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Hey guys, I recently was given some money for my graduation from college to go towards some much needed tools and that means I can finnaly get s 2x72 grinder. 

I still can't get something like a KMG, but have been so far looking at the grizzly and the coote.

Does anyone have any opinion that could help in this decision, or a suggestion for something else better in this price range?

Thanks

Noel 

 

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I have a couple questions for you before I answer.  What is the main anticipated use for the grinder?  Do you have a 220v circuit to use or do you have to stay on 110v?  Do you have any interest and/or ability to build a grinder yourself?

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Thanks for responding,

I will be forging to shape/ some beveling  on knifes and then useing the grinder to finish the blades. I think I most likely only have 110, but I'll check to see if 220 is a posibility. I would build my own but I will be working full time for the forseeable future so I would prefer not haveing to build from scratch, but I don't mind doing some modifications and building... wish I had the time and machines to put my engineering degree to use and build one perfect for me

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I still may not have the answer you're looking for, but I can share my experience with you. My main use is also in blade making. I built a 2x72 grinder based on the No Weld Grinder plans.  The first incarnation of my machine used a 1hp motor and two 4 step pulleys for attaining different speeds.  In the fastest pulley arrangement it was fairly easy to bog the grinder down and even stall it at times.  I tripped a breaker with it once and had a few shutdowns on the thermal protection in the motor.  For me having the ability to change speeds is something I would not want to do without.  Final grinds after heat treat are something I like to do barehanded and fairly slowly to avoid overheating blades and to limit the effects of minor mistakes.  A few months ago I got a 2 hp 220v motor and a cheap chinese VFD and switched over to direct drive.  The VFD I got is not rated for dusty environments, so I built an enclosure from an old PC case to protect it.  So far this has worked well and I've had no problems with the power of the machine.  Between the cost of the step pulleys, the pillow block bearings, and the shaft for the previous setup I had almost as much in that as I spent on the VFD.

If you have been working without a belt grinder or a fairly small one with low power just about any 2x72 will seem like a huge improvement.  From my experience I wouldn't recommend anything under 1.5 hp and I also would recommend a way to change grinding speeds.  The 4 step pulley system did give me enough variation in speeds, but the lack of power at the top end was frustrating.

The NWG can be assembled easily in a weekend (maybe in an afternoon) if you have everything you need in front of you.  It does require a drill (drill press is preferred), center punch, measuring devices, a way to cut and square the ends of pieces if you cut them yourself, and a few wrenches, but overall it's pretty simple.

I haven't used any retail 2x72 grinders, so I'm of no help there, but hopefully someone else will have info for you on that front.

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That's a little hard to answer without knowing your situation.  If you have to buy everything retail you'd probably have around 3-400 dollars in steel, bolts, nuts, bearings, pulleys, etc.  There are a lot of fairly small pieces, so unless you have a quick and accurate way to make cuts I recommend paying the steel supplier to cut everything to size. It cost me a dollar a cut after 3 I think, but it was worth it since a hacksaw or abrasive cutoff would have taken me hours to do and most of their cuts were square. Mine most likely would not have been. Obviously the more parts you have on hand the less additional cost you will incur with this route.  I didn't (and still don't) have much of a scrap pile with suitable pieces for the build, so I had to buy almost everything.

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I currently use the Grizzly myself. It was actually my upgrade from a 1x42 as well. So far I'm very happy with it. Assembly was pretty easy and its nice and solid. It takes stock off pretty good with a 60 grit belt as well. My only real gripe is the tracking. I simply cannot get it to track perfectly. It is either perfect on the platen or perfect on the bottom wheel but no matter what I cannot seem to get the sucker to track perfect on both. It’s a classic case of you get what you pay for and for me the price was easy to swallow for what I got. If I have 2 grand just laying around yea id get a better one but as I see it it’s a great tool for the price. Good luck with whatever you choose.

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10 minutes ago, fishfinder401 said:

Dustin, do you have any idea what might be causing the tracking to be off? could the wheel and platen be offset from each other

Honestly i dont really have a clue. I have a giant angle that i used to make sure the wheels were lined up when i assembled it. It just seems to be an issue with the arm alignment. See the arm is one giant pipe and comes fully assembled. It slots into a shaft on the main body. The two are held together with two bolts, but see when you put the bolts in place they kinda force the arm pipe into alignment which is good but near as i can tell this is where the fault lies. Somone on youtube suggested running a couple of bands of electrical tape around middle of the wheels to crate a ridge which is supposed to help track the belts better but i have yet to try this.

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If you look at the user reviews on the Grizzlies you will see that tracking is a common complaint on them. I don't recall anyone ever saying they figured out exactly what the problem is and offering a solution, but maybe read through some and you might get lucky.

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Depending on your proficiency level you could build your own. That is what I plan on doing anyways. There is a blog I frequent which belongs to a Canadian knifemaker and it has to be one of the most helpful blogs ever. In it he provides detailed plans for a DIY grinder generically named as "the BG272". The basic frame is not that hard to build if you have welding experience. The wheels can be bought online or he provides CAD drawings if you know a machinist. There is even a super budget build that uses longboard wheels and bearings and came in under 200 bucks Canadian haha. There are DIY plans for a 2 wheel flat platen, tool rest , small wheel and how to adapt a 10 inch contact wheel from a Grizzly.  Check out his blog if that is a route you think you might take. Or there is videos on youtube by alaskabearhawk or something which I believe is what the BG272 is based on.

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I have the grizzly as well.  Before you misunderstand Dustin and Buzzkill's comments, you should know that the belt tracking stays where it's set.  The platen edge doesn't align perfectly with the wheel on mine either, however you're talking about less than a quarter turn of a knob to make that adjustment on the fly.

Once you've got it tracking where you want, the belt stays there.  The motor on mine is a 1hp 110V.  I upgraded to the larger contact wheel which increases the surface  speed of the abrasive. 

If you haven't used a 2x72 before, you might not know that finer abrasives heat the stock WAY faster than coarser ones.  I think it's because there's more surface contact with the finer abrasives.  More surface contact means more friction.  The nicer belt grinders have speed controls to SLOW the motor down. 

The fixed speed of the grizzly means you have to reduce contact time on finer abrasive belts to keep from burning the stock (and your fingers).  It may sound counter-intuitive, but you could finish grind a piece of stock faster if the surface speed of the abrasive was slower.

That being said, the grizzly's way cheaper than variable speed belt grinders and it offers a buffing wheel spindle.  For a hobbyist like myself, it's a great tool that gets an awful lot of work done.

 

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Well after reading everything you guys have told me I am leaning away from the grizzley a little because of the speed, the only issue for me though is the finding a motor in my price range. I did find an air pump on craigslsit with a 3/4hp motor, id i took the motor fron that do you think that would be able to hold me over for a while before I upgrade motors? Also I am coming from a 1x42 with a .5hp so I feel like almost anything would be an improvement,

What do you think? Will 3/4 be too weak?

 

Thanks for the input everyone!

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If you use the 3/4 hp on a 2x72 grinder it will bog down a lot unless you step the speed down a bit with pulleys.  Since I have not used 1x42 with a .5 hp motor I can't tell you how it will feel in comparison.  Also for any motor you use, if it's not TEFC you will probably have a short lived motor due to abrasive and metal bits getting in the openings of the motor.

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Well i did plan on having step pulleys, and I can bog down the 1x42, so I'm used to not  grinding hard.  Although the motor is open, so I'm not sure how that would be... is it possible to make encloses to protect it? The only other option for a motor in have found is from harbour freight, but is between 120 and 150$ which is set ching my budget

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You can shield the motor somewhat, but it's cooled by air moving through the openings, so you probably don't want to eliminate air flow.  Other than trying to make sure you deflect anything coming directly off the belt away from the motor you can use compressed air to keep it clean after every use and probably get by for a while.  I find that over time there tends to be a layer of abrasive dust and such that settles on everything anywhere near the grinder so it's not just the direct debris that will take a toll, but the direct debris will definitely degrade things faster.

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Now that I think of it, I think my 1x42 has an open motor... ( terribly engineered machine, found that out after I bought it) I might have tk try doing that then, and when I get some more money in from a few knifes and projects I was asked to do I should be able to afford an upgrade 

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I purchased a Pheer 2 x 72 grinder a while back and we have been quite happy with it.  My son has been using it constantly making knives and it is holding up just fine.  The price was quite reasonable, after pricing the wheels, motor and speed control it really didn't make sense for me to make my own even though we are fully equiped to do so.  I think he still sells them on ebay, that is how I got mine.

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It may be a good option, but from what I've seen he doesn't include a motor or drive wheel or any way to get multiple speeds.  With those things taken into account you may be close to a Pheer in price.

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Go to the Grinders page at www.WayneCoeArtistBlacksmith.com and view the video on the 2 X 72 there then consider getting the DVD for instructions for building a good grinder.  You can probably build it out of scrap or materials for a salvage yard.  Can you do some basic welding and can you drill and tap some holes?  If you can't weld you can probably get a friend to do it.

Let me know if I can help you.

 

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Well after looking at the cost ( both time and money) I ended up getty the grizzly, wish I had the time to make my own but while working full time I jsut didn't have the time to build one, and the other options like the coote just were too expensive with all the parts... unfortunately though it arrived today and the package was heavily damaged... the power switch was snapped and who knows what other internal damage to the motor happened, it looked like it was dropped on both ends as the arbors were both sticking out of the box through the reinforcing particle board... thank god for amazon just shipping out a replacement

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