Craftsman 2601 Bench Grinder


19 November 2017

Craftsman 2601 Bench Grinder Featured Image

About The Machine

I don't have a lot of information about this machine, unfortunately. The model number is 2601 and these machines were made by Sears Craftsman in the 1930s to 1940s. I purchased this machine from a man in South Denver, he claimed his grandfather purchased the machine new and built the stand it came with.

Initial Condition

This machine was in working order when I purchased it. The motor and grinder head functioned perfectly as it was. The stand was extremely rickety and made of patchwork wood. The bearings were smooth and ran well considering their age, however, they did produce a little extra noise and felt dry.


As per my previous restoration, I began by disassembling the entire machine down to its component parts. All of the small parts were soaked in white vinegar for 24 hours, then scrubbed with a brass brush and cleaned with brake cleaner. The larger parts were stripped down using various wire wheels across my grinder, cordless drill, and rotary tool.

After cleanup, the painted parts were re-painted and the bare metal parts were cleaned up using brake cleaner and coated with a dry Teflon lubricant (not necessary this time as this is a metalworking tool, but it doesn't hurt either). I used Rust-Oleum Royal Blue Enamel for the painted parts, which (like the smoke gray) is a very close match to the original Craftsman blue.

I purchased new bearings from the original manufacturer, SKF. That company not only still exists, but still carries the same bearing with the same part number as they did in the 1930s! The new bearings fit perfectly and run smooth and silent.

To my dismay, the cleaner I used dissolved the paint off the Craftsman logo on the front of the main housing. Unable to put back what I had already damaged, I decided to polish the plate instead.

I purchased the black steel tool stand from Harbor Freight and build a small drawer and mount out of 3/4in birch plywood with alder trim. I forgot to take pictures of that build, but it's pretty much just a box with a drawer riding on slides.

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