Jump to content

Grinder alternative


Recommended Posts

Hello again,

 

Something that I've observed (please correct if I'm wrong) is that grinding takes up most of the time of bladesmithing/knifemaking. I always see belt sanders/grinders, but honestly cannot find an affordable one with a slack belt (which seems important, again, PLEASE put me right). Therefore, I have seen the attractive alternative of a grinding wheel, which costs less but fulfils the same purpose apparently. I know it would leave a rough finish, but I am not afraid to spend time drawfiling and sanding for a good satin at least. For a simple O1 steel knife, would one of the cheap grinding wheels be alright? I'm thinking the Rhyas ones.

 

Thanks so much,

 

-Will

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that you have great instincts. I put out $98 for a 4X36" sander and tried to use it to grind with. Not very useful without some modifications. I could have been moderately useful with some mods. In the end it was $98 that I could have put aside to get the belt grinder that I have.

 

Doug

Link to post
Share on other sites

Grinding is definitely a large part of making any blade. Having said that, I find that the farther one goes in this craft, the less one uses the belt grinder and the more one uses files, stones and hand sanding blocks.

 

You can definitely make good work without a belt grinder if you want to go that route. Focus on forging more closely to shape for example. The closer one forges the blade to shape, the less material there is to be removed.

 

Also, you'd be surprised how effectively one can use an inexpensive 4" hand held disc grinder as a hogging grinder. You can remove 90+% of the material with one, then switch to files and sand paper.

 

Finally, learn to draw file. Just go to google and search this: site:bladesmithsform.com "draw filing"

 

Draw filing is surprisingly fast and effective, and it's the only way I know to remove material quickly while producing a reliably true flat grind.

 

Luck in the quest!

 

Dave

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The first six or seven years I was doing this I only used files. Cheaper, quieter, and more meditative, not to mention slower to ruin things with!

 

A grinder gives speed, plus allows hollow grinding. That's about it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can also get 4" flap wheels for the disc grinder Dave mentioned, they're seem affordable but I haven't used them personally. Check MSC I know they have them. I bought a Ryobi last year, the handle twists 90 degrees it works good as a cut off wheel that way and I like mine.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For me at least, using a grinding wheel will give you more trouble than not. I do all my work with a cheap ($120?) porter cable 4x36 grinder. I get decent plunge cuts and can get nice grind lines from it however, I'm limited to flat grinds. I have found good belts up to 600gr for it. Even cheaper would be as everyone else recommends, files. Draw filing can actually be quite relaxing and gets you in less trouble. Good luck though!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...