Sunday , November 23 2014
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Home > Mill Projects > Plans for a Diamond Nib Holder for a Surface Grinder

Plans for a Diamond Nib Holder for a Surface Grinder

Glenn recently made a Nib holder from scratch for his surface grinder. You can buy one from MSC for about $25-35, or you can make one with a few hours of effort out of parts from your scrap bin.

Here’s what Glenn had to say about his Nib Holder:

“I recently made a Diamond Nib Holder for dressing the wheels on my new surface grinder. It’s a very simplistic design derived from the common off-the-shelf Nib holders that you see in MSC, Enco, etc. catalogs. Those, however, are typically castings or welded parts. (see last photo above). My version is fully machined, ground, and bolted together. I used A2 tool steel. The part is approximately 5″ long, 2″ wide, and 1-3/4″ tall. The base plate is 1/4″ thick. The top block is approximately 1-1/2″ square before machining the angle on it.

This tool is a good example of how one might use a 15 degree Angle Block to position the top of the Nib Holder for milling and drilling at the desired angle position for the diamond dresser.

I also used my new surface grinder (new to me, at least!) to put a nice finish on all of the surfaces of the tool.

Thanks for sharing you plans Glenn!

  Diamond_Nib_Holder_by_Glenn_Woodworth.pdf (213.5 KiB, 523 downloads)
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About Tyler

Tyler is a hobby machinist and 3D printing aficionado. He teaches computer programming and web development at Highline College near Seattle. Tyler founded Projects In Metal in 2008 because he was frustrated by the lack of free plans available for hobby machinists.


  1. I used to make and refurbish Fluid Motion Wheel Dressers for J&S Tool Co. A search of that term should turn up a few pictures.

  2. Like these?


    I haven't seen a dresser like this before. What are some of it's advantages?

  3. That's them.


    Well unless you need a wheel dressed with geometric profiles I'd have to say not much. They look cool. It's a great way to blow a few grand I suppose … But hey for the money we made the things hideously accurate. You set them up with a micrometer and we made them at least that precise. So it is a fine instrument designed to eat grinding wheels. Now not every kid on the block has one of those  in their toy box!


    I can tell you why too. Back in the 80s when I was there the one on the grinder cost $3,500 + $440 for the micrometer base it is sitting on. The other one by itself, that's a larger one, they went for around $7,000. There was an even bigger one that went for $12,500. But they're pretty rare birds. I think they were for dressing 36″ diameter wheels.


    Today I'm sure CNC is all the rage for doing what these things do. But if you're a Fields Medal mathematician you could just about do it all with one of these gadgets.

  4. Wow! It always amazes me to see equipment like this where you totall underestimate the cost. I would have guessed about $200 max for one of these, but now that I look at it more closely I can see all the adjustments, but still! That's a lot of money to burn on a wheel dresser!

  5. Well maybe they don't look it but they are precision instruments ground to hold a tolerance of no worse than .00005 (half of a ten thousandth isn't a typo). And really the assembler would try to put them together a bit better than that as a point of pride, or maybe boredom I don't know. Either way that sort of manufacturing ends up costing. It'd be fair to say that it wasn't exactly a mass production shop.


    But this is all past tense now and I doubt things are like they were when I was there. I can only speculate but I think it is only a name company today. Least I can see it having gone that way knowing what I know about it all.