Every rodder’s garage sports basic needs. For many it’s a workbench, a collection of handtools, and an assortment of miscellaneous items, such as a grinder, vice, or buffer. The grinder is one such specialty tool that every rodder needs and will use.

Bench Grinder

The Eastwood Company has an assortment of grinders that come with either 6x1 or 8x1 wheels (36-grit wheel, left; and 60-grit wheel, right), 1/2 or 3/4hp electric motors, and are configured with either dual-sided grinders, combo grinder, and belt sander, or a combo of grinder and buffer. In other words, something to take care of your workstation grinding needs. The grinder comes with a hefty 5/8-inch shaft and the spacing is 12 inches from centerline of each grinding surface and uses conventional 120VAC.

We opted for the 3/4hp 8-inch variable speed bench grinder (PN 13573) and to maintain our workspace we bolted it to an Eastwood economy stand. All of us at some time find ourselves doing something mechanical, whether it be in the house or in the garage, and you need to remove a “little bit” and that’s where the grinder comes in. Around the magazine all of us have found ourselves firing up the grinder and whaling away on a piece of metal, sometimes even sharpening a drill bit, or taking just a touch off of a piece of wood. (Not always the best use but it’s what we do.) Typically a fixed speed (rpm) on a bench grinder is 3,450 rpm; works fine and all of us have “made” it work for years. We thought we would try something new, for us, and that is a variable speed grinder. The adjustment knob allows you to slow down or speed up the rpm between 2,000 through 3,450. This adjustment allows you to do much more precise (and safely) work and an assortment of metals, and so on.

If you look closely you will see that both wheels have an eye shield, spark deflector, and a tool rest. Upon further examination you will see that the left side (36-grit) has a standard clear eye shield while the shield on the right (60-grit) has a magnifying capability. Look once more and you will see that the right tool rest has an angle cut into the rest that allows you to place and sharpen drill bits (for instance); hence the magnifier. (You will have to supply your own 40-watt bulb for the flexible-stem work light.)

A bench grinder should be in everyone’s garage for as soon as you have one it’s truly amazing how many little, and not so little, jobs you will find uses for it.

Economy Stand

The Eastwood Economy Stand (PN 13162; on sale for $39.99, normally $49.99) is ideally suited for a grinder or buffing motor. It comes with a wide variation of slotted platform holes allowing it to adapt to any number of these electric motor tools, freeing up workbench space.

While grinders and buffers are usable tools the fact is we don’t use them all the time; to have them handy is good but to have more usable space on your workbench is critical. We were able to relocate our Eastwood grinder and buffer motors to a pair of Eastwood stands, freeing up valuable bench space. (Right now I am working on getting a third that will handle my bench vice—freeing up even more space.) Aside from space it also takes tools that produce “dirty” work and moves them to a more appropriate spot in your garage or outer area.

Work at a comfortable height of 30-1/2 inches and platform area of 11x8-3/4 inches while saving workbench space by mounting your buff motor or grinder on this economy work stand. The base and platform are made from cast iron and connected by a steel post that attaches via a pair of metric Allen screws (6mm Allen wrench). The base was first attached to the shop floor via three expanding cement bolts. The three-legged base measures 18 inches in diameter and should be positioned so that a single-leg faces toward you (allowing for foot clearance on either side of the leg) and two legs to the rear providing a more stable foundation. The platform comes with attachment hardware but you will need to add 3/8x2-inch bolts with nuts (or similar) to attach motor to platform.

Eastwood Tech Tips

Have a tough time judging how far to pull your car into the garage? Get a wiffle ball and hang it from a string so that it just touches your windshield when your car is parked in the garage where you want it. Now when pulling in, you only need to pull in to the point that the wiffle ball hits your windshield.

When trying to start a small screw in a tight area or upside-down position, take a common magnet and slide it one way along the length of a screwdriver about 10 times in the same direction. This will temporarily magnetize it and allow it to hold the screw.

The stand has a working height of 30-1/2 inches and easily holds the variable speed 8-inch grinder (on sale $103.99, regularly $129.99).

The 11x8-3/4-inch top-mounting platform comes with hardware (four countersunk Allen head screws) and is slotted for a myriad of motors. You will need to provide a pair of 3/8-inch bolts/nuts to hold motor to platform and three floor anchors that hold three-leg, 18-inch-diameter pedestal base securely to floor.

The base and pole are held together via two metric Allen screws (provided, but you will need the 6mm Allen wrench).

We opted for the button-head expanding floor anchors so that nothing is higher than the pedestal leg that might cause you to trip when approaching the stand.

Position the three-legged base so that a single-leg points toward you. This makes it easier for you to approach the stand and have a place for your feet without tripping and provides more stability when utilizing the grinder or buffer motor.

We positioned an Eastwood 3/4hp 8-inch variable speed bench grinder onto the stand platform with room to spare then secured it with two, 3/8x2-inch-long bolts with Nylok nuts. You provide the 40-watt bulb but the grinder comes with an ample-length extension cord.

The variable speed (2,000-3,450 rpm) grinder comes with two abrasive wheels; both are 8x1-inch abrasive wheels; the left wheel is 36-grit, the right is 60-grit with 12 inches center-to-center wheel spacing.

On/off switch, variable speed control, and water tray are all positioned front and center for easy sight and use.

There are two eye-sight protector accessories and they attach one over each abrasive wheel; in this case the one to the right magnifies sight while the one to the left is a clear eye-sight guard.