No Weld Grinder question.


Well-Known Member
I have a question for anyone who has built one of these. I have been researching grinders and this seems to be my best option based on my limited budget and the fact I don't want to buy something that I will regret later. After looking at pictures and videos I found it to be a bit intimidating at first blush but after looking further I feel it might be something I can do.

Pros: I can follow directions like a champ and have access to a shop with all sorts of power tools and a drill press and more than likely alot of the needed materials.
Cons: No experience whatsoever building something like this.

I would want to keep it as a basic as possible and just go for a flat platen setup to begin with.

My question is this: Is there anybody else with little to no experience with this type of project out there who had success? Am I getting in over my head? Any advice welcome before I pull the trigger on buying the plans.

Garry Odgers

Well-Known Member
It's a fun project.
Measure twice cut once, measure twice drill once. Just make sure everything is square as you go.
If you have access to those tools you will be fine. Just take your time and enjoy it.
I enjoyed building mine and still using it now.

Wayne Coe

Forum Owner - Moderator
When I started building grinders they were based on the NWG. It was quite easy to build and I was amazed at how well it worked. I have never heard of anyone who started building one that was unable to complete it.

Ronald P. Rochon

Well-Known Member
What Garry & Wayne said x 2. Pay attention to being square,and the plans will get you there. You will be happy with the results. Good luck. Sincerly, Ron.

BossDog & Owner
Staff member
anyone can build it with minimum tools.
You will have to tweak it once you have it assembled. sometimes people expect it to be perfectly assembled exactly when you tighten the last nut. it won't be perfect. expect an hour or two tweaking and redoing a minor thing or two to get the belt to track well.
several people here have built them can help you if you get stuck.
i've put together a few myself.


Well-Known Member
I am fixing to purchase just the plans for it then build mine from scatch maybe.. Looking at the ones I have seen It should be pretty simple build.


Well-Known Member
Thanks for the input guys. I bought the plans and have started looking for materials. My question is this: Is there any leeway built in to the amount of steel I need to get in the materials list. For example if it says 1.5’ 4” square pipe 1/8” thick should I plan on using all one and a half feet of steel or is there a margin for error built in? Should I try to get a few inches extra?


Should I go for the variable speed or start with 3-step-pulley ( or 4-step-pulley) ? I can get a 1750 rpm and 1 1/2 hp motor to reduce the speed to about 875rpm ( or 700 rpm) by using step pulleys. Does 875 rpm or 700 rpm "adequate" ? If either one of the speed is acceptable, then when will slower speed used?

Do I invest in the variable converter now or go as my skill improves? ( I began making knives with a 2" x 48", 3400/1750, 3/4hp, two speed Kalamazoo grinder 2+ years ago. )

Thank you in advance for you help.

Drew Riley

Well-Known Member
Personally, I'd buy as much tube for the tooling arms as you can stand. Once you start making platens and buying wheels, it disappears quickly. Besides that, I often find a use for scrap steel in my shop, even if it's not grinder or knife related.
That said, buy what the plans ask for. IIRC, they're pretty specific.

Overall, for me, it was a fairly easy build. I've made a few mods over the years to "tighten" up the tolerances of my machine a little bit, but as the plans stand, you should have a very functional machine, that, if put together carefully and accurately, shouldn't take a whole lot of tweaking. It will take some though, like Tracy says.

As for the variable vs step pulley discussion: I say buy the best you can afford. I've never heard anyone with a VFD say they wished they could go to a step system, but almost EVERYONE with a step pulley wished they had a VFD. That said, I currently run 3 step pulleys on mine, and I work with it. I'm not saying I couldn't use a variable set up, and I often wish I had it, but there's little I can't do because I don't have one.