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Grinder Tracking Funny with Small-Wheel Set

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by The Mighty Ginsu, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. The Mighty Ginsu

    The Mighty Ginsu

    Aug 11, 2016
    Today I bought some aluminum bars and made a tooling arm for my Origin Blade Maker small-wheel set. I got it installed, and I ran into an issue. Wonder if anyone else has had the problem.

    When I adjust the belt so it runs in the center of a small wheel, it tracks way to the right on the tracking pulley.

    Before I start playing around with shims and so on, I thought I'd see if this was a common problem with a well-known answer.
  2. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley

    Oct 17, 2007
    A picture of your set up would be helpful. Are the center lines of your wheels lined up? (Drive wheel and small wheel at least?)
    Backyard likes this.
  3. coldsteelburns


    Aug 2, 2010
    Mine tracks way over to one side as well, although I use a homemade grinder with a long board wheel with a bit on tape over the middle for my tracking wheel and its crown. Everything is fine on my platen and 12" wheel, but for my small wheel I just track the belt way over until it's in the middle lol.

    My Youtube Channel
    ... (Just some older videos of some knives I've made in the past)
  4. Busto

    Busto KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 26, 2011
    Two things create this situation....One is the need for clearance in the tooling arm receiver tube to allow you to slide arms in and out without binding.... Two is that when the small wheel arm extended as far as necessary to achieve proper tension and locked down on one side(left side for example) you have created a ever so slight angle that it's causing the small wheels to run out of alignment. At this point you are having to correct that alignment by over correcting on the tracking wheel. The problem can be solved by installing a second tooling arm tension knob to "Center" the tooling arm aligned with drive wheel and tracking wheel or you can fiddle with shims.
  5. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Another trick when using/building a small wheel arm is to use a 2X60 belt. That will work on many grinders and small wheel setups. Also, there is no need for a 2" wide belt in many situations. Using a 1.5" or even a 1" belt is more cost effective and easier.
    The same goes for running a very large wheel. If running a 16" wheel, for instance, use a 2X90 belt.
  6. Bob Duguay

    Bob Duguay

    Aug 28, 2017
    Mine does the very same thing. Flat platen and 10” wheel do fine.
  7. Natlek


    Jun 9, 2015
    Well-known answer will be that your small wheel is not aligned with the rest wheel on grinder .Without picture how we can recommended anything ...
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
  8. Sam Stefaniuk

    Sam Stefaniuk

    Apr 14, 2019
    I've had the same issue with my small wheels. My best guess is that the small wheel holder is not bolted on perfectly square to the rest of the grinder, causing the tracking to veer off to one side. A picture of your setup would help a lot.
  9. The Mighty Ginsu

    The Mighty Ginsu

    Aug 11, 2016
    I was tired when I posted my question, and before I went to bed, I figured it out. The accessory for the extra wheels that feed the belt to the small wheel is very thick, so it pushes everything to the right. I will have to cut about half an inch of thickness out of the tool arm, and then it will track perfectly. Thanks for the replies.
    john april likes this.
  10. The Mighty Ginsu

    The Mighty Ginsu

    Aug 11, 2016
    Today I cut 0.400" from the last 6" of the tooling arm, and now the grinder is aligned beautifully. Unfortunately, I don't have access to my milling machine right now, so I had to use the table saw and router table. Not nearly as refined, but the job is done.
    Ken H> and Natlek like this.

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