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Is it worth it to buy a 1x30 Belt grinder when your just starting out?


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I don't have the funds to buy a 2x72 Belt grinder so I was wondering if I could get a 1x30 until I can get a 2x72?

 

If its worth it are there any recommended Model?

Edited by Conner Michaux
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I would put the money away and save for and oregon blade maker set up. You would never be satisfied with the 1x30. Just buy one without a motor and keep a look out for a 2 hp motor while your saving. You will never regret it. A grizzly 2x72 is a good set up but not as versitile as an OBM.

This is just my opinion.

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I was just watching some of the videos buy the OBM with the reviews.  It seems that it wouldn't be worth spending money on just the chassie.  As well as having to buy a separate motor and other set ups.  I'm not sure why you would only buy the chassis for the machine itself and not have all the components for that sander.  That's what I don't get.  Eventually I'll be looking into getting a 2 by 72 myself.  But I dont want to have to buy everything seperately for it minus the sanding belts.  So far that's really the only problem that I am having with that OBM company.  Yea it may seem like a great deal, but in reality how much more money would you have to spend on the extra parts that you would need for that set up.  That's my only argument with the OBM one.  I as looking on ebay I also found this little bugger for roughly 1000 dollars if you can save.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-X-72-Belt-Grinder-Sander-TX-GRINDERZ-Knife-Maker-W-Mounted-Motor-Complete/263825385580?epid=14021603764&hash=item3d6d37e86c

Edited by AndyB
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A 1x30 is a waste of time, money, and resources for everyone involved except the seller.  They are for sharpening and light shaping of nonferrous materials.  Filing is faster.  

The Craftsman (or Dayton) 2x42 belt grinder (yes, grinder.  If they call it a sander it is not for metal) is far superior in every way and not much more expensive, well below an entry-level 2x72.  They are also the smallest size you can get decent belts for.  

Avoid the 4x36 wood sanders.  They are underpowered, they don't make decent belts for them, and the bearings are not sealed, which means they last about a year of heavy use before they die.

The 6x48 wood sanders have enough power, but belt choice is limited.  Since they are aimed at the professional market they are expensive, and usually have sealed bearings.

The OBM grinder is great for getting things a piece at a time, especially if you have a decent motor ready to go.  Have you seen the belt grinder plans pinned under Tools and Tooling?  

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The only thing you have to find is a motor and OBM sells the drive wheel and you basically have that set up minus the flat platen. OBM also supplies just about all the attachments you could need.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Belt-Grinder-2x72-Complete-Chassis-/252059068com

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Darn I was hoping a 1x30 would work.. I make money very slowly so I would not be able to get a real Grinder.

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Conner, check this out: https://www.grainger.com/product/product/DAYTON-Belt-Disc-Sander-6Y945

It's a little underpowered, but it will get you going and there is a wide range of belts available in that size.  And it's only $160.  I know, "only" is relative, but that's a heck of a lot cheaper than the next better option.  

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That looks like it will work. I don't need it to be very powerful I just need it to get the job done...Faster than files..

Edited by Conner Michaux
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I looked at the OBM and almost bought everything short of the motor since I have several motors. What stopped me was that it isn't very friendly, design and included drive wheel wise, to a separate motor and step pulley system.  Somebody mentioned that Dayton a short while ago and I looked at it online. It seems OK for a tight budget starter

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+1 on the Dayton, I have one similiar and its a good machine to get started on. I would also recommend the OBM for anyone who wants to move up. You can save a decent chunk of change by getting the chassis and sourcing your motor elsewhere. 

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30 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

Conner, check this out: https://www.grainger.com/product/product/DAYTON-Belt-Disc-Sander-6Y945

It's a little underpowered, but it will get you going and there is a wide range of belts available in that size.  And it's only $160.  I know, "only" is relative, but that's a heck of a lot cheaper than the next better option.  

That one Alan actually looks like a great buy, I may even consider buying that one.  I tested out my little one from harbor freight, unfortunately it wont do that great on grinding metal how ever it will be great for making handles.  So I think I will probably invest in a second belt sander and pick that one up you have here in the link.  For the amount of money that seems like a great deal.  Plus the one from harbor freight seems quite a bit under powered for a belt sander.

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Conner don't underestimate the value of using a good set of files for first starting out.   Speed is not nearly as important as technique and patience.

 

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They used to make that one with a 3/4 Hp motor, but for some reason they've switched to a 1/3 Hp motor.  This is not ideal, as they say.  You'll be able to bog it down if you lean on it.  But, unlike the HF 1x30, it will actually move metal.

And I agree with Jeff on the files.  I still do most of my finish work with files.  The trick is to get GOOD files, which are hard to find.  Nothing from a big box store, only from industrial supply houses.  And avoid new Nicholsons.  The Brazil-made Nicholsons will almost last one job, the Mexican-made Nicholsons are just an expensive way to buy annealed 1095. With misaligned teeth, at that.  But no worries, you can file the teeth off with an old USA-made Nicholson.  And I'm not kidding!  

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I second that opinion. A 30" is good if you're only sharpening scissors or kitchen knives. Forget serious grinding.

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I dissent a small bit.  I already had a 1x30 when I got into bladesmithing, and used it for a few knives.  When used with Norton Blaze belts (expensive), it would remove metal, but slowly.  When I first got my OBM setup, I remarked that I could do as much work in 20 minutes with it as I could in 4 hours with the 1x30.  Now that I have a few years of grinding under my belt, I bet that ration looks even worse for the 1x30.

I think files would still be faster than a 1x30 for some things, especially accurate work.  But if I saw a 1x30 at a yard sale, and I didn't have anything else, I'd give it a home.  (In my area, you see them at yard sales all the time)

That being said, I wouldn't buy one new.  The money would be better spent on files.

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I got a Coote Belt Grinder.   After all accessories + motor I bought separate,  probably around $600 at the time.   Darned good machine made by a craftsman.     

Is it like a KMG ?   HA!.   No.   But man has it left lots of metal bits on my floor.   $600 is a lot of money for most folk these days.   If I had my druthers, and limited funds if I was doing it again....    A good angle grinder, like a powerhorse makita or milwaukee. 10k+ rpm is better.  That and a good set of sharp coarse and fine files.   You can get a lot of work done with those tools, For a lot cheaper that a belt grinder.    A sturdy vise and a sharp file on some good annealed steel will throw some shards.   Also, you can get those  Sanding Wheels ?  Not sure what they are called, but they are angle grinder wheels with sand paper of various grits on them.   They will clean and smooth metal pretty well.  

Best advise I can give is,  get the best you can afford.   You will be just disappointed in a sub-par machine.   Also a 2x72 will grind faster than inexperienced hands can manage.   It will destroy your lines and your knuckles with equal haste. 

Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, fast is deadly.    Files make nice lines with a steady hand.

I wonder who would be faster with a blade blank ?   An experienced Japanese Scraper vs a newb with a belt sander ?

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Is the Dayton grinder powerful enough to grind bevels on small knives?

I can only afford the Dayton grinder too...

I will try to get better at using files..but they drive me insane. 

Edited by Conner Michaux
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6 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

And I agree with Jeff on the files.  I still do most of my finish work with files.  The trick is to get GOOD files, which are hard to find.  Nothing from a big box store, only from industrial supply houses.  And avoid new Nicholsons.  The Brazil-made Nicholsons will almost last one job, the Mexican-made Nicholsons are just an expensive way to buy annealed 1095. With misaligned teeth, at that.  But no worries, you can file the teeth off with an old USA-made Nicholson.  And I'm not kidding!  

 

I got an Unused old USA made Nicholson Double cut Bastard file for 27$

 

I also tried to bevel a knife with an angle grinder...That didn't work so well

Edited by Conner Michaux
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I would suggest, it you are stock removing and don't forge in the bevels, starting out with either a file to set the bevel before moving to the grinder or, especially if you don't have variable speed, start your first blades with a 220 grit or finer belt to get the feel of it before you put a "hogging" belt on. It allows you to make correctable mistakes if you are stock removing or, as you should have, forged it thick to grind it thin.

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I started with a 1x30

Buy it only if the price is an insignificant part of the price of a 2x72

Buy it only for handle shaping or sharpening, that's really all it's good for.

You got brilliant advice regarding files, the 1x30 takes hours and doesn't remove much steel.

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So would this grinder be a good for bevels on small knives?

 

 

Edited by Conner Michaux
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I don't really like buying equipment without reviews because  I really don't know if Im going to get something as advertised or something made of crap. 

Would you guys recommend getting the Dayton belt grinder? (for a noob)

Edited by Conner Michaux
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