Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
chriswright

Suggested list of belts for new knife makers?

Recommended Posts

Good afternoon everyone! Thanks for taking the time to read my post and possibly help me with some advice. I am getting a 2×72 belt grinder in the next couple of days and I'm curious about the belts I need to order for making knives. I know there are several belts needed in order to complete a knife start to finish. I know there are several brands and grits along with a difference between ceramic vs oxide belts. I will get what I need, but I don't really know what I need or the best place to get them. Grateful for all advice and suggestions! Thanks and happy knife making!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check out the Tools, Supplies and Materials sub-forum.  Especially check this thread that asked the same question a month ago:  Belts!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of this depends on the machine you're running.
I use Trizac gators but if you can't slow your machine way down its a wasted belt.
I will say 3M 984 F cubitron 2 are my go to hogging belts.
I finish with trizac gators and if I'm not hand sanding will use a medium and a fine scotch brite to finish.
I sharpen to 120-220 and use a felt belt with compound on it to polish the edge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, JJ Simon said:

A lot of this depends on the machine you're running.
I use Trizac gators but if you can't slow your machine way down its a wasted belt.
I will say 3M 984 F cubitron 2 are my go to hogging belts.
I finish with trizac gators and if I'm not hand sanding will use a medium and a fine scotch brite to finish.
I sharpen to 120-220 and use a felt belt with compound on it to polish the edge.

What would you use in place of the trizacts on a single speed machine? I’ve been using them for polishing on my grizzly- I know they aren’t ideal at that speed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a variety of belts for different applications. For bulk grinding of metal (36-150 grit) I use Firestorm ceramics from Preferred Abrasives. 220-320 grit, I use a J weight belt typically from either Rhinowet J-flex, or similar ceramics. For any other materials, I use AO abrasive on a cloth backer. Higher grits I use silicon carbide (400 grit or 30 micron) for metals and 3M micron belts on a mylar backer in 60, 40, 30, 15 and 9 micron. These I also cut into 1 inch strips for hand sanding.

Edited by Joshua States

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rhinowet makes 2x72 belts?
Preffered abrasives sells these?

To answer Dougs question.
The issue I have with belts is if you use a 36 and then an 80 the thickness' of the belt stays about the same.
As soon as you begin to move up to 120,220,320 etc. The belt weight changes so the thickness changes.
Because of this the angle you ground into the blade with the heavy weight belts cannot be met with the lighter weight belts.
This is why I like trizacks because they are the same thickness more or less than a cubitron 2.
They meet the previous grits grind fairly flat.
The higher the grit the slower the machine should run.
The maker claims the opposite. But everyone I've ever known to use them says they just glaze the ceramic and the belt won't cut anymore.
This is my experience also.
So when I'm using an A30 trizac belt my machine is running at a crawl.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎2‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 12:37 PM, JJ Simon said:

Rhinowet makes 2x72 belts?
Preffered abrasives sells these?

You know, I cannot remember where I got them and I actually don't have any more. I just went out to the shop and checked. It looks like I have Deerfos J-flex something or other. Sorry, my bad. I buy belts from Preferred, USA Knifemaker and there's a new local AZ company out of Prescott whose name I have forgotten......

On ‎2‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 12:37 PM, JJ Simon said:

Because of this the angle you ground into the blade with the heavy weight belts cannot be met with the lighter weight belts.

I'm not following this thought process and I have never really noticed any problem with the bevel angle when moving from, say 60 to 120 grit. I do have a rule of thumb when it comes to changing abrasive grit. That is I never more than double the grit density. So, I do not go from 60 to anything finer than 120. 36 to 80 would be more than double the 36, so there has to be a 60 grit before going any finer. My typical rotation is 60, 120, 150, 220, Then I go to the disc with finer grits.

I do have a couple of Trizac Gators in the shop as well as some regular Trizac (the flexible ones). Both are A45. I use the flexible ones to do my plunge cuts. I really don't know why I have the Gators. Probably bought them by accident, as I do not have any experience with them.

There was a thread around here somewhere that provided a very useful grit chart that translated the various nomenclature, but I cannot seem to find it anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Micron grits run opposite to the way we number mesh grit.  A45 is about 220 grit.  The larger the A number, the larger the grit.  A300 is around 100 grit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Joshua States said:

There was a thread around here somewhere that provided a very useful grit chart that translated the various nomenclature, but I cannot seem to find it anymore.

Here you go Josh, it starts on the second page.  

JJ and I have a very similar routine when it comes to belt choice.  I use Gator belts quite a bit, all the way from A45 up to A160.  They are expensive, but I like them because they can be resharpened in about 30 seconds, which makes them have a looonnngg life.  If you like belt finishes I would recommend them.  Also, no matter what belts you get, get some layout fluid, and when you are switching up grits, paint the blade in it.  Doing this will allow you to see the grind marks of the previous grit super easy so its easier to get them out saving you a lot of heartache when you start hand sanding.

Also, if you want a list of suppliers, go to this thread.  On a side note, would it be a good idea @Alan Longmire to move the aformentioned topic in Tools and Tool Making?  

Edited by Wes Detrick
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Wes. I knew it came from you and I even tried searching the site for your name and  other keywords trying to find it. Now I've just copied it to a separate document and saved it in my tools & jigs folder. For those of you who would like a copy, see the attachment. The really funny thing is that the thread is in my followed content folder, I just couldn't remember what it was named!

Grit Chart.pdf

Edited by Joshua States
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Joshua States said:

Thanks Wes. I knew it came from you and I even tried searching the site for your name and  other keywords trying to find it. Now I've just copied it to a separate document and saved it in my tools & jigs folder. For those of you who would like a copy, see the attachment. The really funny thing is that the thread is in my followed content folder, I just couldn't remember what it was named!

Grit Chart.pdf

Haha, I had to dig for it too.  I couldn't remember what the thread was either!  It is actually pinned under Fit and Finish

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Wes Detrick said:

Here you go Josh, it starts on the second page.  

JJ and I have a very similar routine when it comes to belt choice.  I use Gator belts quite a bit, all the way from A45 up to A160.  They are expensive, but I like them because they can be resharpened in about 30 seconds, which makes them have a looonnngg life.  If you like belt finishes I would recommend them.  Also, no matter what belts you get, get some layout fluid, and when you are switching up grits, paint the blade in it.  Doing this will allow you to see the grind marks of the previous grit super easy so its easier to get them out saving you a lot of heartache when you start hand sanding.

Also, if you want a list of suppliers, go to this thread.  On a side note, would it be a good idea @Alan Longmire to move the aformentioned topic in Tools and Tool Making?  

How do you go about resharpening a belt?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Doug Crawford said:

How do you go about resharpening a belt?

*Note* - It must be the structured abrasive belts.  See picture.

Put one of the belts on your grinder, and get it running.  Take an old worn belt in a lower grit and place it against the Gator belt.  You will want to use something as a backer, like a metal rod or something so that you are applying pretty uniformly across the belt.  It doesn't take a lot of pressure, but do it until the the belt looks clean.  Gator belts build up this black stuff on them under use; sharpen them until this is gone.

 

IG300-3.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Which thread did you want pinned?  JJ's that's already pinned in Fit and Finish?  You've confused my poor little brain, I've been setting stones all day and I can no longer brain, I has the dumb. :wacko:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Words like "aformentioned" shouldn't be dealt with on Mondays.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IDK how to explain it Josh.
The experience I've had is that a change in grit and belt weight changes the angle of the grind.
I remember a video of yours where you hollow grind and then flatten either on the platen or the disc.
When just flat grinding on the platen this has been my experience.
Which is why I like using the gators because they have the same thickness as an X weight belt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, JJ Simon said:

I remember a video of yours where you hollow grind and then flatten either on the platen or the disc.

That's probably why I never noticed the problem you are having. I typically hollow grind at 60 and then move to 120 to flatten it out.

 

2 hours ago, JJ Simon said:

The experience I've had is that a change in grit and belt weight changes the angle of the grind.

Do you use a push stick? The only explanation I can come up with is that with a thicker belt the pressure is uneven and the blade is digging in at either the top or bottom. Thus, when you move to a thinner belt, there is no "play" in the depth and the pressure/cutting action is more uniform across the face. Still, the change in angle would be very slight and only a total nit-noid would ever notice it.........:P

(that was a compliment)

Edited by Joshua States

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

Which thread did you want pinned?  JJ's that's already pinned in Fit and Finish?  You've confused my poor little brain, I've been setting stones all day and I can no longer brain, I has the dumb. :wacko:

I wouldn't worry about it Alan, I'm putting the grit chart in a separate post in the tools thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

Which thread did you want pinned?  JJ's that's already pinned in Fit and Finish?  You've confused my poor little brain, I've been setting stones all day and I can no longer brain, I has the dumb. :wacko:

Haha sorry Alan.  The thread with all of the suppliers.  This one.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Josh I use a magnet that has a handle on it.
This allows me greater vercitility than a push stick.
But my pressure is pretty consistent.
My buddy didn't understand what I was talking about until he started using the Trizac belts and he gets it now.
I have a terrible time explaining it.
Its just a thing that has to be experienced.
For me I think its that the thickness of the backer allows a certain kind of contouring around the part.
As we all know when we grind on a platen we aren't actually grinding flat because the belt cups from both edges of the platen to the center.
This is why a so called flat grind on a platen is actually a really really shallow hollow.
And if you only use one half of the platen. Left or right.
A deeper hollow is ground in.
The only way to get a true flat is what you do which is use a disc grinder or a surface grinder.
Which of course if we were doing bevels on a surface grinder we'd have to use sine plates.
But they're great for ricasso.
Eventually mine will be in play.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, JJ Simon said:

The only way to get a true flat is what you do which is use a disc grinder or a surface grinder.

I use my disk grinder for this.  Its wonderful

Edited by Wes Detrick
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Wes Detrick said:

I use my disk grinder for this.  Its wonderful

Absolutely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, JJ Simon said:

Josh I use a magnet that has a handle on it.
This allows me greater vercitility than a push stick.
But my pressure is pretty consistent.
My buddy didn't understand what I was talking about until he started using the Trizac belts and he gets it now.
I have a terrible time explaining it.
Its just a thing that has to be experienced.
For me I think its that the thickness of the backer allows a certain kind of contouring around the part.
As we all know when we grind on a platen we aren't actually grinding flat because the belt cups from both edges of the platen to the center.
This is why a so called flat grind on a platen is actually a really really shallow hollow.
And if you only use one half of the platen. Left or right.
A deeper hollow is ground in.
The only way to get a true flat is what you do which is use a disc grinder or a surface grinder.
Which of course if we were doing bevels on a surface grinder we'd have to use sine plates.
But they're great for ricasso.
Eventually mine will be in play.

 

You are going to have to explain this to me?  the belt cups from both edges to the centre ?  Many of my belts have a raised centre but when grinding hard I am all against the platten. are you grinding left to right on a vertical platten?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, owen bush said:

You are going to have to explain this to me?  the belt cups from both edges to the centre ?  Many of my belts have a raised centre but when grinding hard I am all against the platten. are you grinding left to right on a vertical platten?

 

The way I observe the belt riding is that left and right of center are higher than center.
I try my best to grind fully on the face of the platen.
I do my best. Not always great to not grind on one side or another.
But if I lay a straight edge on a fresh ground belt there will always be a slight concave to them.
And I mean slight.
Like tiny tiny bit.
So, nothing but a disc grinder or a surface grinder will produce and absolutely true flat.
Another sign of this is when I go to hand sanding.
The first backer I use is steel and when I make my first pass with the backer the high spots of the blade bevel will sand first.
Those are always towards the spine and edge.
 

Share this post


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
Sign in to follow this  

×