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Rob Young

FYI, it is possible to buy a NEW hand crank grinder for approximately the same sum as a fully functioning vintage one. They are “marketed” toward the lapidary field for dressing and grinding of gem stones. But with a little fettling, they can be used with 5″ and 6″ grind stones. You may need to grind down the stone a bit on a powered wheel using a dressing tool as I found that one model that claimed to be able to accommodate a 6″ wheel, couldn’t. It could however handle a 5.75″ wheel. Easy fix. And I had to make my own mandrill to re-size the wheel to fit. The wheel size and mandrill issue is also common with the vintage grinders so nothing new there. I simply used a $10 coarse stone from the hardware store and so far, this has been a very nice grinder to use and takes up very little space and just stores under the bench when not needed.

As to the diamond plates, I have one DMT and two from EZLap that I’m evaluating. So far, I like both brands and I think they will be quite suitable for use in the KCWG shop. The biggest hurdle will just be getting people to use them! So many of our members have only ever used power tools and just don’t have a feel for what a sharp chisel or plane or spokeshave or scraper can do. Slowly, myself and a handful of other members are dragging them along and showing what can be done and how easy it really is to build the basic hand skills. It is progress but it is slow progress. Ever forward.