Harbor Freight 'Grinder' Stand
Picked up grinder pedestal-#68321 in moment of weakness for acquired 4x36 belt/6" disk sander. I wasn't looking for another project so didn't want to build a stand. Cast iron base and top with single center tube. Intended for use with grinder it also includes a bolt on coolant tray. The single pedestal would take less floor space than the others they had, easy to add (3) casters, so home it went.
What a piece, I almost returned. Main pedestal diameter is simply too small for the cast holes in base and top. On top of that assembly is a matter of running bolts thru threaded holes in cast iron and tightening. IF the tube wall thickness was heavier it might work but its very thin and tube simply collapses. Its too thin to resist. One I picked up, the tube would not stand square in base, period. The bottom recess of base hole had radius that allowed the undersized column to tilt plus it would not resist weight and just slide thru/in. Top, though would set square with weight, but any side pressure table would pivot as it only has one bolt.
I'm unclear why this hasn't been fixed, looking on line at what others may have done I gather been like this forever. Either using heavier gage tube or re sizing the casting. IF tube was correct size or heavier or cast base fit tube....anyway annoying. But size wise stand is what I need, pieces are there-its just fixing.
So I need to figure a way to assemble that will make it solid.
First, need the tube to 'stand' or rest on inside lip of base. I stretched tube to fit base hole to it rest against bottom of recess. With tube laying horizontally on slightly open vise I used a ball peen hammer and lightly tapping inside edge of tube-round and round, till tube bugled enough so when inserted in base it sat on internal lip.
Next, instead of tightening the bolts against the tube and 'crush' fitting decide to bolt thru and then use nuts inside to pull tube tight against base. I simply used a bit that was snug inside of threaded holes to mark the tube. Removed and drilled the tube. Put the tube back into base and tapped thru the base and holes in column (supplied bolts 3/8-16?). Threaded the bolts thru base & column. Flipped over and ran nuts to pull tubing out against base. Worked!
Mounting the top to column. Different as I cant get inside to run nuts however don't think I need to. The column butts against the top. So just drilling thru it shouldn't be able to move. To be sure I'm drilling 2 more holes & tapping the top. After aligning top with base Ill mark tube with the 3 holes then drill. I orientated the top so one narrow end is between legs, which puts 3rd leg directly center at other end. Allows standing closer to sander and more leverage at rear resisting pushing material into sander.( For a grinder I would align long side of top (as pictured). So marked the one existing hole, removed top & drilled, put back on and ran tap thru top and column, Threaded the one bolt in, drilled and tapped 2 more holes thru the top & column. Its not moving. Nice. Easy fix, instead of smushing the tube just drill thru it.?
The sander is longer than stands top. It could be bolted down but I'm storing sander on bench-I want to easily move the stand around in shop and tuck it out of the way. Cut a piece of 3/4" ply same width as top just a little longer. Screwed stand top to plywood so that it extends toward back leg.
I guess because only 3, & did I mention cheap casters, so much slop in bearing even locked from wheel turning they rotate so stand starts walking.
After some thought decided I just need to tighten bearing & pin flange somehow so casters cant rotate. Removed & took them apart-I thought the hex was nut that could adjust bearing-wrong. Its a single forged one piece with the end swaged in bearing cap the hex just so you can hold to mount. So I swaged it some more till they will still rotate but don't flop around. To pin I have a bunch of 1/4-20 eyebolts.
I reinstalled casters on base while still apart. Drilled thru the caster flange then thru base with 13/64" bit. I then ran a 1/4-20 tap thru holes in base. I taper ground the ends of eye bolts. reassembled the casters and final install on base. Work pretty slick actually. Kind of surprised me.
Painted it. For not wanting another project spent good part of a day playing with this.
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