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Belt Sanders for putting the edege on a knife

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by zaco519, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. zaco519


    Nov 4, 2011
    i want to get an upgrade from my grizzly 1x30
    i have $200 to spend any recommendations
    i mostly use it to put the edge on the knife
    i just want one that is better then that 1x30 crap (my opinion)
  2. Danbo

    Danbo Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Nov 28, 1999
    A small step up would be a 1x42(better selection of belts, IMO). There are a few nice quality 1x42 sanders out there. Baldor makes one, which I have and use for just what you're talking about.
  3. Patrickknives


    Dec 13, 2006
    From what I can tell most of the 1 x 30 are the same crap, I spent so time on mine to get it to run true and some backing plates to give me a good angle 15, 22.5 and only use it for the initial bevel and switch to stones. I was ready to toss it until I saw nearly all the same. One suggestion is to check the belt tension spring. I have found that this is usally the issue with these small grinders, take it apart and sand off anything that helps the wheel, stud or spring get stuck, this really helps.
  4. Vulcanite


    Jan 16, 2009
    I bought the HF 1x30 and made a wood table thing to hold it upside down so as to be dedicated for sharpening. I haven't really use it yet though. What are s the problems you had exactly? You had this problem when you were using the patten only or also when making a convex edge w/ slack belt?

    OP, I think USA knifemaker has some sort of littel $400 1'' belt sander.
  5. jakehobackknives


    Mar 5, 2012
    Been using a horrible freight 1x30 to sharpen 10-15 knives a week for 6 years:) works fine.

    Trugrit has a great selection of belts for it also.
  6. AVigil

    AVigil knifemaker working the grind Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Platinum Member

    Feb 17, 2009
    I have one of those Delta's 1x30 sanders. I modified it years ago to sand out the inside of Bamboo culms for fly rod making.

    I decided to give it a go with sharpening blades. I got some belts from TruGrit and a leather belt as well.

    It really has turned out to be a real asset for sharpening. I use various belt grits and then use the leather belt to get a hair popping edge.

    The knives I have sent out sharpened on it received high praise from the users they went to. So much so I was sent several hard to sharpen Emersons. I use the 1x30 and sent them back and the users were thrilled to death because they just found them very hard to sharpen.

    I think I paid $30 for it years ago and it has paid for itself many times over.
  7. Vulcanite


    Jan 16, 2009
    It is good to hear that my HF 1x30 has some potential anyway. I suppose it will take me a while till my skill exceeds its abilities.
  8. quint


    Nov 29, 2011
    If your just using it to put the edge on the knife have you looked into those sharpening disk, basically two large paper disk, one is loaded with something like 60grit that is basically glued on, the other wheel is loaded with white rouge. I love mine. They work really well. Put them on a buffer setup.


    Under recommended equipment you will see them. They last a long time if used properly.
  9. dperk


    May 16, 2006
    I have been thinking about getting a 1x42 and I think I narrowed it down to the Kalamazoo 1SM or the Veil S-5-M. I'm having a hard time picking which one.
  10. Salem Straub

    Salem Straub KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 20, 2008
    The Viel S5 is a great little 1x42 for sharpening. I've had one for eight years and it's still going strong. Get a leather belt with it for your final honing step with buffing compound. I'd suggest outfitting it with a steel plate surface on the tool rest, as the Al is too soft. I also recommend setting it up with at least a .5 hp motor- I had 1/3 hp at first, too wimpy, switched to 1/2 hp and much better. You may find that adding a riser block in the upright tube on top of or below the spring gives you tighter tracking.

    I use it all the time for small folder type stuff, modding rivets and pin stock, sharpening drill bits, deburring stuff off the chopsaw, etc etc.

    I got mine from Lee Valley Tools.
  11. fumbler


    May 19, 2009
    For those of you who use 1x30 sanders, how do you manage heat buildup?
    I too use a HF 1x30 sander to sharpen but I have to be real careful or I could burn up an edge. Has anyone figured out an easy way to reduce the belt speed or do y'all just do it like me and make really fast and light passes?
  12. Vulcanite


    Jan 16, 2009
    I know a guy who puts like bees wax on the sand belts of his 1x30. He says that if there is too much heat the wax will melt and cool the blade or something. Not sure if it really works.

    I just use a finer grit belt and take my time and dip in water. Also, I try start at the tip and stroke to the hilt so I don't trap heat in the tip.

    THe sharpening made easy site has a little info on replaceing the motor on the HF unit w/ a 12v varispeed.

    "If you want to make a 12 VDC model you can use a Dayton 4Z144 1/14 hp DC motor from WW Grainger or the equivalent motor from Rae Motors. I might upgrade to 1/10 hp if I had it to do again. Make sure your wire and fuse are big enough to carry the current. You will have to have a machinist make a 2" pulley to fit the motor. These are all 12 VDC machines pictured."

    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  13. Danbo

    Danbo Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Nov 28, 1999
    When I sharpen on my 1x42, I make sure to use a new coarse belt, if I need to remove any steel(like, when establishing the initial edge). From there, I switch to progressively finer grit belts, ultimately ending with a leather belt and white polishing compound. ALWAYS use a very light touch! It's really easy to turn a knife into a recurve(don't ask me how I know this).
  14. P. McKinley

    P. McKinley KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 27, 2008
    This is my set-up. I do a similar process as ^^ above. And, as Danbo said " a very light touch" is a good thing, as is cooling the edge on almost every stroke.

  15. Hans17


    Mar 11, 2012

    Very interesting to see how the sander is mounted. What sort of benefits do you get from having it mounted sideways like that opposed to just having it set on the bench?

    Thank you
  16. Vulcanite


    Jan 16, 2009
    Mounted like that, the belt runs away from you. It is much more comfortable b/c you can hold you elbows at your side and sweep the blade over the belt and easily look down at the hair forming on the edge. W/ the unit in its normal position, you have a posture sort of like holding onto motorcycle ape hangar bars and you have to struggle to look down at the edge. You are holding you hands up like a sleep walker and inclining you head down to see the edge. It is hard to see, hard to move the blade across the belt evenly, uncomfortable on you shoulders and you neck.

    I have a question. Why mount the belt grinder so that the belt is horizontal rather than at an angle? Mine is mounted to the base between the tension pulley and idler pulley so the belt is maybe at a 40 degree angle. This seemed more natural to me, easier to see the edge and everything. It is working alright for me but I would be curious to know if more experienced people see folly in this.
  17. AVigil

    AVigil knifemaker working the grind Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Platinum Member

    Feb 17, 2009
    As long as the angle between the belt is held consistent it does not matter.

    I have mine set up horizontal and it works great. With a leather belt you can put a screaming sharp edge on it.

    I only sharpen and hone on that 1x30. I put edges on the blades with the 2x72
  18. fumbler


    May 19, 2009
    I clamp mine onto the adjustable angle platen on my grinder. Usually it's set to 15 degrees, that way all I have to do is hold the knife horizontal. It's a lot easier to hold the knife consistently horizontal than at an angle.

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