The esteemed Scott Grandstaff mentioned hand-cranked grinders. There was a LOT
of OLDTOOLS postings about hand-cranked grinders. At least one member was
collecting them. ( Maybe that was Tom Thornton ? )
Having used one, I’d say that their slower speed makes it less likely to burn
the edge of the tool, though it is unquestionably easier to use with an
apprentice or GIT doing the cranking!
I recall that there were postings about a rather large hand-cranked grinder
known as “The Railroad Model”. Certainly, there would be a use for this “out on
the line” in the days before portable electrickery generators. For example,
sharpening the RR tie adzes.
I have a belt-driven water-trough grinder from the now-defunct Prairie Tool Co.
When they still had a website, I learned that they also offered a hand-cranked
model using the same trough castings. Their catalog is archived at
vintagemachinery.org. Some of their more conventional hand cranked dry grinders
are on YouTube.
If I had indoor space, I’d like have one of the big foot-pedal water trough
grinders with a large Beria, Ohio, sandstone wheel. You’d be hard-pressed to
burn an edge with one of those!
If one has enough floor space, one can probably rig just about any hand-cranked
grinder with a treadle.
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