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Ice auger blade sharpening, lookin to build a grinder.

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  • Ice auger blade sharpening, lookin to build a grinder.

    Since my parents own a live bait business one of the questions my father asks me all the time is if I can sharpen auger blades. I have just sharpened a few on the bench grinder by hand for a few friends to try out and they say they work good. However I would want it to be a more precise and profession job if we were to promote the service in their shop and charge a shop price for the work. So I got to lookin for "professional" grinders for this purpose and the ones I am seeing are just multi purpose tool grinders. That instantly reminded me of all the tool grinder threads I see here that people have gotten at auctions, yards sales, and made their own.

    Should I just make up my own or look to buy? I really only want a bench top deal, nothing that takes up floor space, just bench space

    The problem that I see is ice auger blades are all different. Some are strait, some have a curve, some have multiple radiuses (radius'es, radius's, radius? lol) some serrated, and so on. Strait are easy, the radius ones not so much. The thought crossed my mind of a disc sander deal and make angled blocks to free hand the curve but at least hold the right cutting edge angle the whole time. Maybe just a die grinder attachment? Whats your thoughts?

    Some pitchures for you warm weather guys (and girl) that have never seen a ice auger. :P



    Andy

  • #2
    This is the one picture I get searching for good blade grinders:

    Andy

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    • #3
      I've seen them a lot in use on TV shows, e.g. the dozen or so Alaska reality programs currently being aired, but never first hand and up close.
      Are those blades you describe mounted perpendicular, more or less, to the shaft ... like the cutting edges on a Forstner bit?
      Or are they angled, like a drill bit edges? ...or the reverse of that?

      If you're getting good performance from free-hand sharpened blades, I see no reason for any qualms about charging commercial rates for that.
      Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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      • #4
        I'd go with a stationary grinder, then build a sled for the straight and serrated blades. For the curved ones I'd go with a pivoted arm of suitable length to match the radius, perhaps pivoting from a socket on the floor or ceiling to keep a small footprint.

        I normally free hand them, but that only 1-2 times a season. Would be a pain as a business.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by lynnl View Post
          I've seen them a lot in use on TV shows, e.g. the dozen or so Alaska reality programs currently being aired, but never first hand and up close.
          Are those blades you describe mounted perpendicular, more or less, to the shaft ... like the cutting edges on a Forstner bit?
          Or are they angled, like a drill bit edges? ...or the reverse of that?

          If you're getting good performance from free-hand sharpened blades, I see no reason for any qualms about charging commercial rates for that.
          While I get good performance with hand grinding it isn't repeatable and doesn't have the professional look. I am not sure about all blades and all makes but I am sure the blades are mounted in any way you can imagine between different makes.

          Originally posted by kendall View Post
          I'd go with a stationary grinder, then build a sled for the straight and serrated blades. For the curved ones I'd go with a pivoted arm of suitable length to match the radius, perhaps pivoting from a socket on the floor or ceiling to keep a small footprint.

          I normally free hand them, but that only 1-2 times a season. Would be a pain as a business.
          The sled deal does seem like the way to go for the strait ones. For the curved ones sometimes they have multiple radius's so a single jigging wouldn't work.
          Andy

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          • #6
            Double posting.
            Andy

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            • #7
              No help Andy, just wanted to say that this should be a money making sideline for a couple of months. I say that because a machinist here years ago dabbled in a sideline of selling bait for something different, and he built a grinder to sharpen auger blades, with compound angles etc. He was quite busy with it.
              I never saw it as he was kind of secretive about it.
              Other bait shops from the area in other towns used to take in blades and send them to him.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hope to make a few bucks at it. At least pay for the grinder eventually.

                The more I am looking and reading and whatnot I am thinking of just building one and not getting a universal grinder.

                I have a 1/2hp daton motor brand new in the box that has been waiting for a job. I also have a box of different stones probably 17 different ones in all. Just need to think up or look around for some sort of nice solid table for tooling.
                Andy

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by vpt View Post
                  Since my parents own a live bait business one of the questions my father asks me all the time is if I can sharpen auger blades. I have just sharpened a few on the bench grinder by hand for a few friends to try out and they say they work good. However I would want it to be a more precise and profession job if we were to promote the service in their shop and charge a shop price for the work. So I got to lookin for "professional" grinders for this purpose and the ones I am seeing are just multi purpose tool grinders. That instantly reminded me of all the tool grinder threads I see here that people have gotten at auctions, yards sales, and made their own.

                  Should I just make up my own or look to buy? I really only want a bench top deal, nothing that takes up floor space, just bench space

                  The problem that I see is ice auger blades are all different. Some are strait, some have a curve, some have multiple radiuses (radius'es, radius's, radius? lol) some serrated, and so on. Strait are easy, the radius ones not so much. The thought crossed my mind of a disc sander deal and make angled blocks to free hand the curve but at least hold the right cutting edge angle the whole time. Maybe just a die grinder attachment? Whats your thoughts?

                  Some pitchures for you warm weather guys (and girl) that have never seen a ice auger. :P



                  I have seen the plural referred to as radii. I think that is the Latin form.
                  James

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There is a connercially available blade grinder used for sharpening hedge trimmer blades.
                    the grinder uses a grinding wheel on an arbor above a flat table. The grinding wheel goes into a slot in the table and the arbor height adjusts to use the OD of the grinding wheel and the table surface to establish the grind angle. the blade is laid on the table and pushed into the grinding wheel. Based on the photos of blades, the hedge trimmer blade grinder should work on the ice auger grinder blades also. Look at http://www.equipatron.com/power-equi...FUiEfgodUksA2A

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                    • #11
                      Probably a jig on a linisher with a Norton P80 belt would suffice, think a surface grinder would be too slow and over the top for the blades, the grinding marks look 80 grit to me from the photo
                      Mark

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                      • #12
                        Given the effect of grit on the ways, this is going to horrify some folks, but a worn out old mill converted to CNC and a grinding wheel replacing (or more likely, something like a dremel permanently mounted to the side of the existing spindle) and you're good to go. Since the grit will trash the ways anyway, drilling holes in the table to hold the blades instead of making a fixture works just as well. Figure out a way to mount it, and write a (probably very short) program to trace the blade, manually drop it as it makes passes, its just raking in the dough from that point?

                        There probably aren't as many augers out there as you may think. Eskimos, Jiffies, Strikemasters... Course now that I think about it, manual and gas strikemasters look different and most of your time would be spent sharpening the weird ones.

                        I don't currently ice fish but I grew up on a lake where people ice fished and a set of blades costs about as much as a restaurant dinner bill, so you can't be charging too much, which means the process can't take too long or you won't make money.

                        You could use the same grinder mill to sharpen lawnmower blades in the summer. Of course those need balancing and the liability of one cracking and taking someones foot off is pretty scary compared to a mere auger which rotates pretty slowly and has a shield of a couple inches of ice between it and the owners feet most of the time. Also even idiots don't use an ice auger while barefoot unlike lawnmowers.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Don't think there are as many augers out there:
                          In this area there are quite a few, and the ones i'm thinking of in this area, are not only individual people, but there are a number of tourist camps, that have a big Ice fishing clientel with as many as 8 to 10 fishermen in heated fully equipped ice fishing shacks. (Not shacks anymore, these are elaborate buildings, complete with living quarters even decks with barbecues, TV ,washrooms ,etc.)
                          This is going to be a good year for these guys as it has been cold with little snow cover to start with, so it has made some very good thick solid ice.

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                          • #14
                            Great info, thank very much for posting everyone! I like the small mill idea but cnc isn't my strong suit yet. lol A mini mill with maybe some made up manual bits may work well for me though.

                            I also like the mower blade sharpener and is more on the lines of the idea I had in my head for making a grinder. I thought about having the table more in line with the arbor though and then having the different angled blocks that the blades would bolt down to that would be passed by the stone.

                            Yes it would have to be a fairly fast and painless process to sharpen the blades to stay profitable. I believe the process will be fast and easy once everything is made up and ready to go, if its not something is wrong.

                            I do plan to use the grinder for other jobs out of season. I do lawn mower work in summer so I will be able to sharpen some blades. Most of the time I just replace them because they are so worn down. If I build the whole deal real smart I may be able to use it as a small surface grinder as well.

                            Sure would be nice to have Brians cad ability right now instead of crayons and napkins.
                            Andy

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                            • #15
                              Even better than converting a mill.... A pantograph! Mount a grinder of some sort to it, trace the profile and them follow along with the stylus!

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