Belt Sander/Grinder

I know the knife guys are all gungho about the 2x72 belt grinders these
days, but I was wondering how many other metal works really like using
these. Seems like some guys like to use them for both steel and wood.
Oddly what I have heard seems backwards. They grind fast with steel and
slower with wood.
Do you have one? Do you use it often? Are you on the fence about the
cost, but would use one if you had it?
I have a 1x30 that gets a fair amount of use, and a 4x36 that doesn't
mostly because its gutless. I probably use my 1x30 as a belt grinder
about the same amount as my bench grinder.
I can build one if I want. Of course if I really wanted I imagine I
could put a bigger motor on my 4x36 too.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
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I built one for my middle son. He doesn't use it as much as he would like, having an intern wife and a toddler son. He has slowed it down and used it on wood recently (making Christmas presents), but didn't tell me how it worked.
I built it with interchangeable tool arms, one a large urethane tired wheel, and the other a flat platen with guide rollers either side. There's a steering roller on the top which works very well. The belts can be adjusted side to side within ~1/16", and stay true after an adjustment. It's mounted on a bell crank with a pneumatic cylinder actuator used to adjust belt tension (via regulator) and release the belt for changes (3-way valve).
The motor is an old 1 hp 3 ph somebody gave me, and I put my spare Rockwell vfd on it to provide the 3 phase and adjust the speed.
Ben built the frame out of 1-1/2 pipe and 1" sq tube, so that the frame is manifolded together and serves as the air reservoir, charged with his small compressor. The reservoir lasts at least one day, the regulator bleed rate is very low.
It was a lot of fun to design and build. I don't think I'll build another unless we move. My current shop is too small. My wife wants to be closer to the grandson, and we have a lot of relatives in the Houston area, so that might happen, but not unless we can find the right place with a good shop building and a place for my special needs son.
We'll see.
Pete Keillor
Reply to
Pete Keillor
Yeah, I use my little Delta 1x30 that way, wood and metal, but it's a single speed model.
I have the HF 4x36 which I hand start because of its powerful motor. Works just fine, and was worth every bit of its $36.
Wow, that's a helluva sander. Probably a one-of-a-kind. Got pics posted somewhere?
Your boy couldn't ask for a more loving family, Pete. Good man.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
Thanks for the kind words, Larry.
I never posted pics because I thought I might submit it to one of the hobby machinist magazines. Doubt I'll ever get around to that, and now that MWDropbox is out of action, I'll have to find a new forum to post pics.
I took inspiration from the Beaumont Metal Works KMG grinder, but designed my own with the pneumatic adjustment, shoulder screws for axles, mostly counter sunk socket head screws, and double tool arm sockets. That last was a suggestion my son got that I doubt will ever get used. I'd omit it if I built another.
Any suggestions on posting sites? Do folks have any preferences between practical machinist and hobby machinist? Or others?
Pete Keillor
Reply to
Pete Keillor
Many people use a Tormek. I do. Belts are nice to do basic shape and grind off metal. A precision grinder that holds the knife grinds the edge to an angle. I put 18 degree edges on my wife's knives and she loves each one.
Martin
Reply to
Martin Eastburn
You're very welcome, Pete.
Double tool arm sockets? Evocative name, anyway.
People put things on Pinterest, Flikr, and other places, as well as PM and other sites. I put my stuff on my website, HM, and Pinterest.
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List of 11 free hosts.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
I personally don't have a belt grinder, but I'm considering getting one. By luck, I was recently going through the Grizzly Industrial Catalog and saw their belt grinder that appears to be worth trying. Then I googled and foun d a review on it along with other grinders -
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t-belt-grinders/ .
Has anyone on here used the Grizzly? If so, could you describe the quality?
Thanks!
Reply to
tetianashpek
one. By luck, I was recently going through the Grizzly Industrial Catalog and saw their belt grinder that appears to be worth trying. Then I googled and found a review on it along with other grinders -
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.
quality?
The little baby 1x30 Grizzly they show in that review is probably better quality than a similar Harbor Freight model (which I happen to own and use daily for deburring steel) but its not in the same class as the 2x72 machines. Its really not even in the same school.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
Make sure you can buy 30 inch belts from more than just them. Sure customs. Better if off the shelf. Klingspor is a very high quality belt and sand paper company.
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Martin
Reply to
Martin Eastburn
I don't have their grinder, but I do have 3 Griz WW machines and love them. Finish is good, fit can be iffy, but if you have a file and reamer as you put it together, they're fine machines for a lower price. Griz (China and Taiwan origins) does a much better QC job than HFT does.
I use my 1x30 Delta for deburring most often, too.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
I would have agreed once upon a time, but my recent experience with both has changed my opinion.
I've purchased 11 Grizzly self centering vises
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over the past 5 years. I make various adjustable v-rests for a customer by replacing the stock jaws with with purpose-made jaws. At about $150 each, the vises in the first batch I purchased were remarkably nice quality. The vises in each subsequent order have declined in quality as the price has increased. The last two batches were completely unusable as delivered.
I complained once and was offered an exchange. Having already reworked the vises, I declined, explaining that I'd rather have some assurance that Grizzly would try to make sure the next batch was better. But the most recent 2 vises were the worst to date. After fixing them, and recieving a request to submit a review, I wrote what I thought was an objective review -- no rant, just my opinion supported by numbers. The review didn't show up on the vises' page. I inquired about this, and after wasting my time responding to requests to resubmit the review, etc., I received the following,
"We are happy to assist you. Thank you for taking the time to re-submit your review. We appreciate all your comments however, there is no guarantee how long it can take to be reviewed. We feel customer input is a valuable source of information as we continually strive to improve the quality of our equipment and service. Please note that your review has been forwarded to the proper personnel. Once it has been reviewed, we may choose to post it online. Once again, we value your opinion and thank you for your time."
If you compare the reviews on Grizzly's web site to the recent comments on their Facebook page it's pretty clear what's going on.
At least HF lets you read about all the warts on their stuff before you buy.
Reply to
Ned Simmons
HF is all over the board, from utter crap to incredible bargains. Looking for my post about HF die grinders from a few years ago... To change the subject am I the first mention Tee-Nut today? Barely knew him as I was just a lurking newbie back when he was active but seems sad to not have a thread in his memory today.
Reply to
William Bagwell
Ah, 2013.
"Worked in a plastics factory for six years. Dozens and dozens of the $10 to $15 Harbor Freight die grinders. (Owner was a bit cheap...) While some broke while new, amazingly many of them ran for *years* on wet nasty unfiltered air with only occasional oiling.
What they all lacked was the power to take a heavy cut. The lone Sioux in the plant was passed around constantly for heavy cuts and it too survived on unfiltered compressed air. Sioux makes good stuff! Wish I could afford to buy a dozen:-("
Reply to
William Bagwell
That's a bummer to hear.
Oh, that's disgusting. I wonder if the same malady which is hitting HF has hit Grizzly, too. HF's heir took over and is ransacking the estate and screwing with the company something fierce. And it could be their source factory who is failing them, too. I've read that some of the Chinese factories are outsourcing to Thailand and Vietnam due to lower wages. Ironic, non?
I'll have to check that out. When I confirm it, I'll send them a nastygram.
Ayup, but half of those are written by inbred yahoos who may have forgotten to plug it into the outlet or tighten the blade holder. Reading between the lines on both good and bad reviews is essential on most websites. Some sites show how long the person has owned the new tool, which gives much more relevance to the review.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
Jayzuss, T-nut is as bad as Elvis: He keeps popping up everywhere.
Since 1976, I have bought a majority of the items HF has put out, with the exception of the high-dollar machinery. I think I've only returned 15-20 items in that 41 years, and passed up maybe 100 after seeing the lack of quality in person at the stores. The low price and decent quality of most things has allowed me to buy a lot more tools there than if I'd bought US name brands, so I'm a happy shopper. Seeing that most tools aren't made in the US today, I'm happy to let a US company make their profit on me.
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A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
Reply to
Larry Jaques
Why couldn't you get the owner to pony up the $28 it cost for a FRL unit after a few of the tools died? Air would then have been filtered, dried, and oiled.
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A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
Reply to
Larry Jaques
These vises seem to come from India, or maybe Pakistan, based on the type on the slips of newsprint used to shim the jaws.
I'd be curious to hear what you find. After my suspicions were aroused, and I looked around Grizzly's website, I had trouble finding negative reviews. What really galled me was that they solicited my review, then refused to post it.
Add to that the fact that a pissed off customer is more motivated to write a review and the dearth of negative reviews on Grizzly.com is all the more suspect.
Reply to
Ned Simmons
Most of the early deaths had nothing to do with the unfiltered air. Brief period before I started of engraving the date on all tools which is how I knew some of them were as old as seven years when they finally died. (Of course they could have been 'squirreled' for part of that time...)
They did buy a huge used air dryer that proved to be the wrong type. Never ran while I was there... But yes, the owner would have been ecstatic over a $28 solution. Still occasionally get called about things so may get to pass this on.
Reply to
William Bagwell
I know, but when a boss who usually cheaps out sees that a simple investment might save him money, the suggestion that it would save more tools in the future might work for you even though it isn't the actual cause of today's failures. Haven't you learned to "work" your Peter Principle bosses? It's not lying, it's creative quality assurance.
Good idea. I need to tear down all my old air tools and soak them. Many of their vanes are stuck from sitting for decades. I think only the Rodac 1/2" drive impact from '74 is truly worn out, from 11 years hard use.
Good.
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A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
Reply to
Larry Jaques
Yeah, not kosher. I just went on the website and found that 99% of their tools have 5 star ratings and the few who show 4.5 or 4 stars don't have the negative reviews. They show 3 reviews but only 2 show up (both with 5 stars, of course.) Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, alright.
I found the trick. Someone posted this about the 1x30 belt sander and used 5 stars. They printed it.
"I don't like this cheap piece of junk. The price was cheap and the sander was even cheaper. The first thing when assembling it was the thread in the plastic nut striped and I had to get it helix coiled to use it. way to much plastic and cast aluminum, the cheapest juk you can find and still call it metal. Not even worth sending back. Woodwoker"
Isn't it, though?
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A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
Reply to
Larry Jaques

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