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Got a "Poor Man's Surface Grinder"

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by jawilder, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. jawilder


    Jun 27, 2006
    While visiting Dan Graves' shop last year I noticed a 6x48 belt grinder sitting in the corner and asked if he ever used something so large. He said "you bet", then showed me that it is very ueful for evening up forged blades without having a surface grinder.

    I picked up one last night at HF to help with a project I'm working on and I've got to say that so far, I'm impressed. I wouldn't recommend it for edge bevels, but it works great for flattening wood for handles, and I guess it would be good for tapered tangs too.

    It also comes with a 9" disk, which is good for what we use it for.

    After the 20% coupon, I think I paid $170 for it and think it will be a useful tool in my shop


    By the way, you should bookmark this link so you can always print your 20% HF coupons.
  2. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

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

    Aug 20, 2004
    Yes, they are really useful. You can order all the belts you use on your 2X72 in the 6X48. These will really flatten a forging out when running a Blue Zirc 120 grit belt. A big grinding magnet is a good accessory. Harbor freight is a good place to get one.

    Watch your hands, those things eat skin and knuckles. I wear grinding gloves when using one.
  3. Mark Behnke

    Mark Behnke

    Apr 16, 2008
    I put a 3 phase motor on my old Sears unit and run it off the VFD
  4. Ed Braun

    Ed Braun

    Jan 14, 2012
    Snag one of those HF deadman's foot pedal switches--a lot easier than kicking it on and trying to lower a billet or blade on a retrieval magnet.
  5. AVigil

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

    Feb 17, 2009
    I run mine every day. Buy the good zirc belts for it and stay away from the cheap AO belts. They last a lot longer and do not have a bump like the AO
  6. jawilder


    Jun 27, 2006
    Got a couple when I picked up the grinder.

    Yeah, I noticed that the on/off switch is not located at a very convenient place. I'll look into one of those.
  7. Milt


    Nov 16, 2008
    I had one of these made by Delta. It did not have a TEFC motor and it burned up from steel dust. Be cautious.

  8. woodwrkr221


    Jan 28, 2011
    My 6"x48" Powermatic is about the same except I have a 12" disc on the side instead of a 9", and mine is wearing a 120 grit Norton Blaze belt right now.

    Do y'all use these with the belt in the vertical or horizontal position when flattening large pieces? I've resorted to using mine in the horizontal, seems to work better for me.

  9. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

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

    Aug 20, 2004

    Another trick is to take a 5 gallon pail and mount it at the end to catch the dust and pieces of wood/metal that get away.
    I do not like using the sanding stop unless I am doing full size wood blocks.

    Any type of holding jig for wood, or a magnet for metal is far better than holding by hand.
    If it slips, don't try and stop it....let it fly ( thus the bucket).
  10. woodwrkr221


    Jan 28, 2011
    AMEN! Never try to catch something like that, bad Idea.
  11. NStricker


    Feb 23, 2007
    There's a couple pictures in Sid Latham's book of Lloyd Hale grinding bowies on a 6x48.

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