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More questions on Belt sanders


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Zeb Ill take your advice, I just bought some more files and tomorrow I'm going to start to make a knife with only files and sandpaper.

I'm still going to get the sander but ill just practice with that and make knives with files.

Once I get better with the sander I will start making knives with it.

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Been thinking about it and in my case the worst thing about an insufficient belt grinder is you end up with knives too thick behind the edge, and once I got a proper grinder you start learning from scratch anyway......

Pre-belt grinder THE best cutter I made was a Kukri from 8mm leafspring and I used an angle grinder and draw filing to put in a FFG bevel.....set the standard for all future Kukris I'll make.

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Ive been kind of back and forth about my cheap 1x30, its so easy to stall but for working hardened steel its way faster than hand sanding, its also way too easy to overheat a blade. I built a stand for it that I can flip on its back so the platen is horizontal and its been a lot better that way, I can do the same with the attached disc sander by flipping it on its side. 

What saves me the most time is getting the blade as thin as I can before hardening, I forge blades as close to finished as I can, I try to get them thin enough to harden and then file them smooth so they get even thinner. If you dont forge then just file everything to where you want it and get rid of deep scratches before hardening. 

I just hardened a 3/8" thick monster chopper with the edge about 1/2 or 1/3 the thickness of a dime, I edge quench in a shallow pan of canola, I think that only hardening the edge is much less stressful on the blade. I wouldnt harden the whole blade with the edge so thin, it would crack im sure.

I was going to say ive never had trouble with decarb on those thin edges but if you had to soak your blade at 1500 degrees for ten minutes you would have more decarb than if you just do a simple heat and quench.

 

 

Edited by steven smith
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Another thing to consider with low power machines is the fact that many abrasives will NOT work well with them. You cannot apply enough pressure to get the abrasives to break down and expose new sharp edges on the grains. I’ve experienced this personally at work where we had a 3hp Bader and a smaller Dayton. The little Dayton when used with ceramics and other friable abrasives would cut for a little bit then just glaze up. You almost have to use aluminum oxide and silicon carbide belts vs zirc and ceramic. The Bader of course was unstoppable (literally and figuratively) and the better belts would keep freshening up until they were completely spent.

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7 minutes ago, Kreg said:

have used ceramic...zirconium...trizac. Everything from 36 grit to a30 which I think is 600 ish.

So those are the ones that don't glaze over on the sander?

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I cant say that I have never pressed hard enough to stop my sander.....but it takes alot.

I have never had any issues with glazing.

I have never used anything but ceramic and zirc (and trizac)....and dont/have never had any glazing issues.

Maybe my dayton has a higher power motor than Steve O's

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The Dayton in the shop is only a 1/3hp, so yours might have more oomph. It takes nothing to stall it out. I’ve used many sanders and only a couple belt grinders, but I will tell you this: once you have used a true high powered/high sfm machine the difference between sander and grinder becomes very self evident. What you thought was “grinding” before becomes somewhat of a joke. Except for when your knuckle goes into a 36 grit belt!

This is not to discourage folks from working and buying within their mean, which is very different for all of us. I’m just saying that as Alan said earlier “there are sanders and then there are grinders”. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, so I'm having second thoughts about buying the belt sander. I don't know if I really need it..Now that i found a file that cuts and makes bevels pretty fast, I think I would rather spend that money on something else..

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  • 1 year later...
On 11/27/2018 at 3:17 PM, Alan Longmire said:

Every tool in my shop (except the flatter!) has paid for itself, some several times over . 

Alan why do you say the flatter hasn't paid for itself I use one almost every day in the shop? Sorry for the derail continue 

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To help with the actual conversation I bought a 4 x 36 belt sander years ago and with practice and a 14 in simmonds multikut file I found that I could more accurately and more quickly get a blade ready for heat treat. Using the belt sander I would stall it alot and it didnt work well for anything. 

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2 hours ago, Will Urban said:

Alan why do you say the flatter hasn't paid for itself I use one almost every day in the shop? Sorry for the derail continue 

 

I just never use it.  The sort of stuff I make just doesn't seem to lend itself to being flattered.  If I were making spatulas and flatware I could certainly see it, but working single-handed, even with a treadle hammer to supply the striking force, I just never use the thing.  Not the flatter's fault, just the way I seem to work.  It's a nice flatter, too!  :lol:  2.5 lb Atha.  If you get use out of yours, by all means continue!  And let me know how you're using it, I'm always open to seeing the error of my ways, which seems to be happening more often recently...:wacko:

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1 hour ago, Alan Longmire said:

 

I just never use it.  The sort of stuff I make just doesn't seem to lend itself to being flattered.  If I were making spatulas and flatware I could certainly see it, but working single-handed, even with a treadle hammer to supply the striking force, I just never use the thing.  Not the flatter's fault, just the way I seem to work.  It's a nice flatter, too!  :lol:  2.5 lb Atha.  If you get use out of yours, by all means continue!  And let me know how you're using it, I'm always open to seeing the error of my ways, which seems to be happening more often recently...:wacko:

Even with all the axes you make? I have mine set up so I commonly use mine as a set hammer and a flatter so I can set two edges or just to flatten pieces before heat treat it also helps for removing a ton of scale and evening bevels

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I made mine from a huge old handled punch the museum I work at said it was rediculous so I was even more inclined to forge it by hand. We are set in 1830s so me and Dan waddell hes a member here as well forged it out water quenched the tool and made it it's still working great almost five years later

IMG_20141129_145008898.jpg

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