No Weld Grinder

FAQ at the bottom of this page!

Additional Supplier Sources listed just under the FAQ at the bottom of the page

9/2/07 No Weld Grinder/Sander Plans are available now. After several hundred hours of R&D and several prototype builds, I have completed the plans and assembly manual for the No Weld Grinder/Sander. This 2”x72” grinder features quick change out tool bars similar to the KMG and quick on/off tool table rest that can be used on with any of the attachments. This is not a KMG clone. I think the KMG is an awesome grinder and worth every penny. I’ve had one for years and love it. I wanted another grinder for my garage but I couldn’t justify the cost of another KMG for how little that one would get used. I decided I would design a grinder that could be built cheaper than any other knife grinder on the market and that did not require precision tapping and threading construction the KMG uses or welding all of the other use. These construction plans require no welding, milling, lathe work and this grinder sander can be constructed using common tools.

These plans have 15 pages of high quality CAD drawings with materials and measurements on each drawing. I believe you could build the entire grinder from these CAD drawings. I have also put together nearly 30 additional pages of construction and assembly notes, pictures, information on motors, abrasives, metal working. There is also a suppliers listing giving you multiple sources for the parts so you can shop for the best price.


The NWGS can change out tool arm attachments in seconds. The tool table rest can be used with any attachment or removed in seconds. In the 28 page assembly manual, I have included 5 pages of information on how to shop for a motor and what to look for. I have also included 3 pages of basic information on abrasives.

In addition, at Midwest Knifemakers Supply, LLC, I have created an entire listing area for parts, minor tools, drill bits and other items you may need for constructing your NWGS.

This grinder runs rock solid. The picture above shows a flat platen attachment with the tool table rest and a small 2x2 table in place. You can make your tool table larger or even smaller!

The picture to the left shows an 8” contact wheel with the table rest in place. I use this exact design set up to do hollow grinds with my KMG. This is proven design. Look at ANY of my knives and see what using a tool rest like this can do.



The picture to the right shows a 3” wheel attachment.

These plans are $25 and available at:

Midwest Knifemakers Supply, LLC Knife making supplies for knife makers from a knife maker....



small tool rest

Flat Platen attachment. Note the small slack area just over the platen.

An early prototype frame. This is not a final design and shouldn’t be used as a construction reference picture.


The original slack belt prototype. You can use aluminum idler wheels or different size contact wheels as I have used here.

measure from bottom

The most used tool in constructing your NWGS. A carpenters square. Measure from one side, then measure from the other to find the center. Use a scribe tool and center punch.


More Gen-1 prototype pictures. Not to be used as a reference. I used these pictures to help in my research toward the final design.


A tool treel to hold your attachments in. You’ll need one of these for all the tool arms you are going to end up making! I weld up a few of these every now and then make them available on

The tool table rest can be anything you want. I use one exactly like this for my hollow grinding. This tool table arm will move in 3 axis and can be used with any of the attachment arms.

Check back here for pictures of other No Weld Grinder Sanders as the plans get out and people make there own. Please send in any pictures of your grinder or modifications and I’ll post them here.




A 3 step pulley system works exceptionally well. I have always used a variable speed motor. When developing this grinder I wanted low cost to drive every thing. A triple step pulley is a very modest in expense and gives you fantastic range of control with 3 speeds. Changing speeds takes maybe 4 seconds - maybe. I had to try a link belt from Fenner Drive. They live up to the hype. Quieter, smoother, easy to use.


No Weld Grinder/Sander Plans (NWGS)


By Tracy Mickley

   Midwest Knifemakers Supply, LLC


These printed plans are for a 2” x 72” belt grinder or sander. The construction requires no welding, no machining, no lathe work, no precision thread tapping, no special tools.


These are paper plans and will be mailed to you via US First Class Mail upon purchase.

Just to be sure, this is not for an actual grinder or any part of grinder. This listing is for plans that you can use to construct your own grinder/sander using your materials.


This grinder design uses tool arms to change from a contact wheel to a flat platen to a small wheel to slack belt attachment in seconds. If you have a KMG grinder from Beaumont Metals already, you can use the tools from that grinder in your NWGS.



  • No Welding needed!
  • No Lathe needed!
  • No Machining or Mill work needed!
  • 15 pages of clear CAD drawings with measurements and materials list on each drawing.
  • Master materials list.
  • Quick change tool arms allow multiple attachments to be changed in seconds.
  • Plans include tool arms for: Flat Platen, Tool Table Rest, Slack Belt, Contact Wheel.
  • Very low cost materials used in the construction.
  • Rock solid and vibration free.
  • Tool Table Rest design allows tool rest to be used with any attachment.
  • Flexible design allows different belt lengths to be used besides 2” x 72”.
  • No precision thread tapping required.
  • Design is a no weld design but the grinder can easily be welded if you desire.
  • Flexible, robust design allows you to make changes to customize your grinder/sander to your own needs. If you make tapered tangs on your knives or have wanted to, simply stretch the plans and make a 15” flat platen with ease.
  • Can use KMG tool bar arms.
  • Hundreds of hours of R&D and multiple proto-type testing went into the design of this very capable grinder/sander.
  • Web support with additional pictures and ideas for other attachments via
  • Suitable for use in grinding metal and sanding wood. In case you are wondering, when you are working with metal, the machine is called a grinder, when you are working with wood, the machine is called a sander.
  • 2”x72” abrasive belts are one of the most common and competitively priced sizes of belts. Compare prices on this size belt to any other. If you are using a smaller size grinder/sander. The money you save using 2” x 72” belts will pay for this machine in no time flat.
  • 2” x 72” belts have more types of belts available for them than any other size belt. It’s no wonder that knife makers and custom wood workers have settled on this size of grinder/sander.


The printed assembly manual contains:


15 pages of detailed CAD drawings with measurements and materials lists on each drawing. You could easily build the entire NWGS fro

This is my best effort to estimate costs for building this grinder.

Some prices revised 2/24/08 (up of course)

The costs listed for the motor’s are what I paid locally. The costs for the metal are from the charges I incurred locally when purchasing metal for this project. Your costs will probably vary on this slightly but this metal is very competitive business and is surprisingly cheap. The costs for the wheels are what I sell them for on my own web site ( and are accurate at this time. This isn’t a guarantee of the costs, it’s only a reflection of what I paid when I designed and built this grinder (several times) in the summer of 2007. No tool costs are taken into account but you probably have nearly all the tools already, even in a modest shop.


Cost Projections Break Down:


Plans = $25

You will save $25 for the plans cost just by avoiding trial error that I went through building your own grinder.


Basic frame

Metal with connecting hardware for the frame and all attachments = $75

Misc – knobs, bushings, etc = $25

Pillow Block Bearings 5/8” $13x2 = $26

Total Frame and all metal for attachments = $126 full plans build (no wheels)

Metal cost for Minimal build with flat platen attachment only = $65

  • Note: Attachments include tool table rest, flat platen, slack belt, contact wheel arms. This is for new metal from the metal yard (scrap) yard. Most scrap yards will let you walk around and find metal they will charge you ‘surplus’ price which is less than a dollar a pound. Wheels for the platen and slack belt attachments are listed below. Save $15 by using bolts for knobs.



8” contact wheel -$259 (smaller wheels cost less, bigger wheels cost more)

4ea 2”x2” idler wheels for a platen and slack belt attachment ($44ea) - $176

Power Drive Wheel 4” wheel 5/8” shaft bore w/keyway slot - $53

Tracking Wheel 3.5” x 2.5” with ” bore with bearings - $58.00

Wheels total cost all attachments = $546  (many people get one or two attachments worth of wheels at a time to keep costs down and then add on later)

Wheels minimal with just a platen = $88

  • Note: These are high quality wheels from Beaumont Metals. Rob Frink allowed me to become a reseller for Beaumont Metals wheels. All wheels include the bearings. Initially this doesn’t sound like much but it is when you cost them out. Of course, you don’t have to build the entire grinder to begin with and the wheels are more than half the cost so you can really keep the price down if you just build a flat platen for $80 in wheels. If you find another source for wheels cheaper, let me know. I looked, I don’t think you will – but I’m entitled to be wrong. I am also a dealer for Contact Rubber Corp and the retail of these contact wheels I have listed is less than my dealer cost from Contact Rubber Corp. To my knowledge, no one is selling idler, power drive or tracking wheels like these.
  • Power Train:

Motor 1.5hp - $180 new

 $25 to $75 used.

Pulleys 3 step pair for $31

Power Twist Link Belt 3’ $21

Switch, wire, connectors, tape, switch box - $15

Extension cord for a power cord - $10

Power Train with new motor = $257

Power Train used motor = $100

  • I bought a used rebuilt motor for $75 for one prototype by checking the local motor repair places. I made no effort beyond that. There are lot’s of motors out there and you should be able to find a used or pull for well under a hundred dollars. There is NO good reason to save $20 here to go with a single speed pulley setup when a 3 speed can be had using the triple pulley setup for $31.
  • Plans and full build, all the bells and whistles. Every thing new, all attachments and 3 speed pulley setup = approx $950
  • Plans and a minimal build, used motor, single attachment flat platen, tool table rest, frugal approach =$285 to $325


m these CAD drawings.


In addition to the CAD drawings, there is a 28 page construct ion manual with:

  • Cl e ar B W pi ct ur e s of v ar io u s p ar ts of th e gr in d er fo r vi s u al re fe re n c e d ur in g c o n st ru ct io n. N ot hi n g te ll s it b et te r th a n a pi ct ur e!
  • 5 p a g e s of assistance in selecting the proper motor for your grinder.
  • Note: We do not provide wiring diagrams or support for hooking up or wiring your motors. There are simply too many variations to do that. If you don’t know how to wire a motor, buy it from a reputable motor shop and they will show you in about 5 minutes how to wire it up.
  • 3 pages of information on abrasives including a conversion chart for the different technical standards of abrasives.
  • 2 pages of supply sources – every part has multiple supplier sources but nearly every single part can be purchased locally.

Tools Required:

 A metal band saw is very helpful as is a drill press. If you don’t have a band saw, you can get the heavier material cut to size for a nominal charge (usually around $2 to $3 a cut after the first cut) from the metal supplier. A hand hack saw can handle most of the cuts. If you don’t have a drill press, you can use a variable speed hand drill.

 A carpenters square. A tape measure, a scribe point, assorted drill bits (actually just 4 drill bits – 1/8”, 5/16”, 3/8” and ”), a 3/8”-16 tap and tap wrench. A Unibit™ (step drill bit) works exceptionally well in this project as a supplement to your regular drill bits or even in place of them. Cutting/tapping lubricant (oil will work but cutting lubricant works better). A rotary tool such as a Dremmel™ tool (or hand file to) cut 2ea 1” x 3/16” key way slots. Hand wrench or adjustable wrenches to tighten bolts.

 You can see the tools required are very modest and simple.


OK, OK, I gotta get me some of these plans....where do I get them my man?




Frequently Asked Questions about the No Weld Grinder:

8” contact wheel

flat platen with the small tool table rest mounted

slack belt attachment


3” wheel is mounted in this tool arm

Are the plans worth $25? What if I don’t think they are? I’ll refund you the full price paid up to 5 days after you get them. My reputation means more to me than keeping 25 bucks of yours if you don’t think it’s worth it.

Can I weld this instead of bolting it together? Absolutely. Assemble it, weld it mig, tig, stick, your choice. Once it is assembled, welding will take 15 minutes, tops. If you try to weld it with out bolting it together I am certain it will warp a bit. Clamp it down good if you are going to weld it with out bolting it all together.

How much are the wheels? go here: for the latest prices also look above for cost break downs on the major parts.

Are you going to put out a kit? I have no plans to put out a complete kit at this time or in the for see-able future.

Will you drill the holes for me? Sorry but no. See the bottom of the page. 

Where do you get your wheels, they look like Beaumont Metal Works parts? They are. I am a reseller of idler wheels, power wheels, small wheels and contact wheels for Beaumont Metal Works.

Can I use these parts on a KMG later? yes, they are the same wheels found on a KMG. I can’t guarantee Rob won’t change the design but there really isn’t any reason for him to that I can see. Rob will sell you just a frame if you ask him. You can then transfer parts over to your KMG frame if you decide to ‘step up’ later.

Can I substitute pipe that is little thicker than the plans specify? Probably. I used 1/8 thick in most of it because it was slightly cheaper. If you scrounge some 3/16” or even 1/4” at a good price, use it. The only one to watch is the 2”x3/16” pipe needs to fit over the 1 1/2”sq pipe.

Can I substitute aluminum plate for the steel plate used in the flat platen or slack belt attachments? Yes but it’s going to cost 3 to 5 times as much as the steel plate will even if you find scrap aluminum plate. Keep in mind the more mass you have, the more vibrations will be dampened.

Can I use longer belts? Yes, just make the tool arm longer. There is a practical limit. I haven’t tried it yet but I’d think you can go up to 120” in belt length fairly easily on a full size contact wheel.

Can I use a 14” (or 12”) wheel? yep. Contact Rob and Beaumont Metal Works. I don’t carry them but I will if I get enough requests. I do stock 10” and smaller contact wheels.

I’ve heard there are free plans for the KMG clone grinder out there. Do you have those? I’ve seen them. They are very complete but sorry, no I don’t have them.

I am really pressed for time or not good with tools -- Will you make me a grinder and sell it to me completed? No, sorry. I am just too busy to take that on.

Can I sell the plans to some one else after I am done with them? yes, license is like a book. You can not keep a copy for your records. You can read a book (use it) and pass it on. You can’t copy a book for your library and then pass it on.

Can I sell complete grinders I make from these plans? yes. See the bottom of the page.

Instead of cutting a square pipe for the tracking assembly brackets, can I use just use some 1/8” x1” flat stock and bend it? yes, I wish I had thought of that. I have added this to the plans.

I don’t have a drill press. Can I use a hand drill? I drilled several of the holes using a hand drill and a step bit during development so yes, you can.

Grizzly has really cheap 10” contact wheels, can I use those? Sorta, but you will have to make some changes to the plans. The Grizzly wheels are decent enough. I have used one on my KMG for last couple of years. They do NOT have bearings in the hub. The plans call for wheels with bearings. You can still use the Griz wheels but you will have to mount a 3”x4”x3/8” plate on top of a tool bar, attach 2 pillow block bearings to that plate and then run a shaft through the bearings to the wheel. It sounds a bit odd, but it works.

What is the cheapest, bare minimum setup I can make? The wheels are nearly half the cost, a motor is another large portion of the cost. The cheapest set up is a single speed motor with flat platen. In all cases, you will need a power drive wheel (around $53) and a tracking/tension wheel (around $58) and 2ea idler wheels (around $48 each). An 8” contact wheel is $253.


Click here to see pictures of No Weld Grinder builds that have been sent to us by their builders...

Additional Suppliers Listings


These suppliers are in addition to the list provided with the plans.

Metal  They have structural square pipe and angle iron in small pieces - expensive but if you don’t have any other way to get some small pieces, these guys might have it. Another metals seller specializing in the little guy purchase. Look for square tube, angle and flat stock. These people make contact wheels from Polyurethane. I have purchased several and tried some of them. I sell some of these poly wheels that I buy in quantity. They have a long lead time but they are economical. If you can stand the wait, you might consider a wheel or two from them.