Small wheel attachment

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
I finally broke down and ordered a small wheel attachment and a 3/4" wheel from Boss Dog. Other than running it at low speed, is there any caveats or tricks to know about? I'm really looking forward to it speeding things up and also improving my knives. Should be here end of next week I believe.
 

opaul

Well-Known Member
I finally broke down and ordered a small wheel attachment and a 3/4" wheel from Boss Dog. Other than running it at low speed, is there any caveats or tricks to know about? I'm really looking forward to it speeding things up and also improving my knives. Should be here end of next week I believe.
It’s definitely a great addition. In both the horizontal and vertical positions. Defiantly run it slow.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
I assume it's one with the "outboard" bearings? (bearings mounted outside/ends of wheel). I really wish the "old style" were still sold....those are the ones that had bearings inside the wheel. Most quit making them because the bearings wore out so quickly. The reason I like the internal bearings in a small wheel is that the bearings do not get in the way when using the wheel. With the outboard bearings, you can only "twist" what you're working on some much...for me that is usually working in the guard/handle junction of knives, before it hits those outboard bearings and stops any further progress. I initially built my own small wheel attachment, based off the old Wilton design, and the only place I can find small wheels with internal bearings is Bader. I also set mine up with a dummy roller for clearance it tight spots. Everybody is likely familiar with the "new" style....but here's a pic of the "old style" that I prefer, with the bearing set inside the wheel..... the big drawback is that these bearings MUST be run at slow speeds, and even then, for only about 10 mins MAX. On the up side, I can buy 10 replacement bearings for about $10, and they press in with finger pressure.





If you find yourself in a situation where the outboard bearings are getting in your way, the best thing to do is to "tear" yourself about 1/2" wide belt, and go to the slack belt method.
 

Heikki

KNIFE MAKER
Ed I see you have a serrated small wheel in the photo. I was thinking of getting some rubber ones to add to the steel ones I already have. Any pros/cons to them? Definitely feel the belt bump on the steel ones.
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
The extra wheel like Ed has comes in handy. I have a similar design on my Reeder. I can put 2 small wheels and get the radius down to my smallest wheel size 3/4".
The one I got from Boss Dog has that as an option. I debated on getting it, but decided I'll try it as is first.
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
I assume it's one with the "outboard" bearings? (bearings mounted outside/ends of wheel). I really wish the "old style" were still sold....those are the ones that had bearings inside the wheel. Most quit making them because the bearings wore out so quickly. The reason I like the internal bearings in a small wheel is that the bearings do not get in the way when using the wheel. With the outboard bearings, you can only "twist" what you're working on some much...for me that is usually working in the guard/handle junction of knives, before it hits those outboard bearings and stops any further progress. I initially built my own small wheel attachment, based off the old Wilton design, and the only place I can find small wheels with internal bearings is Bader. I also set mine up with a dummy roller for clearance it tight spots. Everybody is likely familiar with the "new" style....but here's a pic of the "old style" that I prefer, with the bearing set inside the wheel..... the big drawback is that these bearings MUST be run at slow speeds, and even then, for only about 10 mins MAX. On the up side, I can buy 10 replacement bearings for about $10, and they press in with finger pressure.





If you find yourself in a situation where the outboard bearings are getting in your way, the best thing to do is to "tear" yourself about 1/2" wide belt, and go to the slack belt method.
Thanks for the info Ed. Yes they have what you call outside bearings. Looks like there's a bit of a learning curve with these just like anything else.
In any event it will be a huge improvement over a Dremel and a round file.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Ed I see you have a serrated small wheel in the photo. I was thinking of getting some rubber ones to add to the steel ones I already have. Any pros/cons to them? Definitely feel the belt bump on the steel ones.

Do they still sell the steel ones? Personally, I will not use the steel ones, nor do I recommend using them. I've seen too many accidents caused by them, and had a couple minor ones myself before I threw them away. I've never heard anything solid as far a results, but there were murmurs/rumors a while back that the maker(s) of the solid steel small wheels were/are facing several law suits because of people being injured using them. So, between that and my own experiences, IMO the rubber ones are all "pro" and no "cons" by comparison.

I really wish I could find small Poly wheels for my application (internal bearings in 3/4" size). Poly holds up much better in the 1 1/2" and 3" sizes for me then rubber, so I would assume it would be the same on smaller wheels. When I was in "full production", I would go through 2-3 of the rubber 3/4" wheels every year, just wearing out the rubber. It only takes me a couple dozen knives to wear the serrations off one, then within another dozen or so, the core is showing through. And along the way it's common for me to replace the bearings a couple times. I know that sounds like a lot of trouble, and some might ask why not go to the external bearings..... I've tried, and in the 3/4" size, the bearings get in the way every time when I work the guard/handle junction, and frustrate the puddin outta me. (which is really the only time I use the small wheel). So every year at the Blade show, I buy 3-4 of the 3/4" wheels from Bader, and hope they don't stop selling them.:)
 
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EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Looks like there's a bit of a learning curve with these just like anything else.
In any event it will be a huge improvement over a Dremel and a round file.

Probably not much learning curve for you, but it'll make the round file and dremel look like a horse and buggy. :) More times then not, when I use the small wheel, I'm down on one knee at the grinder just to be in a stable position, and also so I can actually see whats going on. The "dummy wheel" helps because I can tilt the small wheel attachment upwards more, without opening up the angle on the belt. No doubt it'll be a game changer for you!
 
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Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
Probably not much learning curve for you, but it'll make the round file and dremel look like a horse and buggy. :) More times then not, when I use the small wheel, I'm down on one knee at the grinder just to be in a stable position, and also so I can actually see whats going on. The "dummy wheel" helps because I can tilt the small wheel attachment upwards more, without opening up the angle on the belt. No doubt it'll be a game changer for you!
Thanks Ed. Sounds like it's a good investment all the way around.
 

Randy Lucius

KNIFE MAKER
I’ve been using steel small wheels for a couple of years. I really need to upgrade to some rubber coated ones. I’ve heard of people sliding rubber tubing over the smaller diameter ones but I haven’t tried it. Might give it a shot.
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
I’ve been using steel small wheels for a couple of years. I really need to upgrade to some rubber coated ones. I’ve heard of people sliding rubber tubing over the smaller diameter ones but I haven’t tried it. Might give it a shot.
The one I'm getting is poly. From what I've read poly works as well as rubber but are quite a bit less expensive.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Personally, I far prefer poly to rubber. Besides being less expensive, it holds up a lot better, and doesn't dry rot when it's left around for a while without being used. Like I said....wish they'd make em in the internal bearing wheels I use.
 

oldknife

Well-Known Member
Sean, here is a small wheel grinder I made many years ago, it has the internal bearings in the wheels, the yoke is from my Burr king, it is a real asset to have a separate small wheel grinder. Deane
 

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opaul

Well-Known Member
Sean, here is a small wheel grinder I made many years ago, it has the internal bearings in the wheels, the yoke is from my Burr king, it is a real asset to have a separate small wheel grinder. Deane
Old knife is a true craftsman. !
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the replies everyone! I should have it by Wednesday or Thursday. I'll post some pics when I have it setup
 

tkroenlein

Well-Known Member
Personally, I far prefer poly to rubber. Besides being less expensive, it holds up a lot better, and doesn't dry rot when it's left around for a while without being used. Like I said....wish they'd make em in the internal bearing wheels I use.
What durometer?

I'm thinking it *might* be possible to bore some polys. We have a shop do some stuff at my real job.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Poly is measured differently than rubber as far as hardness, but since most know "durometer", somewhere between 70 (the average rubber contact wheel hardness) to 90. From what I've been told by the folks at Sun Ray corp, polyurethane is molded to cores (steel or aluminum). But where there's a will, there's a way! ;)
 

Gliden07

Well-Known Member
If you did a very slight interference fit froze the Axle and warmed the Poly you should be able to push it in with a press?
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
If you did a very slight interference fit froze the Axle and warmed the Poly you should be able to push it in with a press?
I think it would be worth a try; assuming you have the equipment to do so. I think it would take a fairly large press and some experimentation to get the right temp on the poly.
 
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