View Full Version : Aluminum Tooling arms..?

12-31-2009, 12:03 PM
I just took an order from a metal smith and jewelry maker who is a 72 year old women. She is well known and heavily talented to say the least. She used a KMG at the shop of another jewelry maker and decided that she needs to have one. But, she said that she is not strong enough to handle the heavy tooling arms with attachments mounted to them. So, we are going to make some aluminum arms to see if that helps her out.

Personally, I hate of the thought of using aluminum...but perhaps that's just my own biased opinion and something that I need to get over.

So, here's the question, what do you think about aluminum tooling arms? Do you think it is something that Beaumont Metal Works should make available?

We are going to make a batch of them anyway...


Allen Newberry
12-31-2009, 12:17 PM
Aluminum is softer, but a 14'' wheel and a steel tooling arm would be a lot to lift for some. So, I think for those with back issues etc. it might be a worthwhile trade off.

Curtiss Knives
12-31-2009, 01:13 PM
Rob, thats what I made mine from along with a lot of other parts. Works just fine. http://www.knifedogs.com/showthread.php?t=4224

Rusty McDonald
12-31-2009, 01:43 PM
Shouldn't be a problem but just maybe galling when putting it on or tightening the hold down too tight might cause a problem.

Etowah Edge
01-06-2010, 06:48 PM
I have seen some 2X72" grinders built entirely of slotted extruded aluminum assembled with T bolts, but I like machinery heavy and stable. But if bolted down a grinder does not to be heavy. Since getting my KMG I have been able to stop lifting weights.LOL

I can see this as a desirable option to some customers. Any idea what the costs would be? I might get one to put the platen on as it is a heavy assembly on the steel bar.


01-06-2010, 07:00 PM
I see no problem with aluminum for a tooling arm, those steel ones are nice and beefy but heavy.

What are the costs compared to steel? Shipping would be cheaper I suppose...

Chuck Bybee
01-20-2010, 06:01 AM
I'm making some extra tooling arms out of natural canvas micarta.

I store the my extra arm above the grinder. I don't have a problem with the weight of the steel arm but I'm not the only person to use the grinder. We'll see how it works.

Micarta = 2.7 Pounds
Aluminum = 5.4 Pounds
Steel = 15.9 Pounds

01-22-2010, 08:54 AM
Hmmm...I dunno Chuck.

Plastic tooling arms...? You should be shot for even thinking about it!:p:D:p

It kills me to consider something other than steel to start with....
My thought is that aluminum is already too light, too soft, too un-manly ...and somewhat goes backwards against the grain of one of the original design goals of the KMG...which was ROBUSTNESS.

But on the other hand, another original design goal was VERSITILITY....to encourage resourcefulness and creative adaptation at the user level of the machine....so your micarta tool arms fit into this area nicely. Very Cleaver!!

Just so I can sleep a little better...please "Man-Up" the Micarta
as much as possible. No gurly colors please. :D

This response is posted in Fun of course! Actually, I'm very curious to hear how it works out....but I'll never admit it in public. :D

BTW, It's a slow morning here in the shop while waiting for a steel delivery to arrive...then we'll be buried for a few days.


01-22-2010, 09:49 AM
glad to have you posting here Chuck. If you get around to selling those, post a link and picture here. that must be a huge chunk of micarta you have..I'd like to hear how it works.

01-28-2010, 12:37 AM
Im interested in the price and would like to know are the tooling arms going to be a solid 1.5 inch square piece or a tube??? Also how much ??

01-28-2010, 12:38 AM
I meant how long are they.

01-31-2010, 09:09 PM
would hollow steel tube be as rigid as solid Alum? Would it's
weight be similiar??

02-06-2010, 09:26 AM
It would be neat if you could press-fit or bolt (with flush screw heads) a strip of steel into a blind slot milled into the side of a 1.5 x 1.5" aluminum arm.

The clamping bolt would contact the steel strip rather than the aluminum.

Etowah Edge
03-22-2010, 01:11 PM
Are these still in the works?


03-22-2010, 02:44 PM
We've got em! Actually, the material has been cut up and they are ready to go into the CNC machining center. We may have them ready to ship by the end of this week.

Same price as steel, $80 ea.


Etowah Edge
03-22-2010, 06:58 PM
Great! It's on my list. I'll check with you soon.