Super excited to get back at woodturning again after almost 20 years, yes since I was a teenager. Back than I did a lot of woodturning in my fathers shop. I used to make money with my turnings back then selling them locally & work of mouth. I also used to sell wooden pipes to the local smokers. I specialized in 18” long piece pipes & back then $25 was a lot to me, still is, haha. So Far I have purchased a used wood lathe, a g1495 which they discontinued the month I got mine last year, it works great. I also got a nice set of traditional turning chisels. So I have been eyeballing this Rikon grinder for a while now sorta waiting for it to go on sale, well its now on sale & I got mine last week for $99. It works great, no vibrations but the first thing I noticed, something that really bothered me is the cheap paint job. I didn’t take any photos but I did take video. The paint had large runs in the finish on the face. I restore a lot of tools & have a keen eye for details so this was unacceptable in my book. Rather than be a baby & return the grinder I opted to repaint it, no big deal right, well I sometimes over do things. I took the bench grinder apart & another thing I noticed was the wheel shrouds were missing an exhaust dust port out the back. This seemed odd because both my dewalt & delta bench grinders both have a rear exhaust port. Perhaps it was designed like this because they know this will be going in a wood shop & it prevents sparks from shooting out the back but when I used the tool to true the wheels up the amount of dust shooting in my face was enough for me to make the decision to modify the grinder & add my own custom rear exhaust port to help eliminate the amount of dust coming at me, I figure while I’m already stripping it down because of the crappy paint job I could atleast fix their cheap design on the shroud or wheel cover & attempt to improve the design so thats what I did. First thing I did with the grinder was to lay out the side covers kinda comparing what the other two manufacturers did with their designs. I basically made a minor cut & folded the metal thats on the back to allow the dust to except out the back, If I ever wanted to put it back I can simply bend it back & tack it in place. Its hard to describe this process but if youd like to see more you can watch more in the video, Ill post a link below.
The next thing I would need to do was to remove the runs in the paint inorder to repaint the body so I first used a wire wheel on a grinder to smooth out the runs in the paint. This was simple but I noticed something that caught my eye. Like a fish under water my interest was sparked when I noticed shiny metal under the paint. So I kept removing more paint & more paint until I made the decision to completely strip the entire casing of the paint. It was beautiful, the rikon motor case was made of metal that looked like aluminum or should I say brushed aluminum.At some point I decided the heck with paint, this grinder was going to be polished out & thats what I did. After removing all the paint with the wire wheel I used a buffer to try to make it shine even more, it did but this step was unnecessary & could be skipped. To protect the new shiny finish I applied wax over the newly polished metal, looks good…
Now what to do with the side covers, I surly couldn’t leave them the stock color. Well I personally like old custom cars & trucks. One of the looks I like is the flat paint look on old vehicles. So I decided to imitate that style, the base was already a flat black color so I figured I’d paint the sides to match that. So rather than use a flat sheen I opted used a satin. I had black BBQ paint in stock so I just used that. The satin sheen repels dust much better than a flat.
The grinder looks awesome now that I put it all back together but How about that modification I made to the back? Well In the video you can see how well that works. I’ll tell you here that it eliminated 85% of the dust from coming at me, its a mod I recommend to somebody that is bored one day but it helps to have a welder incase you run into problems like I did.
Okay lumberjocks, hope this was helpful. The grinder works well, its the best slow speed grinder for the price of less than $150 Oh, one half horsepower seems plenty to me. Now I just need the wolverine jig set up.
here is a link to the video I made https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtK_QEhcqKc
-- -Mike, Southern California, YouTube User ( Give & Take )