Produced by Model Engineering Services (proprietor Ivan Law and makers of the well-known Dore Westbury miller) the Kennet is a relatively simple machine and offered as an alternative to their very much more complex and difficult to build Quorn. However, despite its relatively straightforward design, the Kennet it is still a very versatile machine and can sharpen not only lathe tools but, with the right holders, slitting saws, end mills and slot drills - though it is not capable of handling the spiral flutes of the latter two, just their ends. Sold only in kit form, everything needed is supplied including iron castings for the base, table and intermediate table (now furnished surface ground) aluminium pulleys, bronze, two pre-formed and engraved protractor scales and length of belt material.
Mounted on its cast-iron base plate the machine is built up from three elements: a grinding spindle running in sealed, angular contact bearings (preloaded by springs), a platform assembly on which can be secured the tools to be sharpened and an electric motor. While motor and spindle are fixed, the tool table is adjustable and consists of three parts: a support bracket, able to be slide towards and away from the wheel, and fastened to it an intermediated table that can be raised, lowered and tilted so as to provide the correct grinding angles and clearances.
On top of the intermediate table is the tool-mount table, this being arranged to slide from side to side under hand control with an adjustable screw stop fitted at one end. In order to gauge tool angles, a large 180?protractor scale is rivetted to the table with, at its centre a stud used to secure various holders - including ones for lathe tools, endmills and slitting saws. Also provided is a rectangular block of steel, pivoting around the stud, against which turning tools can be held by hand. By juggling the position and angulations of the table and fitting a suitable grinding wheel, it is possible, with little effort, to grind extremely accurate profiles.
Should you find a used Kennet without a motor (or one that is not working) it's vital to use the correct type: 1/6th h.p. running at 2,800 r.p.m. The more commonly available 1/4 h.p. 1450 r.p.m. can be used, but will need a larger pulley to get the right grinding wheel speed. Do check with the wheel maker what the correct speed is and, if in doubt, scrap those provided and buy new ones (there is also the danger that, unknown to you, the wheels might have been dropped or otherwise damaged and could burst in use). The unit shown below has no wheel guard; if yours is the same, the writer would strongly advise making one.
A complete, well-written and profusely illustrated article about building a Kennet by John Baguley can be found here and sometimes units for sale here..