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My new Oregon Blade Maker grinder has arrived

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I have been saving my pennies for a while to buy myself a 2x72 grinder. A recent commission pushed me over the top in terms of funds, and I was about to go with a well-known base model and supply my own motor and VFD. As I was working up the courage to say something along the lines of “Honey, I just spent a grand on a belt grinder.”, I found out about this model.




It was $495 from their ebay store with the platen attachment which is about $250 less than what I was looking at. I hemmed and hawed for a couple of weeks, and decided that $250 would buy a lot of belts so I went for it.


My new toy arrived yesterday, and so far I am thrilled. Admittedly, I am moving up from a 1x30, so it doesn’t take much to impress me. However, this thing is a joy to use. It runs smooth and the tracking adjustment works well. I'm running a little off center on the tracking wheel so I probably need to adjust my motor position a bit. The adjustment knobs are a bit frail, but I can easily replace them if need be.


I only have 120VAC in my shop so I am pretty much limited to around 1.5HP with a VFD. In this case I got a good deal on a 1HP setup for less than $200. I figured it would get me started, and if I wanted to go bigger later I would move this motor and VFD over to my bandsaw. However, running at 3600 SFPM, I can’t really bog the motor down so I’m good for now.




Comparing a 2x72 to a 1x30 for my fellow newbies:


You probably already know that 2x72 belts are a little less than twice as expensive as 1x30 belts, but contain 5 times the abrasive, so they are more economical.


The 2” wide platen makes it so much easier to find and stay engaged with the bevel on a blade so that you aren’t wobbling around ruining your grind line.


Being able to dial the speed down to a few hundred SFPM really improves my confidence when making plunge cuts, or trying to even out something I got wonky.


5 Times the belt surface area, 5 times the horsepower, and what would have taken me 5 hours to do on my 1x30, I did in an hour last night. Funny how that works…


Stuff I am going to have to change:


I am going to have to invest in a full face shield. I would say that in general this makes less mess than my 1x30 because most of the dust goes straight down into the bucket. However, there is some dust that slings off the top of the belt right into my face. My mask respirator did OK, but the safety glasses were not cutting it.


I need to find a way to mount this a bit lower than bench height. It would be better to have the rest about waist high.


I still need to mount the electronics in an appropriate enclosure.

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Looks like a decent machine, especially for the money! Dunno about the tension cylinder, I've never used one like that. Can you get the belts tight enough to twang like a guitar string?


On the grit-in-your-face thing, I wear a baseball cap when grinding IF I'm not using the full-face powered respirator. The bill keeps the dust from getting behind my glasses. Sam Salvati hung a thin sheet of leather with a notch cut out for the belt right behind his tracking wheel, which did the same thing.


Interesting you want the rest at waist height. I like mine about halfway between sternum and navel. When you get a contact wheel I think you'll find you want it higher than lower. Unless you grind sitting down, that is.


Anyway, congratulations! There really is no comparison between a 1x30 and a 2x72. That's like comparing the saw attachment on a Swiss Army knife to a chainsaw. :lol:

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the rest is about at the height you describe now. I may get used to it, but I feel like I can lock my elbows in better when my fore-arms are more horizontal. Then again, there was a mix-up in the factory when I was made, I got the arms for someone 6" taller than me. (Somewhere there is a 44 year old 6'4" dude that looks like a t-rex, I just know it)


I'll have to look at the force on the gas spring tonight. I don't know how tight the belt should run, so i went off the recommendations for the manufacturer that were to adjust it so the spring is "Mostly compressed".




I can't imagine I would be any happier. At this price point, I didn't spend money i shouldn't have, and don't think I will outgrow the machine any time soon. I'm sure a $3k machine is better in a lot of ways, but it's not for me at this time. You are not that far from me. If you find yourself up in Terre Haute for anything, come give it a test drive.

The maker is "Oregon Blade Maker" They sell through an ebay store here: http://stores.ebay.com/oregonblademaker


I bought the motor and drive from Dealers Industrial equipment here http://dealerselectric.com/item.asp?pid=24790&utm_campaign=ShippingConfirmation&utm_medium=GoECart-Transactional-Email&utm_source=Dealers-Industrial-Equipment



I'll try to get a video of it running this weekend and post it if anyone is interested.

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Nice machine. I was looking at their platen set up for my kmg-clone grinder, but the whole spacing is .75" too short from what I understand.


They've certainly got reasonable prices and were very quick to answer all my questions.

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Sorry folks, life got in the way, and I forgot about making a video over the weekend. I'll see if I can do that soon.


Alan, the gas spring is listed as 20lbs. The belts do twang if plucked, but probably more to the tune of a stand-up base ;)


Vaughn, if some pics, measurements, or a sketch of the platen pieces would be of help, l'll be happy to get them to you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I realized that I never posted a video of the grinder in action, so here is one.

I am very happy with this purchase. The blade I am working on at the end of the video is a 10" dagger blade I am doing to practice grinding a double edged blade. Since it is a project to just practice the double edged grinding, I just forged out the tang, and did stock removal for the rest. Starting with 1/4" thick stock, I was able to rough grind, heat treat, and do the final grinding in a weekend. That would have taken me a month of free time with the 1x30.


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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 years later...

That looks good did you have to buy the motor seperately?  I was considering getting the Das Toobinator one on ebay for myself eventually.

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As Brian mentioned, the strut does do a good job of keeping the belts tight, they do "twang" when plucked. Ive had mine for about a year now, and have had no issues. I have a 1.5 horse with a vfd and it has good power. Im sure i will upgrade eventually to a 3 hsp. Im lucky enough to have a remote for my vfd so its inside a sealed plexiglass housing- important!! You can order it with or without a motor, i just was lucky enough to get one from a friend by bartering manual labor. All around tho i would definately buy another one.


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Since this thread got dug back up, I might as well give an update.  I still have this grinder, and use it all the time.  I'm wearing a Grove in my tracking pulley, so I may have to replace it soon, but that's pretty cheap.

I blew up that original VFD in short order.  There is a thread around here about it, but in short I kept getting distracted with making knives rather than building a dust tight enclosure for it and fried the cheap VFD.  Twice.  Eventually I just bought a nema 4x rated drive.

I would really like an additional horsepower or more.  I'm still limited to 120v, so it isn't in the cards right now.

I still don't know what I might be missing with the higher priced grinders since I've never used one.  However, this grinder will outperform me, and I'd buy it again if we're still looking for one.

Edited by Brian Dougherty
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Yeah, I always try to get people to get a nema 4x VFD. I understand some people's need to be frugal but I think I'd rather have step pulleys than a cheap VFD. Instead of waiting on it to crap out, I know the step pulleys would be reliable. One thing about the 4x ones is they usually have an abundance of heat sinks and some even have fans blowing air through the heat sinks. But the nonsealed ones aren't built with that in mind so if you don't get some air circulation in the enclosure people build for them, then they can overheat pretty easily. In a lot of cases it would cost you just as much if not more to build a proper enclosure for one than just getting the 4x to begin with. Just one more thing to worry about. I have 3 kbacs and a weg and all 4 are nema 4x.

I will say my first grinder was one of the USA knifemaker NWG (no weld grinder) except mine was welded. It's made out of square tubing and I've got step pulleys on it. Later I bought a KMG with one of the kbac vfds. The main difference was just the sturdiness of the KMG. The NWG had a tendency to vibrate a bit. Still perfectly usable. In fact, I still use it. It is my profiling grinder. But just overall design of the KMG was just rock solid no movement. The OBM looks more sturdy than my NWG though. A lot of people will stand a coin up on edge on their tooling arm and run it and see if it will make the coin fall over. My KMG will not knock the coin over with vibration but the NWG definitely will. The more solid it is, the more control you have. Beyond sturdiness if you went up to tw90 or something, then you're just getting some "nice to have" features like tilting to horizontal and the ratcheting tensioning system. 

I've actually just ordered a 3rd 2x72. I guess I'm more of the mindset of more grinders instead of more versatile grinders, lol. With 3 grinders I should be able to have each one set up for a specific purpose and not have to change a thing. I also haven't used a tool rest in 5 years on a 2x72 so all the fancy tilting tool rests don't appeal to me. 

I like the look of the obm and it sure is priced well. 

Edited by Cody Killgore
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