Which belt sander?

Discussion in 'Self-made Gear' started by Lil Red, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. Lil Red

    Lil Red Scout

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    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!
     
  2. alannguyen

    alannguyen Scout

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  3. Vintagebushcraft

    Vintagebushcraft Scout

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    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.
     
  4. Lil Red

    Lil Red Scout

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    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.

    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.
     
  5. petrifiedwood

    petrifiedwood Guest

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    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.

    http://grizzly.com/products/G1015

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  6. Top

    Top Banned Member Banned

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    +1 for the HF 1X30. I have a couple of them set up with different grit belts. They work like a charm.
     
  7. Canadian Woodsman

    Canadian Woodsman Scout

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    I'm using a 4" belt / 6" disk sander, works great for me

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Lil Red

    Lil Red Scout

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    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.
     
  9. petrifiedwood

    petrifiedwood Guest

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    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.
     
  10. Lil Red

    Lil Red Scout

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    Gotcha. Thanks! Keep the ideas coming, please!
     
  11. Erdbeereis

    Erdbeereis Banned Member Banned

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    I know a lot of people like the Kalamazoo grinders. They don't have buffers on the side, but they are under your budget.

    Erdbeereis
     
  12. WillH42

    WillH42 Scout

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    I have a Craftsman 2"x42" sander and I like very well, I use mainly for knife making. Belts are inexpensive too.
     
  13. red

    red Guest

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  14. Lil Red

    Lil Red Scout

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    Awesome! All three of those (Griz, Kal, and Craftsman) look like they would fit the bill. I'll have to look into them more fully and see what I like. Thanks guys!
     
  15. alannguyen

    alannguyen Scout

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  16. trentu

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    Best bang for the buck in my opinion. I now have two. Get the 10" contact wheel if you intend on doing hollow grinds.
     
  17. Boy Scout

    Boy Scout Scout

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    I was eyeing a Harbor Freight 1x the other day....
     
  18. Lil Red

    Lil Red Scout

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    Thanks for all the help, guys! Trentu, I don't plan on doing hollow grinds. I'm much more a scandi or convexed fan. Good thing to keep in mind, though.

    Would you recommend I get that contact wheel anyways? I'm a little new to this and any advice is appreciated.
     
  19. petrifiedwood

    petrifiedwood Guest

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    The wheel that comes with the grinder is a contact wheel, it's just got a smaller radius than one you'd use for a hollow grind is all.

    Keep in mind also that a larger wheel will increase the "feet per minute" belt speed.

    If you don't plan on doing hollow grinds, then skip the 10" wheel. :)
     
  20. Lil Red

    Lil Red Scout

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    Cool bro. Thanks
     
  21. Trail Dust

    Trail Dust Scout

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    I would certainly go with a 2 X 72 so that you don't always look back and say, "I wished I had."

    I currently use a second hand Bader and a Burr King (10" wheel)...which are a little out of the price range you mentioned but decent grinders. A friend of mine uses a Coote (these might be in your price range) and a Grizzly which he seems to be content with.

    I don't have any experience with KMG but, a maker that I have great respect for, Mastersmith Ed Caffrey, has a little review on what he put together with KMG. http://www.caffreyknives.net/KMGarticle.html. Lots of possibilities when it comes to mixing and matching parts, putting together something that works for you.
     
  22. Infidel

    Infidel Guide Bushclass I

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  23. Lil Red

    Lil Red Scout

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    WOW! What is the make and model of that? I couldn't quite understand it with the accent lol!
     
  24. kerryp

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  25. dragonjimm

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    I have a Delta 1x42 which is great for narrow or tight areas. a little under powered for grinding steel and the narrow band can make for uneven grinds if youre free handing. although grizzly industrial sells gthe belts in all grits.the grizzly knife grinder mentioned earlier is a good buy but only comes in a single speed.

    my harbor freight 1x30 lasted several years till a shop fire took it out. a little under powered as well till i swapped out the motor with a slightly bigger one off a drill press

    or if you have the skills (or friends with them ) build youre own. plenty of plans and ideals floating around
    just a thought
     
  26. Infidel

    Infidel Guide Bushclass I

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    Jancy RadiusMaster Belt Grinder
     

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