I recently picked a Wilmont Tag and wanted to review it for the guys looking for a new grinder. To start off, the purchasing experience was great. Chris is a great guy and answered every question that I had, which were many. You can tell this guy is a knifemaker as he is passionate about his product and the art.
Shipping was fast! I received the grinder two days after it had been shipped. Mine came in five boxes, all were easy to carry and navigate into the shop. The neat thing about them is that the boxes are separated into installation steps so you can follow along with the installation instructions as you go. No need to look around for bolts, screws, etc, they are right there with the parts you are working on. The instruction manual is well put together and reads easily. It is also separated and put in the box for the part you are working on. Everything is either wrapped in foam or boxed and the floor and walls of the boxes are wrapped in foam insulation. I had no issues with damage.
I opened all the boxes and set them in order of setup. As mentioned earlier, you just follow along with the manual and pics. It took me about 2 hours but I was going slow. I like putting things together so I thought about the design and the intent of all the parts as I went. When complete, I fired it up and everything worked! I loaded a belt on and had a slight side to side wobble. I rechecked everything and couldn't figure it out. I thought it was the belt tension initially. I looked at some pics on Wilmonts site and noticed the tension arm on mine was was not parallel like the one in the pic. I emailed Chris and he suggested it was the tension. I pulled the arm out more and fired it up. Smooth tracking now! I hammered some steel in it and it didn't slow down a bit.
After making a few knives with it I couldn't be more happy. I know tools don't make the craftsman but they sure do help. My flat grinds instantly improved. Being able to slow down the speed and the true tracking allowed me to be much more consistent. I was also able to grind in about half the time.
Left and Right side. It really is a good looking machine. All the metal is black and the wheels are anodized Red. One of the platen wheels are rubber so you can use it for choils and such.
Wheels and Platen. The wheels are absolute quality. The platen is 7" long and is made from thick stock. I have glass coming for it.
The platen is adjustable so you can move to fit your grinding style. The lever is easily turned and holds great.
The tracking is great. Slight adjustments are available with the turn of the star. Contact is solid between the screw and adjustment plate. The star is just plain cool!
One of the neat things about this machine are the tooling arm slots. It allows versatility in horizontal and vertical work. All arms are locked down with beefy angled levers
IMO the star of this grinder is the toolrest. It is so versatile and solid as a rock. I was initially a little skeptical with the round bar used but it is not an issue. The rods fit real tight and are locked in by a bolt that closes a relief cutout on the tooling arm. There are also levers to help with fast adjustment. This thing is awesome.
I was excited to try out the horizontal grinder. Ive never used one before and it was one of the reasons I chose this machine. It comes with a flipping base plate system with a cool motor mount that allows air flow. Its not hard to flip but it is heavy. A handle would make things easier. Wow, I should have gotten one of these along time ago. So much versatility and options. I don't have my small wheel attachment yet but will be getting it soon. I will review that when it comes as it is a neat system. The toolrest really shines in this position. I will eventually order a second toolrest so I can use different sized wheels and two toolrests at once. The arm slots will allow that.
Little man wanted in the shot!
All in all this is a great machine. I can't imagine anything more versatile. It will allow me to be much more efficient which is huge being a part time maker. The only thing I would like to see is a handle of some sort for flipping. Again, its not hard but would be easier with a handle. Anyone looking for a grinder should give the Tag a serious look. Great machine, fast shipping, and a seller that truly cares about his product and customers. A+ in my book!