Summer Project #10: The Brand-New Belt Grinder, Completed!

Joined: 12:00 AM - Jan 01, 1970

6:02 AM - Jun 05, 2018 #1

Luck, fate or coincidence. You be the judge. 😁

I've mentioned before I regularly explore the local secondhand shop, sometimes to look for a specific cheap, used tool (generally to modify) but mostly just to see what they have that I didn't realize I couldn't live without until just then. 😋

I've also mentioned that the 'success rate' is something like one in ten- For every ten trips, one, maybe, will produce something good.

Today was my day. 😁

In the back, where they keep the heavy furniture near the loading door, I came 'round the corner and spotted this:



A complete, brand new, never-even-ever-had-a-belt-on-it Wilmont variable speed direct drive 2x72" belt grinder. Effectively the exact same thing I'd been working on, like, yesterday.

The price was not quite "screaming deal" territory, but it was very good- in the ballpark of half what I vaguely recall from looking years ago, and as it turns out, about half of what this particular manufacturer asked for the machine without the motor or drive. Also, it should be noted, without paying shipping up to freakin' Alaska. 😁



Basically, all told, I got it for about a third of the real, actual cost of what a comparable machine, if I shopped a bit, would have run me, delivered. It hurt my budget pretty badly, and I have to admit I waffled a bit- I mean, I'm within a few days' work of having one already, and I have plenty of other things I could use those funds on. (Like, y'know, food. 😁 )

But, I figured I'd badly regret not getting it, and it does have some features mine doesn't have, and better still, it's almost plug-and-play, and I have plenty on my plate already.

And it's brand new. It has never been used. I doubt it ever even had a belt installed. The workplate shows no signs of anything ever having been scraped or rubbed across it...



The red-anodized pulleys and rollers are pristine, showing zero wear, zero scuffing.



And the TEFC motor, shows zero signs of dust being pulled through the fan housing.



Now, looking online, it seems Wilmont Grinders were made by a small garage-shop type, as a variant on the usual KMG style that has become so popular with the knifemakers. It's pretty well designed, the plates all appear to have been water-jetted, the rollers are fairly well machined, and the overall quality is good, with both the steel and aluminum parts all having been anodized or zinc-oxided for protection.

However, their domain name is defunct and is being squatted. The maker has apparently closed up shop, after only having launched back in 2011 or so, but that's hardly a problem. The motor is a standard C-frame 3-phase, the power supply is a typical sealed Genesis, very commonly used for this kind of thing, and the tool arms are identical to the more-or-less-standard KMG style arms, including those I'm currently building for myself.

There may be no "factory support", but who cares? I was making my own- I AM the factory. 😁

And fortunately, being essentially brand-new, very little needed to be repaired- one was that the power cord had somehow gotten pulled out if its strain-relief at the VFD:



After was that the tracking knob, while it still turned, had been bonked against something- or something bonked against it- and had bent the screw.



And the last, the arm used to mount the VFD/control box had been bent somehow- hard to see in this pic, but it's twisted to the right noticeably.



The cable was an easy fix. After cracking open the control box, the wires were just fine, and still solidly connected, so all I had to do was just push the cord back in, and reseat the locking nut.



The rest of the inside of the control box looked pristine, with no traces of dust, dirt or contamination. There was this worrisome bit of corrosion on the speed potentiometer, but absolutely nothing else inside the case showed anything similar. I assume the pot was already lightly corroded when it was installed?



(Continued Next Post...)

Doc.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: 12:00 AM - Jan 01, 1970

6:28 AM - Jun 05, 2018 #2

The box mounting arm was just as easy- nothing a good squish in a 40-ton press couldn't take care of. 😁



And bolted back into place:



Why mount it down low like that? Because this unit does this:



Just roll it on it's side, flip the tool arm around a bit, and you have a horizontal grinder- which yes, comes in VERY handy at times. That was one of the things that sold me on this- it would be tough to make mine do that, and likely nowhere near as elegantly.

How elegantly? The unit flips on its side, and the endbell of the motor simply rests on this ventilated stand, which still allows plenty of airflow through the cooling fan. No braces, no brackets, no bolts. Just roll it over.



With the box sorted out, I threw one of the belts I also got at the same secondhand shop a couple years ago, on the machine and adjusted the tension. I plugged it in, and found a small scrap of steel from the bin to try.



In less than ten seconds, I was able to pretty much fully round the end. Probably three or four times faster- and without the heat buildup- of a bench grinder.



Smooth, surprisingly quiet, the speed control works perfectly, and when you switch it off, it stops instantly. 😁 The VFD must have a ramp-down time of 0.01 seconds. 😋

Which means the only thing to really fix is the tracking adjuster knob. I cut the old, bent bolt out, and found a chunk of allthread I was going to use in it's place. But, it turns out that not only was the bolt bent- yes, I'm sure of it- but the hole in the knob was tapped crooked:



Just a little bit.😋

There was no easy way to fix that, so I carefully drilled out the same hole with an endmill (so it wouldn't wander)...



And used a nut and washer on that same piece of allthread to hold the knob reasonably square, then welded it on with a handy nearby freshly-resurrected MIG:



Et voila`! One fixed tracking knob.



Meaning that the machine is pretty much 100% running and ready to go. The only thing I need to do now is make a stand, one that, as I mentioned about the other belt-grinder, will let me roll it outside if I need to do a large amount of grinding, so as to not fill the shop with grit and dust.

I'll also be making up a "scoop", to connect to a shop-vac, for the small, quick jobs, especially during the wintertime. Even mixing iron and aluminum dust in the regularly-used shop-vac will have essentially zero risk of "accidental thermite", because it's regularly emptied, and regularly used to vacuum up dirt, dust, floor-dry, oily chips, and other stuff that would effectively "dilute" any possible thermite mix. (Which is already incredibly hard to ignite even under ideal conditions.)

Then, at some point, when my pretty-much-completely-deflated wallet has had a chance to recover, I'll have to pick up another contact wheel or two. I still have the 4" one I got from a Guilder, and an 8"-er I bought off another board not too long ago, but I think I'd like to have a 10" serrated. I'd also love to have one of those "small wheel" attachments, but the full setup from Baumont is more than I paid for this whole machine!

I may have to make one. 😁

Doc.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: 11:48 PM - Mar 08, 2004

7:34 PM - Jun 05, 2018 #3

How do you get lucky like this? Every time I look all I find is broken junk they want two million dollars for.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: 12:00 AM - Jan 01, 1970

7:57 PM - Jun 05, 2018 #4

I think part of it is the fact I can wander in during the non-peak business hours, and not just during lunchtime, after work, or on weekends.

Since the store puts the stuff out basically all day, during the weekday, by the time somebody shows up at 5:30 on their way home from work or whatever, guys like me have already picked the place clean. 😁

It also depends very much on your local area, and the people running the store. The owner of this one tells me that the usual procedure is for people who own stores like this to eBay the "cream of the crop", in order to get top dollar, and the dregs go into the store. He, the local guy, doesn't because that's a lot of extra work over and above his regular duties.

Honestly, had the local guy listed this grinder on Craigslist, he could have asked very nearly new price, and I'd bet he'd have had it sold in less than a day.

Doc.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: 1:55 AM - Sep 29, 2016

8:42 PM - Jun 05, 2018 #5

Speaking of Craigslist, would it be worth your while to put the old project up for sale there, or do you prefer to keep it around for parts?  Sounds like you would be able to recoup at least 1/3 of your outlay.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: 1:55 AM - Sep 29, 2016

8:45 PM - Jun 05, 2018 #6

DH's shop stopped repairing printers and copiers about 8 years ago, when most of the big copier companies switched to the 'we'll sell you a new one with more bells and whistles for only half again the price of the parts you need to keep the old junker running.'   As a result we now have several pricey pieces of copiermongery that are useless unless you are keeping one of the aforementioned junkers running.  Ebay, here we come!
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: 8:57 PM - Jan 11, 2016

9:04 PM - Jun 05, 2018 #7

I hope you're going to scrub the copiers' hard drives before you let them loose. Modern copiers / network printers  are basically scanners and printers combined, with a CPU / Ram / IO ports - and a hard drive. The hard drive carries the OS, plus temporary scanned-in image storage, with the images remaining on the drive until (eventually) overwritten by a later image.  (Copier HDDs) Some copiers have apparently  had gigabytes of jpegs on them when they were sold - and all the company's documents from the last couple of years have basically been given away! If you have it, RTFM to see how to erase the temp image files, or contact the manufacturer about how to trigger the scrub process if the company doesn't want its secrets to be revealed.

Aaaand we're wandering away from Doc's project topic..... again!
A little knowledge is..... the default setting.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: 1:55 AM - Sep 29, 2016

9:28 PM - Jun 05, 2018 #8

Fortunately for Doc's projects, unless he stores info on his projects on the equipment itself, there isn't really any personally identifiable data stored from, say, his belt grinder (unlike perhaps a CNC mill'n'drill).  It makes recycling old tool and die stuff much easier and less problematic, from an information secure standpoint, which is why I was wondering about selling of his surplus-to-needs machinery.  The stuff we need to move is all ONS, still in the boxes they were ordered in, so no worries about letting someone's data loose into the wild, and we are very cautious about old drives, whatever the source.

/end of derail
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: 12:00 AM - Jan 01, 1970

9:39 PM - Jun 05, 2018 #9

kiawe wrote:Speaking of Craigslist, would it be worth your while to put the old project up for sale there, or do you prefer to keep it around for parts?  Sounds like you would be able to recoup at least 1/3 of your outlay.
-Actually, I'd be surprised if I couldn't do better than that. Even my homebrew monstrosity is likely worth plus or minus a grand up here (keeping in mind what's effectively a "shipping surcharge" for heavy stuff like this, which in this case might add $200 to $400 to the base cost.)

Not counting what I've sunk into it already (which admittedly is more time than money) it's possible I could actually make a small bit of money off of it- considering the price I got the Wilmont for. 😋

However, I also have two friends that are into knifemaking, at least in a hobby way, and I may be offering it to either of them for a "friends and family" type price.

Then again, even though I don't do enough grinding to need two, and the design of these things is such that changing belts or even tools is not so much of a hassle that keeping two different setups is really necessary, it wouldn't hurt my feelings any to keep it, either.

Doc.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: 3:32 AM - Sep 12, 2014

11:48 PM - Jun 05, 2018 #10

Beejay5169 wrote: I hope you're going to scrub the copiers' hard drives before you let them loose. Modern copiers / network printers  are basically scanners and printers combined, with a CPU / Ram / IO ports - and a hard drive. The hard drive carries the OS, plus temporary scanned-in image storage, with the images remaining on the drive until (eventually) overwritten by a later image.  (Copier HDDs) Some copiers have apparently  had gigabytes of jpegs on them when they were sold - and all the company's documents from the last couple of years have basically been given away! If you have it, RTFM to see how to erase the temp image files, or contact the manufacturer about how to trigger the scrub process if the company doesn't want its secrets to be revealed.

Aaaand we're wandering away from Doc's project topic..... again!
If you can extract the drive from the copier, it's (usually) a standard IDE / SATA laptop drive, and diagnostic tools for those are in plentiful supply. If you have a spare computer around that can accept the drive, DBAN is a very good open source bootable ISO image that can perform NIST-compliant (but not certified!) wipes.

Alternatively, destroy the drive- 7.62 x 54R does a nice number on the drive platters, especially if you are using old Czech surplus steel core ammo (silver tip) 😁. (.308 will work just fine as an alternative.)
Quote
Like
Share