Belt Grinders

Ok... I've talked about them before, but what is the advantage of a long belt grinder over a short one. I imagine heat build up in the belt, but
you would have to do a lot of grinding I think for it to matter.
What made me think of it is I was just using my little 1x30 Harbor Freight belt grinder to clean up some steel parts. I could have flipped them over and decked them off on the mill, but the belt grinder did the trick fast enough. As I was using it I was thinking I'd like to have a big 2x72, but I don't necessarily want to invest the time to make one, or pay the going rate for one. Then I was done. The little 1x30 removed the little .025 lip that was left behind after separating the parts with the bandsaw and I was done.
I'm not sure I could have done them much faster on a big grinder. The 1x30 Zirconia 60grot belt made short work of it, and then the 120 aluminum oxide belt polished them up "good enough."
Am I missing something? I feel like the big 2x72 would only really be a big benefit if I was standing in front of it for a while. Is that right? Well, it would be more powerful, so it could take a wider bit I guess.
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I tried a knife maker's 2" belt sander and concluded I could do as well, as fast, with 4.5" and 7" angle grinders for free-hand roughing and my 1x30" Delta for finishing. For many jobs a 4" wide belt sander with a platen and guide fence, like I used at Mitre and Segway, would be best.
FWIW I grind HSS lathe bits nearly to final form with the angle grinder.
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wrote:

Mostly, the 72" length lets the belt cool down for knifemaking. Like Jim said, the angle grinders with flap bits work pretty well for dressing off rust and grunge.
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They do, but I also use solid flat and saucer disks to shape steel, such as smoothing welds and rounding corners of machinery parts which I'll be handling or could snag clothing. The advantages over a belt are that I can see the surface and small fast-heating parts can be clamped in the vise. The knife grinder didn't automagically do a great job, that came from the skill and experience of the operator. I have more experience making weld beads disappear than grinding blades.
I learned the hard way to be careful where the sparks go when grinding a welded auto rust repair. The next day the car was freckled with tiny brown spots that took a while to sand out. After that I used my home-made welding blankets, canvas soaked in an alum and borax solution, the old theatre curtain fireproofing formula.
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