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Fit & Finish Fit and Finish = the difference in "good art" and "fine art." Join in, as we discuss the fine art of finish and embellishment.

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Old 07-29-2006, 09:10 PM
Mario DeAngelis Mario DeAngelis is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 26
Best Grinding Belts


I am a newbie to knifemaking and would like to know where to get a better-quality 2"x72" grinding belts. Also, what are good grit sizes and grit materials to start out with?

Much appreciate the responses,

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Old 07-29-2006, 11:47 PM
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Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
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Belt choices and grits are as varied as Knifemakers. Everyone has their own favorites.

My personal choices are as follows:

Course belts:
Klingspoor CS411, X weight, 50 grit (blue zirconia)
"Blaze" belts (don't remember the maker) in 50 grit

120 grit: Norton R823 (blue zirconia)

220 grit: Klinspoor LS309 (aluminum oxide)

400/800/1200 grits: Norton "Norax" (structured abrasive) X30=400 grit, X22=800grit, X16=1200git

I grind a bit differently then most. After forging and profiling I rough grind on a 50 grit, then a 120 grit....then it's off to heat treating.

After heat treating I do the final grind almost all the way with a 50 grit, and then jump straight to a Norax X30 (400 grit). This allows me to easily see and remove the 50 grit scratches, plus it saves me a load of time and belts by not going 50, 120, 220, 400, etc. I generally finish up final grinding with either the Norax X30 or X22. Everything else is hand finishing.

If your in the West, go with Tru-Grit for your belts. They generally have better prices than if you purchased wholesale from the belt compainies themselves. If your in the East, I recommend Pop's Knifes in Washington, GA. Same great service as Tru-Grit, and similar pricing. (The only reason I mentioned East or West is the time it takes to get the belts delivered to you)

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Old 07-31-2006, 11:44 AM
SteveA SteveA is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 124
Pop's has some Carbo-Schroder and Awuko belts that I've liked. When I was finishing up my grinder and called Pop for advice about belts, he suggested these would be fine to try out the new toy, and I've been using them ever since (bit more than a year). I think I have some 50s and 80s in the Schroders, but have actually used the 120-600 grits. Uncle Al sells some blue zirconia in 36 and 60 grit and some yellow J-flex in 120 and 220 that I also like. That's what we used at the blade school and I picked up a supply while I was out there.

One of Pop's suggestions - that I haven't followed very well - was to keep notes about how well different belts perform when you're trying out belts. Something like, well, I got x blades per belt with this, and y per belt with this other, but this one costs more...


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Old 07-31-2006, 11:46 AM
SteveA SteveA is offline
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P.S. No, I haven't been using the very same belt for a year. Just the same brand...

And thanks, Ed. I'm going to try your grit progression sometime. Sounds like a good idea.


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Old 07-31-2006, 02:36 PM
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Andries Olivier Andries Olivier is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lydenburg
Posts: 315
Ditto what Ed said.
You can also try Klingspor 50 grit CS 610 YY Ceramic belt which is a bit expensive but well worth the price.
Swiss made belts from SIA abbrasives is also very good if you can get them. They also have a range of blue belts specially developed for steel.
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Old 08-03-2006, 12:09 PM
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M&J M&J is offline
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I like the Norton Hoggers and use 50, 80 and 120. Then it's the structured abrasives from Norton or 3M, A120-A6. I date my belts so I can gauge usefulness for knives done. When these get worn, I file them into the next finer catergory and continue to use them. YMMV though.

With sheet papers, I've only known Klingspor 80-600, I have some 3M 1000-2000 and 3M polishing sheets.

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Old 08-04-2006, 01:23 AM
Frank Niro Frank Niro is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Blind Bay B.C. Canada
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For me the 3M 967F belts in 60 grit give the best results. I use these on metal, wiood, tutanium, ivory and even pearl . Then the Gator belts CFA260,65, 45,and A16 work great for metal. For handle work I like the Hermes RB406 series. Frank

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