After all that, Burr King quality and reliability is more than self-evident. Many thanks for an exceptional grinder that I hope to be using for the rest of my life!
Being the first major purchase of my early knifemaking days, I spent time comparing the few belt grinders on the market. My decision was narrowed to Burr King and Square Wheel grinders. After extensive phone consultations with the two companies, I selected the Burr King for two primary reasons: It was reported to be quieter and smoother running than its ompetition. The quiet part was very important to me since I had no separate shop facility (living in government housing at Comumbus Air Force Base, Mississippi). My "shop" was the extra bedroom in my home, right next to my two young daughters' bedroom. When I had time to work on knives, it was usually after the girls had been put to bed for the evening. Obviously, I did not want to disturb their sleep! The Burr King was so quiet that it never woke them up, even after many years of knife-grinding just one room away!
During those early years of Burr King use, I did not get any long stretches of time to grind. With a growing family (four children and now eight grandchildren!) and busy career in the Air Force, knife-making was a distant priority. But my interest continued to grow and I maintained it as one of my hobbies. It was not until I retired from the Air Force in 1993 that I started putting many more hours on my Burr King. By then, I came to really appreciate the "smooth-running" feature of my machine. Other knifemakers spoke of "machine fatigue" when many consecutive hours of grinding took place . . . with "other" makes of grinders. It was my experience that I could grind on my Burr King all day long and never feel any fatigue! After running another knifemaker's grinder (not a Burr King) several years ago and visiting other makers' shops to see other makes of grinders in operation, I am still sold on the features that have made my burr king such a pleasure to use!
About three years ago, my "hobby" turned into a full-time knifemaking job. The total number of knives made since 1979 is nearly 500, with over 400 completed in just the last seven years. The only change I want to make to my Burr King is to convert it to variable-speed operation. As I told your staff member at the Blade Show, I am almost hoping that the motor in my Burr King will "give up" so that I will have an excuse to get a variable-speed conversion kit for it. After all these years, I have only had to replace the drive belt and work rest! All the bearings, wheels, tension adjustment, motor switch, etc. are still working just fine. It is almost a wonder, because from its deliver to me in Mississippi in 1979, my Burr King has been moved to four other state-side areas (courtesy of the U.S. Air Force) and two overseas locations. After all that, Burr King quality and reliability is more than self-evident. Many thanks for an exceptional grinder that I hope to be using for the rest of my life!
Owen B. Baker, Jr.
Lt. Colonel, USAF (Retired)
Lt. Colonel, USAF (Retired)