Jet Variable Speed Grinder For New Maker

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Josh Perdue, Oct 21, 2020.

  1. Josh Perdue

    Josh Perdue

    101
    Apr 18, 2017
    Thinking of buying a variable speed jet grinder for my first grinder. It’s a 2x48 with variable speed. Does anyone have any experience with this grinder, or have any other recommendation?
    Thanks
    Josh
     
  2. Ken H>

    Ken H>

    Dec 31, 2011
  3. Bill DeShivs

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

    Jun 6, 2000
    Don't. At that price, buy a Grizzly 2 X 72.
     
    Lee Hester and Josh Perdue like this.
  4. Josh Perdue

    Josh Perdue

    101
    Apr 18, 2017
  5. Josh Perdue

    Josh Perdue

    101
    Apr 18, 2017
    I’ve been debating between the jet and the grizzly. My only concern was the grizzly running to fast to learn on. I will gladly take your advice on the grizzly. Thanks for the reply.
     
  6. Joshua Fisher

    Joshua Fisher KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    562
    Mar 27, 2018
    I’ve used a similar model by jet and it was great as a step up from a 1x30 and filed but I got it used at a really good price so it was worth it but I wouldn’t recommend it for the price. I’d recommend the shopfox 2x72 over the grizzly, it’s the same machine minus the shopfox has a 10” contact wheel which i think works better if you eventually get into doing hollow grinds. It’s hard to hollow grind on the 8” wheel on the grizzly because the motor gets in the way.
     
    Josh Perdue likes this.
  7. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley Riley Knife and Tool

    Oct 17, 2007
    For $600 you could build a better grinder than either the Jet, or the Grizzly, IMO.

    Keep an eye on craigslist, facebook marketplace, ebay, or local motor shops, and you should be able to find a 3 phase motor for $100 or less. A 2hp VFD that runs on 220VAC can be found for less than $100. You can also get a decent drive wheel, tracking wheel and 2 idler wheel set for less than $100 these days. Maybe take a look at Brian House's "Revolution" plans/kit. There's a few other designs out there as well that you could likely pull off for less than $600 all in if you get your steel from a scrap yard, or purchase drops from a fab shop.
     
    Ken H> and Josh Perdue like this.
  8. Josh Perdue

    Josh Perdue

    101
    Apr 18, 2017
    Im most interested in learning how to convex grind but am also interested in flat or scandi if that makes a difference in what grinder would work best. My favorite all around grind to personally use is convex.
     
  9. Ken H>

    Ken H>

    Dec 31, 2011
    The problem with that shopfox 2X72 is the speed. Looks like the specs say 4500 SFPM belt speed - that's FAST and works just fine for profiling, but for bevels it takes a real expert to successfully grind at that speed. Also that's for coarse grit belts. Can't imagine trying to use 400 grit belts at that speed.

    As Drew says, whatever you do, be sure to get a variable speed grinder. You can build a nice variable speed 2hp 2X72 for $600 or so using several plans out there. Perhaps the best set of plans around are: https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/free-2-x-72-belt-grinder-plans-2020-version.1705344/
     
    bjansen and Josh Perdue like this.
  10. Josh Perdue

    Josh Perdue

    101
    Apr 18, 2017
    I really wish I could just build a grinder but that’s not possible. My experience literally consists of a shop class when I was in the ninth grade. I’m really starting this from the ground up purchasing new tools as I go. I’ve never used an angle grinder, belt grinder or even a chop saw. It’s kind of embarrassing to even say that but it’s the truth. I’m an ER/flight nurse that was former butcher. The only experience I have is with sharpening growing up as a boy in a meat shop. I can put a quick clean edge on about any blade but that’s the extent of my experience.
    I’m gonna learn how to make knives though, that’s for certain.
     
    Ken H>, Natlek and Richard338 like this.
  11. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley Riley Knife and Tool

    Oct 17, 2007
    We all started somewhere. I built my first grinder (No Weld Grinder Sander) using an old shop smith for a drill press, and using a $20 angle grinder and a hack saw to cut most of the pieces. I think I finally threw a 12" abrasive cut off wheel into a cheap wood chop saw that I had, though I don't necessarily recommend that.

    If you can use a tape measure and a scribe and center punch, and you have something to make reasonably square cuts, you can build a grinder. I've seen guys make some very clean and accurate cuts with a homemade miter box and a cheap reciprocating saw. The Revolution grinder I mentioned above has a "kit" that comes with most of the parts already laser cut, but I believe they do need to be tack welded. If you know anybody with a welder, a case of beer would likely be more than enough to get someone to weld it for you. Or you could pick up a used flux core welder for $100 and do it yourself. Heck, even the NWGS is still a great option, and it only requires cutting and drilling, though you can weld the parts if you want to.

    I believe polar bear forge is still selling the GIB kits for about $300, and those just require drilling and tapping, IIRC, along with wheels and a motor/vfd.

    The main reason to build a grinder vs buy, is that you can get a much more robust setup that is upgradeable/expandable as you go. Tool arms let you change platens, wheels, attachements, etc... and you have many more options for driving it, including variable speed on a motor that's actually worth a crap. The Jet or the Grizzly will grind steel, but they're one and done kind of machines that aren't particularly great to begin with, IMO. At least not compared to a halfway decent tool arm style grinder with a VFD.
     
  12. imill3567

    imill3567 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    197
    Aug 5, 2014
    I’ll add one more comment and that’s to get a MOD-E 2x72 from Northridge for $500 shipped. Pick up a used, or ironhorse 3 phase motor, and a 220V Chinese VFD for another $250 or so and you only spent $50 more and didn’t have to build. If you don’t have access to 220V you can also get a KBAC-27D VFD which runs on 120V but that’s a lot more expensive. It’s better to just buy once and get variable speed; I know from experience.
     
    Tin.Man and Josh Perdue like this.
  13. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    I would have loved to build a grinder....but I am not sure I would have been able to do it. I would have needed someone with the proper equipment.

    I just purchased a cheap, single speed grinder from OBM.

    I will have to upgrade at some point to variable speed.

    Tough not to burn the tip when finish grinding.
    [​IMG]
     
    Josh Perdue likes this.
  14. Sam Wilson

    Sam Wilson

    Sep 3, 2012
    @Josh Perdue A lot of good suggestions here. The reason guys aren't for that Jet grinder (one of them, anyway) is that grinder will probably be pretty awesome for you in the very beginning. It will give you variable speed, 2" wide belts are great, and you can get most, if not all, of the 2"x72" belts that work well in the 2"x42" size. You will start to learn grinding quickly.

    But that is where the fairy tale will end. You are quickly going to wish you had more power, much more power. And who knows how long that motor will last when subjected to prolonged grinding. And 2x42 belts will wear out much faster. And the tracking is probably suspect, to say the least. Then you will realize you need a good platen.

    Then you are going to want a set of small wheels for handle/choil/ricasso shaping. Then you will realize you may want a larger/sturdier tool rest for certain applications. Next you will want a contact wheel for contouring/profiling/hollow grinding. Et cetera.

    And you will find that this machine has no options or ability to upgrade to those things in any practical way. And you will start to beat your head against a wall trying to get it to something it simply cannot do. Ultimately, and probably sooner rather than later depending on how many knives you plan on making, you will find you need to go and get a decent 2x72 anyway, but are now out your original $600, and can't even sell or use this little grinder for much at all, or even put it toward your 2x72.

    Totally up to you, but I would beg, borrow or steal (not really steal ;):p) to scrape up enough to get one of the 2x72's mentioned here with at least a 1 horse motor and VFD. It will give you a platform to grow on for years and thousands of knives, if you pursue it that long. Best of luck either way, be prepared to watch all of your spare cash become grinding belts and micarta, lol. It's a great ride.:):cool:

    Sam:thumbsup:
     
  15. tim37a

    tim37a

    977
    May 18, 2010
    I started out with the Grizzly grinder before I knew anything about what I needed. The Grizz lasted about 3 months until I got tired of burning blades and grinding them down, then down again, then down again......I got a variable speed and wouldn't be without it. Also, the Grizz has no provision for other tools, good work rest, etc. Get a good variable speed.
     
    Josh Perdue likes this.
  16. Ken H>

    Ken H>

    Dec 31, 2011
    Where I buying rather than building, I'd for sure go with a Reeder grinder:
    https://reederproducts.com/shop/ols/products/rps101-grinder-chassis

    The chassis is $600, another $200 for all the wheels (or save $50 or so and order separately), add in a $160 2hp 3 ph Iron horse moter and $70 or so for a Chinese VFD and you've got one of the nicest grinders around. Stacy has one and gives it VERY high marks. I've looked it over at Blade show and was VERY impressed. For around $1100 (including shipping) you've got a ready to go grinder.
     
    Josh Perdue likes this.
  17. Josh Perdue

    Josh Perdue

    101
    Apr 18, 2017
    I’ve decided I’m just gonna chill out and save more money and get a 2x72 with variable speed. With all this advice from people with experience I’d be a fool not to wait and get what’s recommended.
     
  18. Josh Perdue

    Josh Perdue

    101
    Apr 18, 2017
    I really appreciate getting solid advice from an experienced knife maker. Thanks for taking the time to explain your rationale and saving me time and frustration. I’m gonna listen to your suggestion and just save more money and get the 2x72 variable speed. I’ve got a buddy I bird hunting with that’s a retired welder. I’m sure he can help me set one up.
     
    Drew Riley likes this.
  19. Chalet

    Chalet Gold Member Gold Member

    466
    Aug 23, 2013
    If you don’t want to wait, Grizzly now has a variable 1x30 for like $135. I don’t think you’d end up regretting having it later on either when you have a 2x72. It’s the G0864. I almost bought one before just going forward with an Ameribrade.
     
    Josh Perdue likes this.
  20. Josh Perdue

    Josh Perdue

    101
    Apr 18, 2017
    I’ll check it for sure, thanks!!
     

Share This Page