Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sayber Open Source Grinder Project

We Could All Make an Amazing Grinder

One day in February 2017, inspired by the free and cooperative values of open source software; I was thinking that a very good belt grinder could be communally developed and improved in the same way. A sort of Open Source Grinder (OSG) concept.

The goal is to design and make world class 2" x 72" belt grinders and freely distribute the designs. Yup, a crack designer could do that, but ask a few hundred smart knifemakers to refine it, add to it, complete and share their designs.

'nanos gigantum humeris insidentes'
'standing on the shoulders of giants'

The Ball Starts Rollin'

To start the project I designed a basic frame and base in AutoCAD and DraftSight. DraftSight is free CAD software that almost anyone can learn to use.

These are the basic design requirements

Must work with the following belt sizes:
  • 2" x 60" (50 mm x 1525 mm)
  • 2" x 72" (50 mm x 1828 mm)
  • 2" x 78.75" (50 mm x 2000 mm)
  • Direct drive
  • Three phase 56C/143TC motor
  • Variable frequency drive
  • Horizontal or vertical operation
  • Forward and reverse
  • Standard 1.5" square tool arm
  • Flat platen
  • 4" drive wheel
  • 12" contact wheel
  • Universally adjustable work rest
and finally...


When the unit is up and running I will be posting the CAD files, so good folks can make their own.

In the spirit of open source software, I will be hosting all submitted files with changes, improvements, modifications and attachments. 

The bill of materials, assembly instructions, CAD files, wiring diagrams and testing and alignment procedures will be coming to

I will keep you updated here as the development and testing goes on.

Looking for volunteers. What can you do to help?




Campbell Kives said...

Dan, thanks for this and all of the help you offer to knifemakers. I'm following this project with interest.

Unknown said...

Perfect timing as I'm about to kick off a build of a grinder myself that has interesting similarities to yours. I'd like to help if possible.

D. Comeau said...

Thanks for your interest Brian. The machine will be making some noise soon. ;-)


D. Comeau said...

For sure Dan. I am in the process of setting up a project management application and file tracking so we can collect all the files and have like minded folks participate in the improvements. I will email you in a short while.

Best wishes,


Justin Pierce said...

You've done a lot for the knifemaking community already, but you just keep pushing forward farther. Thanks man!

Unknown said...

Looks awesome will build one of these once the plans are available thanks again Dan will be my second Dan grinder lol :) said...

I can't wait for the bill of materials, I need a new grinder too. Waiting anxiously.

Unknown said...

I built my current one off of your design. Thanks for all of your hard work in passing along your knowledge,and I look forward to seeing this project grow.

Unknown said...

Has anyone found somewhere to have this cut by water jet for a reasonable cost. I was quoted $500+, I think that's a little outlandish.

Unknown said...

Doran Gayer- I got a quote for 375.00 from The Foundry in Baltimore, MD. That is with you providing the material. I am looking for an affordable place to purchase the 3/8" and 1/4" mild steel. quoted me 250.00 for material.

Dave said...

Hi Dan,

I wonder if you would mind approving my account on I also wonder if you could incorporate something like THIS to eliminate a lot of drilling \ tapping.

D. Comeau said...

Excellent idea Dave!

Dustin G. said...

Hi Dave, starting one of these builds this summer. I put down a deposit and getting am 2 cut out (12" platen version), looking forwards to getting it done. Is there a way I can join the OSG forum? I can't find a place to register. Thanks for coming up with this project!

D. Comeau said...

Hi Dustin,

Due to the huge numbers of spam-bots trashing the forum a decision was made to stop all new member applications. You can still download any files you like. If you wish to join the forum, please email and they can set you up.


Dustin G. said...

Thanks DAN, omg so sorry I called you Dave, was stuck in my head from the previous comment. I'll join when I have some finished build pictures to share. I think you and the forum community pretty much have everything covered very well as far as building one goes. Cheers.

D. Comeau said...

Not a problem Dustin. Good luck with your build and happy grinding!