Belt Grinder

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Mar 8, 2007
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242
I'm sure this topic has come up a lot here but I'm new and just trying to get started. If there is a thread already dealing with this if someone could post the link that'd be great. Knife kits has the Kalamazoo. Is that a good one to start with? Is a 1" belt enough? Any other must have equipment? I got a drill press but that's about it. Thanks for any input.
S
 
Getting started doing what? If assembling kits is all you'll do, a 1 inch grinder would be fine for shaping handles. If grinding knives, look to a 2x72 belt grinder. You can get a better selection of grits, and better control depending on how you set up the motor.

Take a look at the Coote for an entry-level grinder.
 
1 inch belt is not enough, I have a 2 x48 inch Kalamazoo, the motor's great the rest of the grinder is crap, I also have a Grizzly 2x72, for the same money as the 2x48 Kalamazoo it's a better grinder. I'm slowly building a Bader clone that will take Bader accessories, I will eventually power the clone with the motor from the Kalamazoo, and someday buy a real Bader

-Page
 
2x72 is best for several reasons IMO, one of them being the availability of a large range of belts suitable for knifemaking in this size- another being economy of price per square inch of abrasive surface, as compared to 1x42 belts, etc. Here's a link to my "Guide to belt grinders" at my site, including most major brands and a comparative discussion.

http://www.prometheanknives.com/shop-techniques-3/grinders
 
I'm a new knifemaker and I got my Coote set up a couple of weeks ago. The coote has improved every aspect of my attempts at knifemaking. My grinds are flatter and easier to achieve, the machine is built like a tank.

You have to do a bit of engineering and hunting for parts etc on your own....but it's awesome once you get your motor and setup the way you want.

Bader and KMG are expensive, but are more "plug and play" friendly. Probably less of a headache than fooling with the Coote.

The Griz is too fast I hear.
 
2x72 is best for several reasons IMO, one of them being the availability of a large range of belts suitable for knifemaking in this size- another being economy of price per square inch of abrasive surface, as compared to 1x42 belts, etc. Here's a link to my "Guide to belt grinders" at my site, including most major brands and a comparative discussion.

http://www.prometheanknives.com/shop-techniques-3/grinders

Thanks for this link. I also have been considering trying my hand at knife making, and have been looking at what grinders are available and what each has to offer. Your info on each one is very helpful. I am leaning towards either the KMG-1 or Bader BIII. Between these two, which would be the better choice for someone starting out, and which would have the better resale value if it turned out knife making wasn't for me?
 
Personally, I'm thinking about getting the Grinder in a Box: www.polarbearforge.com/grinder_kit.html

While I'm trying to save up the money, I'm hoping he re-designs it to be compatible with the MAP arm. Who knows, by the time I get enough money saved, I may just decide to hold out for a KMG and then I won't have to worry about upgrading or finding compatible accessories. KMG won't ship to Canada though so I'm not really thrilled with the idea of being forced to work around that just to give them my money.
 
I guess it really depends on what you want to spend. For under $100, you have 4x36" and 1x42". I still like my 4x36 for flattening handles, but 2x72 is much much nicer for grinding bevels.
 
Check out 1:25 into the following video:

[youtube]7j9nkzbAsms[/youtube]

Proper tracking is important. Sometimes you want the belt to be right up to the left or right edge of the contact wheel so you can get into tight areas on the knife, but you never want it to wander randomly.
 
Blacktails, the Bader and the KMG are both great machines. They both have the convenience of the square tooling arm setup. One difference is the BIII is a direct drive machine. Works great with a c-face motor, which is good for single or variable speed. I don't know if you can get just the chassis, but you can with the KMG. The KMG allows a bit more versatility with motor choices since it's belt driven. And you can set it up as a 3 speed machine. They both track well. They both have good resale value, your market would be knifemakers and we all know these machines. They're both popular. I'd take a good deal on either.

If you can find a cheap/reasonable c face motor and have a basic shop already, the Grinder in a box is a great way to get started. Very versatile bader style design.

Sorry smorgan345 if that was a hijack. Sort of on topic, though.
 
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