Thursday, 15 March 2012


I needed to find a way to touch up my carbide lathe tools. I worked as a tool and cutter grinder for a while (in another life many years ago) so I knew that using a green grit wheel would not give me the best results. So, I bought an 80mm diameter diamond cup wheel from fleabay and lashed up a grinder around it.

I was not overly concerned at how it should look so long as it would do the job. I have uploaded a short film clip to YouTube and if anybody is interested you can find it here:

The base is a bit of my son’s old bookcase, motor from car boot sale – couple of quid. All of the chunky aluminium hacked from a large jig, 50p – car boot again! Guard is a bit of our old milk saucepan and the grinding spindle is a stainless steel door handle running in two new ball races – both from the boot again and costing pence.

The drive belt hurt. I had to have it made up and they stung me for £13.66. Not to worry though, I have ended up with a very handy device which does a “proper job”.

Incidentally, the clamp holding the tool in the film has been in my possession for some time now (I’m sure you can guess where it came from) but I have never known what its original purpose was but I DO know what a previous owner has been using it for – how do I know?

After I had shot the footage I was sitting at my desk turning the clamp over in my hands and for the first time, I noticed it was rattling slightly. I was puzzled as there was nothing visible that could rattle. And why would the manufacturer machine a groove around the handle like that? I grasped the handle and twisted the end and surprise, surprise it started to turn and unscrew.

The handle was hollow and the mystery rattling things fell out of their hiding place and onto my desk. Three small pieces of shaped steel each of which could be gripped in the jaws of the clamp. I know a lock pickers kit when I see one and that is what I was looking at here………………