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 Post subject: Kalamazoo belt sander
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:51 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:38 pm
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i recently purchased a Kalamazoo belt sander, 1x42. so far i have sharpened several lawnmower blades, pruning shears, scissors, and one attempt at a henkles beater knife. it came out ok, but there is room for improvement. i used a p500 and 800 silicon carbide belt, followed by bare leather belt.

i'm open to suggestions on how to improve with knives, uncluding grit, abrasive type, and technique. thanks

pat



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 Post subject: Re: Kalamazoo belt sander
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:32 am 
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I strongly recommend linen belts with CBN compound on it. I have several customers using this, going as coarse as 80 microns down to 4 microns or less. The belts have excellent joins - much smoother and cheaper than leather - and last a LONG time and compound use is very little. Leather also stretches, becoming usseless. One customer of mine use ~ 1/4 bottle of each grit - 80 30 8 and 4 and a single belt for each grit to do over 500 knives.

You can start using 80 micron CBN after a 220 grit belt. I prefer ceramic belts in this range. I carry the belts and compounds so just send me a PM for more details.



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 Post subject: Re: Kalamazoo belt sander
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:04 am 
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Ken,

thanks for the info and the vid. i will PM you in a few days.

pat



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 Post subject: Re: Kalamazoo belt sander
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:14 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:14 am
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Location: San Ramon Ca.
What Ken described is something I've been wanting to work with for some time. But alas I haven't.

At the moment for the sharpening of knives for the general publicly belt progression is a ceramic 120 belt, 400-600 (usually a silicon carbide 500), and felt belt with white compound. Using the Kali or Viel belt sander Of course this isn't what I would like to use but for the time frames I have to deal with this progression yields the best results in the shortest time possible. I would go to the stones after repair and shaping in a perfect world.

Other tools such as mower blades, pruners and loppers, axes and hatchets I go with a 60, 80 or 120 grit belt (you could go to a 36 for mower blades) and usually finish with a 320 and a leather belt (rough side) again with white compound on edged garden tools excluding mower blades. Mower blades should have a flat edge not sharp like a chisel.



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 Post subject: Re: Kalamazoo belt sander
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:00 pm 
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Pete,

thanks. i had bought a variety of belts in different grits just to find what works best. i sharpened the mower blades with 80 and 120. like you said, i could go lower.

have you ever tried the 500 and 1000 grit Trizact belts from 3M? just curious if you liked them or not.

pat



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 Post subject: Re: Kalamazoo belt sander
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:33 pm 
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Not as yet in the higher range. I have to order up some belts soon and the 500-600 Trizact is what I going to try. Hopefully something that lasts a bit longer than the SC 500 belts I've been using. The Trizact are close to twice the price of the 500 SC belt though IIRC. As Ken stated the ceramics in the lower grits are the way to go. They run cooler and have great durability.



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 Post subject: Re: Kalamazoo belt sander
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:36 pm 
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Location: San Ramon Ca.
Oh and plan on replacing the idler bearing on that Kalamazoo eventually. The OEM bearing sucks big time.



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 Post subject: Re: Kalamazoo belt sander
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:56 pm 
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Pete,

which one is the idler bearing? i'm assuming it is the one on the top.

pat



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 Post subject: Re: Kalamazoo belt sander
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:01 pm 
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Location: San Ramon Ca.
Yep.



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 Post subject: Re: Kalamazoo belt sander
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:25 pm 
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Pete consider the 'gator' type trizacts for longer wear and consistency than the SIC belts I use a 600 a lot. The regular aluminum oxide trizacts also last much longer than the plain SIC belts. For mower blades 36 is fine. The Blaze belts are pretty good ceramics. I have some structured ceramics for my 2x72 that are real nice that aren't available for the 1x42.

For the finer grits, the linen plus CBN is the way to go. White compound is just coarsely graded AL oxide. I use CBN on linen for everything past just hogging off metal. A must have for a knife sharpener. Optional but desired for a knife maker.

Especially for the coarse grit stuff, WEAR EYE PROTECTION. The grit on 60 grit and coarser flies off the belt A LOT!! Think ceramic spray shower.

Here's a demo using a coarse belt (36 I believe) on a larger Burr King for lawn mower blades



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