This section is from the book "Amateur Work Magazine Vol6". Also available from Amazon: Amateur Work.
Albert T. Macklin
Anyone who has tried to sharpen a pair of skates on an emery wheel knows how difficult it is to maintain one angle throughout the full length of the skate. Many regular skate grinders do not make any too good a job of grinding, because of this difficulty, due to the trouble in supporting the skate when holding it against the wheel. If the following described method is adopted, skate grinding will be made an easy and accurate matter, available to anyone having an emery grinder operated by either hand, foot or water power.
Assuming that it is a water motor grinder, that being the kind used by the writer, who has one which attaches to the faucet, a platform of suitable height is built to temporiarily fit the sink just in front of the motor. No dimensions can well be given for this part of the equipment, as sinks vary so in size, locations, etc. If set laundry tubs in a basement are available, they make an ideal location for grinding, as no necessity for taking off the motor, to meet household demands for water is then likely to arise. The platform above mentioned should be 12 or 15 in. wide, and of a height to bring the sharpening surface of the skate, when placed in the skate holder, slightly below the center of the emery wheel.
The skate holder is shown in the drawing; it is simple, easily made at small expense, and holds the skate rigidly at a uniform angle, as regards the side of the runner, no matter what part is placed against the wheel. To make the holder, buy two 5-inch wooden hand clamps, and cut out a piece of board 9x5x3/4 in. Faster the clamps to the board with 1 1/2 in. angle irons, attached to one jaw of each clamp, as shown. The clamps are located about 1 1/2 in. from each end of the board, and 1 in. from one edge.
The handles to the upper screws, which project towards the back, are cut off at about the center, so that they will clear the emery wheel. The loose jaws of the clamps are also cut off on the lower ends, to enable them to be moved without binding on the board; or thin shims may be put under the rear jaws, before screwing down to the board, thus raising the clamps slightly.
The skate is secured between the jaws of the two clamps, any adjustment to secure the right angle against the emery wheel being made with small wedges placed either above or under the points of contact, other adjustments as to height are made by placing boards of various thickness on the platform previously mentioned. The runner may then be placed against the wheel and rapidly ground by simply moving along the base board with the hands. An emery wheel about 1/4 in. thick is a good size to use, and a moderate presure used, as too rapid cutting may draw the temper of the steel.