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GMoore

Continued grinder questions

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O.K., one last time.  I'm looking for a 72" knife grinder (hopefully, with a stand) for LESS than $2000.  I want to buy the best for the money.  I don't need wisecracks.  I don't need curmudgeonly put downs.  I'm 78 years old and can out-curmudgeon almost all of you.  I did write a newspaper column for about ten years, titled The Occasional Curmudgeon.  No, I don't have experience in making knives, but I am a fair smith.  No, I don't have the time to play games.  Please, if you have a good suggestion, give it.  Thanks 

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Look into the KMG. We bought one and a cheap tool stand with casters from HF all for under $2000. As far as your last sentences the way to avoid that, is to do a little reading. I'm 77 and have never run into that problem because I try and do a little research and learned the rules here. I thought you had settled on a Bader.

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I picked up the Bader B3 with a combo tip and a 1.5 hp motor for well under your price point. Upgrading to a 2 hp or a vfd might push it up a bit more, just depends on what you need out of it.

Steve

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I, really, appreciate the lead.  I've been reading everything and looking at everything available - for about three years.  But, reading about them on advertisements does little more than tell you what the manufacturer wants you to know.  Users can tell me more.  Nope, decided against the Bader.  Too expensive.  Your KMG suggestion seems to hit the spot.

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Decided on the KMG.  Suggestions on types of 72" belts (brands and "grit").  I know I will add to this initial list, but am looking for about a dozen belts, of various types.  Will be making my initial dive into blade making.  I think I will start with pre-shaped blades, until I get the hang of grinding on the KMG, then switch over to making my own blanks.  Thanks, in advance.

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What steels will you be grinding?  Will you be grinding annealed or pre hardened and tempered blades?

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Got a Bader BIII grinder.  Am looking for suggestions on sanding belts to start with (for grinding metal and wood - scales), sat 10 belts.  Suggestions for grit, brand, etc.  Thanks

 

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Good on ya. I'm happy with mine. For general purpose work I have 36#, 60# and 120#, all ceramic. I would expect for knife work or finer tooling you would want finer grits. I got my first batch from Amazon. I later used the sources listed in the suppliers folder in the knife- making section of this site. That is probably your best bet- tried and tested suppliers. I think I saw starter packs from some of the vendors with a few grits in multiple grades.

Steve

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Norton Blaze are premium belts. Combat Abrasive Shredders are also good.  Phoenix Abrasive belts get good reviews, but I haven't used them yet.  Ceramic at low grits for metal are great, but work best at high RPM and pressure. Al oxide fine for wood, but run at low rpm to avoid burning and don't use same belts for metal.  Trizac belts are the bomb for higher grits, but expensive.

Actually all belts end up being expensive,  but best advice I've gotten is to use them like they are free.

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Pretty much what he said.  When you want to remove a lot of metal in a short period of time use low grit (24 or 36) name brand ceramic belts like Norton or 3M. It is amazing how fast they can shred steel.  Keep in mind that they can shred leather, flesh, and bone even easier.  This is one of the reasons to use the belts like they are free.  When they get worn we tend to apply more pressure which makes it more likely that something will slip and send our fingers into the high speed belt.  I use ceramic up to 120 grit and then switch to Al oxide or SiO2.  Like he said, for wood (or things like micarta) if you want to remove a lot of material quickly use a coarse grit at low speed.  Running too fast will burn the material and/or plug up the belt quickly.

I've tried a few belts that appeared to be bargains, but generally I find the best overall bargain is a quality belt from a respected name.  They cost more up front, but they tend to run cooler, cut better and longer, and track better on the machine.  I have a love/hate relationship with the Trizac belts.  Normally we're using the really fine grits for final finish, which means blades are thin.  The high grits develop heat very quickly and you can ruin the temper on what will be the cutting edge in just a few seconds if you're not careful.  The last few grits are painstakingly slow for me.  Just a few seconds on a low to medium speed belt, then back in the water to cool off.

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Have a Bader BIII.  Looking for suggestions on the working height (say, the base level of the grinder).  Stands,  Bader make one?  Alternatives?

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I picked up a cheap harbor freight 4 legged grinder stand and fastened a couple of 2 x 8 to the top to allow easy bolt down and raise it to the best height for me.  Working height is a personal thing.  You need to balance effective holding of your stock during grinding (braced elbows...) with ability to clearly see the edge you are grinding (if making blades for instance).

The stand was pretty secure once bolted together, but I ended up adding weight to the bottom shelf so I could really press hard.

Image result for harbor freight grinder stand

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Yes will you be mainly using a contact wheel or a platen or slack belt? For a contact wheel take a piece of steel and get into your "grinding stance" and have someone measure that height.

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