For the manner in which men live is so different from the way in which they ought to live, that he who leaves the common course for that which he ought to follow will find that it leads him to ruin rather than safety.

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Monday, June 6, 2016

EERF Grinder

Although I quite like my Kalamazoo grinder, it is limited when it comes to knife making. My problem is funding. A good, dedicated knife grinder can easily go from $1400 to $2000. I can't justify that kind of money.

I need an alternative.

The preferred size for a knife grinder is a 2x72. Like I said above, these get to be pricey. I ran across Wilmont a while ago: here. Wilmont makes grinders for sale, but also provides free plans for the "EERF" grinder. Hmmmm...right up my alley. A basic 2x72 grinder that I can build myself. Now we're talking.

I had a local machine shop that I've worked with for several years with my current job and my previous job quote me for making the basic parts. That came out to a bit over $600. That would send the overall cost of the project over what I can afford. Instead, I'm going to have them make the couple of parts that are too large for my mill. The remaining parts will be made by me. I'm modifying the design just a bit as I go to suit me.

The first few parts are already underway:

The tracking wheel pivot. I enlarged the pivot holes to accept bronze bushings.

The tracking wheel bracket. Like the pivot, I enlarged the pivot hole for a bushing.

This part was originally three 1/2" pieces sandwiched together. I decided to make it from one piece of 1.5" aluminum.
This should be an interesting project. It's ambitious for me. Sure, I've built a couple of motorcycles, and I build machines for a living...but I've never embarked on a machine like this just for the hell of it. A functional grinder from scratch? It could get interesting.

I still have a couple parts to make, including a platen and tooling arm. The tooling arm will probably wait until the pieces I'm outsourcing are complete. I already have a new 5" contact wheel. I'll need to purchase a drive motor, drive wheel, and tracking wheel. The two wheels will probably come from Wilmont. They're nice enough to provide the plans, so I should throw some business their way to say "thanks for helping poor dudes".

Stay tuned!


  1. I am very envious of your metalworking skills.

    1. and I am envious of your woodworking skills.
      I ran a mill and lathe for the first time when I was 14, so I've been at this for a while. I've definitely had more practice with metal than with wood.