Shop Tune-up

With the long-term desk and workbench projects finished, I took a few hours to do what I normally do after finishing big projects; clean the shop a bunch, and bring more assets on-line.  One of the prominent additions was my mondo water wheel for grinding and sharpening.

Since moving one of the tools whose inactivity I noticed the most was my 16″ water wheel, given to me by a farrier friend who had no use for it.  It had been set up in my basement shop of the old house but I just never took the time to do any more than get it moved and in place in the barn.  I was always so busy that I never set aside time to get it working again.

Part of this procrastination was that I had mis-placed the gearing sheaves to bring the wheel speed down to my preferred 100 rpm with the wheel turning away from me.  As you can see from the picture, I did find that rig and dug out the motor so now it is up and running perfectly.

In the picture you can also see the rod with the diamond dressing stone for surfacing the wheel when necessary (attached to a jig, laying under the machine).

One pretty remarkable feature of the wheel is that the axle is linked to an arm-and-cam assembly that moves the wheel about 1″ from side to side when in use.  Sometimes I have this hooked up, sometimes not.  I just depends on the task at hand.

Obviously I did survive without this machine for three years, but I must say that since getting it back up and running I seem to use it at least once a day.  Since I mostly camber my plane irons by hand on a 220 diamond stone I thought I could do without it, but I might have been wrong.  I still camber my irons by hand, but there seem to be a multitude of tasks requiring a slow turning giant water wheel that hogs off material in a hurry.