The TINKER is a simple, practical, and compact T&C Grinding Jig that will sharpen end mills, side and face milling cutters, slitting saws, twist drills, reamers- in fact, just about any cutter you’d find in a small machine shop, a gunsmith’s shop*, or home workshop. Plus it will let you grind lathe toolbits to known angles.

The TINKER Tool & Cutter Grinding Jig

NOTE: The end guard for the right hand wheel on the grinder in the photo above, and in the
2 photos on the next TINKER page, was removed temporarily for illustrative purposes only.
All guards supplied by grinding machine makers should always be kept in place and used as the maker intended.

Because it teams up with your existing bench grinder, the TINKER does not require you to make a high class grinding spindle. The basic TINKER consists of only 27 parts in all, most of them very simple to make. The two main elements, the Foot and the Standard, are made from a pair of identical fabricated parts (originally, these were castings, which we no longer supply), machined just slightly different one from the other. Over 60 pages of drawings and instructions include notes for building, and complete user instructions.

"Sixty pages of drawings?!" you say.

The TINKER T&C Grinding Jig was invented and developed by N.W. Tinker in England. His drawings ran to 9 pages. When I built my TINKER to his drawings, I had quite a number of questions with which I had to go back to him for answers. When I later arranged with Mr. Tinker to market this excellent design in North America, I did not want each of my customers coming back to me with a similar number of questions. I therefore re-did the drawings entirely, incorporating more detail, and many helpful notes, so you don't have to waste time puzzling over why this screw hole and that one are different sizes, even though they would seem to have the same purpose, due to having similar locations - or making something wrong and then seeing the problem after it's made:- I point out such pitfalls to keep you from falling into them. I have sold hundreds of sets of my TINKER drawings over the last 25 years, and I don't think I've had more than 3 or 4 questions from guys who were building one from my drawings, so I must have done something right.

This set also includes drawings for the Mini-TINKER. This is a much simpler version of the TINKER. It is slightly smaller, and can be built by someone who owns a smaller lathe, but who does not have a milling machine (although access to one would make some parts of the job easier).

Because I prefer that you know what the TINKER will and will not do before you buy the plans, please

click here for much more detailed information about the TINKER Tool and Cutter Grinding Jig, and the Mini-TINKER.

* Gunsmiths: The TINKER is not suitable for sharpening chambering reamers. Chambering reamers should be returned to the maker for sharpening.... or see TMBR#3 for an absolute goldmine of info on how to hand stone your own chambering reamers!!

Added February 18, 2008:

Here's what what one customer said after getting a set of my TINKER Plans:

The TINKER plans came in the mail yesterday.  It's a great package!!  I just skimmed through them last night, and am looking forward to studying them in detail.  Your notes and recommendations are excellent, and should be a great help to those with less than the optimum level of shop experience needed to build the Tinker, and I think they'll be a good reality check for me before I actually start to make chips to fabricate each component.

My business sense is telling me that the TINKER plans are worth considerably more than you are charging for them. They are certainly a bargain for the detailed information, and the drawings, which are very clear and easy to understand. You obviously put a lot of time into producing a first class set of plans.  
Thank you from a very satisfied customer.  I'll be recommending the purchase of the plans to all of my colleagues that could use a Tinker to great advantage in their home shops.
Jeff M.,   Caledonia, NY...."

TINKER and MINI-TINKER PLANS (75 pages): Complete Working Drawings and user Instructions for the basic TINKER, MINI-TINKER, and all accessories plus the TINKER Newsletter:

75 pages

US$45, postage paid in the US and Canada, plus applicable tax (Michigan)

TINKER CASTINGS: Castings are NOT required  for this project, although having a set of castings would be a significant convenience. 

I used to offer a pair of unmachined gray iron castings for the TINKER T&CG Jig, but the cost of having the castings made got so high that I ceased to offer them in 2011.   However, TINKERS have been built without the use of castings.

Added February 15, 2014:
To see a very nice example of a TINKER not made from castings click here.

So if you want to build a TINKER, order the plans, and go from there.

Added November 5, 2012:


 US-made TINKER castings are now available, off my patterns.   If you want a pair, check Martin Model & Pattern, . In September, 2022, a set was about $95.

NOTE:  one customer said he plans to build ....."both the TINKER for general shop use, and the Mini-TINKER for very small cutters that drive me nuts to hand sharpen (#2 counterbores and smaller, form tools for HO gauge wheels, and the like). The Mini-TINKER will probably end up with a small cup wheel on a dedicated spindle and base, with a magnifier,  while the larger TINKER will be used with my 8" bench grinder."

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