Which belt sander?
Not sure if this is in the right forum. Mods, please move as necessary.
I'm looking into upgrading my home workshop. As I wonder about which sander to get, I'm at a loss. I love making knives and knife handles (need to learn how to heat treat), but also lots of other woodworking projects that are not necessarily bushcrafty.
If ya'll were to buy a new belt sander/buffer for knife making and other projects, which would you get? I'm thinking a 1x42 or 1 or 2x72. What do you suggest? brands, models, links, reviews are appreciated.
There are a lot of guys here with a lot more talent than I have, but I'd like to see what my potential is given the proper tools. Currently, my tool selection sucks. I want to buy quality the first time, but preferably not break the bank too much. I'm thinking sub-$750 (preferably closer to $500). I'm not looking to get into this as a job or anything. I just love making things and enjoy the process as much as the product. Thanks guys!
I have been using that harbor freight 1X30 for years now. I want to get a nicer one but I cant seem to kill the $50 sander. Works great I bought it for knife making.
Is the back support plate removable? I would like the versatility to take it off for rounding out handle contours a little more smoothly. Looks good though.
Originally Posted by alannguyen
I am also interested in something that has an ability to attach a buffer wheel. I know I want a buffer, but I suppose it doesn't have to be attached to the sander.
In your price range the Grizzly knife grinder would be a decent choice. It needs a little tweaking to be as good as it can be, but it is a true 2X72 grinder and it has an arbor for a big buffing wheel as well.
This is the one I use. I had to make a few changes to it to get the most out of it but now that I've done them, it's been working great for me. I added a piece of flat aluminum to the table to give a nice big surface to support my work, and epoxied a piece of ceramic glass to the platen to have a perfectly flat surface to grind against. I added a couple of layers of electrical tape to the center of the idle/tracking wheel to improve the tracking as well.
Whatever you choose, forget cheap belts. Go ahead and spend the money up front and get at least 5 of each grit you think you will need, and buy the best Norton belts you can for it.
+1 for the HF 1X30. I have a couple of them set up with different grit belts. They work like a charm.
I'm using a 4" belt / 6" disk sander, works great for me
I've been looking at that Grizzly, pw. Glad to hear you're liking yours. Thoughtful modifications, too. Can you explain more fully how you did the electrical tape and where? I guess I'm just not totally tracking with what you're saying.
Good suggestions, all. I'd like to hear other options/opinions.
I just put 3 or 4 wraps of electrical tape right down the center of the top wheel on the grinder. The wheel is already a convex shape, but the electrical tape emphasizes that shape and keeps the belt tracking where you want it. Before adding the tape, the belt had a tendency to wander. Of course, I was using cheap belts too at the time. But the tape fixed it right up.
Originally Posted by Lil Red
Gotcha. Thanks! Keep the ideas coming, please!
Originally Posted by petrifiedwood
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