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low end grinders


Doug Lester

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I've been looking at both the Grizzly and the Coote belt grinders and I would like some input from those of you who have used them. I know that the Grizzly comes complete whereas the Coote needs motor, pulley, and drive belt. The Grizzly can be switched between the stock 8" contact wheel and an optional 10" wheel. The Coote is advertised that it is designed to run with the contact wheel that it is ordered with. However, the Coote has an optional rest for the contact wheel and a small wheel adaptor for 5/8"-2 1/2" wheels. Another thing that struck me about the Coote, being that I'll be supplying the motor and pulleys, that I'd be able to have control over the belt speed of the machine. I hear the the Grizzly runs a tad fast for some peoples' liking.

 

Now I understand that these units don't hold a candle to Bader, Burr King, or Walton grinders in that they are not as flexable, however there is a matter of affordability and what I can justify spending on what is now just a hobby.

 

Doug Lester

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

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Hey Mr. Lester.

 

I have a grizzly, It is a pretty good tool, but i have not used anything else to be able to measure it to.

 

It draws alot of amps, and blows my breaker often. I am working on getting more amps into the garage to solve the problem.

 

Under normal load it should not be a power problem with a well wired house.

 

You have to reshape the contact wheel a bit in order to take that sharp edge off of there.

 

They put this graphite tape junk on the flat grinding platen, and it wears quickly and will put grooves into your knives because of the high spots it makes.

 

I would suggest you just peel it off and sand the paint off of the platen in order to reduce the drag and frustration.

 

My platen doesnt line up properly with where the belt should track, and I have to adjust it when i want to do a hollow grind.

 

It is adjustable in length by about 5 inches which is nice when you get those funky off brand belts that are not the right length.

 

its 1 horse power is enough for me, but I have not had the pleasure of using a professional machine, so I dont know what i might be missing out on...

 

you can lay the whole belt assembly down at any angle to suit your needs.

 

The arbor on the other side is nice. it can be quickly changed. I use it for everything. Wire wheel, buffing wheel, metal cutting saw blade....

 

I like it, and if i recall it was only about 450?, pretty good machine for the price.

 

I also have a hard-core drill press from them. I like it alot.

 

Hope that helps...

 

Mike Lambiase

Mike Lambiase

Burning Man Forge

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Sears 2x42. Been using it for several years now. Takes more skill to make up for the machine's shortcomings, but it gets the job done. Just watching Wes grind taught me a lot about technique, and I've made it work on a $100 machine. Finer grit belts can be a pain to track down, though...

The Tidewater Forge

Christopher Price, Bladesmith

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I have a Grizzly. Use it mostly for 'roughing' out (blades) - finish with files . If I try to get anywhere near final shape I usually mess up big time . My fault (lack of grinding skill), not the sander. Have used it for other general work - does fine for me. Mike is right about the platen 'tape' . It wore out in no time. Got a ceramic platen ( Ellis knife sup). Had to enlarge the mounting holes a tad to get it set back enough. Works great. From my limited experence it is a good buy for the money.

 

K

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I have the Grizzly. Hard to go wrong with that one for what they ask for it. That being said, I am going to list all of its faults:

1) The stock toolrest is laughable. I have yet to fabricate one for mine, but will have to if I want a decent one. This is a fault that can be overcome.

2) I do not like the tool arm that runs the belt. Get the contact wheel at the right height (waist high), for hollow grinding, and the platen, for flat grinding, is too high. Get the platen right, and the contact wheel is too low. See #5 below for how to get around the height issue. The sguare wheel on the Wilton or the equivalent tooling arm on a Bader or KMG is much better. On the above you can just lean right over the belt and look directly down onto the edge and see exactly where metal is coming off. The Grizzly just is not going to let you do this. At least, not without enough effort and cost to almost build a new grinder.

3) I consistently bog the 1HP motor down and then trip my breaker. Some of the problem is the crappy wiring in my garage. I mean really, one outlet in the whole crummy two car thing is obviously not enough. Sorry. Force of habit. Getting carried away on a well worn rant. This one can be worked around, but if you are doing production work and need to work rapidly, get one of the higher end grinders.

4) It runs too fast. Too fast, for wood, Too fast, for finishing belts. Just right, for removing a lot of metal with a very coarse belt. The Grizzly can be made to have three speeds by mounting the motor remotely, behind or below the tool arm, and mounting pulleys to the motor shaft and an extra shaft (you have to find or buy this one) mounted to the tool arm. This obviously is a bit of work and expense. I have not tackled it on my own yet, but I intend to.

5) I got mine with the stock 8 inch contact wheel. I can hollow grind one side of a blade beautifuly, but the damn motor is in the way on the other side and the blade ends up looking like a gravel road with a bad case of washboard. I suggest paying the extra money and get the 10 inch contact wheel if hollow grinding is what you want to do. The extra clearance should let you hollow grind decently on both sides. I saw one maker who mounted a large idler wheel (14 inches if I remember right) in place of the flat platen and used it to do his hollow grinds. Of course he had to change platens to do flat grinding then. You wouldn't even need a contact wheel to do this, just platens with the appropriate radius.

6) I really cannot think of any way to run a small wheel adaptor anywhere on the Grizzly. Wait. I take that back. You could do something with the motor shaft on the opposite side, but you would have to rig up basicaly a second grinder, except for the motor.

7) As mentioned in other posts the graphite tape on the flat platen is not ideal. I have heard good things about these ceramic platen liners. I should probably order one and try it out.

 

Only two of the points above cannot be fixed by the application of a little elbow grease. If you want to buy this thing and start to use it right away... Decide beforehand on the type of grind the majority of your pieces will have and mount the machine in accordance.

 

I have used the Bader machines (with and without variable speed) and the KMG (also with variable speed). I cannot say enough good things about the KMG. The Baders all had problems with their tracking. They were in use (abuse) in a school setting and were not in the best of maintenance. The KMG I used was at the same place and had no issues with tracking at all. Set that belt in one spot and it stayed there. It was, however, newer than the Baders. I absolutely love the variable speed motor controllers. My next big splurge will be on a motor and controller to go on a DIY KMG clone. BTW have you seen the sticky on the KMG clone? I would build one of those before buying motors and pulleys for the Coote grinder.

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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i also have a 2X42 sears works well after you rip off some of the guards. i would also get a ceramic platen liner from Darrel Ellis it makes your belts last longer and your grinds look better.

 

~~DJ

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i also have a 2X42 sears works well after you rip off some of the guards. i would also get a ceramic platen liner from Darrel Ellis it makes your belts last longer and your grinds look better.

 

~~DJ

 

It's been so long since I stripped mine down, I'd forgotten all about that!

The Tidewater Forge

Christopher Price, Bladesmith

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since the bader,kmg wilson etc are really expensive it´s nice to see that people actually use the grizzly etc for making knives instead of just saying forget it and buy the expensive ones.

I`d like to have a "professional" grinder,but it`s a lot of dough,at least if you`re just trying out knifemaking.

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One more thing with the Grizzly. If you look under the arm, the motor has 3 slots for ventilation. Your wood and steel dust gets in there it will seize the motor up. I put nylon stockings over the slots to keep things out of there.

My life is like shaving with a razor sharp machete. It's a bit awkward and I feel a sting every now and then, but in the end I'm happy with the results.

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I didnt even see those vent holes...

Damn,... logic told me there had to be an air intake, but it said self contained motor, and i didnt even look.

I think this weekend i will dismantle my motor compartment, blow it out, and install some sort of filter.

shows how observent I can be.

Mike Lambiase

Burning Man Forge

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I've got the coote and have been impressed with the quality of the workmanship, made a jig for bevels and am away, have yet to use the small wheet attachment, though the knifemakers rest is a boon. I put a 2Hp motor on mine tough you can stop thiss if you lean on it! I have a 10" contact wheel and mine runs well though a little fast will have to get step pulleys.

 

A great machine and Norman provides an amazing service. and deserves all the business he can get.

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