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I Forge Iron

6"X48" Belt Grinder for Blades


The Anvil Edge

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Ok so I have recently been getting into bladesmithing although I have been doing blacksmithing for a couple of years now. I have a small 2”x18” belt grinder at home which I have used for some small knives I have made but I go through belts incredibly fast and was looking to upgrade to a larger model. That being said the common 2”x72” belt grinder is set way out of my price range right now as the technical building of it is a bit beyond me and in Canada the only supplier sells them for about 2000 bucks. I have found this 6”x48” belt grinder though and think it looks like a promising option but I wanted to know if anyone has any experience working with such a wide belt and any problems I might face.

Any advice appreciated.

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I have a 150mm x 2000mm belt grinder, so same width, bit longer loop....very aggressive with a 24 grit belt in it. Good surface for domestic stuff with a 400 grit belt. 

I have used it to reshape some knives but I am not a knife maker by any means.

Brilliant machine for general work. Most of the time it is set up with 24 or 36 grit zirconium belt for ripping material away. Occasionally I have a 120 grit or finer for finishing.

Alan

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Personally I found that the wide belts didn't suit me well for knife grinding.  They are ok for making sure the stock is flat and true after forging, but when working on curved portions the width works against what I'm trying to do.  Before I built a 2x72 grinder I was working on a 4x36 sander/grinder and its construction also made it difficult to grind plunge lines or any other work where you need a relatively sharp transition in material thickness. If the grinder you're looking at has a flat platen where you can access the edges of the belt without your stock hitting anything else then it might work well for you.

You may want to check out the No Weld Grinder plans.  You can build the whole thing yourself for about a quarter to a third of what it costs to purchase one new and without a lot of technical expertise.  You need a center punch, scribe, square, drill press (can get by with a hand drill) and some wrenches. You'll also need a way to make square cuts (or square up cuts afterwards) on square tubing or you can have the steel supplier makes the cuts for a bit extra - and I recommend that unless you have a good bandsaw or cut off saw with a metal cutting blade.  If you already have a 1 to 3 hp electric motor that you can use  - or a functional treadmill with a good motor and speed control that you can repurpose then you've already eliminated a big portion of the cost.

 

Good luck with whatever you choose.

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It doesn't look like that grinder design would give you good access from the sides.  My grinder, like the knife grinders I've seen has empty space between the front and back so you can get right into indentations and transitions in shape you're working.  Maybe you can see that grinder up close before you buy and see if the parts that are in the way are removable.

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There is a huge difference in the products designed for woodworking (sanders) and those designed for metalworking (grinders). Speed ranges, types of belt materials and grits available, even the ways that the motors are protected from dust. I think that you would kill that, or any other wood sander in short order with metal dust and abrasive particles.

Better to spend the same amount of money on a good hard wheel bench grinder, or a 2 x 36 belt metalworking unit like those available from Cootz or Grizzly in the US. Not sure what the Canadian equivalent might be, but check a farrier supply catalog, or Industrial tool supplier, not a home supply or hobby shop.

Dead simple homebrew units are shown in the Wayne Goddard book "The $50 Knife Shop". If you can wing it, google 'Clontz grinder' by my mentor Ray Clontz, who also invented the tire hammer.

Edited by John McPherson
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If you can wing it, google 'Clontz grinder' by my mentor Ray Clontz, who also invented the tire hammer.

Thanks...while searching the Clontz grinder I came across this page http://www.cnccookbook.com/CCKnifeMakingGrinders.htm which has a dozen grinder designs with comments on features.  Good reading.

Just wondering what people might feel their biggest shortcoming of their current grinders might be or what they would put on their grinder feature "wish list".  Mine is simply too small as the low end 1" wide.  I'd go 2" if I were buying/building again.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...
2 hours ago, tompdw said:

I had one for a few years and the pulley got in the way when trying to grind from one side. The wide belt sure sucks up the power from a 1 hp motor and spreads it out over 6 in. It bogs down pretty quickly. Not bad for doing handles though.

I am sure it would do. Mine has a 4kW motor which puts it somewhere over 5hp and with a 36grit belt I can make that grunt...it keeps going, but it grunts!

Alan

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On ‎11‎/‎17‎/‎2015 at 8:03 PM, tompdw said:

When I started out I used a 6x48 and it was under powered and not very practical but it was all that I had. If you have it and that's all that you can afford then use it.

I agree with tompdw if this is what you can afford or what you have It beats using a File so use it.  Most of us are not floating on a sea of $$$ at the start or even the end in most cases so we can't spring for the $2000 model.  There is talk of the Traditional Blacksmith, I'm sure the Traditional folks started small and worked their way up, so if anybody says something you are just being "Traditional!'

Good Luck

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1 hour ago, notownkid said:

I agree with tompdw if this is what you can afford or what you have It beats using a File so use it.  Most of us are not floating on a sea of $$$ at the start or even the end in most cases so we can't spring for the $2000 model.  There is talk of the Traditional Blacksmith, I'm sure the Traditional folks started small and worked their way up, so if anybody says something you are just being "Traditional!'

Good Luck

Thanks man I appreciate the input, in the end I decided to go for a 1x42 belt grinder. The primary reason for that choice was simply that there is just a much larger range of belts available at any time from a local store. I can get belts from 40 grit to 1200 grit and even a leather belt. I have a 1/3 horse motor hooked up to it and it works great.

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