2 x 72" bench grinder kit?

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tombear

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 9, 2004
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Rossendale, Lancashire
Having got a son ( who's in his second year of a engineering apprenticeship not like 12, ) a basic two burner gas forge for x mas what with a birthday coming up I was considering getting him a entry level belt sander that he could upgrade and add to if he decides to progress with knife making.

I've not found a recent discussion of them here so I'd be grateful for any recommendations from personal experience about whats available for entry level.

Also could some ne recommend a cheap, reliable heat reader gun thing to help him learn judging tempretures while forging and heat treating? We've seen them advertised for as little as ten quid up to industrial grade ones for hundreds. what with how reviews are manipulated I jave little faith in those on ebay, amazon etc but have never been led astray by people here.

Thanks!

tom
 

Fadcode

Full Member
Feb 13, 2016
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Cornwall
The most important thing is speed control, this means running the motor through an inverter, although an extra cost, will pay for itself in no time.
A glass platen is also a good thing to have.
Good lighting
And a easy change system so you can use different size wheels etc.
Why not make your own?
All the bits are easily bought, the structure easily made.
And a good mask so you dont inhale the dust is essential, als a well ventilated work area, i assume that wont be a problem if you are using a gas forge, as you will already know how important that is.
 

tombear

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 9, 2004
4,134
217
51
Rossendale, Lancashire
Thanks for that, very useful.

If we had welding gear or the experience of cutting thick steel we'd consider making from scratch, there's plans and sets or rollers and bearings etc out there. If we could get a complete kit we could fettle, paint and bolt together that would be ideal.

PPE we are well sorted with and the plan, if you can call it a plan, is for all the forging and grinding to be done out side in good weather. Everything is portable so far, even my diddy little 1/2 cwt anvil I've found a old school wooden based issue tool bag that holds it neatly and makes it easy to carry one handed. I picked up a good leg vice a few years back which is wditing to be cleaned up and either a portable stand acquired or a length of telegraph pole sunk into the ground where it will get used. Whether its kept on it with some sort of cover or we'd fix a plate with threaded bolt holes so it could easily dismounted has yet to be decided.

I was wondering if we sized down to a machine with a smaller belt would it be easier to sort? I've seen some cheapo belt grinders on ebay that are powered off angle grinders and I've recently bought a solid Makita 4.5" with adjustable speed. Something in my hind brain says these machines are iffy but how much thats my ingrained bigotry about low end Asian tools its hard to say. Saying all that a inverter wouldn't be a problem, there's lots of electrical stuff as part of the lads course so he actually understands it. I'm still at the magic fairy's end of understanding technology....

Atb

Tom
 

tombear

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 9, 2004
4,134
217
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Rossendale, Lancashire
Cheers Luke!, thats the sort of thing but since the full kit is still £450 it would be a bit rich for a birthday present. I can see him moving up to something like that with his own money if he got realy into it.

Tom
 

Dave Budd

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Jan 8, 2006
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Belt grinders as people think of them these days are quite new in the uk. I had been a full time knife maker for over 5 years before i got one. Before that i used various belt/disc sanders for woodwrking (the 100x915mm things). They are rubbish, but i got very good with an angle grinder and the belt was just to true things up before i moved onto hand finishing.

I've demonstrated to people how to do a very good job with just an angle grinder and range of discs. You cant do a truely flat grind, but good enough and there are files afterwards if you really need.

There are a lot if people that use 1x30" belf/disc sanders that have sprung up quite cheaply in the last few years. I've not tried one, but they apparently work.

The angle grinder belt attachment (30 quid) are no good for actual grinding (no torque, small belts etc) but as a flattening device or blender after angle grinder they can work.
 

tombear

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 9, 2004
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Rossendale, Lancashire
Cheers David
Well I'm knee deep in angle grinders, and old school files for that matter.

The 1" x 30" belt sanders look more in our price range. A reliable one with variable speed and a honing wheel rather than a disc sander would fit the bill, with a angle grinder to do the main cutting. Getting a big vice like the leg one sorted looks like a priority for using the angle grinders. I've a mid sized engineers vice in the Shed but its surrounded by other bench tools and even though there's good ventilation the clouds of sparks would not go down well.

So anyone have experience/ a recommendation for a model of a 1 x 30" grinder?

ATB

Tom
 

Stew

Bushcrafter through and through
Nov 29, 2003
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An inverter isn’t an essential. My large grinder doesn’t have one - three step pulley is sufficient for my needs and a lot cheaper to buy.
My smaller one has no speed control and did me fine for quite a few years.
Im also a big fan of a disc grinder. Mine is as ‘simple’ as a face plate mounted on a motor. I would give up one of the belt grinders before the disc sander went!
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,539
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Mid Wales
I converted my basic Record belt sander into a useable, if not perfect, belt grinder using a couple of rollers from RS, some aluminium section I had in the workshop and a few other bits and pieces lying around. I can change it back in about 2 minutes if I need to. I had a motor speed controller and foot switch hanging around which makes it a lot easier to use but not essential.

As I said, not perfect but I've turned out a few reasonable knives on it :)
 

tombear

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 9, 2004
4,134
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Rossendale, Lancashire
Cheers! Poking around the subject himself devided he rather liked the 1 x 30 inch belt and sanding disc as it would suit other stuff he does. The Rikon 50-161 looks just the job, 3/4 HP, variable speed and within budget but can we find it in the UK, can we hell as like. From the US its 50 quid postage and I wouldn't like to think what it is from Oz.

AtB

Tom
 

Stew

Bushcrafter through and through
Nov 29, 2003
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stewartjlight-knives.com
If he’s not planning much steel grinding, I think could could make a serviceable grinder with the lathe.
Faceplate made up for a disc sander.
Backstand idler to adapt for a belt.
 

tombear

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 9, 2004
4,134
217
51
Rossendale, Lancashire
That would be great for using myself, in fact Myford made a whole range of bolt on bits to go on the model I had, even a band saw. They seam hard to get hold of now, well unless you can throw lot of cash at them. Unfortunately he's saving up to get his own place nearer to his work so he needs something stand alone and portable he can take with him.

I just wish I could find a decent brand of 1 x 30 with enough umph available in the UK. If he really gets into it I'm sure he'll be making his own 2 x 72 as belts, rollers bearings and motors are a large part of his course/job.

Cheers!

Tom
 

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