HF Bandfile

I just got a e-mail ad for Harbor Freight, and there is a MUST BUY item in
there (I'm not a shill.)
They list a bandfile for $20, with a 10% discount coupon to boot, making the
thing sell for $18. This appears to be built on the same frame as their
popular 4 or 5" grinders, but instead of a wheel, it uses a belt about an
inch wide and (maybe) 20" around.
I used to have a Black and Decker version of this, which cost a couple of
hundred bucks. I also have a Milwaukee version, which works very well,
which wasn't cheap, either. If you do much small steel fabrication by
cutting and welding, you will find this little tool extremely valuable.
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Reply to
Leo Lichtman
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I have HF's bandfile attachment which fits onto your 4" grinder. The belt actually tracks pretty well. The belts themselves aren't much good but the attachment is a heck of a deal for $8.
Reply to
Gary Brady
I've got the same thing, but I find that the belt slips off no matter how much I try to adjust it. So basically it doesn't get used...
John P.
Reply to
John P.
That gadget is on my "next order" list, but your comment puts me off a bit.
I wonder if adding a bit more crown to the belt pulleys would help?
(I have to go through a "mind experiment" every time I tried to explain to someone how crowned belt pulleys do their thing.)
Maybe the driven pulley could be altered as simply as holding a file against it while it's running with no belt installed?
Jeff
Reply to
Jeff Wisnia
Ok, sorry. I should have said that I'm using the tool to try to grind off welds in tight spots and other various difficult tasks using moderate to heavy pressure. If you are just using it for light pressure it might be OK. Or if you are sanding something with the consistency of say, Talc - it might work.
Well, it's a good thought, but the pulley on the end is not a drive pulley, so you can't change the geometry of that one easily... and at the other end there is just a little plastic "cork" which screws onto the grinder shaft. Not something you could really grind an angle onto to help the situation... at least not with precision.
Again, I'd hardly call the little plastic cap a pulley. :-)
Basically what I've learned from this experiment is that this $10 HF part is not a substitute for the $400 Dynabrade Dynafile. ;-)
John P.
Reply to
John P.
"John P." wrote: (clip) Basically what I've learned from this experiment is that this $10 HF part is not a substitute for the $400 Dynabrade Dynafile. ;-) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ In my orginal post, I mentioned that I have used bot the Black and Decker and Milwaukee units. I did not mention that I am also using one of the Harbor Freight grinders with the conversion kit that John P referred to. Mine works fine, but I should add that I have modified it to take a different belt. (I got a bushel of belts that almost fit at a flea market.) All of these units have an adjustment that tilts the belt path, to make the belt track. John, I assume you have not been able to make yours track, even with this adjustment. There must be something wrong with it. Mine gets very hard use, and the only problem is an occasional broken belt.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
Leo: I assume that you've modified to accept a more standard length belt that is readily available in the U.S.? That seems to me to be the necessary change. Care to expound on how you did it (and save me the trouble of figuring it out)?
Reply to
Gary Brady
Ok, to be more specific, the belt will track and it does work... but when I really put a lot of pressure on it, the belt will slip off about 50% of the time. I've adjusted it every way possible, but the problem is that it's just too flimsy to take the beating I'm putting on it.
I have only ever used the Dynabrade other than this, and I must say it was really a night and day difference. I'm a huge fan of HF, but I think this is one of those tools that I'm going to have to bite the bullet on and get the expensive version.
Take care,
John P
Reply to
John P.
They aren't a dynafile, but it's one cheapo that's been pretty good for me. I use mine more than a lot of the stuff in my shop. BUT I needed to make a bushing to get mine to 'bite' well onto the (also elcheapo) angle grinder I use with mine. IIRC it's a piece of 1.25" or 1.5" pipe with a slit out of it, can't remember if I had it in the lathe to do more than face it straight or if I did more... Nice and solid now, however. IF I was relying on one to make money, I'd have an air-powered 'real one' as they are smaller and handier, along with the large compressor needed.
Reply to
Ed
"Gary Brady" wrote: (clip) Care to expound on how you did it (and save me the trouble of figuring it out)? ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ As I mentioned, I bought a bushel of belts at a flea market, and they were just a tad short for the HF tool. It's been quite a while, so I am trying to remember exactly what I did. To install a belt, you have to compress a spring to bring the nose roller closer to the drive roller. I ground off something (wish I could remember) to increase the travel, and got it so the belts would slip on with a little difficulty.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman

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