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Thread: Going to start knife making. Is this belt sander sufficient?

  1. #1
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    Going to start knife making. Is this belt sander sufficient?


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    http://www.harborfreight.com/1-inch-...der-34951.html

    Hope that's not deal spotting.

    Would this sander with the appropriate belts grind steel well enough to make knives?

  2. #2
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    That's the standard HF 1x30 belt sander. Quality varies greatly. I have one that seems to be holding up well. More arguments and discussions have been had on here about this thing, search a little bit and you'll find enough info to decide one way or another.


    -Xander

  3. #3
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    Will do! Thanks for the quick response!

  4. #4
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    If you have never used a 2 X 48 sander, the 1 X 30 seems good. If you have never used a 2 X 72 belt grinder, then the 2 X 48 seems good.
    For sharpening and hobby purposes, the HF 1 X 30 is minimal, but it is not suited for professional knifemaking.

  5. #5
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    That's what I use. It can be frustrating at times with the small belt width, but it does work. The belts from HF will work, but get the blue ones for profiling and starting the bevels. HF only haas 46, 80, and red 120 grits. I ordered some red 320 and 400 grit belts from Amazon that are holding up decently but not great.

    I'm saving my money for a Craftsman 2x48. Hope to have it by Christmas.

  6. #6
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    it will definitely work... not as well as some maybe, but for sure if you are patient, it will do what you need it to do. if you're not patient.... don't try knifemaking at all. once you get a feel for it and know if you're going to stick with it or not, then make an investment, but for now use what you got.

  7. #7
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    Please amend that to "MAY" work. I tried to start out on one of those. Tracking was AWFUL on the first 6 models I went through. I mean, to the point where it will barely run, let alone sand wood or metal. I finally gave up, and bought a Rikon 1x30. That did me okay. If you are lucky, and you get one that actually works, it should do okay. IF. My luck has been abysmal with those things. QC is incredibly hit or miss. Also, if you plan on doing anything relatively wide-bladed, the platen is tiny, as is the slack belt area, so you'll have a tough time with it.

    The 2x42 or 2x48 Craftsman is a much better buy, especially if you can find one on the cheap on Craigs or something.
    Beckerhead #149
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  9. #9
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    I started out on a 1x42" Kalamazoo and ground one blade with it.. I had good ceramic belts and even with that patience was tested. I bought a 2x72" after that first blade and haven't looked back. You will know however after making a few blades with your 1x30 if you want to stick with it, rather than going out and spending $1000+ on a big grinder only to find out knife making isn't for you.

  10. #10
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    I wonder if maybe a 6" grinder (the one with the stone wheels that you mount to your bench top) or even a hand held grinder and a vise would make it easier- it's hard to remove much material with a tiny sander like that.
    If you have a hand held 5" angle grinder, you can always get flap wheels to finish the blade with.
    My kids made a bunch of decent jungle knives like that.

    If you're just making a knife or two for fun, that's what I'd use- a beginner's 2/72 belt grinder starts at $500 ( http://www.amazon.com/Grizzly-G1015-.../dp/B0000DD0AL )- if you have that much to spend it's a different story. And if you have $500 to spend, you might start thinking about a "real" grinder, which starts around a grand.
    andy G.
    Last edited by elementfe; 10-10-2012 at 11:36 AM.

  11. #11
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    I used to make knives on a Delta grinder that looks to be very similar to that HF. You can certainly make knives on it, but it's not very good.

    - Chris

  12. #12
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    I have a HF 1 X 30 as well as a homemade 2 X 72. I use both on every just about every knife I make. The key to the little 1 X 30 is patience....it works but it works slowly.

  13. #13
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    I started with one of those and its still going, i mainly use it for honing now.. But ive ground some knife shaped objects with cheap belts.. With quality belts im sure it makes a difference, you have minimal to lose and if you find knife makings not for you you'll still have a nice sanders that will come in handy for other things
    BeckerHead #13

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  14. #14
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    I started out with one and made several knives on it. For me it worked great(that was before I knew that it was the biggest piece of junk), but it almost always did the job. Id say go for it for sure!! Just don't take it apart, and lose all the parts to it... I no longer have a platen or a rest. Now it just does most of my sharpening. Good luck
    Jack

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