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Author Topic: Wood stabilizing and knife belt grinder questions  (Read 1644 times)

Offline Holm-Made

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Wood stabilizing and knife belt grinder questions
« on: March 17, 2018, 01:28:00 PM »
I’d like to get into building a few knives again.  

What is a good 2 x72” belt grinder?  I want to have an adjustable speed motor and am interested in flat grinding the bevels.   I want something that can be mounted to a cart with casters to move in and out of the shop.


Also, Where is the best place to send knife handle wood to be stabilized?  Thanks,  Chad

Offline Ray Hammond

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Re: Wood stabilizing and knife belt grinder questions
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2018, 02:36:32 PM »
Chad,

I think most guys would agree, KMG, BADER, BURR KING, WUERTZ MACHINE, NORTHRIDGE TOOL, and WILMONT are likely the most popular.  I have an ESTEEM GRINDER, as does Karl Anderson...and my next one is likely to be the Northridge or a Wilmont.

Wood stabilization- hands down K&G (knife and gun) in Arizona is the gold standard for stabilizing.
“Courageous, untroubled, mocking and violent-that is what Wisdom wants us to be. Wisdom is a woman, and loves only a warrior.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline Ray Hammond

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Re: Wood stabilizing and knife belt grinder questions
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2018, 02:37:30 PM »
feel free to call me with more complex questions....678 300 2883
“Courageous, untroubled, mocking and violent-that is what Wisdom wants us to be. Wisdom is a woman, and loves only a warrior.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline Holm-Made

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Re: Wood stabilizing and knife belt grinder questions
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2018, 11:21:20 PM »
Thanks Ray.  I’m saving my pennies and trying to figure out where in the shop, I’m going to put it. 
Karl recommended the Esteem to me as well, so that’s what I’m looking at right now.   I do like to look of the KMG though too.   

Offline tippit

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Re: Wood stabilizing and knife belt grinder questions
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2018, 07:54:30 AM »
I've been real happy with my KMG for the past dozen years.  Use it for all sorts of things besides knife grinding.
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Offline Holm-Made

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Re: Wood stabilizing and knife belt grinder questions
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2018, 10:50:25 AM »
Thanks.  I suppose it is near impossible to find a used one. 

Online wisconsin wood butcher

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Re: Wood stabilizing and knife belt grinder questions
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2018, 08:23:07 PM »
I got a Northridge and moving from vertical to horizontal is so nice and easy.

Offline bjansen

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Re: Wood stabilizing and knife belt grinder questions
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2018, 08:52:02 PM »
Chad.  If  you interested at all in making your own grinder, you can make a top of the line one for about $1,000 - $1,300.  I made all my own and like them better than any other commercial one I have used. Happy to share plans if you need them.

If purchasing, I like the esteem much better than the KMG. Reeder grinders are also very nice - check them out as well.

« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 09:07:06 PM by bjansen »

Offline Holm-Made

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Re: Wood stabilizing and knife belt grinder questions
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2018, 10:14:28 PM »
Nice work, Brad.  I’ll think on that.

Here’s a question for you guys.  When you grind the bevels do you use a fixture or free hand it?   Thanks,  Chad

Offline Bladepeek

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Re: Wood stabilizing and knife belt grinder questions
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2018, 11:44:29 AM »
Chad, I make at most half a dozen knives/year, so take this for what you think it might be worth.
I recently made a filing jig for my son. He had purchased a rather expensive damascus billet for a Bowie knife as a first project and didn't want to risk using my 2x72 grinder. It did a great job for him and I would think a jig for a belt grinder would allow great precision too. I also firmly believe you limit yourself greatly by using one. There's obviously a learning curve to doing flat grinds on a flat platten, but as a bowmaker with a LOT of experience I would imagine you would climb that curve quite rapidly. You're already used to working tight tolerances on your bows and doing it by feel and by eye. Go for the free hand grind :goldtooth:
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Online GDPolk

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Re: Wood stabilizing and knife belt grinder questions
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2018, 08:43:39 PM »
For stabilizing, K&G is where it's at.

For grinders, the list above is a great place to start if you don't want to build your own.  I have a KMG that I bought off of my mentor for knifemaking but if I were looking at a new commercial unit I would either go with a Northridge Tools (KMG clone but made to higher tolerances, direct drive for less vibration and more power, and can flip horizontally) or a Travis W. TW90 if the budget will allow.  The old Dozier grinders are amazing to work on as well, but he no longer makes them so you would be stuck trying to find one used.

I'm no expert knifemaker but do a couple dozen a year and have a little experience as well as a few mentors who know the trade very very well.  Feel free to shoot me a PM with your number if you have any questions.  I'll gladly share whatever info I can with you.  For me its a hobby that I do for the love of creating.
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Offline Ray Hammond

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Re: Wood stabilizing and knife belt grinder questions
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2018, 01:13:37 PM »
I would learn free hand grinding, personally.  The best way I've found was to start with wood.  I know, crazy, right? But cut a batch of wood, and LEARN to get your bevels done right, even, and straight on both sides.  Then use some cheap steal, even mild steel for that matter....cut a bunch of equal size pieces and REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT. That's a great way to learn to grind well.  A jig is great....a file jig would also be a good starting point to understand the mechanics of what you are doing without ruining a bunch of steel.  You can find an easy to duplicate filing jig on Gough Custom Knives on youtube.
“Courageous, untroubled, mocking and violent-that is what Wisdom wants us to be. Wisdom is a woman, and loves only a warrior.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline madness522

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Re: Wood stabilizing and knife belt grinder questions
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2018, 02:43:08 PM »
I prefer free hand grinding using a push stick.  There is a small ledge on the stick to hold the spine of the blade and it helps keep more even pressure across the width of the platen.  The plunge lines are almost always evened up using a work rest.  There is no real wrong way to grind if you are happy with the result.  Experiment with different techniques and eventually you will find one you like and are proficient using then practice, practice, practice.  And above all else have fun!
Barry Clodfelter
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