  A 4 bulb fluorescent (daylight bulbs) light fixture hanging at about 6.5' (I'm 6'1")
My heavily used KMG no longer in the factory delivered condition.  It is now used primarily for  the  platen attachment and the small wheel attachement.
The KMG was modified for a number of reasons (shortcomings in my estimation).  As you can see in the above picture it has an added tool slot that came with the MAP arm attachment.  This is not in the recommended location but has been lowered to allow more fexibilty of tooling. 

A closer look shows that the factory handle has been extended and the tensioning spring has been replaced with a gas spring.  The gas spring was the brain child of Brian Fellhoelter.  To be blunt an owner of a KMG is not the sharpest tool in the shed if they don't make this modification.  The tracking is greatly improved and the harmonic/vibration experienced because of imperfect belts, rotation, and the factory compression spring is minimized if not eliminated. 
If you compare this picture to the first you will notice the motor is now mounted on the bench behind the grinder.
I removed the original KMG pulleys, bearing blocks, and shaft and  TIG welded in a plate configured for  56C motor.   I know have the only direct drive KMG I have ever seen.  This modification fixes the absurd drive arrangement of the factory KMG.  The factory drive arrangement takes up space, seems to rob significant power, and adds to the vibration I mentioned above. 
To be continued...

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