I know, it doesn't look like much. I assure you that the grinder you see above is truly a work of art. No more hours and hours of grinding by hand, my fingers bloody and my joints in agony.
My friend Lillian (see her gorgeous work at www.enamellist.com) helped me get it all set up. There's two parts- the arbor in front that you can attach different grinding/sanding/polishing wheels to) and the motor in back. It was a tricky business- the motor is attached to the arbor with a pulley, and we've mounted it on a board with hinges so I can easily change the belt. (thereby changing the speed) The motor itself was a pain because the silly cord came unconnected! We had to wire it up ourselves.
It has a little spigot that drips water on each wheel. Check out my ingenious water delivery method. (okay, so it's a plastic jug and some tubing, but still... the wonders of gravity doing all the work!) All the water (mostly) drains into a bucket on the floor. I've put it in the basement because it is a little messy. And, although my basement looks sort of scary, it's really not. I love our basement!
I cant really hold onto the piece while grinding, so I've attached the piece to be ground onto a paint stick using dopping wax. The dopping wax smells really good when it's melting, so there's another bonus.
Here's me actually using the grinder. Remember that dragon from the last post? I spent two entire days grinding and polishing it by hand. There's definitely a learning curve to using the grinder- you have to be very careful not to use too much pressure and to keep the angle correct, or it quickly turns disastrous. I did pretty good- I ground about 20 pieces and only destroyed one. (sadly, it was a charming bumblebee pendant, but that's the price you pay for learning new things.)