Belt Sander Setup

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by bgentry, Dec 23, 2019.

  1. bgentry

    bgentry

    Aug 3, 2009
    Last night I ordered the Kalamazoo. Gotta go find a selection of belts today and get those ordered too...

    Brian.
     
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  2. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    It's a great machine and should give you countless years of service. I've had mine since 2012 and it's never given me a lick of trouble.
     
  3. rpttrsn

    rpttrsn

    Nov 1, 2006
    I have a Kalamazoo for over 10 years now and it is great for sharpening knives. It has come in handy for other chores as well. You will not be disappointed with this belt grinder.
     
  4. bgentry

    bgentry

    Aug 3, 2009
    Today I went by the only place in my city that offers sharpening services. A combination of a lock smith and sharpening service. They were nice enough to take me back into the shop to talk to the sharpener. He and I spent about an hour together looking at this equipment. Then, part way through, several jobs came in and I got to watch him sharpen scissors, a CRKT combo (serrated, straight, and tanto point) blade, plus two machetes.

    He surprised me by recognizing that one of the scissor arms had a bent tip, which you basically can not fix; can't get it flat again. So he ground it off and then other other arm too. When he was done, you mostly couldn't tell that he had shortened them by about 3/8". He maintained the angle and look of the point. When he was done, including grinding the beveled surfaces of each arm, they cut well, and would cut all the way to the tip. Previously, with the bent tip, they would stop before finishing the cut.

    The machetes needed a lot of work. He took off more than 1/4" of the short machete along it's entire edge. The edge was bent and rolled really badly in several spots and he had to go that deep into the meat of the blade in order to grind past the rolled area. The larger machete had really bad tip damage from being stuck in the ground and rusting. So he ground that off and made a new tip that looked about the same.

    All of these big repairs were done with a 40 grit belt. Then he switched to his "medium" which is a 120. He finished on a paper wheel and cotton buffing wheel. Both machetes sliced receipt paper when he was done.

    As a result of this, I'm including one 40 grit Blaze belt in my belt order. I probably won't need to do big repairs very often, but it will be nice to have the option if I need to.

    I've gone a little nuts with the belts including 120, 400, 800, 1200, medium scotch bright, and leather. I figure these are cheap experiments at $2 to $5 each.

    I hope the medium scotch bright is the correct one for removing burrs. It seems like that or fine would work equally well.

    Brian.
     
  5. razor-edge-knives

    razor-edge-knives Moderator Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 3, 2011
    Yeah I think you are going way overkill on belts... I do all my machine sharpening with a 120 (only if reprofile work is needed) then switch to 220. After that it hits the leather belt with compound and it will pop hairs off of your arm.

    I don't think scotch Brite will remove burrs properly... At least, it doesn't in my experience. Scotch brite has alum oxide abrasives in it and will continue to keep the burr.
     
  6. bgentry

    bgentry

    Aug 3, 2009
    I may have wasted my money on the scotchbrite belt. We'll see. Hopefully the leather will do it for me. If not, I can always buy a bench grinder and a paper wheel. I should probably have one of those anyway with a cotton wheel or wire wheel on the other side.

    Thanks for the input.

    Brian.
     
  7. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Scotchbrite belts are still handy for deburring edges on various steel objects. It's not the same kind of deburring you do with knives and edged tools, though--it's grinding the "sharp" edge of the object directly into the belt. They work great for that.

    Aluminum oxide abrasive isn't really the issue. Most grinding belts use some form of aluminum oxide as the abrasive. Yes, even "ceramic" belts. :)
     
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  8. HeavyHanded

    HeavyHanded

    Jun 4, 2010
    I use a 60 grit Blaze for heavier work. All of my sharpening is done with 120 Blaze or 120 mesh diamond belt, taken to some form of finish work after that, usually a microbevel and a couple of passes on a hard strop by way of quality control.
     
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  9. razor-edge-knives

    razor-edge-knives Moderator Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 3, 2011
    I agree, but what I was saying is that scotch Brite has al ox in the woven belt itself which doesn't contribute toward burr removal of knife edges. It will round the edge over when the burr is removed and NOT leave you with a shaving sharp edge. But yes, they are still handy for sure to deburr random parts and cleaning up blades.
     
  10. HeavyHanded

    HeavyHanded

    Jun 4, 2010
    Spurred by this thread I picked up a Multitool 2x48 adapter for my 8" grinder. Will report back whether its any good for general hogging and utility shaping/sharpening.
     
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  11. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    image.jpeg image.jpeg I mounted my Delta Rockwell 1X42 belt grinder on a tilt plate. It is set to 15* off vertical. When grinding, the knife edge is pointed at the center of the earth. When changing bevels, I walk around to the other side. The platen behind the belt is used for flat bevels. The free belt between the spring loaded tensioning pulley and the top of the platen is used for convex grinds.
    I call this rig the "handle maker" and use it on flea market knives (with much dipping in water). I usually deburr the blade on the back side of the last (fine) cloth belt (edge trailing).
    My stone support is set to the same angle and is used for more expensive knives. It uses quartz, Al2O3, SiC, CBN, bonded Diamond, DMT, tape platens, etc. One side is set to 15* off vertical, the other to 20* to match the angles on the Spyderco Sharpmaker. The rig is rotated 180* when switching bevels. The edge pointed at the center of the earth also applies to this device.
     
  12. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    Is this like a contact wheel mounted on a grinder with an idler behind?
     
  13. HeavyHanded

    HeavyHanded

    Jun 4, 2010
    Horizontal armature that mounts to the safety cover screw holes - can be rotated to vertical. Idler/contact wheel in front, drive wheel mounts to the grinder arbor, comes with a 7" disk platen but IDK how useful I'll find that feature. I need something that can deal with bigger jobs and not cost an arm & leg, don't expect to be making knives or doing regrinds with it.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Bill3152

    Bill3152

    288
    Nov 27, 2018
    Router speed control on harbor freight 1x30 works as well as for their bench grinder. I know it can ruin the motor. But so far so good and I've sharpened loads of knives doing just that. Not looking to get into an argument about burning the motor. I know it isn't good for it. But for several years I've had zero issues. $150 gets you a bench grinder belt grinder and speed control. Your money your call
     
  15. misterparker

    misterparker

    15
    Jan 7, 2020
    When using the WSKOE, how much does the blade heat up? I read a study done that showed the standard WS heated up the micro edge beyond the tempering temp therefore degrading edge retention when compared to the same knife sharpenened on a wet stone. I really want to get a WSKOE to reprofile all my knives 1000x easier than doing it manually, but I don't want to degrade my premium steel knives' edge retention. Would love to know if you've been able to keep heat to a minimum with low speed and waiting in between passes for any heat to dissipate. Thank you!!!
     
  16. Bill3152

    Bill3152

    288
    Nov 27, 2018
    You can but you don't have to. Ive gauged performance from my freehand compared to belt and paper wheel sharpened and I don't see a difference in edge longevity. Think about this for a moment.... Many many commercial kitchens, meat cutters supermarkets and restaurants send their knives out. I doubt they are returned burned temper edges to do their work. But I'm not going to argue about it either.
     
  17. Mr.Wizard

    Mr.Wizard

    626
    Feb 28, 2015
    @Bill3152 It clearly seems possible to power sharpen without damaging the steel, but in counterpoint it is fairly common for new knives to need several solid sharpenings before they hold an edge as well as expected; this has been attributed to heat damage near the edge.
     
  18. Bill3152

    Bill3152

    288
    Nov 27, 2018
    I've heard that also. Personally I don't use belts and wheels much anymore. It's easy enough to put em on the stones and diamond plates. But I can say with my own experience and my own eyes that it can definitely be done without damage as I've done it. Not looking to argue. But the belts wheels and other systems work for sure.
     
  19. bgentry

    bgentry

    Aug 3, 2009
    The edge definitely heats up. The longer you hold it on the belt and the more force you use and the faster you run the belt, the hotter it gets. That's probably pretty obvious, but those are the factors. I don't think I've had any blades become damaged. I generally pull the blades off the belt when they feel a little uncomfortable to the touch.

    The WSKO can definitely sharpen blades faster than by hand, even when running at lower speeds. Though, with a really beaten up knife, like the one in my video, it can take a while. I think that video is 22 minutes long and there are actually about 5 minutes of sharpening that are not on video (the camera stopped). So it's faster, but it's not ultra fast. At least the way I use the machine. I usually run it kind of slow (somewhere between speed #1 and #7). So I'm not using it's full grinding power.

    This is part of the reason that I bought the Kalamazoo 1x42; to try to sharpen faster; we'll see how that works out.

    I think the WSKO is a good system. A very good system. As long as you understand it's various compromises and parameters.

    Brian.
     
  20. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Note that the edge apex can flash-heat MUCH faster than even the region right behind the edge due to how thin it is. It's technically possible to burn an edge and have the blade feel cool to the touch. The overall trick to not burning edges is to use a light touch, fast passes (don't stay in one spot!), and use fresh belts that are an appropriate grit for the stage of work you're performing.
     

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