Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Response to a comment... Don't trash that grinder!

If only it stuffed sausage...

Today I got a comment from Sophia.  It didn't seem like it was in response to my article, but more like fishing for traffic to her blog (I reserve the right to be wrong for myself!)... well I took the bait and read a few of her articles and couldn't help but comment on something she said.

"1 year or so for a moderately well-used grinder is more than sufficient. Or, easily purchase some replacement blades. They can generally be had for several bucks."

Having tried sharpening my blades in the past (the last time was the most successful, thanks to a tool maker I know) and met with mixed results.  But I did learn a few things that are worth noting here...

You should keep in mind when buying new blades and grinder plate, or die as you called it, is that over time, as the these parts wear, they will wear into each other.  It's the same as changing the brakes on your car... if the rotors are worn, your brakes won't work as well if you only replace the pads.  As you you use your grinder, if you are wanting to buy a new grinder plate and use it with an old cutter, you may need to have all your cutters and plates trued (made to have the same flatness so they will all worth together more effectively).  A good blade sharpening service should be able to do this, but a local machine shop may be willing to tackle this for you too!  So if you are getting mush coming out of your grinder, don't throw it out... sharpen it!

The grinder knife, prior to the grinder plate installation.

The grinder plate installed.  (Make sure you line up the notch in the plate with the pin in the grinder!)
At the end of the day, take care of your tools and they will take care of you!  Periodic maintenance is required though, just like changing the brakes on your car.  Keep things clean, keep things lubed and whatever you do, don't throw your grinder in the trash because it's not working right! 

(I'll gladly help to find it a new home.)


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