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Al Dolney

Comments on the 2x72 Black Fox grinder?

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Posted (edited)

From the ad:

 

" I have a Black Fox One 2 x 72 Knife grinder that grinds both vertically and horizontally. It is a solid machine, but does no fit my needs anymore. Comes with Flat platen with pyroceramic glass (to reduce heat) and tool arm, small wheel attachment with tool arm (no wheels included). The motor and VFD in the picture are NOT included so you will need to supply your own motor. The frame by itself was $800 and attachment were in excess of $300. This is a good deal if you are looking for a solid machine to get started "

 

They want $800 for it so a motor and VFD (if I decide to use one) would be on top of that.

 

I would like to hear what you think.  These don't come up very often, so I probably need to not let the grass grow under my feet if it's a good one.

 

Thanks!

 

Black Fox 2x72 1.jpg

Black Fox 2x72 Grinder 2.jpg

Edited by Al Dolney

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Posted (edited)

Uh oh, the silence is deafening.  Did I accidentally step in some site past history doo-doo?   :unsure:

Edited by Al Dolney

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No, you just posted at night and nobody is up yet. :lol:

Never heard of the company, but it looks decent.  

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Since last night I was able to do some research.  Seems it's a pretty new company, started ~2017-2018 or so, or at least started making grinders then.

 

  https://blackfoxknifeworks.com/knifegrinder/black-fox-one

 

Says it's designed and tested in Walla Walla, WA and built in Bend OR.  The version I'm looking at was bought in mid-2018, so this one is an earlier version; don't know if that makes a difference or not.  Right now, Black Fox is on it's 4th generation grinder; I suspect this one is a 1st generation unit.

 

Going a bing search, I found a thread on bladeforums where one knifemaker was not impressed but the owners themselves were happy with them.  One criticism was the in-built VFD (see the pic at the BFK site above), not allowing to see where the VFD came from or who made it i.e. was it questionable quality.  This version has the stand-alone VFD, so this isn't an issue.  Another possible complaint or concern was the use of gas shocks; there's at least two, perhaps three used on the unit.  I don't know if that's an issue or not.

 

This particular unit, according to the owner, was not used much because of military obligations, so essentially it's brand new.  As said, the motor and VFD do not come with it; but he has both so I can see and take pics to make sure I get the correct replacements.  If I get it, I'll more than likely go the 220 VAC/2 hp/VFD route.  I see no reason to half arse it.

 

 

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Looks like a decent unit, as I said.  KMG clone with a tilting feature, basically.  Personally I don't see a need to tilt, but hey, since I don't have that feature I don't know what I may be missing. :lol:  I'm not a big fan of the gas struts, but not for any practical reason.  I just like the adjustable tension you get with the bolt-and-spring on the KMG.  Who knows, I might be perfectly happy with a strut, it's just not what I have. 

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Well, I bought a used TW-90 to supplement  a "kit" 2 x 72 that I added an e-bay motor and Chinese VFD to (each at around $150), so I didn't take my own advice, but here it is anyway. 

 

Remember that a used unit will have no warranty, so you are essentially on your own after purchase.  Regardless of what the owner says, it could have been misused (fallen, thrown out of alignment, damaged bearings...).  The discount for buying a used unit needs to be worth it to you.  All depends on whether you don't mind gambling.

 

You probably won't be able to get a used KBAC 27D VFD, so those will cost you on the order of $350 (and you really want variable speed).  I think I saw someone here posting motors for around $150 + shipping.  A small wheel attachment is no use without the wheels to go with it, so price those as well.  The pyroceram facing is nice, but not everyone finds them to be required.  You need to decide if these are the attachments that you would have bought for yourself, and judge their value to you accordingly.

 

I've used machines with gas strut tensioners, spring tensioners and ratchet tensioners.  I much prefer the last type, but all will work if correctly designed and installed.  The Black Fox looks like a decent machine, but nothing that special.  Probably better than the cheap, overseas knock-offs.   However, there are a number of newer innovations that are coming out that are pretty attractive that you might want (at bare minimum contact wheels for tracking your flat platten so you can grind on same without damaging the wheel), including things like rotary plattens, quick change flat platten to contact wheel, surface grind attachments, adjustable grinding shelves, etc.

 

Also, you need to know why he is selling it.

 

Good luck in any case.

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Posted (edited)

I bought it.  He still had it hooked up and ready to run.  Surprisingly quiet, even at full speed.  Very solid feeling when either the vertical or horizontal mode.

 

Got it home and mounted it on my grinder table/bench.  Doesn't move one bit.

 

Downsides:  Automation Direct is out of stock until the end of August and Mike Haversack here on BSF is out of 2 hp 3ph motors.  Surplus Center has none; McMaster has one, but it's $700.  I don't trust egay; CL de nada.  Amazon has some, but most are ~$100 more than the Auto Direct version ($165).  I could buy one from one of the knife grinder sellers but they want +$900 for both the motor and VFD. 

 

Any ideas for a motor?

 

ETA:  Reason he's selling it:  Work full time, college full time, 3 little kids.  Something had to give.

 

Edited by Al Dolney

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Posted (edited)

Found a 2hp 3ph Weg motor on Zoro, about $200, so almost equivalent in price to the AD version that the grinder previously had (sorry Mike!).  KBAC-27D VFD on order from Amazon as well.  Gonna start on a solid work rest today.

Edited by Al Dolney

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