Thursday, 11 September 2014

Hand Powered Bench Grinder

I brought this lovely old hand powered bench grinder at eh car boot sale on Sunday. It's unusual find in the fact that it is made for a full size grinding wheel, most are made for a much smaller wheel (I have a few of them) and this is the first I have seen like this.
 My trade (carpenter) can be done without power, it was for thousands of years, I'd be quite a bit slower but you'd soon adapt to it. I do as much as I can by hand anyway, as I tend to prefer it and it suits the type of work I do. 
One thing I would struggle to do without power is to keep my tools in top condition. Chisels I hone  on an oil stone but after a number of sharpens (or more usually - hitting a nail) you need to regrind the bevel. I won't get technical about sharpening here, there are many websites and book dedicated to the subject, but a grinder is essential for this. 
In times past they'd have big stone wheels powered by hand, feet or even water. This little bench grinder is somewhere between that and a modern electric one. It's geared, so spins much faster than you turn the wheel, clamps easily to a work bench and runs on one thing - you.
It needs a new wheel, a good clean up and an oiling but otherwise it's in good condition. 
I think it's good not to be 100% reliant on electric (the prepper part of me thinks like that) and this little grinder means that even if the power is out I can still sharpen my tools.
What other hand powered tools have people got that are normally electric powered? What else should I be looking out for?


15 comments:

  1. The only hand powered grinder I have is a grain mill, it clamps to the work top so I can grind up wheat etc its hard going but like you I dont want want to be dependent on a forever power supply, We only have a few old tools but always on the look for them, My best buy last year was a washing mangle it had been restored but if there is a time of no electric washing is going to be one thing I find diffficult not so much clothes but bedding and towels, my idea behind the mangle was also quilts I hate having to pay to have them cleaned but they are too big for me to deal with by hand so I thought I could put them through the mangle I have yet to try that theory

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    1. I'd like one of those wheat grinders but I haven't really got the space for it at the moment as our kitchen is so small! Be careful with the mangle, I watch a program on them and they're meant to be pretty dangerous (surprisingly) with stories of children putting their fingers in and it stripping the whole arm of skin in a second or two. I couldn't really believe it but then they showed newspaper cuttings of the reports. Horrible way to go!

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  2. For decades, I did all the work on my place with hand tools. It's only been in the last few years, where that got to be too hard, that I bought some decent power tools. They make life a lot easier.

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    1. I have plenty of power tools but I'm always careful not to become totally dependant on them. I'd be lost without my cordless drill though!

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  3. So where would you get a new wheel for one of those? Would you have to size a modern day one to fit?

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    1. I think a standard should fit, if not I can buy spacers or get dad to make one on his metal working lathe. Hopefully it's a standard bore!

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  4. oooh what a find! I'm with you (closet prepper) which is why I have a beautiful treadle machine as well as an electric one. When we lost power for nearly a week once I got an awful lot of sewing and mending done while feeling extremely smug!
    Gill

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    1. Closet ppepper! I like it! My wife does roll her eyes at me sometimes for my little habits!

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  5. My grandfather had one of the smaller ones, but I let it get away from me.

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    1. I have a few of the small ones but I think this one will be more useful as it's the same size as my other bench grinders so the angles on the bevels on my tools will be the same so no lengthy regrinding process if I had to switch over.

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  6. The only hand powered normally electric tool I have is my dishwasher .... I push Lovely Hubby towards the sink and he washes the dishes ... it must save us a fortune ;-)

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    1. I think I'd push back. It's a job I hate! I'll use ours until the power goes out!

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  7. Why do without electric? even if the grid goes down there are several ways to generate power.

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    1. I'm not doing without but it's nice to have an alternative. Also if we had limited power and I had the means to grind my tools without it worth having. when I've used these grinders they perform very well and are only a bit slower than using an electric one.

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