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New Kalamazoo 1SM knife rest system
Recently an Exchange member contacted EOU with regard to the guided Kally knife rest system that was mentioned in an EOU post, and I have previously mentioned a few times in posts that a new rest was in the works for the Kally.  This is about the new rest.

First, a bit of history:  The first knife rest I made for the Kalamazoo 1SM was many years ago with proof of concept being nothing more than an angle cut on a piece of wood that sat against the belt.  Albeit crude, the thing actually worked well enough to warrant continued development.

It then went through five or six other designs which I made and used.  Here is an image of the design just previous to the current version.

While all of the previous designs worked pretty well, they all had some issues and areas that needed improvement.  So I decided to do a complete redesign to fix any issues and incorporate the needed improvements that were identified over the years. 

Some of the features needed in the new rest were:

Allow edge of belt contact up to the knife handle.
0° - 50° sharpening angle using adjustment screw for accuracy.
Graduated angle adjustment gauge.
Horizontal adjustment for perfect belt alignment. (No two Kally’s are the same.)
Quick and accurate screw in/out adjustment of rest distance from belt.
Use materials that will not scratch the blade.
Replace the weak and flexible original tool rest.
Include a platen with a window for stiffer area of the belt.
Rest can be placed in the window of the platen, over the platen or above the platen.
Use heavy gauge steel to eliminate flexing during sharpening.
Simple and quick plug & play installation.  Loosen two nuts, remove the old and replace with this.

The new design includes all of the needed improvements and fixes the problems indentified in previous versions.  It works very well.

The design started about six months ago with a crude drawing.

It was painfully clear that my child level artistic abilities weren’t up to the task, so I did the design work in CAD.  Here are a couple of CAD images of the completed rest and platen system.

From those designs, our own amazing Mr. Mike got the parts made.  Here is the unit installed on my Kally.  In these images the rest is positioned for sharpening above the platen.  The second image shows the holes drilled in the side of the platen to facilitate different rest positions. 

I would like to thank Mr. Mike for his invaluable assistance in being a sounding board for design concepts, providing feedback and suggestions, helping me to understand designing for manufacturability, and for the actual production.  Without his participation this would have not have happened.  Thank you Mike!
Outstanding, Grepper!!!!

You are among the very rare group of people who can have the spark of an idea, build a quick prototype, develop it into a working tool, and persist until you have perfected it. ¡Bravo!

Not only that, you have teamed up with Mr. Mike, whose machining quality is superb.

I would like to order one.

As you know, I am an old Tormek guy. (still) I added the Viel for special jobs like grinding out low spots and reducing bolsters. Adding a Kally was sort of a fluke. I like the Kally as a rugged, simple machine. Mark Reich's world class platen narrowed the versatility gap with the Viel and its accessories. Your knife jig has, in my opinion, put the Kally over the top for knives.

Well done.

Really beautiful and versatile knife rest. Congrats Mr. Grepper. Smile


WOW, another WOW, product -

Info in ref to ordering one.


We appreciate the kudos Grepper and can only say that it was our pleasure in lending a hand. Of course we also ended up with a Grepper knife guide in the process. Here's a couple of quick shots showing it  mounted on our Kally.


There are, likely, several members of this Exchange who might not benefit greatly from a device like this. Apparently their skill at holding a precise knife angle across a sanding belt greatly exceeds our ability to do the same. For us, this is "Sharpening for Dummies" and enables us to create remarkably reproducible edges in very little time. These edges are not only reproducible in our shop but also across state lines. Using the same grinding process we achieve, almost exactly, the same BESS scores that Grepper does. Here's a picture taken from an email we recently sent Grepper.


The caption under the picture read "Boring isn't it?"

Congratulations to Grepper! No one, more than us, better understands the thought, work and time that he put into this project.
Thanks for the kind words everybody!  Much appreciated. Smile
Sorry I'm late to the party!

I can hardly believe I've been gone for three days. I bet if someone looked at the stats, that would be a record for me.

We've had a tumultuous case of winter here, which has put a very high demand on snow removal. An exciting batch of 15 new blades has had me working serious overtime.

Congratulations on your new baby, Mr. Grepper, it looks like a winner!

I'm amazed at your efforts! This will bring a whole new level of precision to the Kally!
Mark's last sentence, "This will bring a whole new level of precision to the Kally!" is one of those rare statements which has a deep ring of truth. As a new Kally user, I like the machine. I have always thought that Baldor motors are among the best in the industry. From a basic machine design standpoint, I prefer the Kally design using a smaller drive pulley over the Viel with its larger pulley. The smaller drive pulley lowers the surface feet per minute by a third, and thus the grinding heat. (Gen III of the Viel conversion uses a smaller drive pulley.)

Where the Kally lags behind the Viel is with the precision and versatility of the Viel jigs. As built, the Kally is What you see is what you get. Mark's world class platen adds much to the Kally. With the one two punch of Mark's platen and Grepper's knife jig, also world class, I think the Kally has finally arrived as a precision knife sharpening tool.

Wow x kewl Mr grepper

I like that fine ticket.......truly outstanding
Mike showed me the platen part of this and a different kind of knife rest when he was in Kansas last fall. I didn't realize it was going to turn into this big of a production. A tip of the hat to you grepper. I told Mike this morning to put my name on  one if you start making them.

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