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I was looking for a motorized burnisher to save my hands. Hand burnishing is okay for small things but when you move into working with long edges ... Uggh! So I was looking around for options and I ended up with this setup. I had the cheap Harbor Freight bench grinder that I got on barter a couple years ago. The spindle was $13.10 from eBay http://www.ebay.com/itm/TAPERED-SPINDLE-1-2-HOLE-RIGHT-SIDE-OF-MOTOR-POLISHING-BUFFING-WHEEL-HOLDER/190689483141 And the wheel was $8.00 from Tandy. Yeah, I'm cheap ... broke is more like it. But I highly recommend this setup for anyone that needs a little help doing edges and doesn't have a fortune to spend. Enjoy!
This thread is sort of my knifemaking/sharpening blog. I make the occasional knife, most of them tactical ones for friends kids and grandkids who are just graduating from basic or advanced training. I mostly sharpen scissors (from standard to technical stylist scissors/shears, to a pair of Fiskars), knives, hand and power tools, leatherworking tools, most garden tools (please don't bring a 1,000 lb garden tractor over here with the mower blades attached), Dog and human hair clippers and blades (sharpening and repair), I'll tackle most anything if you are in a bind, but I will send out saw blades and end mills as there are others who can do them better. That being said, I am retired. I don't have to do anything If I don't want to, I do it just to do something that I know how to do. We all like to feel useful, but I ain't going to work myself to death. This is kind of the see something, say something of a knife shop. Everyone is welcome to add to or ask questions. Art
I have received several requests to do a writeup on my experiences and thoughts about the WS 3000 grinder. Please read-up and watch on youtube for information on this unit and if you need some real use info, I can provide it here. This is a $200 item in stock format, which is pretty useable for what it does. You can use sandpaper for different grits on the glass wheels (two provided, each side useable). You can use the peel and stick disks or just use good (read 3M here, I'm a 3M bigot, the stuff has never let me down) wet and dry paper and use the Type II Feathering adhesive to stick it down, then trim with a utility knife or whatever. Glass wheels are $20 if you think you need more. It has lots of other options and accessories that you can buy into if you get bored, but the best one is the knife sharpening attachment. Youtube it, if you are very careful with it and practice, it will put a very good edge on a knife. You can use multiple belts ad nauseum going carefully up through the grits, but the 120 belt us very aggressive on this little machine. The belts are a little pricey considering they are 1" X 18". Micro-Mesh belts from Micro Surface are an excellent choice other than Work Shop. DMT makes a replacement diamond disk system for the Work Sharp that I use. I don't recommend this to everyone as the cost is high and is not necessary unless the job dictates. My only use for this machine is for small parts that need grinding or dressing. From looking at it, you would think this thing would be handy for a whole bunch of stuff. It has a 1/5 HP motor that is geared down by a factor of 6 or 7, and the glass lap wheels (that you stick the paper to) are pretty flat, not optical but very good nonetheless. However, that small wheel is really small for doing knives of most varieties; and small means ackward, a lot more so than bigger laps or grinders. This is compounded by the knob that holds the wheel on sticking up in the middle of the whole thing. While you only use one side of any flat wheel, taking away the center section makes positioning somewhat impossible with a longer blade, or bigger blade as in a 5" head knife. The glass wheels mount on the machine and sink down to just above a collar that runs around the wheel. I am SURE this is a safety feature, but the damned thing gets in the way if you have a longer tool with a handle. It also takes an inordinate amount of time to get a wheel off the machine. The collar mentioned before blocks getting a hold on the edge of the wheel and lifting it off, no problem if the collar wasn't there. I been thinking of taking a coping saw and cutting about 2/3 of that collar off. We'll see, one day it will tick me off to the point of surgery. I'm going to tell you NOT to get the leather covered wheel for stropping. You always need to strop away from the knife edge to keep from shaving your strop, which happens in a remarkably short time under power. There is just no comfortable or even practical way to do that on a small diameter wheel with a big knob sticking-up in the center. Just use a strop on a piece of wood that you can control. For what I do, a precision lap is overkill, and changing grits is a pure PITA, but this little grinder seems to fit the bill quite well for me. Short edged tools is what this machine is made to do. Art