The Screaming Banshee Rail Grinder

Today the boy and I set up the Screaming Banshee Rail Grinder (SBRG) and in relatively short order, ground all the frogs and points for the staging yard. I thought I had described this machine previously, but I can’t seem to find it, so here we go again. It’s just as well really, because some improvements were incorporated this time.


As you can see, I own only a hand-held belt sander. If I had a bench one, the SBRG wouldn’t live up to its name, I’m sure. Because I don’t have a bench sander, I clamp my belt sander into my WorkMate, which has the effect of amplifying the noise to Concorde levels. The offcut of L-girder provides a fence, upon which a rail holder rides.


I made these the other night when Andrew was over. They are a whole lot more precise, but a lot slower than what I used for SBRG version 1. In that version, I simply clamped a piece of plywood at a 1:7 angle, and ran the frog rails against it and into the running belt. It worked great for frogs, but points were too hard to hold, and thus I came up with the new version shown here.

The new version works better for points, but I’m inclined to go back to something a little quicker for the frogs. Fortunately, as you can see below, I will soon get the opportunity because I screwed up the rail holder for the frogs, and made a groove for 1:4 instead of 1:7. I thought it looked awfully steep!



The grooved block of wood seems to be overkill for steep angles like #7 frogs, and so, when we went to fix all those #4s, I went back to my previous method, with an angled fence.  The sander itself pushes the rail against the fence, and a little finger pressure in the gap keeps everything straight enough.



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