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 Post subject: Re: Belt Sharpening
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 4:36 am 
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Variable speed motors start to cost a lot of money, the Kalamazoo and HF ones are fixed speed.



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 Post subject: Re: Belt Sharpening
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 8:49 am 
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The Kaly is variable speed

EDIT: You sure Shaun? i always thought the kaly has different speed settings.



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 Post subject: Re: Belt Sharpening
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 1:03 pm 

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Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
I have no experience with any other belt sanders besides the 1X30 from harbor freight. The reason being I didn't know if I was going to like belt sharpening, didn't know what aspects of a belt sander was good and bad for knife sharpening, ect. So I bought the "cheap" to try out the concept of belt sharpening. Lets just say I love it. I only use it on my beaters, the others knives are stones all the way. For being such a cheap belt sander it has held up great. The belt IMO are the part that means the most. I find that just like stones you still need a progression of belts to create the best edge. At first I thought (I don't know why I thought this but) you would be able to go course to pretty fine grit with relative ease since it was such a fast belt. I was of course proven wrong with the trial and error method.

The way I look at it buy a cheapy, if you like it great buy a nicer one. If you don't like it, it only cost $30. In this hobby/industry/addiction, I am willing to "waste" $30 on testing something out.

As I said earlier though I love my harbor freight belt sander, so good luck!



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 Post subject: Re: Belt Sharpening
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 2:48 pm 
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Michiel Vanhoudt wrote:The Kaly is variable speed

EDIT: You sure Shaun? i always thought the kaly has different speed settings.


As far as I can tell they are fixed speed, at 1,800 rpm if I'm not mistaken. If you want variable speed it costs so much more, because they need another type of low-speed coils in the motor for low-speed torque. That drives up the price of the motor considerably. A motor capable of the power and speeds you need just to run a Kaly with variable speed would cost more than the Kaly itself with stock motor.

and before someone asks, you can't put a potentiometer (resistance, aka volume knob, dimmer switch) on a Harbor Freight and make it variable speed, I've read over and over again it burns up the motor. The coils are made to run at one speed, and going slower under heavy load will make it over-heat.



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 Post subject: Re: Belt Sharpening
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 2:13 pm 
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Variable speed is a BIG plus for knife sharpening. Unfortunately it is an expensive choice too. I have a
Burr King 1.5 HP variable speed motor running on standard wall current (2x72" Knifemaker model). I'm also in the process of upgrading my 2x72" Coote belt grinder to a 3hp variable speed motor running off of a 240 volt 30 amp single phase line. The motor itself requires three phase current and the VFD (variable frequency drive) converts single phase to 3 phase current. For variable speed you need a 3 phase AC motor. I can go into a good bit more detail if anyone is interested. Another alternative is DC motors - yet another topic. I'm upgrading from a treadmill motor that is on the Coote now. I have a little 1x30 Delta belt grinder. These days it acts primarily as a belt hook for the larger belts :) It is similar to the Harbor Freight unit. Tough to beat for the price, but there are things it just can't do. There's a reason for more expensive units. The Kalamazoo is attractively priced as a step up from the HF or Delta level of units.

When I was using my HF, I redid the platen by attaching some float glass to it. This gives a much nicer platen for flat grinds and adds a bit more tension to the belt too. A simple upgrade.

Another alternative for belt grinders that do not directly link the motor shaft to the drive pulley is to get a pulley with multiple diameters so you can select the pulley size and therefore the speed of the belt.

I go from 24 grit belts to 4000 grit belts with steps inbetween. Beyond that I use leather belts with and without compounds. Not a big fan of felt or cork belts. For compounds, I use CRO and Boron carbide, but have recently introduced CBN pastes for leather belts, extending the range of options from fairly coarse grits on up to tenth micron CBN. These CBN paste preparations stick well to leather and condition the leather itself too. In the future I will be introducing nanocloth belts, for 1x30, 1 x 42 and 2x72" belt grinders. This should give exceptional final finish results. It is a work in progress. I find leather belts have rough 'joins' and the thump from the joins annoying, but used well they give excellent results. I may produce some kangaroo leather belts in the future, but especially for the 2x72" size, I'm hoping to find a genetics engineer who can grow some 8 foot tall kangaroos for me :)

I can review various belts if anyone is interested.... in a followup posting.

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Ken



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 Post subject: Re: Belt Sharpening
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 2:18 pm 
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Kaly 1x42 model is fixed speed. It is a good motor (Baldor) but fixed speed. A bargain. The motor alone is worth the price.

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Ken



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 Post subject: Re: Belt Sharpening
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 4:56 pm 

Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 11:44 pm
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ken123 wrote:......

I'm also in the process of upgrading my 2x72" Coote belt grinder to a 3hp variable speed motor running off of a 240 volt 30 amp single phase line.
---
Ken



Arrrrgh! Horsepower. LOL

I've got a pair of VS 2HP KMGs. VS is very nice indeed for both sharpening and when one has the occasional need to regrind a bevel when an experiment gone awry results in a pair of 1/4"x1/16" deep chips in a VG10 usuba. :o


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 Post subject: Re: Belt Sharpening
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 5:30 am 
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There's a reason I went for this much horsepower. Hopefully I'll be sharpening enough blades to pay for this expensive upgrade :)

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 Post subject: Re: Belt Sharpening
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:24 am 
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I use trugrit for sharpening belts. You can get belts that are the same used to make the knives, but in tiny sizes for sharpening, like 1x30 and 1x42.



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 Post subject: Re: Belt Sharpening
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:11 am 
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burkecutlery wrote:I use trugrit for sharpening belts. You can get belts that are the same used to make the knives, but in tiny sizes for sharpening, like 1x30 and 1x42.


+1 on that. I use trugrit also. Never have had a problem with them, have ordered plenty of stuff from them too. :D



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