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I Forge Iron

Refreshing belts is it possible?

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I was watching a video on the internet (must be true if it’s on the internet) about how to get the most life out of the belts.  At the end of the video he gave some info that someone had shared with him.  He said to take a piece of good hard steel that was quenched but not tempered.  Make sure that it had a 90 degree edge and lightly touch the belt with it.  This will knock off the wore out high spots on the belt allowing a new section of abrasive to be available.  This was only for the lower grit belts (36-40 etc).  

I also watched a knife maker video who is a stand in judge on Forged in Fire use a piece of tungsten to do the same thing. 

So has anyone tried this?  I only have spring steel to try this with but I don’t know if it will be hard enough.  Hope I haven’t be suckered.

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When I saw the subject line the first thing that popped into mind was, YES, A Pina colada is pretty refreshing but if you're seriously in need, make a Long Island ice tea with creme de menthe and belt that baby down, it'll refresh you right to sleep. :)

Seriously No, I don't buy "refreshing" grinding belts, I call BS on that one. A belt turns two pretty sharp turns over a couple pullies the turn at high speed will dislodge worn and loose grit. If you wonder, shine a bright light across the curve an inch or two away from the pully and turn it on. You'll see dust and such come off the belt.

Sharpening a grinding wheel is something we learned about in Jr. high school metal shop 1 but were told NEVER touch a wheel with the dresser. Dressing a grinding wheel exposes fresh sharp "grit" and is "freshened" by touching a dressing tool to it. Can be done with a carbide lathe cutter.

Belts? Nah, unless maybe someone ground aluminum on it. Then I suppose grinding something HARD might clear the aluminum galling (plugging?) the belt. So maybe that belt could be "freshened."

I call it urban myth to be polite. I COULD be wrong but I want to see strong evidence before I change my opinion. Even a little bit.

Good belts are pretty reasonable if you buy in quantity online, no need to try stretching their life. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I think this is specifically in reference to ceramic belts in the lower grit range.  The idea is that breaking the ceramic pieces creates new sharp edges for grinding.  I'm not sure I buy into the concept much.   I have a hard time understanding why the "new" sharp edges aren't continually formed while using the belt if it's valid.  A fresh ceramic belt is a joy to work with and seems to nearly effortlessly remove steel, hardened or otherwise.  However, I have yet to personally experience a worn belt returning to anything close to that new belt performance.   I've used compressed air to clean some particles out and a rubber belt cleaning block to get some minor improvement on clogged/worn belts, but it's still nothing like a new belt.

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  • 1 month later...

The crusted diamond dressing tools for dressing grinding stones actually work on TriZact Gator belts.  Those belts tend to glaze over, so a couple seconds on the dressing tool helps unclog the belt.  I tried the same tool on a ceramic belt and it made it smoother, but didn't cut any better.  I try to find ceramic belts designed for grinding at lower pressures where the grain fractures easier.  VSM is the brand I normally use. 

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Not changing a worn belt is definitely a false economy; a sharper belt will cut faster, more accurately, and with less risk of damaging the workpiece (especially important with hardened and tempered pieces). While I do have some belts that are well into the second half of their lifespan, I keep those for hot-grinding workpieces mid-forging (taking out possible cold shuts, etc). To quote ThomasPowers's old mentor, "Grind like the belts are free!"

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Taz575 said:

The crusted diamond dressing tools for dressing grinding stones actually work on TriZact Gator belts.

Taz575, I would like to see the p/n, or spec on that crusted dresser.  Trizact belts are indeed dressable, on harder materials, they are self-dressing. 

The other type of belt that is a candidate for dressing, is seeded gel (ceramic). For seeded gels in the grind department, we had to use a special $250 SG single point diamond dresser. SG belts may also be self dressing with harder materials and higher feed pressures.  

This would apply more to the coarser grits.

Your mileage may vary...

Robert Taylor

Addendum:  JHCC, I agree about not changing worn belts. 

Edited by Anachronist58
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Posted (edited)

Dirt Cheap! 

[Commercial link removed]


Sorry about the link.  Look up stone wheel dressers or something like that on amazon.  I got 3 for $11.  

Edited by Taz575
Commercial link removed per TOS
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