My 1x30 grinder and some mods (made a new platen)

Discussion in 'Other Tools' started by Skeptiksks, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Skeptiksks

    Skeptiksks Green Haired Weirdo Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I bought a 1x30 grinder to get a bit more serious about making knives. While definitely not as awesome as a 2x72 it is portable and I can keep it in my tiny apartment. It isn't perfect, but it will do what I need it to for the time being.

    20180212_184121.jpg

    There it is, pretty basic harbor freight model, as you can see I already removed the dust cover, I didn't need it and it just got in the way of belt changes.

    Something else I noticed was the swing arm/tensioner/whatever didn't move freely at all so I took it apart and removed some of the night spots (albeit lazily and sloppily)

    20180212_185226.jpg 20180212_185917.jpg

    Once that was done it was time for a table upgrade. The stock table is much too small and those dumb grooves in the table really like to catch on your work piece.

    I have a few pieces of raceway cover from an elevator build kicking around. It's not the thickest or the strongest stuff, but it will work for my purposes. First things first I had to trace out the opening for the original table.

    20180212_190724.jpg

    Next up I drilled through the new table and into the old one so I can tap and thread the holes to mount the new table to the old.

    20180212_191623.jpg 20180212_191951.jpg

    Drill some holes in the new table top and use some sort of cutoff wheel to cut out the hole in the table and the channel to pass the belts through to change them out.

    20180212_193027.jpg 20180212_194540.jpg

    Now you can clean up your cuts and just get everything all nice and deburred. Also at this time you can countersink your holes so that the screw heads lay flush or slightly under the face of your new table, you don't want your work catching on a screw head. I actually had to go over the countersink again after I laid to table down as my material was so thin that the screws hit the original table before being all the way flush with the top.

    Now that that is all done you can begin your assembly and put everything back together.

    20180212_195724.jpg 20180212_200501.jpg

    Boom, done. Quick and dirty. This took me about an hour start to finish. I haven't been able to use it yet but I imagine it will work just fine. Pretty stoked to get grinding and see what else needs to change on this puppy.

    Thanks for looking y'all
     
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  2. cbrianroll

    cbrianroll Professional Tinkerer

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    That looks way better! Is it flat at all?
     
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  3. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Nice, I like what you have done. The belt adjustment on mine just doesn't work. I guess I will take it apart and see what's up. I may use a piece of plastic cutting board for a larger table, hadn't thought of that. Thanks!
     
  4. Skeptiksks

    Skeptiksks Green Haired Weirdo Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    It is indeed flat. I am considering beefing it up though as it is kinda flexible.

    Mine didn't work either, jammed stuck and basically glued together with the cheap paint. The cutting board is a great idea though. I have a huge sheet of delrin that might be perfect for it, though it is pretty heavy duty.
     
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  5. DarrylM

    DarrylM Supporter Supporter

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    Have you considered a dust collection plan? Do you have enough non-flammable surfaces around the sander that metal sparks won't cause problems?
     
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  6. Skeptiksks

    Skeptiksks Green Haired Weirdo Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I use it outside on my concrete patio so that isn't much of a problem. Pretty sure the woman of the house would kick my butt if she caught me grinding in the house haha
     
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  7. cbrianroll

    cbrianroll Professional Tinkerer

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    Oops, my post was supposed to ask if it flexes at all. (Dumb phone)
     
  8. DarrylM

    DarrylM Supporter Supporter

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    She seems to tolerate a more manly atmosphere in the living space than most of the rest of us can get away with. But good call not testing the limit, there.
     
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  9. Skeptiksks

    Skeptiksks Green Haired Weirdo Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Hehe yeah, I certainly got me a keeper. But that's my space, she has the rest of house to decorate and fuss over. She knew from the get go that I need a place to work other wise I get grumpy lol
     
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  10. mtnoutdoors

    mtnoutdoors Prov 27:17 Supporter

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    Nice mods thanks for sharing. I been looking at that same grinder. I think it well do what I want it to do. Thank you if I do get one I well know what to do to it to make it work much better. Prov 27 : 17
     
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  11. J. Pierce

    J. Pierce Athletic Supporter Supporter

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    Nice improvements, needed ones too.
    I have a 2X72, and I still find plenty of uses for my noisy little HF.
     
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  12. UAHiker

    UAHiker Supporter Supporter

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    nice! i've been wanting to pick one up myself but more for wood working and some metal working then knives but those things have a million uses!
     
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  13. Kona9

    Kona9 Supporter Supporter

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    Nice work. Mine came with two tables so I might need to modify one of them.
     
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  14. ozwolf

    ozwolf Scout

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    Nice mods.
    I haven't modded mine at all and I've had it for 3 or 4 years.
    I use it a ton it's performed above it's price range.
     
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  15. nograveconcern

    nograveconcern Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Mods look good. Throw out all the plastic safety crap first thing. You will never use it. I didn't clean out the paint on the tracking bolt. I should have, but it self clearanced over time. ;)

    You don't really use any of the work rest behind the belt, so if you were to do it again I would extend the work rest in front of the belt. Old cutting boards (HDPE) from goodwill are a good material to use. 1/4-3/8" thick and easy to drill. Your angle blocks will slide easy on them and they are stiff enough for a work rest.

    One problem with the HF grinder is that there is not really enough throw to the tracking adjustment. If you can get it to track far enough to get a 1/4" of belt hanging off either side of the the platen that will help a lot with grinding your plunge lines.

    Another problem is lack of belt tension for convex grinding. I pulled the platen off and clamped a piece of flat bar steel against the frame of the grinder and the back of the belt to sort-of push out and tight when working on convex.

    You can do a lot with a HF 1x30. However, I recently retired my 1x30 and built a new one. :D
    Screenshot_2.png
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
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  16. Jim L.

    Jim L. Supporter Supporter

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    I was having the same problems that @Skeptiksks was having with my HF 1x30.
    I just removed it. No more problems.

    I don't like the short platen and have been thinking about JBWeld'in a ceramic tile in place.
     
  17. WY_Not

    WY_Not Supporter Supporter

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    Haven't looked that closely at mine yet. Is it possible to remove the original table and install something a bit more robust and bigger?
     
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  18. Jim L.

    Jim L. Supporter Supporter

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    Yes, it's held in place by a single screw and nut.
     
  19. nograveconcern

    nograveconcern Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    You would need to connect a piece of about 2” angle stock, which is typically 1/4” thick, to a large piece of flat something, maybe a 12” piece of 1/4” thick cold roll 6” wide.

    You could do that with countersink machine screws if you are welder limited.

    Then you need a hole drilled in the angle stock for the pivot bolt.

    You will have more money in steel and hardware than the grinder cost.
     
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  20. WY_Not

    WY_Not Supporter Supporter

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    That's it? Yikes. Figured at least a couple of screws.

    Yep. If I'm going to do that much fabbing, I'd rather do it for something worthy.
     
  21. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I think the little machine is worthy of making modifications or it can be used as-is, depending on what you want it to do. I have been using them for a lot of years and am very happy with them.
    I do need to work over the belt adjustment on one of them, and replace the switch in another, but they have ground a lot of steel and that is just hard on them.
     
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  22. nograveconcern

    nograveconcern Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    It’s not a bad machine. Yeah the work rest is little, but I never modified it. Just used it as is.

    Real limits are the lack of throw in tracking like I mentioned, lack of power, and of course the narrow belts.
     
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  23. Skeptiksks

    Skeptiksks Green Haired Weirdo Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Mad3 a new platen for the 1x30. The old one was just not cutting it and was kinda skewed, it was really messing up my plunge lines. Now it is a lot more flexible.

    20180304_182511.jpg 20180304_182516.jpg 20180304_183604.jpg 20180304_183610.jpg

    Materials used:

    2" angle iron cut to 1.5" long

    1" wide flat stock cut to 3.75" long for platen and 1" long for washer plate

    2x 8-32 machine screws countersink into 1' flat stock

    2x M4 socket head machine screws

    2x 8-32 washers for socket head screws

    Easy build. If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask.
     
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  24. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Nice job, looks good!
     
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  25. Skeptiksks

    Skeptiksks Green Haired Weirdo Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Thanks. As a quick note/I just had to do this. Either the table of the angle needs to be cut to fit I together, otherwise it gets really skewed.
     
  26. nograveconcern

    nograveconcern Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    @Skeptiksks that should take all the flex out and allow you to move side to side. Good mod!
     
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  27. WY_Not

    WY_Not Supporter Supporter

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    Now, if you want, step it up one more level and get a piece of pyrex glass cut for that platen. ;)
     
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  28. TexasPrimitive

    TexasPrimitive Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks for posting this.
    Related, the difference between cheap belts and good belts is huge. I bought a pack of red label assorted belts, and they cut so fast I had to start being really careful. I have the WEN version of this, which is probably made in the same factory.
     
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  29. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Where did you get the belts? I bought some good but very fine belts. Need good coarse ones...
     
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  30. T. Pollock

    T. Pollock T's Custom Outdoor Gear Vendor Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Nice mods bud!
     
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  31. Skeptiksks

    Skeptiksks Green Haired Weirdo Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I got some diablo brand belts from home depot. They came in a 3 pack with coarse, medium, and fine. Pretty nice belts. I have also heard some very good things about Norton blade belts.
     
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  32. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Thanks!
     
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  33. nograveconcern

    nograveconcern Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Zirconia belts 40-120 grit for metal.
    Ceramic 220-up for finish work
    AL oxide only for non-metal removal.
     
  34. TexasPrimitive

    TexasPrimitive Supporter Supporter

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    https://www.amazon.com/Knife-Makers-Coarse-Sanding-Assortment/dp/B01GOOY8VW
    Also have fine. I bought both kinds. Probably a tad expensive vs buying packs of each grit, but given how much I expect to use, it wasn't a bad place to start. They seem really high quality.
    They also have ceramic belts in packs. Same link.
    Appear to be red label.

    Anyone here tried the norton blaze discs or belts?
     
  35. Skeptiksks

    Skeptiksks Green Haired Weirdo Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I haven't tried the blaze products yet, but I have heard so many good things about them that I will be picking some up soon. Will report when I get and use them.
     
  36. nograveconcern

    nograveconcern Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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  37. TexasPrimitive

    TexasPrimitive Supporter Supporter

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    Good to know about those. I’m guessing there is a lot of premium in the mixed packs.
    @nograveconcern how do those hold up?
     
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  38. nograveconcern

    nograveconcern Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Good, they last a good bit longer than AL oxide. Good belts for just a little over a buck each.
     
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  39. Keyser Söze

    Keyser Söze Usual Suspecto Lifetime Supporter

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    just watch out with them fine grit belts.... for the static shock discharge , the more you grind the more it zaps you
     
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  40. Grayson

    Grayson Tracker

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    Loved this thread, and seriously needed it. Have been wanting to buy a belt sander for a long time, I was just getting ready to throw away $90 for a compromise. This is what I want! Going to HF tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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  41. DrHuman

    DrHuman Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    The coarse blaze belts rock. They are pricey but they'll just chew through a bunch of metal without complaining. Does anyone make an aftermarket platen for HF 1x30? I haven't been able to find one and that's my biggest beef with this machine. Besides the occasional zap it is a pretty great. Those rubber belt cleaner sticks save me tons of belts too.
     
  42. nograveconcern

    nograveconcern Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I've not seen aftermarket parts. What are you looking for in a platen upgrade? Just need it more rigid?
     
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  43. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Scout

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    For grinder belts i have been using Merit ceramic belts from Tru-Grit for my 1 inch grinder. They seem to hold up a little longer than zirconia belts for metal removal. I tried the Blaze belts but did not see any difference in the 1 inch size and they cost twice as much. 1x30 inch belt is not much surface area when it comes to grinders and because of this I go through a lot of the little belts.

    I am a fan of the Blaze belts for 2x72 grinder. They hog away material very well and it seems that there abrasive are graded very well. I have tried 3 other brands of value ceramic belts and I am tired of random deep scratch marks from a rogue grain in the belt.
     
  44. icemancometh

    icemancometh Scout

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    When I first started making blades I had left the dust cover off of my Wen sander and caught some Walnut sawdust on fire. I keep the bench clean now and the dust cover on.
     
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  45. icemancometh

    icemancometh Scout

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    I use the 80 grit zirc belts from Harbor Freight. $3.99 for a 2 pack. I am still on my first 2 pack and have made 5-6 smaller blades.
     
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  46. nograveconcern

    nograveconcern Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Leather sanding dust from smoothing sheath edges makes a really good tinder bundle on the inside of your grinder. My advice is to take the plastic cover off and throw it in the trash. Easier to keep an eye on things, blow out the dust and put out occasional fires.
     
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