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Thread: New girl on here, lookin 4 a way 2 build a figure skate sharpening machine

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    Red face New girl on here, lookin 4 a way 2 build a figure skate sharpening machine

    Hello all, I am a, "where there's a will there's a way, " kinda person. And I really need to build a machine /grinder that will allow me to sharpen figure skates for ice skating, since where I currently reside it is so difficult to get it done, let alone properly. That's what I was researching that has led me here. Hoping for some great knowledge to be passed this way THX!

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    C-Bag's Avatar
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    Welcome Jaimejean.

    Not being an ice skater I had no idea they sharpened ice skates so I took a look at you tube. There are several basic overviews,
    I watched the one with guy on a cruise ship(!) and it was very informative.

    I understand "will" and this is a site where will and way meet. But it does take some basic hand tools, and like a welder, grinders and knowledge to use them. And please I hope you don't get offended because I have asked this of guys.

    I think I could make something close with a 4" angle grinder on a fabricated pedestal and it would have to have the wheel dresser built into it as that's really crucuial
    To the whole process. The skate mount could be made out of heavy angle iron slotted for adjusters so you can center the skate to the grinder stone, with another angle
    Bolted to the angle to clamp the skate blade to. I think a good piece of Formica would be a sturdy enough top and with felt on the bottom of the skate mount would slide just fine while grinding. There are several points that need to be done precisely like the grinder mount probably needs an adjustment to make sure it's parallel with the table. The other tricky thing is grinder stones as they don't mention how fine of stones the Blademaster uses. Typical 4" grinders use like 40 grit I believe.

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    Lightbulb skate sharpener

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaimejean View Post
    Hello all, I am a, "where there's a will there's a way, " kinda person. And I really need to build a machine /grinder that will allow me to sharpen figure skates for ice skating, since where I currently reside it is so difficult to get it done, let alone properly. That's what I was researching that has led me here. Hoping for some great knowledge to be passed this way THX!
    HI
    A skate sharpener can be done two ways, neither is very easy.
    The simple way requires a cylinderacal stone about 2" long and about .5" in diameter and a guide to align it with the grove in the same axis as the skate blade.
    To sharpen the blade simply pass the stone lengthwise and parallel over the blade. Do this several times until the profile of the blade and the stone contour match or are concentric. This process is best suited to touchups but can be used to sharpen dull blades with considerable effort.
    This type sharpener was commercially available many, many years ago and an Amazon search may be profitable.
    As for a machine to grind that profile....precision and simplicity are the key.
    I would begin with a 4.5" angle grinder mounted to a bench with the wheel, horizontal, about 3" above the bench top and a block of wood or??
    just under the wheel for a blade support. this block is to support the blade as you quickly run it past the wheel.
    If you are starting with a new wheel , about .25" thick, it must be "dressed" or shapped to the proper contour. to do this simply grind the corners of the wheel off by holding the turning wheel against something HARD like steel or concrete.
    There are many holes in this description and I leave that to your imagination. Please if you do try to build a machine don't use your good skates to try the machine for the first time. Use a piece of scrap steel similar in shape to the skate blade to develop the sharpened profile. Then try it on the skates. Keep the blade cool by moving quickly over the wheel and cool with water between passes.
    Skate steel has been carefully tempered and can be ruined by grinding too long and causing overheating. you can recognize this by the blade turning yellow then brown and then blue.
    Good luck!

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    Hi, we don't need to reinvent the wheel. Go to the us patent office when you get there go to searching full text patents (since 1976) click on advanced search when you get there enter this in the search box CCl/451/383 this must be entered exactly as shown. Then change the date to 1790 to present. you will find about 100 patent drawings with descriptions. The patent office is the first place I go to for ideas and inspiration. I hope this helps.

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    I've been thinkin' I haven't skated for years, but I think normal grinding principals would apply to skates. I have a very old flex shaft tool by Dremel. Sometimes it amazes me. {I am easily amazed} It seems if you could fashion a holding device for the skate or skate blade so it could be held firmly is the first step. Then with wood, metal, or strong plastic make a holder for your Dremel tool. I have even used hose clamps on occasion. The tool MUST be held at a right angel to the blade. .It will not matter at what angle the blade is held. It matters that the sharpening tool is at a right angel relative to the blade. Select a stone wheel for the tool. Don't grind by free hand. Jig it up with clamps or something secure. Make a reference guide, metal, wood, what ever you got, that matches the curvature of your blade. Attach that to the blade exposing a very, very, very small amount of the blade. Follow the blade guide. Go slow! It's easy to take off more metal. It's real hard to put it back on. Wear safety glasses.

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    Hi, I remember how skates were sharpened by our skate shop. They used a conventional bench grinder which had wheels that were contoured to the radius of the skate blade. Guides were mounted in a suitable position to allow the skate blade to remain in the center of the wheel and the blade was run up against the rotating wheel several times, letting the weight of the skate supply the pressure. A fine grade wheel would be preferable to give a smoother finish. If the skates are figure skates, remember to take a little off the toe rakes to prevent them digging in as the blade will have been lowered in relation to the rakes. If my explanation is not clear enough, come back to me and we can discuss it further.

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    I just checked Amazon and they have a sharpener that is specifically for FIGURE skates. I am assuming that is the type of skate you are trying to sharpen.
    There are many options for hockey skates but very few for figure skates. The figure skate sharpener is the least expensive.

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    Jon
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    Welcome to Home Made Tools! Yes, I'm the nut that made a figure skate sharpening machine. My wife is a figure skater and she (and I) were fed up with the terrible figure skate sharpening she had to endure. Everyone was sharpening free hand which meant getting far fewer sharpenings out of every set of blades plus having to relearn how to skate after each sharpening.

    My machine is designed to only sharpen one brand and one size of blade plus has only one hollow radius. This is what makes it so precise and also prevents me from having to sharpen everyone else's skates. The key to the design is having a precise pattern for the blades contour. This pattern is mounted precisely below the blade. A piece of steel slides along this pattern and guides the blade a preset depth into the grinding wheel. Each pass removes 50 millionths (yup, 0.00005) of an inch. If my wife has been doing a lot of spins, I will grind down about 1.5 thousandths of an inch in order to restore the contour. The best thing about having this machine is that we sharpen the blades before they are noticeably dull so they feel like they are always exactly the same. No need to get used to the blades after a sharpening.

    The machine cost me about $400 to make but one (awful) sharpening cost about $20. She wore out one pair of blades and we are about half way through a second pair. This means the machine paid for itself a long time ago just based on sharpening cost. She also got more out of each pair of blades because less metal is removed by each sharpening. There is about 0.1 inches of hardened metal on a blade. She had times when an incompetent sharpener removed 0.02 inches which is about 10 times more than necessary. And finally, she has to walk out to the garage to get a sharpening rather than drive for 30 miles to visit a hack. Any of this sound familiar to you?

    I would be happy to provide more information if you like. It would be really cool to have another person benefit from what I learned making and using this machine.

    Rick


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    Last edited by rgsparber; 03-09-2017 at 01:12 PM.
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