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Real new knife maker here.  I bought this https://www.woodcraft.com/products/rikon-1-x-42-belt-x-8-disc-sander?gclid=Cj0KCQiArvX_BRCyARIsAKsnTxN4aVKsHca6aLaY4jjZlQ9fr_zQn58nxXWDA8EqWGohU0LSEsOXHkQaAljYEALw_wcB#

 

I got a screaming deal on it and it's certainly a potent machine, but the platen isn't long/ high enough for my jig.   Here is the jig I am using: https://originblademaker.com/product/knife-making-belt-grinder-angle-grind-guide-regular/  .  It's a great jig. 

 

So, the top of the jig is over the top of the platen.  I might be able to attach the blank edge down at the bottom of the jig so it easily hits the platen, but I'd rather the it was facing up.  But this will require a longer/ higher platen.

 

What you all think?  Change my technique or hunt for custom platen?  Or make my own somehow?

 

Thanks

 

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11 minutes ago, Tom Barker said:

Or make my own somehow?

Without knowing anything about the machine or your abilities, this is probably where I'd start.  But I like making tools almost as much as making damascus....

 

If that doesn't work, there will be a lot of folks (myself included) who would suggest learning to grind without the jig.  

Edited by billyO
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What Billy said.  That looks like a more powerful than usual 1x30.  The platen looks like you could easily make a longer one, but I'm not sure it would be rigid enough to use a jig since the upper end isn't attached to anything.   These little guys are usually best suited for final polishing and sharpening, they're not really designed for heavy stock removal.  Rikon is quality stuff, though.

 

To get the best out of it, get some ceramic belts from these guys: https://trugrit.com/product-category/abrasives/abrasive-belts/abrasive-belts-by-size/1x42/

 

 

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19 hours ago, billyO said:

 

If that doesn't work, there will be a lot of folks (myself included) who would suggest learning to grind without the jig.  

 

It's funny you say that.  I bought the jig only recently, holiday present to myself, and my knives thus far have been free hand.  I guess the jigs looked pretty cool and was hoping for a more uniform grind.   Do you have any suggestions on how to do more precise free hand work?  YouTube , authors, forum posts.   Thanks

 

Alan, good call. I would probably have to use heavy stock to make my own and that makes it tricky.  Thanks for the suggestions about the belts. 

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I hate to sound discouraging, but from my experience and that of others, I say these machines are more of a foe than friend to new bladesmiths. 

 

If a proper 2x72 grinder is not in the cards, it's hard to beat the combination of a 4" angle grinder, files, and a random orbit sander. Forge to shape, heavy grind with the 4", refine grind with files (look up "draw filing"), and then polish with the random orbit and hand sanding.

 

You can get a surprising amount of control with a 4" grinder because you can watch as the material is removed, and the random orbit sander is a very underrated tool for bladesmithing, IMO. 

 

I'm not saying the machine you have is useless. They can come in handy, but I think a more solid skill base would be built with the tools I suggest above. YMMV.

 

Luck in the quest!

 

Dave

 

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You COULD do it...I mean the platen on one of those is basically an "L" shaped piece of metal with a couple of screw slots at the bottom for adjustment. I started out with a 1x30 and used it for a long time. I had to remake my platen after it got bent. But here is the problem, the longer you make the platen, the more flexible it becomes. That really defeats the purpose of it since you won't be able to really push against it. And using a jig, you'll loose some of the fine feel for how much pressure you're using.  You could easily push too hard at a critical moment and gouge out a high spot on your bevel. Until you can get a larger grinder, I would stick with hand beveling. If you feel you still need help, try a bubble jig. They attach to the blank itself and acts as a handy monitor showing you that you're holding your angles.

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2 hours ago, Tom Barker said:

Do you have any suggestions on how to do more precise free hand work? 

You probably won't like my answer, but here goes:  Practice and time to develop the necessary muscle control. 

Look at what you are doing like if you were standing in the middle of a see-saw with your body being your hand pressure, the see-saw being the blade, and the pivot being the platen. If the pivot was a wide pallet, you'd have no problem balancing without rocking back and forth, but with the pivot being a single point, it'll take a while for you to get to the point where you would be able to stand on the see-saw without it rocking back and forth a little. 

This will be harder with a 1" wide platen than a 2" wide platen which will be harder than a 4" wide platen, etc.   Imagine how hard this would be if your platen was only 1/8" wide.  

Edited by billyO
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1 hour ago, Dave Stephens said:

 

You can get a surprising amount of control with a 4" grinder because you can watch as the material is removed, and the random orbit sander is a very underrated tool for bladesmithing

Huh, hadn't thought of using my orbital sander.  Seemed unruly, but doesn't mean I can't start with it and finish by hand. I usually just use my grinder for the cutting wheel, but I will look for videos on grinding a bevel. 

 

1 hour ago, Brian Myers said:

Until you can get a larger grinder, I would stick with hand beveling. If you feel you still need help, try a bubble jig. 

That bubble jig looks cool.  Unfortunately, his site says he can't get materials right now. And is out of stock. 

54 minutes ago, billyO said:

You probably won't like my answer, but here goes:  Practice and time to develop the necessary muscle control. 

Look at what you are doing like if you were standing in the middle of a see-saw with your body being your hand pressure, the see-saw being the blade, and the pivot being the platen. If the pivot was a wide pallet, you'd have no problem balancing without rocking back and forth, but with the pivot being a single point, it'll take a while for you to get to the point where you would be able to stand on the see-saw without it rocking back and forth a little. 

This will be harder with a 1" wide platen than a 2" wide platen which will be harder than a 4" wide platen, etc.   Imagine how hard this would be if your platen was only 1/8" wide.  

I figured that was the answer.  I do use a 4x36, but it's a cheapo machine.  I use it a lot out of necessity, but I have to be patient with it to avoid stalling the motor. 

 

Great advice all around. 

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