A "between centres" grinder is baasically a centre lathe with a grinder
head in the toolpost. Some time ago it was realised that a better finish
resulted if you freed the workpiece from being supported by the centres
and fed it between two rotating wheels, one abrasive. They're usually
horizontally opposed and the weight of the workpiece is also supported
by a roller or two beneath.
If you haven't already, reading LTC Rolt's famous book "Tools for the
Job" is recommended - a history of engineering, through its machine
tools. A key argument is that the reliability, interchangeability and
low cost of 20th century light engineering was the result of taking the
19th century and replacing the point cutting tools (lathes and mills)
For dowel making, then replace the wheel with an inflatable or wood and
felt drum, carrying a taut abrasive band. If I did this myself, I'd use
an old lathe bed (an enormously useful piece of junk I once scrounged)
which already has a few two-wheel support carriages to fit onto it, then
I'd make a plywood bracket up to support an old '60s B&D drill above the
shaft, carrying one of my inflatable sanding drums. Make the drum height
adjustable (pivot and spring-and-turnbuckle) and twist the dowel by
I get narrow chair spindles turned by a guy across town, because he's a
far better turner than I am. His technique is to use his left hand with
a leather sailmaker's palm on it as a travelling steady, while he turns
with an oval skew in his right hand and a long handle to it, tucked
under his arm. They need sanding from the skew, but he can turn a very
nice consistent shape for skinny spindles with a swell in the middle.
Cats have nine lives, which is why they rarely post to Usenet.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.