Why Not At This Point? Add Another Clapped Out Project To The List

I can’t seem to stop myself.

I dunno, I get these wild hairs up my ass, start looking around and wait until something affordable pops up.

They inevitably do.

I started to say I don’t remember where this particular hankering came from but it just hit me and now I do.

Last Summer the Wife and I went to this huge “Garage Sale” up at the Fair Grounds and I wound up bringing a couple of small old hand powered grinding wheels back home. That’s what started this.

All of a sudden I started wanting a real, old fashioned grinding wheel. Well, they are out there but they are expensive as all get out now too. On top of that, I don’t have room to get out in that garage as it is. So one day while I am looking for one I stumble across a little wet sharpener.

Hmm, that might do the trick. It was a nice one on Craigslist and the guy only wanted $40 for it. The timing was bad though. It was forty miles away and there was no way I could get there during the week. I sent the guy a message and told him it was a guaranteed sale if he still had it four days later when I could get there on my day off but if he could sell it before then just go ahead. Which he did, dang it.

Here about a week ago another one showed up on EBay but it was REALLY old and pretty clapped out looking. They only wanted $20 for it though. I waited a few days until the auction was almost up and threw a bid on it.

Sure as shootin’ I won it. The shipping was just as much as the grinder but for $40 here it comes and it showed up last Thursday while I was at work.

I didn’t even open it up until an hour ago.

Yeah, saying it is clapped out is being kind.






I have no idea just how old this thing is, I can’t find any info on the it but I see several more for sale that are absolutely identical except they have different company names on the castings.

There is at least 3/32’s wear inside the ring the shaft goes through on the handle side and the shaft just flops around inside them when you spin it, the end of the shaft where the missing handle attaches is all buggered up and right at the moment I have the wheel and shaft in the vise out in the garage with a couple of drops of WD-40 on the nut trying to loosen up the rust so I can get the shaft out of the wheel.

The board it was mounted to is cracked all to hell and will be a nice bit of kindling for my buddy.

All this for only forty dollars!


Um, yeah, before you start choking on the laughter?

Take a peek at this,

Wet grinder

This is one that is for sale right now on EBay. 

It’s in a little bit better shape and the handle is there, other than that, they are identical.

wet grindr

$179.99 plus $71.62 shipping.

Hold on while I take my shoes and socks off here…

Looks to me to be something like TWO HUNDRED, FIFTY ONE DOLLARS AND SIXTY ONE CENTS.

I thought $250 was a bit steep.

Then I found this one that sold for $300 on EBay last December!


The exact same one by the same company.

Nice to see what kind of handle it needs anyway.

Ya think maybe the one I got for forty may just be worth fixing?




11 thoughts on “Why Not At This Point? Add Another Clapped Out Project To The List

  1. This is the best kind of project. The one you can easily convince your wife as is worth doing financially. This helps offset all the dumb purchases made in times past. Great buy IMHO. Find a local high school with a woodworking shop and ask them to make a new handle based on the picture and dimensions. Challenge for them and a great bargain for you, unless you also have a wood lathe buried in that garage. 😉


  2. Yeah, I get those wild hairs, too. My latest started a few months ago. A buddy brought a really old pump shotgun down to the trap range to show it to us. It was heavy, ugly, unwieldy and kind of beat to shit. It was love at first sight. Come to find out that it was a Spencer Repeating shotgun patented in 1882 by none other than Christopher Spencer of Spencer rifle fame. It was the first commercially available pump shotgun available. Eleven years before Winchester came out with their Model 1893. Naturally I had to have it. Then I decided on doing a restoration. Especially on the appearance of the Damascus barrel. That means I needed to get special chemicals to rust blue it and make an apparatus to steam the barrel as was originally done. Well, if I’m going to go through all that trouble to make a steam tube and by chemicals I might as well acquire more Damascus guns. Bought an Ithaca Flues SxS. Then I saw an interesting non Damascus single shot with a side cocking mechanism. A Remington 1893 Rider #3. Bought that just because. Then an Iver Johnson “Side Snap” from around 1895. Talked to the guy with the Iver Johnson and he also offered me an early nineteen hundreds Sears and Roebuck “New White Powder Wonder”. Since a buddy gave me that 80 – 100 year old Sears and Roebuck roll crimper that I sent you a picture of I had to buy the Sears shotgun to go along with it. It was like a sign from GOD. Fuck me running. Now I need a SxS with exposed hammers since I don’t have one of those yet. And yes, I plan on shooting every single one of them………………


    • Be very, very careful about shooting any of the old guns. Many (and especially “Damascus”) barrels are not capable of handling the higher pressure smokeless powder loads of today. The “Damascus” or twist steel barrels are also prone to microscopic weak points from rust infiltration that develops over the years. Since if one of these would blow, it happens right next to your head, be extra cautious.


      • Thanks for the advice. A lot of the problems with the old timers blowing up is short chambers and modern loads. Before you had open hull length standardized at 2 3/4″ you would find chamber length at 2 1/2″, 2 5/8″, 2 9/16″ and even some European guns as short as 2″. My Spencer is 2 5/8″. Firing a longer shell in a short chamber does not allow the crimp to open fully and spread the pressure along the length of the barrel. Instant hand grenade in front of your face. And modern smokeless powder loads being a lot higher pressure doesn’t help. We’re talking roughly 5000 PSI with black powder vs. up to about 11,000 with smokeless. I can’t disagree with you on barrel condition either, Neon. I’ll only really be shooting the ones that have been checked out by me and my gunsmith. Any of the ones that seem a bit hinky will end up as wall hangers and practice restoration pieces. Plus even the good ones will only be fired occasionally using special 2 1/2″ low pressure loads……………..


  3. Well, that wheel needs dressing something fierce, and if I read you right there’s NO handle/crank lever, correct? I’d say clean it up and sell for $100, otherwise you’re gonna be out $40 and have something else sitting around the garage taking up space and collecting dust.

    But what do *I* know – i have computer gear from the 80’s hanging around my basement…


    • Then there are the true master craftsmen who get twice as much done while moving half as much. Having watch some of the same, it had long been my goal to realize such economy.


  4. Your’s is a bit over 100 years old. An 18″ stone would set you back $4.00, an 22″ stone was $4.50. That is 1917 pricing, of course in working order with all the parts. Interesting that the original set-up featured chain and pulleys, I’d prefer a treadle.

    I have been wanting an old fashioned grinding wheel too.


  5. The handle on the last photo is doable. A little heat will allow for matching the
    bends and the square at the upper end can be done with a drill press, die-
    grinder and some file work. The split at the top suggests a set screw to
    provide a clamping force to the shaft. Even if the fit is a little sloppy it
    should not be a problem.


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