This section is from the book "Spons' Mechanics' Own Book: A Manual For Handicraftsmen And Amateurs", by Edward Spon. Also available from Amazon: Spons' Mechanics' Own Book.
As already stated (p. 240), grindstones may be bought ready mounted; but while the stone and its iron handle, friction rollers, and other metallic accessories had best be obtained in a complete form from some reputable firm (e. g. Booth Bros., Dublin), the wooden frame can be easily and most cheaply put together (Fig. 569) by the workman himself. A good durable wood for the purpose is pitch pine; of this will be wanted the following pieces: - 2 (a) 3 ft. by 4 in. by 3 in., 1 (b) 4 ft. by 4 1/2 in. by 1 in., 1 (c) 2 ft. by 4 in. by 2 in., 1 (d) 3 ft. by 2 in. by 1 in., 4 (e) 3 ft. by 3 in. by 2 in., the lot costing about 3s. Plane them all true and square. Take the 2 pieces a, forming the long sides of the top, and prepare them to receive, at 4 in. from each end, the ends of the cross-pieces formed by cutting c in half, the joints being made by dovetailing 1 1/2 in. deep. This should make the inside measurement of the top 20 in. by 7 in. The four pieces e for the legs are mortised into the frame sides a at an angle of about 85°, the mortices and tenons being cut on the bevel to suit; the legs should be 11 3/8 in. apart at the top and 14 in. at the bottom, to give stability to the structure.
This is further increased by cutting the piece d into two halves, and letting it into the legs across the ends at 14 in. above the ground. The dovetailed joints of the frame and the tenons of the legs should be put in with white-lead; in addition, a stout 3-in. screw is driven into each dovetail, and the tenon joints are tightened by wedges. The next step is to fix the friction rollers exactly in the centre of each side of the top frame, and accurately parallel; this done, the axle has to be fitted into the stone so that it traverses it precisely at right angles. This has to he done gradually by putting the axle loosely in and plugging it round with red deal wedges just inserted with slight pressure. Then put the stone on the frame with the ends of the axle resting on the friction rollers. Keep the stone slowly turning, holding a rule against the stone, and drive in wedges from both sides of the stone at the 4 sides of the axle, and also at the 4 corners. The stone has to be true 2 ways, so try it on the side as well as the front. When you have it as true as the stone will allow, cut off the wedges, put on the handle, and get some one to turn. Get an old plane iron or a well-tempered piece of steel, and, resting it on the stand, hold it close to the face of the stone.
Keep the stone dry, and set it going. Work more on the edges than the centre, so as not to hollow out the stone. Keep at it till you have the stone perfectly true and smooth. Do not put on a trough unless you contrive a plan for raising and lowering it. A can / overhead is better: a meat-tin, with a fine hole drilled in the bottom, will do. A blacksmith can make a set of fittings which will cost about 3s. g is a plate of 1/4-in. iron, 7 in. by 1 3/4 in., with 4 screw holes in it, and with a spud 3 in. long riveted in the centre, at the end of which a small pin-hole has been drilled. h is a plate of 1/4-in. iron, 7 in. by 1 3/4 in., with 3 screw holes in it, bent round to an eye, to fit the spud very tightly, i is a plate of 1/4-in. iron, 5 in. by 1 in., with 4 screw holes and a plate, with an eye in it, riveted in the centre. Jc is the connecting rod for the treadle, made out of 3/8-in. round iron, about 3G in. long, bent to a hook at one end, and to an eye (to which i has to be attached) at the other. l is a guard (in duplicate) of;-in. iron, 17 in. by 1 in., with 4 screw holes, bent as shown, which passes over axle and rollers, and screws to the stand.
This must be made carefully, just to shave the axle but well clear of the rollers, m is a rest, made out of 1/4-in. iron, 15 in. by 1 3/4 in., bent as shown, at 9 in. from the end, with 2 screw holes. Take the piece of wood b, and cut it as shown, half of it the full width, and the other half 2 1/2 in. wide. About 1/2 in. from the bottom of one of the right side legs, screw g. Underneath the treadle, at the narrow end, screw h. Hang the connecting rod k on to the axle. Fix the treadle on the spud, and raise it about 1 in. from the ground; bring the rod and eye forward till it meets the treadle, mark it and screw it on. The length of the rod, of course, is an essential point and will depend on the height of the top of the stand from the ground; it must be determined by bending a piece of wire to the necessary length. Screw on the guards I over the rollers. The hook supplied with the rollers may, if desired, be hung over the axle, on the handle side, and screwed to the wood, and the guards dispensed with, but the guards are preferable. Screw the support for the can f into the stand, on the handle side, between the rollers and the stone. Screw on the rest m, so that the short arm just shaves the stone.
A water guard made out of back board may, if wished for, be tacked on under the rest at one end, and one to match it at the other, but they are not essential unless you have a trough. (W. J. Stanford in Amateur Work.)