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Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Eddie Pollock, Aug 5, 2019.

  1. Eddie Pollock

    Eddie Pollock

    14
    Aug 5, 2019
    I am a newby knife maker and am wanting to purchase a 2x72 belt grinder that will not cost a fortune. I have looked at so many online and do not want to make a mistake with this purchase. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Ken H>

    Ken H>

    Dec 31, 2011
    First and most important, what is your budget? "Cost doesn't matter" budget there are several really NICE grinders out there. Wanting to keep cost below $1,000 - it can be done. Keeping cost below $500, gotta build yourself - and that's not hard.

    VERY important, don't consider anything other than VFD drive.
     
  3. OldNavy

    OldNavy

    312
    Sep 14, 2013
    Not sure what you consider a fortune, but generally it's better to bite the bullet up front
    than to find out the cheap rig won't handle the daily pounding.

    Tough as nails grinder:
    https://cootebeltgrinder.com/

    go 3 PH for the motor so you can use a variable speed controller, look for one
    that also has FWD/REV it comes in handy.

    A 1.5 hp should be all you need for general grinding

    Here's the rig I set up for my garage, the cart has wheels so I can scoot it around
    [​IMG]
     
    Eddie Pollock likes this.
  4. Eddie Pollock

    Eddie Pollock

    14
    Aug 5, 2019
    Thank you for your replies. I really like the Coote setup. Is it it difficult to put the smaller wheel attachment on when needed? I will definitely go with a 3 phase motor.
     
  5. Cushing H.

    Cushing H. Gold Member Gold Member

    465
    Jun 3, 2019
    I just went through this myself. Cheapest way to go is DIY. There are several plans out there. Downside is time to execute, and whether you have the background /skills/equipment to do the build (i do not). If you buy prebuilt, i think you pretty much get what you pay for. There are cheap ones out there (ebay, amazon, etc), but they are mostly less rigid, underpowered, or dont have sealed motors. You are going to be needing to push things (pressure wise) around a fair amount, and dong some fairly precision work - so stability is important. Non-sealed motors collect metal dust (due to the magnets in the motor), which ends up killing the motor.

    Given that, the pre-built ones seem to fall into three classes: the really inexpensive ones (not rigid or unacceptable motors) (maybe $800 or so), the medium duty ones suited for hobby level quantities (maybe $1500 or so), and he heavy duty ones for production work (maybe $2500 or so). Example of a production grinder is the Grizzley. I cant name any of the really cheap ones (i did not look there for the reasons described above). For the middle range, i bought an Ameribrade. Good people to work with - helped me decide on details of order, and kept me well informed onrogress of fulfilment. Im still completing associated setup (dust collection, etc), but i have been able to try it out on a few tasks, and it seems absolutely rock solid and controllable (tracking and speed). Between the motor and the frame, that thing is HEAVY (my wrist still hurts from lifting and moving it around....)
     
  6. Ken H>

    Ken H>

    Dec 31, 2011
    Where I considering to buy, I think I'd go with the Reeder chassis for $600:
    https://reederproducts.com/shop?olsPage=products/rps101-grinder-chassis&page=2

    Then a wheel set from OBG for $68: https://www.ebay.com/itm/262093781835?
    OR, if you think you'd prefer metal wheels for $100: https://www.ebay.com/itm/264360959784?

    Then a cheap Chinese VFD for $60: https://www.ebay.com/itm/133096467035? (will need to install filters over air inlets)
    OR, a MUCH more expensive KBAC-27D for closer to $360: http://www.electricmotorwholesale.com/9520-KBAC-27D/

    A 3600 rpm 2 hp 3 ph motor for $165 shipped: https://bit.ly/2KtNXYV
    or 1800 rpm 2 hp 3 ph motor for $218 shipped: https://bit.ly/33bHfzr

    That will put you into very good 2X72 setup for around $1,000 to $1200 depending on choice of VFD. For a hobby setup I like the ease of the Chinese VFD setup, and with filters over the air inlets the NEMA 1 enclosure isn't an issue for metal dust. It might blow in 5 or so years. IF you're planning a full time 40 hr/wk use, then I'd most likely go with the NEMA 4X KBAC VFD.

    You can build your own and save perhaps $300 or so.

    Ken H>
     
  7. 12345678910

    12345678910

    Jul 13, 2009
    Go variable speed 3 phase and vfd
    direct drive no belt and pulleys
    KBAC-27D and TEFC motor

    Look at the EERF Polar bear forge kits -


    NFW to treadmill motors
     
    Eddie Pollock likes this.
  8. ShaneInDenver

    ShaneInDenver

    34
    Nov 23, 2014
    Hi Ken. Will the 220v VFD work on 120v US power? I've been thinking of trying to find a used 3 phase motor and put it on an affordable VFD for a hobbyist setup.
     
  9. drew1972

    drew1972

    152
    Oct 17, 2015
    Check out Mike Gallucci from Iron Creek Forge on Facebook. He has a Diy grinder you'll have to put together but it's on par with all the top grinders on the market. You'll have to buy wheels, motor and vfd. It's around 800 shipped.
     
    Eddie Pollock likes this.
  10. Bob Duguay

    Bob Duguay

    109
    Aug 28, 2017
    I looked hard at the Reeder grinder but in the end went with the Iron Creek DIY grinder for 795.00 which includes shipping. Did not like the way the Reeder tilts. Also like the heavy ness of the steel grinder as well as the extra room to the left of the platen. I could not use a file guide on my other grinder. Should have some pictures up when my rest gets here.
     
  11. Ken H>

    Ken H>

    Dec 31, 2011
    Yes, the KBAC-27D will run on 120 vac, but recommended for max of 1-1/2" hp for 120 vac. From the KBAC manual: "Operates from 115, 208/230, and 400/460 Volt 50/60 Hz AC Line Input"
     
  12. Bob Duguay

    Bob Duguay

    109
    Aug 28, 2017
    Iron Creek DIY 2x72
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Eddie Pollock

    Eddie Pollock

    14
    Aug 5, 2019
    How much do you have in that setup? Looks very nice!
     
  14. Gilbert M

    Gilbert M

    84
    Sep 8, 2013
    I think your budget or range would help with recommendations.
     
  15. Eddie Pollock

    Eddie Pollock

    14
    Aug 5, 2019
    I was looking to stay under a grand if I could.
     
  16. Bob Duguay

    Bob Duguay

    109
    Aug 28, 2017
    I have about 1900.00 in my whole set up.
    2hp motor. Tracking wheel 5” drive wheel 6” ( you save some money with 1.5 hp and 4” track wheel and 5” drive wheel but not a lot)
    You could also save with cheap vfd but I would not recommend.
    Also on my platen the top wheel is a 2” contact wheel which is more money. You don’t need rubber but it is nicer to grind with.
    Also the lever lock down are extra and not needed but are much easier to tighten bolts.
    I have the extreme rest with a 12” table which is very nice but not needed.
    So you could save a couple hundred off what I paid. But I went the cheap route with my first grinder and learned where I should upgrade.
    I did not show it but it also tilts as well. Very solid grinder.
    Oh btw the DIY grinder comes unpainted. So I painted mine.
    It also comes with a glass platen.
    If you have any other questions let me know. I will try to answer them.
     
  17. Gilbert M

    Gilbert M

    84
    Sep 8, 2013
    Another vote for polar bear forge gib like @12345678910 said. It does have some assembly required. I have one and am very happy with it very solid 1/2 inch plate. To keep cost down eBay for wheels Ali express for contact wheels you can see a cost breakdown on the site. I think mine ended up at about $800.00 with tilting added vfd and 1hp, contact wheels added later. @Bob Ohlemann (Ranger made) has really good build somewhere. I think @Larrin posted one for under $1000 one time that was ready to go I can't remember what it was.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
    Eddie Pollock likes this.
  18. Eddie Pollock

    Eddie Pollock

    14
    Aug 5, 2019
    I am also new to this forum and I'm blown away at how helpful everyone is. I really appreciate the responses. I have set up my work space in my garage and have drove my wife crazy getting everything needed to get started :) . The grinder is the piece to complete my shop and I want to make sure I get it right. Again, Thanks everyone!
     
  19. Eddie Pollock

    Eddie Pollock

    14
    Aug 5, 2019
    How hard is the assembly process for the polar bear forge?
     
  20. Gilbert M

    Gilbert M

    84
    Sep 8, 2013
    @Eddie Pollock most of it just bolts together you can see it at the assembly instructions. You do have to drill a few holes I think they are marked it's important to do a good job drilling the hole on the idler block (it is started for you) and you need to tap two holes one for the idler wheel and one for the idler adjuster. It would be nice to tap two holes for your idler wheels in what he calls the platen. When I made mine I was about a year into knife making with no or little experience I put it together in a day and painted it the second day. There's a steel yard near me that does some fabrication I think they'll tap a hole for 5 bucks if your not comfortable with that part, I'm sure you could find someone to help you. Other than tapping holes it's easy. Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
    Eddie Pollock likes this.

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