Making a bench grinder stand

Ok, so for those who missed it, the week before last I posted a single picture of a bench grinder stand I’d built and promised you the story of the build the next day. This hasn’t happened, as life got in the road as usual. Wedding planning, falling tree branches and general craziness at work have all come between me and the blog.

Now I’ve got a second though let’s do a little storytelling. A couple of years ago when I moved out my Dad gave me some of his tools that he wouldn’t need again but wanted me to have. He kept most of his power tools but when I suggested his bench grinder should come and live with me he gave in and let me take it.

It’s an old Skil brand grinder from either the late 70’s or early 80’s. The brand vanished years ago but appears to have been quite decent at the time. It’s suddenly reappeared in the local hardware giant but the quality difference is very apparent.

This old grinder has 125mm wheels, or 5 inches in old terms. What this means is that buying wheels for it is near impossible, so I’ve been using it with what was on it, and a wire wheel for cleaning tools that didn’t need the guard so would still fit.

I’ve been clamping it to my little portable bench whenever I wanted to use it but have been doing so more and more lately so wanted to give it a permanent home. A few spare hours and some more of the scrap pile resulted in the stand I showed you earlier.

Here’s how I built it. I cut some scrap pine to 30cm lengths and cut a corner off for appearance, but keep the wedge because we’ll use it later. I’m so glad I got the mitre saw working again!

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Using my two newest friends (sawhorses!) to support the process, I glued and screwed the first piece onto the stem of the stand. Hindsight will tell me glue was a very stupid thing to use at this point.

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Much like Kylie Minogue, I’m spinning around…well, my stand is. Turn it each time you finish attaching a foot piece and repeat the process.

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Four feet later and it stands by itself. Here’s where I realise that one of the pieces wasn’t square and have to knock the glue loose with a rubber mallet then correct the problem.

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A scrap of MDF and some very inaccurate drilling (on the drill press no less!) and I have a top for the stand. It would have been sensible to put the grinder on it at this point, marked and drilled the holes to secure it but again, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

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Now for the awkward part. I’d marked the guide square on the same side I’d countersunk, so I couldn’t use it to line up the top to attach it. Instead I have to mark a new square and for some reason decided to glue it in place by turning the stand upside down, Mr Squiggle style.

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Those little wedges I saved from the feet come in handy for securing the top to the stem, except that I’m about to realise that the glue hasn’t set and every hammer blow moves the top around. Did I mentioned that I’ve also just drive a nail right through the spot that I’ll try and drill bolt holes though later?

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Once I’d sorted out the few issues I’d created for myself I sanded it, stood it up and was quite pleased with the result, seen below. All that was left after this was a coat of linseed oil to seal the wood.

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And here’s the final shot from before so you can see it all completed. I did go out after this and get a set of rubber feet for the stand, to steady it up on my uneven workshop floor. A couple of washers under the feet that wern’t sitting right did the trick, and in use it’s stable with no unwanted vibration.

If I was doing it over I think I’d consider doing three feet instead of four, one long one across the front plus a back one, as they may have handled the uneven floor better, and I would have made them slightly longer just to increase stability, but it works fine as it is and these are just thoughts on how to improve it.

I’d love to see pictures and share them on the blog if anyone likes my stand enough to make one of their own.

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6 thoughts on “Making a bench grinder stand

  1. I’m in the middle of building my own wooden stand for my two grinders. I like your foot pad better than my idea (a thick sheet of plywood that would have rocked). However, I was uncertain of the final height I would want so I have my 4X4 main post (attached to the platform) sandwiched between two 2X4 (attached to the base). I can slide it up and down and insert the shear bolts to fix it at whatever height I drill holes for.
    Mark Bauer Colleyville, TX

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