Happy Birthday, Dad!

My passion is cycling and I share it with my dad. For years, we have explored the trails and the scenic sites together; and there are many in New Mexico. I hope you will have the opportunity to visit. You can imagine that over the years for my dad’s birthday I have given him every imaginable cycling gift I could find. He has tour tee shirts, gloves, a rain poncho, socks with special emblems, books on bikes and the sport of cycling, and much more. This year I am in a quandary about what to get. He doesn’t need more clothing or a new bike. I have given him framed photos of our local area and some of the two of us. So, I need to move in another direction.

Since my dad is a bit of a woodworking pro, I am going to survey what he has in the garage. He owns all the latest tools of the trade and hasn’t mentioned needing a new one. What he has hinted at is the need for a quality bench grinder. I am not even sure what that is. I am heading to the hardware store to find out. I will look at what is available and decide if they have a good selection for sale. Otherwise, it is back to the Internet where I go to find most things I want to buy. In this case, I want to talk to an expert to be sure of what my dad would like. He can explain the special features and what to expect from each model. It won’t be a matter of price since my dad is worth any kind of expenditure. I envision forking out a couple hundred bucks. I went searching and read more about woodworking tools until I knew enough to buy.

It depends on the wheel diameter for one thing. This is key in the world of bench grinders. You will most likely get more than one. After spending a long afternoon with the salesman at the local home depot, I also learned about how an induction motor provides superior power for industrial or home grinding applications. The best bench grinders for woodworking have a rugged base and motor housing of cast iron which means you get durability and prolonged life. Who doesn’t want that? The motor, by the way, runs at 3,600 rpm for high speed material removal. Wow, I am impressed. A precision-machined aluminum tool rest allows the user to accurately position the work. There are rear exhaust ports in the wheel guards for smooth operation. Finally, I learned that there is a 12 ½” distance between the wheels for larger and longer grinding applications. I think this is the right one. I will add a few accessories such as eye shields, spark deflectors, and an adjustment wrench. It is a complete package that is sure to please.

My dad was ecstatic. He will make something nice for me using his new bench grinder. While I would love something hand crafted, his thanks were enough.