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Putting an edge on the belt grinder

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by AVigil, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. AVigil

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

    Feb 17, 2009
    Hi Guys,

    I have been putting an edge on my blades on the belt grinder. I have seen some makers have dedicated grinders with the motor reversed just for sharpening.

    What do you think?

    I was thinking of putting a drumswitch on my grinder to reverse the motor for sharpening.
  2. Fellhoelter


    Dec 29, 2005
    Why reverse it?
  3. AVigil

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

    Feb 17, 2009
    I think the belt moving away from the edge might be easier on the belt instead of turning into the edge. Hopefully I can get some feedback
  4. Fellhoelter


    Dec 29, 2005
    Ahh, so you want the edge up...

    I just sharpen with the edge down, and mine IS reversible...
  5. Fred.Rowe

    Fred.Rowe Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    May 2, 2004
    So little pressure is used when sharpening on a moving belt there is little affect to the belt's surface.
  6. Frank Niro

    Frank Niro Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 10, 2000
    I sharpen with the edge towards me the belt turning towards me, in the slack part of the belt. Frank
  7. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

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

    Aug 20, 2004
    Some folks feel they have a better idea of the blade angle when observing it from the spine, so they hold the blade edge away from you and run the belt the same way. This does allow the blade to be more evenly ground from both sides, as well as tosses the blade away from you if an OOPSIE happens. If they set up a dedicated grinder for this, the belt is often run at a very slow speed, and they use a different gearing ratio in the pulleys and wheels to allow more torque and much slower speed than a blade grinder would run at.

    That probably doesn't make it worth having a dedicated grinder for most shops....but who doesn't want more equipment.

    I have one I built that runs 2.5X48" belts on a VS 3/4HP motor that has a max output speed of 75RPM. It will run from crawl to about 100FPS without any possible stalling. It has jigs to sharpen the blades at any angle desired. While a really cool tool ( no pun), it is hardly ever used.....maybe in the new shop it will get a permanent spot and get used more.
  8. Danbo

    Danbo Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Nov 28, 1999
    I use my 1 x 42 belt sander for sharpening. Edge down.
  9. Mossyhorn

    Mossyhorn Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    I like the edge away from me. Instead of switching wires, I just turn the grinder around. I've found paper wheels work better that way too on a Baldor buffer.
  10. Bufford

    Bufford Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2006
    I use a variable speed Wilton and sharpen by slowing the machine right down and using a fresh belt dedicated for sharpening. Once the belt begins to lose its performance i toss it in the mix for general work and use another fresh belt for sharpening. This is the primary sharpening step, then I fine tune the edges by doing the final sharpening by hand.
  11. P. McKinley

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

    Jan 27, 2008
    I use my old 1x30. I also like the edge away from me. I built a support so it can be turned on its back. Works like a charm!


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