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Old 06-10-2015, 08:26 PM
PoolQs PoolQs is offline
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Indiana
Posts: 359
1x30 Variable Speed Grinder - Treadmill - WIP

Hello everyone !!
I have been making knives for approximately 18 months and produced 28 knives all on my
20 yr old Sears 1x30" 1/3hp sander. Like most new knife makers, we are on a VERY limited budget
and not all of us can afford that awesome KMG 2x72. For the last 4 months, I have been researching
on how to make my own 2x72. Watched many videos and read more forums that I care to
admit to. In many cases, I have seen these made from treadmills. Has everything you need;
bigger motor, bearings, variable speed, etc.

I have talked to many sources lately and have warned me about using a treadmill setup for my
2x72. The motors, bearings, and belts are all different. I was also told that since it was an
open motor, shaving and debris would ruin the motor quickly. OK, I believe all of that.

But because of all the research that I have done on this treadmill setup, I decided until I could
afford to build that 2x72, that I would soup up my 1x30 and make a variable speed unit so I
could slow everything down from my normal 3450rpms. (a finger and steel burning maching)

Everything I found and read was strictly about the 72 and not many modifications about 1x30.
Here is a WIP that I did to hopefully help the new makers out there, on a budget, make something
until they can move up to the bigger machines.

Here is my current setup that I have been using for all my knife making including handles:

I then went to craigslist and watch it for about a month looking for the best deal and the
biggest motor. This guy just wanted it out of his garage. He wanted $125 for a month and
no takers. I called him up and offered him $30 to haul it away. He accepted.


Next thing I had to do is undo the tracking and pull out the long bearing units that the mat
ran on. Found out that the pulley system was totally different than I expected. Wasn't a flat
belt or a V. Opps... now what...hmmm. I tried to disassemble the bearing unit to get the pulley
off but somehow it was fixed to the long bearing bar. I waited awhile and disassembled the 1x30:

I wasn't able to get the bearing unit off so I decided just how to get the pulley assemble off.
I was locked into the bearing and epoxied in. After some choice words, I was able to get it off.
It just left me with an 8 thread round rubber piece with a 2.5" hole in it. How was I going to
but that on a 13/32" shaft. I came up with this. I made a wood circle to act like the bearing
unit. I also added 2 pieces of aluminum rods into both to make sure that neither would spin
under pressure. All of it was epoxied together.

After cleaning all that up and making sure it was true, I attached it to my grinder. I then pulled
the motor out and the control boards to see how I would line everything back up.
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Old 06-10-2015, 08:28 PM
PoolQs PoolQs is offline
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Indiana
Posts: 359
Next trick was how to bolt everything down and be able to make tension on the belt. I cut out
the motor housing out of the treadmill and used it as my anchor. I then cut out an angle
piece and attached it so I could thread bolts on top to adjust the belt pressure.

I took the control box out of the treadmill and cut it down in size. Moved the solenoid and the
grounding wires and used my bandsaw to cut away the excess. I mounted it on the wall to
keep it out of the way and until I will build a new box for it.

Now the final stage, the variable speed unit. I took the whole unit off the treadmill and hooked
everything back up just to make sure everything was still working. All good !! I knew that I
didn't want the "handlebars" and sure didn't need the heart monitor. I took them apart and then
cut away the excess of the panel to only the part that I wanted to use.

I mounted it on the wall in front of me for easy access.

Now to wire everything back together and make sure that it still fires up. Hopefully NOT go up in fire. It works !!

Now for the maiden voyage, putting steel to it and really press down hard to see if everything
stays together and doesn't bog down.


SPARKS !!! I could not bog it down with even 2 hands. That is hardened Aldo 1084 at 58rc.

I turned down the rpms to low and tried some wood out. Oh my... no burning anymore wood !!

I really hope this helps out some new knife makes out there. This entire setup cost me $30
and used all bolts, iron, screws, etc from that one treadmill. As stated earlier, I will be making
a new box for the control panel and shield all the wiring. I have NO prior experience in electrical
or mechanical areas. This is all from a lot of reading and knife forums.
Thanks for reading my WIP and if anyone has further knowledge of areas I can improve on this,
I would love to hear them and incorporate them in this design.
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Old 06-10-2015, 08:57 PM
Hunter10139's Avatar
Hunter10139 Hunter10139 is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Northern Alabama
Posts: 396
Wow this is really cool. I wouldn't mind doing this with my 2x42

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Old 06-10-2015, 09:14 PM
damon damon is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: NE Tennessee
Posts: 410
####!!! 1x30 with 5x the power.

Tim would be sooo proud of you!

seriously. awesome upgrade. I was on one of the $35 harbor freight 1x30 POS for 4 years.
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Old 06-11-2015, 05:07 AM
ATalley's Avatar
ATalley ATalley is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Greenwood IN
Posts: 325
Very resourceful Troy! Well done!


"We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends." Shel Silverstein
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Old 06-11-2015, 07:02 AM
Ray Rogers's Avatar
Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
Founding Member / Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Wauconda, WA
Posts: 9,785
I don't know whether to laugh or cry or shout, "It's alive! It's alive!" but I think you might have something there. Put a ceramic belt on there instead of that Gator and I bet it will really move some steel......


Your question may already have been answered - try the Search button first!

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Old 06-11-2015, 07:08 AM
PoolQs PoolQs is offline
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Indiana
Posts: 359
That's my project for this weekend Ray. I have at least 5 different brands and grits.
They all only got used once because once the initial layer wore down, that old motor didn't
have enough power and would bog down before it could remove the top coating and get
to the under layers. I now have a few more options !!
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Old 06-16-2015, 10:26 AM
DanCom's Avatar
DanCom DanCom is offline
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Leduc County, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 314
Hey that's a cool bit of DIY!

Now you can time yourself and measure your pulse when grinding.
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Old 06-16-2015, 08:10 PM
PoolQs PoolQs is offline
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Indiana
Posts: 359
What was REALLY cool was that I used the grinder for about 30 min on 7mph
and it told me that I burned 650 calories !!!!
I am going to be a mean lookin' body/knife building machine after just a dozen knives
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2x72, awesome, back, bee, belt, belts, build, cleaning, design, fixed, grinder, handles, how to, iron, knife, knife making, knives, made, makers, making, motor, project, sander, steel, wood

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