The old grindstone


A large sandstone grinding wheel seemed so steriotypical of the ideal 18th century tool shop I found it impossible to resist ordering one on Ebay. It arrived in 4 pieces though…and so I was left with a perfectly useless metal seat and frame…So I bit the bullet and bought another wheel which came intact but without a frame, so I decided to knock one together. Ugly, fast but mostly functional.


I started by drawbore mortise and tenoning the a square frame together, then roughed out some crude handles with the drawknife and shave tree.


Then shaved down a few legs, went with three hoping for more stability on some seriously rough ground, and shoved them in and wedged in place.


The Yankee 1005 drill press made short work of the tool rest in oak. Always love an excuse to use this tool/toy!


We raised and lowered the 100lb+ wheel onto the frame and used some new pillow block bearings to let her spin.


I rigged a treadle with a piece of oak and a strip of oak scrap.


Added a stainless steel mud pan which rests on the leg stretcher under the wheel, and started putting knew edges on my ebay chisels! Love this wheel, the sandstone is not fast, but leaves a smooth finish ready for a medium oilstone or is the finish for an axe or other rough tool. It will never overheat a tool, and the radius is so huge it leaves no noticeable hollow grind. And of course it looks freakin sweet!!!

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3 Responses to The old grindstone

  1. Your blog is very informative and shows exactly how you are making things. That’s good!


  2. Ivan says:

    Great job! Just make sure you remove the water pan below the stone in the winter, freezing temperatures can crack the stone if it’s sitting in water.


    • mrchickadee says:

      Thanks, yep, tried to use it once in the 20s and water froze on the surface preventing work haha, never leave it in a water bath even in summer though since it can make them out of round, one side gets softer…


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