1x30 belt sander for sharpening

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a Harbor Freight 1x30 belt sander, for w
hich I had a coupon. Total price was under 30 bucks.
I bought a leather belt
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I also bought a 120 grit belt (finest grit I could find locally) and have o
rdered some finer belts (up to 800) which should be here in a few days.
I tried a couple of kitchen knives with the 120 followed by leather. HOLY C
RAP! I have been sharpening knives for 40+ years, and i'm impressed. While
the 120 belt left some noticeable "grain," the edge is nothing short of sha
rp. It shaves easily, and slices vegetables, meat and paper like a sharp kn
ife should.
The truly amazing part is that the whole process took less than five minute
s. A proper progression through successive grits, say 120, 240, 320, 400 sh
ouldn't take any longer and will yield a prettier (if not more functional)
Y'all may want to give this a try.
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I have used my 1x30 HF belt sander for sharpening before as well. Its not bad for quickly reshaping a badly dulled blade, but if you look at it under a magnifier you will see its more a series of ragged teeth than a sharp edge. Even for a steep angle blade like an axe head it will dull quickly if its left like that. A good edge still needs to be finished on a fine stone for long holding.
I made much the same discovery you did a few years ago, and I proudly announced it here on RCM where several members promptly set me straight. Rather than argue I both tested it, and I looked at it under a microscope as compared to a blade finished on the fine stone of the triple oil stone I have left over from my youth cutting meat in my Mom's grocery store.
That being said, I still occasionally throw a quick edge on a blunt tool with the belt sander.
Also, be aware with thin blades and thin tips that it will overheat the steel very very quickly.

Reply to
Bob La Londe
Yeah, I figured it's a pretty ragged edge, based on the coarseness of the b elt. I expect that the edge will be much cleaner and prettier with a finer belt before the leather. That said, I wouldn't really care if there were di nosaur teeth on the edge - it's sharp enough to shave and slices carrots, p otatoes and ripe tomatoes cleanly and easily.
As far as overheating, with a proper progression of grits and with reasonab le care, that shouldn't be a problem. You wouldn't want to try to remove 80 grit scratches with a 400 grit belt - it would take too long and likely ov erheat. But go through, say, 120, 220, 320 and THEN 400, and it should only take a few passes on each belt.
The jury's still out on this. I'll know more in a few days after the belts get here. But for now, it's looking pretty good.
When you did your test, what grit belts did you use? I saw one youtube vide o that suggested 80 grit and then leather, and that's it.
Reply to
When you did your test, what grit belts did you use? I saw one youtube video that suggested 80 grit and then leather, and that's it.
I used 80/120/240... My test basically showed with a regular "working" it didn't seem to hold up very long. I am sure with a finer grit it would be less course and hold up longer, but instead I just used it for really bad blades and finished them on the stone after that.

Reply to
Bob La Londe
"Bob La Londe" fired this volley in news:li4pa9$rq9$ snipped-for-privacy@dont-email.me:
Y'know, we get all sorts of arguments about what is the sharpest blade... but when it comes to cutting veggies, I personally want a slight bit of a rough, wire edge. It handles fibrous stuff so much better than even a razor edge does. (otherwise, why not cut trees down with straight razors, neh?)
I'm partial to carbon steel kitchen blades, and I sharpen those to a wire edge, while honing my SS kitchen knives to smooth edges. That way it's easy to tell them apart at a glance.
For the wire edge, I stop at 150, then use a light touch on a hard fabric dressing wheel to take just the loose burrs off, but leave a bit of the 'sawtooth'.
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
Really? Yer gonna give me one that easy? Because you can't drive a tissue paper through a brick.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
I bought a strap of leather, skived the ends, glued and made a belt. I put a fine buffing compound on it and use it to hone the edge of knives. Seems to work well.
Reply to
I agree that the toothiness seems to make it cut better, perhaps at some ex pense of sturdiness, but a couple (literally, 2) strokes on each side of th e edge on a steel brings the edge back, and a touchup on the belt sander co uld take perhaps a minute or less.
So, I haven't received the finer belts yet, but I'm feeling pretty confiden t in this process which takes a LOT less time than the old stones (and I ha ve pretty big collection of them).
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I also have several stones of different types . I tune up the kitchen knives with one of the 3 diamond hone plates from a HF set of 3 . One resides in my shop to hone lathe bits , the 3rd floats to where needed . The only knives that get stropped to a fine edge around here are my hunting knives ...
Reply to
Terry Coombs

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