Like every wood worker, I spend time sharpening my tools. As a woodturner I spend a lot more time at the grinder. A while ago I purchased another grinder that was on sale. Having a second grinder for woodturning tools allows me to keep the jig settings without having to constantly change them when I need to sharpen a different style tool. Some turners have three or more grinders so they rarely have to adjust the settings.
My main grinder has been attached to a base and sits on my workbench. I’ve always had two issues with this: it takes up valuable workbench space and whenever I check the alignment of the tool to the wheel I have to bend over to see it. It’s that second part that I find the most frustrating. So this new grinder has been sitting in its box because I wanted to build a stand that will bring it up to my height. I knew if I unboxed it and put it on the workbench I’d never get around to building a stand.
I searched through my Wood magazine collection for some stand ideas and I found one in the May 2011 issue that looked promising. The only problem I had with it was the height. But that is easily resolved with a little re-design.
I had a three quarter sheet of plywood sitting in the shop and that was just the right size for my stand. In their design the side leg panels were 36 inches high, so I made my 50 inches. Because of the extra height I also made the panels wider at the base so it wouldn’t be tippy.
This is one of those projects that start out simple but then I kept adding to it. I added a second shelf to hold the jig fixtures and storage for spare grinder wheels on the back. My Delta grinder has a built in lamp that does a good job of providing light right where I need it. The new grinder doesn’t have that option. As soon as I mounted the grinder on the stand I knew I needed a light, I had an Ikea LED light that would work well for that. After I mounted the light I realized I now had two power cords to deal with, and that’s not good. I added an outlet with a switch to the side to fix that.
The centerline of the grinder sits at 56 1/2″ which is about the center of my chest and over a foot higher than the other grinder. In the few times I’ve already used it I feel much more comfortable standing straight up compared to the old setup on the workbench. The stand seems sturdy and I can slide it around the shop as needed rather easily. The only issue I have is vibration. The wheels aren’t balanced so when I turn it off the stand it vibrates as the wheels come to a stop. It doesn’t seem to be an issue when they are running at full speed, only when they hit a lower speed coming to a stop. As a work around I’m considering adding a box near the base and filling it with sand to dampen the vibration. Of course the proper solution would be to balance the wheels but I don’t have the tools to do that correctly.
It looks like I’m going to have to make one for the other grinder now.