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

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by bernard_s3, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. bernard_s3

    bernard_s3

    574
    Apr 15, 2011
  2. fast14riot

    fast14riot Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 27, 2010
    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. bernard_s3

    bernard_s3

    574
    Apr 15, 2011
    Will do! Thanks for the quick response!
     
  4. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 6, 2000
    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. Broomhead

    Broomhead

    335
    Jan 12, 2012
    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. rustyrazor

    rustyrazor KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 13, 2011
    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. crimsonfalcon07

    crimsonfalcon07

    Dec 27, 2010
    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.
     
  8. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
  9. mgysgthath

    mgysgthath

    Dec 15, 2009
    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. elementfe

    elementfe

    May 3, 2008
    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-Knife-Sander-Buffer/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: Oct 10, 2012
  11. Hesparus

    Hesparus

    Oct 31, 2004
    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. drlozier

    drlozier

    158
    Jan 4, 2010
    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. Battle Creek Knives

    Battle Creek Knives

    Feb 23, 2010
    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
     
  14. catcalls

    catcalls

    249
    May 7, 2012
    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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