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Questions About Belts.

Discussion in 'Grinders' started by LeclairKnives, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. LeclairKnives

    LeclairKnives Active Member

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    Hey guys, I'm trying to scrape up the cash to buy myself some belts. I have never purchased belts for my new machine yet as it came with a box full of AO belts. The problem is (besides being AO belts) they are quite old and I have had quite a few pop on me mid grind. Apart from scaring the crap out of myself I have not been injured... yet. I find that having a few belts come apart and slap my fingers has kinda started to make me a bit nervous while grinding.
    On to my questions
    I am looking on tru-grit's site and they only have a couple selections of ceramic belts in 2x48 has anyone tried the value ceramic belts made by merit? At almost half the price of the other offerings I'd be willing to give them a try, they can't be any worse than the AO belts and shop roll I've been using up to now in my knife making.
    They offer them in 36, 60, 80, and 120 grit
    I was thinking I'd get 10 each of the 36, 80, and 120 grit belts. What do you all use
    I'm also going to pick up one each of the 3m scotch Brite belts in medium, very fine and super fine
    Can't wait to get some nice ceramic belts that won't need changing halfway through every blade I grind
     
  2. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    I use 36 grit ceramic for initial shaping and they work nice on 1084, the O1 steel currently on the bench is putting up a serious fight.
    Use whatever knife maker.ca sells a Norton blaze, orange in Colour.

    The rest I have and they work well are a structured ceramic.
     
  3. LeclairKnives

    LeclairKnives Active Member

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    Knifemaker.ca doesn't carry 2x48 belts....
     
  4. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    reading skills failed me :oops:
     
  5. LeclairKnives

    LeclairKnives Active Member

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    What grit do you jump to after the 36? Would it be too big a jump to profile/rough grind bevels with 36 then jump to 120? Would 60 grit be coarse enough to profile with?
     
  6. Grizz Axxemann

    Grizz Axxemann Active Member

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    You could go either way, but you'd be at it for a while.

    The other thing that comes to my mind with going from 36 to 120 is there might be residual grind marks from the 36 that might never go away.
     
  7. LeclairKnives

    LeclairKnives Active Member

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    Would 60 or 80 be coarse enough to profile and rough grind the bevels?
     
  8. Grizz Axxemann

    Grizz Axxemann Active Member

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    Like i said, you could do it, but it would take a while. Probably burn out a bunch of belts doing it.

    I feel your pain about finding grits for smaller belts. Not much out there for 1x30, but more than 2x48.

    What grinder are you using, and where did you get it?
     
  9. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    I profile with 60 grit zirconia alumina belts. Same for rough shaping wood and synthetics.
    Grind bevels with 36, then 60, then 120 etc. The bevels are done with ceramics as I am grinding post heat-treat.

    Did you take a look at Skookum?
    http://www.canadastoolcrib.com/cgi/CGP2HOME?WXREFC=SKOTO01

    Search for "2x48"

    Dan
     
  10. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    I generally will go double the grit until 100-200 then in jumps of 100.

    Find the belts don't have to work as hard and run each grit until it grabs evenly then go finer.
     
  11. LeclairKnives

    LeclairKnives Active Member

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    My grinder is a Baldor 1.5 hp 2x48 I scored it on kijiji for next to nothing. While it's not perfectly suited for knifmaking it's a HUUUUGGEE step up from what I had before it
     
  12. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Jason, have you considered buying 6 x 48" belts and splitting them?
    Seems like an economical thing to do.
     
  13. LeclairKnives

    LeclairKnives Active Member

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    Had a look around that skookum site. Had never been there before. In 2x48 he has quite a few AO and one 60 grit zirconium belt but no ceramic. Buying 6x48 belts and splitting would be an option if they have the right abrasive. The AO belts I have for it now I go thru 2 belts of each grit per blade and that when they don't pop on me
     
  14. Grizz Axxemann

    Grizz Axxemann Active Member

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    Wow. Tons of options for a 2x48 there. They even have some goodies for a 1x30"

    That would work too.

    My question is, since Skookum has decent selection from 40 to 220 grits, what should I be looking at to start off with? Aluminum Oxide? Zirconia Alumina?

    What about this stuff? http://www.canadastoolcrib.com/cgi/...PAHDID=000000121393423&PARDID=744501233447576
     
  15. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Hopefully Rob at Skookum can offer some advice. He is a member of this forum.

    I have found by trial and error what works for me. Everyone will settle into their own belt recipe at some time. Each abrasive works good for different materials.

    Zirconia alumina are good belts for steel. Typically these are about 1/2 the price of premium ceramic belts, have a heavy backing and last a good while for the price. IMHO good value.

    AOs are great for wood and handle finishing and leather work. They don't seem to last very long grinding stainless/alloy steel.

    Ceramics like Blaze are good for hard steel/titanium. I am grinding bevels after heat treatment, and the steel is hard HRC 60+. This hardness will kill most abrasives pretty quickly, but the ceramics hold in there very well. This is where I feel the extra dollars pay off.

    The engineered belts (Norax types) work well for stainless steel, brushing effect. Not recommended for use on wood or plastics. I use these on 304 stainless for bolsters etc. They emit a peculiar odor.

    Conditioning belts (Scotch-brite/Vortex types) are great for brushing steel or the last machine steps before hand sanding or mirror polishing. They make uniform streaks in the steel and give a brushed look. Nice way to finish a blade.

    Grizz,
    That link didn't work for me.
    For the 1x30" I was getting belts from Lee Valley. They had zirconia alumina there.
    http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=48040&cat=1,43072,48040

    Dan
     
  16. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    have to put it up "AO" belts are Aluminum Oxide. that was bugging me all morning
     
  17. Grizz Axxemann

    Grizz Axxemann Active Member

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    Dan, try doing a search for this number on Skoom's site: TM1069377

    It's listed as this:
    1 x 30" - A30 Grit - X-weight Fullflex - Trizactâ„¢ Cloth Belt 237AA

    I'm guessing it's be more of a finishing belt, but since I know next to nothing about Trizact, I figured I'd ask. :D

    Insofar as the Zirconia Alumina, it might be more cost effective for me to drive across town to Lee Valley and buy them there, than have to pay the shipping from Skookum. But if they don't carry the grits I might need, then at least I have an option. Vallen doesn't list anything in a 1x30" size in their online catalogue, but it's nothing that a quick phone call to my sister can't solve.
     
  18. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Yes, the Trizact belts are structured or engineered abrasives. That particular one A30 is close to a 500 grit. Nice belt for finishing.
    The A number is the particle size in microns, whereas the P number works inverse to microns.
    e.g. the P number gets bigger as the grit gets smaller.
    I made this table which shows in good approximation from microns to P grit numbers:

    [​IMG]

    Dan

    Edit: (Skookum shows 0 stock on the Trizact belt described.)

    Zirconia Alumnia belts are only going to go to a certain grit around 220. Example you won't find (or I've never seen) a 600 grit ZA. I guess the range is limited by the abrasive material used.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
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  19. LeclairKnives

    LeclairKnives Active Member

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    I got in touch with rob from skookum. I told him what I was looking for and for what size machine. He is going to try to bring in some ceramic belts for my little 2x48 ☺
    Talk about some good customer service, I don't think I waited 10 minutes before he got back to me
     
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  20. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    Ya. I ordered from him a few times. Seems like a great guy and very fast.
     

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