I finally feel like a big boy...

Travis Fry

Well-Known Member
I finally got variable speed!

After 6 years of managing without it, I finally made the plunge and ordered an Esteem grinder from Brett Mathews. I assembled it yesterday with no serious issues, and was very impressed by the attention to detail. All that's left is a relocation from the assembly area to it's permanent home (on the white bench in the background to the left of the buffer), and I'm in business. Next up, a disc, which I'll run off the same VFD after I sell a few more knives.


Esteem1-e1429530546182.jpg
 

J. Doyle

Dealer - Purveyor
Nice Travis. Did it come with the blue hinged mounting plate too? I'm assuming that tips up on it's side so you can use it as a horizontal grinder? And did it come with a tool rest attachment for that application?
 

Travis Fry

Well-Known Member
The hinged plate is an option. There's a 1.25" support rod that I've not yet attached that keeps the weight off of the motor housing when flipped horizontal. It didn't come with an additional toolrest, but the tooling arms are tapped for toolrest reorientation, and the toolrest is very flexible. I think the incremental cost of the flippable option was about $225-250. I honestly don't think I'll use it all that much, but wanted to keep the options open. Also, the platen wheels come standard in aluminum, the urethane ones I have were a customization at my request.

I really think these Esteems are the best grinder for the money out there at the moment. The tolerances are tight, setup was very straightforward, and Brett Mathews is a nice guy.
 

kevin - the professor

Well-Known Member
that looks like a solid machine. I bought a 3hp variable kmg about 4 months ago. I had a very good grinder at the time (Uncle Al's). Still, getting a high-end grinder makes a huge difference. Love it. You will love yours, too. It makes me want to slow down and take great care.

looking forward to seeing your future work.
kc
 

stezann

Well-Known Member
Congratulations!!! Does it run tracking well also in reverse turning? A nice way to test wheels alignment is to run it in reverse and see if the belt keeps stay centered
 

Travis Fry

Well-Known Member
Congratulations!!! Does it run tracking well also in reverse turning? A nice way to test wheels alignment is to run it in reverse and see if the belt keeps stay centered

It tracks pretty much perfectly and the tracking adjustment is very sensitive. I haven't (and won't) run it in reverse.
 

rhinoknives

Well-Known Member
Travis,


You will wonder how you ever got along without Variable speed! You will now be able to find that spot in the speed for each belt grit and what you are doing. I also think you will use the flip more than you think. I want one for my handle work in particular. HMMM?:les:

I've been looking at a Tag 101 or going all out and getting a TW-90 but now you have shown me another machine to Tool Porn over!:34:

Getting the covered wheels was a smart move too! I had a KMG with the aluminum wheels and hated them, Its so nice to be able to have a contact wheel right there to drop tips while sharpening etc. They run smoother and quieter too.
 

KenH

Well-Known Member
Congrats Travis - you will really enjoy the variable speed. I used a 3 pulley arrangement for a yr or so, then built a grinder with a VFD - WOW!!! I"m now a convert to VFD grinders. Just no comparison. I'm betting you will flip to horizontal more often than you think. I've been impressed how often I go to the horizontal position - especially on folders. My grinder flips much the same as the hinged method your grinder does.

Nice looking grinder for sure.

Ken H>
 

stezann

Well-Known Member
Travis, running in reverse is not for actually using it, it is just a test to see if the wheels are well aligned and to show if the tracking is taking care of a misalignment, which may translate in less smoothness than the machine could provide
 

rhinoknives

Well-Known Member
Travis, running in reverse is not for actually using it, it is just a test to see if the wheels are well aligned and to show if the tracking is taking care of a misalignment, which may translate in less smoothness than the machine could provide

If your machine runs forward and tracks fine, what diff would it make to run it in reverse to see how it tracks?

In other words, without being snarky.
The point of having a reverse is to use it for whatever task the user wishes.
 

J. ROSA

Well-Known Member
Congrats!. I just recently made the switch myself from a Coote to direct drive VFD and the difference is night and day!
 
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