Grinder Questions

Ernie Swanson

I have began to build a NWG, I have almost all the steel, in my shop deburred and drilled.
I am now starting to look for a motor, pillow block bearings, shaft, and wheels.

a couple of the things I am wondering are:

I got a wheel off one of our grinders at work, its hard rubber and pretty big.
it measures 4'' wide and 5 7/8'' across.
Would this work as a drive wheel?(picture below)

Also I was thinking about using the drive wheel and the tracking wheel off my craftsman 2x42, would these work?

Once I get the 2x72 going I was thinking about trying to put a buffing wheel on the belt side of my craftsman.

Thanks for any help!!


"The Montana Bladesmith"
Just my opinion....MAYBE. But I do have my doubts. All of my grinders have crowns on the drive pulleys. The other thing your likely to run into is balance issues. Again, the wheels of the craftsman MIGHT work...for a little while, but I also suspect that they are not gona be heavy duty enough to last very long, and I'm pretty sure they are not balanced.

I don't mean to be a's just that until you work on one of the commercially available higher end grinders, you just don't know what you missing. I know they are pricey, but what your really paying for is the precision and balance of the the machine and all the components. In the end that equates to giving you the ability to produce better knives.

Even if you're going to build you own grinder, I think it's well worth the money to purchase the wheels you need. The machine will run much smoother and you won't have to replace parts.

Sean Cochran

Well-Known Member
I agree with Ed, when I built my first grinder (a KMG clone) I waited until I had saved the money to order wheels. You dont have to go all out, the poly wheels that Tracy carries are what I got, and I cant tell the difference between them and the wheels on my buddy's KMG.
I know its hard to wait, but Ed is right it will show in the product you produce. Just sell 3 or 4 and you have the money to get the wheels.

Ernie Swanson

Thanks Both Ed and Sean

Thats what I wanted to hear. I wasn't sure thats why I asked.
I will wait to get the wheels from Tracy.

J S Machine

Well-Known Member
Ill be building my own grinder in the next few weeks. I have a thread started about contact wheels. I'm gonna build everything except for the contact wheel. I may end up using two of those, so I'm going to look into them. I'm going to make my drive and idler pulleys and of course the rest of the machine. I have a tile saw my dad used before he passed that has a 1.5 hp motor. it plugs up to a regular 110 wall outlet, so I'm assuming that's what I'm dealing with. The motor is 3450 rpm and one speed.

from what I understand I will have to have a three phase motor to get the variable speed setup, but I'm not sure. If anyone could elaborate on this I would appreciate it. Let me know if you need any help Ern, I'll be glad to help.

From what I can tell in the pictures I've looked at the drive and idler pulleys both have a roof top. This helps the belt track. I may be wrong on the idler pulley but I know that they drive pulley is tapered down from the center on both sides.
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Wayne Coe

Forum Owner - Moderator
Your 3450 motor will be ok if you are running a direct drive machine. If you use step pulleys for adjustable speed it will be running wayyyyy to fast (scarry fast). I have 1800 rpm motors. 1.5 hp single phase, 1800 rpm for $145.00 plus shipping. $190.50 for 2 hp. 2 hp 3 phase 3600 rpm is 198.36 plus shipping. I am working on having VFDs. I will post when I am set up with the VFDs.

Chris Martin

Well-Known Member
My Coote is running a 1.5HP 1725 and on the fastest step it runs fast . Cant imagine a 3450RPM....LOL 1725 eats steel like a champ on a pulley system.

My new grinder will have a VFD so I can go SCARY fast if I want a thrill...LOL

Best of luck, Ern. Good thing is, your building your new money maker!


Ernie Swanson

Wayne are them motors for 110v?

I would love to slow down, heck my craftsman runs about 3500 rpm.

Whats the slowest I can go with the step pulleys?


Well-Known Member
I think, you can use step pulleys to either increase or decrease speed, it just depends on where you put the larger pulley, I think if you put the small pulley on the motor, and a larger pulley on the drive shaft you decrease speed, and increase power. This maybe backwards, I always get confused on it. Someone else who knows might chime in and correct me if this is incorrect.