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271433 Thomas Conroy 2020‑07‑09 Re: Hand-Cranked Grinders [WAS: tapered plane irons]
John Ruth wrote:

"The esteemed Scott Grandstaff mentioned hand-cranked grinders.  There was a LOT
of OLDTOOLS postings about hand-cranked grinders. At least one member was
collecting them.  ( Maybe that was Tom Thornton ? )

"Having used one, I?d say that their slower speed makes it less likely to burn
the edge of the tool, though it is unquestionably easier to use with an
apprentice or GIT doing the cranking!....
"If I had indoor space, I?d like have one of the big foot-pedal water trough
grinders with a large Beria, Ohio, sandstone wheel.  You?d be hard-pressed to
burn an edge with one of those!...."


I rely on my main hand-cranked grinder (inherited from a great-uncle who died in
1959). Don't have an electric one, though I have a horizontal electric Japanes
waterrstone wheel; but they serve different functions, the grinder for primary
bevels, the electric hone for flattening the backs of chisels etc.  As John
says, runs slow, with a lot of control over speed, maybe 600 r.p.m. in general;
there's rarely any danger of burning a tool with the slightest care. They're
quieter, too.

But a sandstone wheel isn't desirable, apart from sentiment. They wore down
quickly, and the huge amount of dust they threw off was the cause of major lung
diseases. This wasn't one of the some-people-are-susceptible-others-aren't
thing; if you worked as a grinder you did get silicosis, and it crippled you in
your thirties and killed you in your forties. If I remember correctly, sandstone
grinding wheels were made illegal long ago, back in pre-OSHA days when you to
cause a permanent scandal to have something done. And although sandstone ran
slowly in r.p.m., they lost a lot of that advantage because their size meant
that the surface feet per second, the thing that really matters, was three or
four times that of a small carborundum wheel.

Tom ConroyBerkeley

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