PDA

View Full Version : Instead of bench grinder I got this



Brad Hodges
12-20-2016, 11:08 PM
I asked my welding mentor what kind of bench grinder to get. He said 'none', get a belt sander.

So I found a brand new Kalamazoo FS2 (damaged, the plastic broke off an adjustment knob, and the sheet metal was tweaked, easy fixes)
Harbor Freight 1/2 HP motor
5/8 plywood

Works great, I can do much more than a bench grinder, (for almost triple the price :confused:)

15714911571501

Lis2323
12-21-2016, 12:41 AM
I asked my welding mentor what kind of bench grinder to get. He said 'none', get a belt sander.

So I found a brand new Kalamazoo FS2 (damaged, the plastic broke off an adjustment knob, and the sheet metal was tweaked, easy fixes)
Harbor Freight 1/2 HP motor
5/8 plywood

Works great, I can do much more than a bench grinder, (for almost triple the price :confused:)

15714911571501

You got good advice. I doubt I use my bench grinder more than a few times a year.
http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20161221/13b078933c40b863e4c7ba4feff283bb.jpg

Terry


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Brad Hodges
12-21-2016, 01:28 AM
Mini me

Slob
12-21-2016, 01:40 AM
I use my belt grinder a few times per week but it will never replace my 10" bench grinder for everything. You'd wear out a lot of belts before going through a single "quality" wheel on a bench grinder when roughing into shape. Of course a bench vise and disc grinder would make quick work of roughing but it would be a lot of time at the belt grinder to true it up IMO. They both have their uses and purposes each excelling where the other doesn't. It's why I have both.

I have a mentor also. He was the principal at the school of hard knocks where I graduated from. In fact they lowered the academic bar when they seen me coming.

John T
12-21-2016, 10:47 AM
I asked my welding mentor what kind of bench grinder to get. He said 'none', get a belt sander.


I'll bet your mentor said BELT GRINDER , not belt sander.

nice little setup you have but not really suitable for metal work.

I have a similar sander... a Dremel sander. I usually file my fingernails with it.

1571911

Lis2323
12-21-2016, 11:52 AM
I use my belt grinder a few times per week but it will never replace my 10" bench grinder for everything. You'd wear out a lot of belts before going through a single "quality" wheel on a bench grinder when roughing into shape. Of course a bench vise and disc grinder would make quick work of roughing but it would be a lot of time at the belt grinder to true it up IMO. They both have their uses and purposes each excelling where the other doesn't. It's why I have both.

I have a mentor also. He was the principal at the school of hard knocks where I graduated from. In fact they lowered the academic bar when they seen me coming.


I guess I should clarify. I have a Baldor bench grinder but it's only a six inch model. If I had an 8-10" I would definitely be better equipped and using it also.

I agree with Slob. Each has its uses. :)

Brad Hodges
12-21-2016, 03:45 PM
I'll bet your mentor said BELT GRINDER , not belt sander.

nice little setup you have but not really suitable for metal work.

I have a similar sander... a Dremel sander. I usually file my fingernails with it.

1571911

What exactly distinguishes a belt sander from a belt grinder? I had to grind small pieces of 1/8" plate, 1 1/4" square. I'd say I could grind 1/16" in 7-10 seconds?

M J D
12-21-2016, 04:26 PM
The difference is horsepower and surface feet per minute. The grinder having a lot higher speed, and the power to really remove a lot of metal quickly.

JD1
12-21-2016, 05:32 PM
These are belt grinders. Often used for knife making and belt size is usually 2 x 72". Some come bigger but if you do a Google image search most that come up are that size. They will take metal down at an extreme rate, depending on the belt. Specialized belts, not ones for wood. You can use a belt "sander" for metal but it's not as efficient.

Lots of DIY plans online to make them. I made one, works great. This is the general configuration but there are a lot of variations as to where wheels are, tensioning/tracking abilities, etc. Many can be set up to do slack belt, large wheel, small wheel, flat platen and those abilities make it a far more versatile machine than a grinding wheel or a flat platen belt "sander".

15721111572121

JD1
12-21-2016, 09:03 PM
Bottom one isn't as versatile as the top one. With additional arms you can change configurations. The way it's shown now you have a slack belt or a large wheel.

The one Lis2323 showed is awesome, seriously beefy. I'd love to have one.

Here's a quote from Practical Machinist. Someone asked about grinder vs sander.
"As you already have figured out it is the belt SFPM. Slower SFPM sanders are designed for sanding wood. If you were to sand wood with a high SFPM belt grinder it would work but you would very likely burn the wood; hence, the lower SFPM for some belt sanders. Conversely, you can use a low SFPM belt sander to grind metal but the removal rate is agonizingly slow. The best of both worlds would be a variable speed sander/grinder.

Another point to consider, if your goal is to really “hog” metal, then you want a grinder that has a contact wheel that you can grind against. The metal removal rate is much greater when grinding against a contact wheel than when grinding against a flat platen. There are many models of belt grinders that combine both a contact wheel and platen. This allows you to remove a lot of metal on the contact wheel and then square up the work piece on the platen."

Brad Hodges
12-21-2016, 09:57 PM
Bottom one isn't as versatile as the top one. With additional arms you can change configurations.

So the top one can be re-configured so that it has a flat platen?

What about the holding surfaces? My cheesy little belt sander has that platform I can square up to the platen.

What if I got exotic 3M 60 grit belts, and put a 1 HP motor, 3600 RPM, does that get me closer to 'grinder' status?

Or is it the 'uber-configurability' of the top one that make it a grinder?

Jess
12-21-2016, 10:51 PM
I've been meaning to build a large belt grinder

7A749
12-21-2016, 11:59 PM
I have the exact same model as the OP, only I modified it with a longer arm, platen and 6" nylon caster I used as a contact wheel. I put a 2 HP motor on mine. Uses 2" x 72" belts. Been using it over 12 years and never an issue. It was a great purchase. Been a very useful tool.

hommeacier
12-22-2016, 12:33 AM
hey 7A749,

> Yes, that's a nice grinding setup. The fact that you can get at the under side of the wheel is worth a million bucks to prevent accidents and allow you to push hard when you have to with no fear.

7A749
12-22-2016, 07:23 AM
hey 7A749,

> Yes, that's a nice grinding setup. The fact that you can get at the under side of the wheel is worth a million bucks to prevent accidents and allow you to push hard when you have to with no fear.

It's worked out pretty good. Ideally I would like a more accessible space for slack sanding tho.

Brad, you can modify your grinder down the road just like this. All you need is some round rod 1" IIRC, and access to a mill or drill press. The platen is just a flat piece of stock I welded a couple pieces of angle to that have slots in them. Basically just extend the reach of the machine with an identical, longer arm. Sure, it's not as powerful as a purpose built, fancy machine but I've ground a LOT of metal, wood, plastics, etc with it and it pulls its weight no problem.

JD1
12-22-2016, 10:20 AM
So the top one can be re-configured so that it has a flat platen?

What about the holding surfaces? My cheesy little belt sander has that platform I can square up to the platen.

What if I got exotic 3M 60 grit belts, and put a 1 HP motor, 3600 RPM, does that get me closer to 'grinder' status?

Or is it the 'uber-configurability' of the top one that make it a grinder?

You have different arms to replace the one that's holding the large wheel. Each arm does a different function. For a flat platen, you have an arm that has the platen at right angles to the arm with a wheel above and below the platen for the belt to ride on. At least that's how I did it. You could probably think up an alternate to that by looking at the various DIY versions on the web.

Note the spring at the rear. The purpose of that is to put pressure on the belt and when you change grits (or change arms), you pull down on the top pivoting arm and the belt slips right off. Put the next one on and your tension stays the same.

I haven't made a holding plate yet but it wouldn't be hard at all to do with some 1/4" plate. I'd probably attach it to the bench with a means to swing it out of the way rather than attaching it to the grinder frame.

Yes, you want the 3M belts (or similar) specifically for hogging steel. It's not the configurability that makes it a grinder but the SFPM and the power. That motor would probably get you there. The one I made is using a used 3/4 hp motor, similar rpm and works OK. It can slow down a bit if you really lean into it. 1 hp would be good or 2 hp like 7A749 uses would probably let you stand on your workpiece with no slowdown. :)

Lis2323
12-22-2016, 11:21 AM
I have the exact same model as the OP, only I modified it with a longer arm, platen and 6" nylon caster I used as a contact wheel. I put a 2 HP motor on mine. Uses 2" x 72" belts. Been using it over 12 years and never an issue. It was a great purchase. Been a very useful tool.

Steve, that is REALLY nice!

Thanks for the info. I'll have to keep my eye out for components and build one similar.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Brad Hodges
12-22-2016, 10:51 PM
I'll have to keep my eye out for components and build one similar.

The Kalamazoo FS2 is packaged poorly. I found one locally, it was still in the original shipping container, but the box was horribly mangled and the plastic part of the adjustment was rattling around in the box. The metal housing had been tweaked and you couldn't spin the top wheel. My guess is there are more of these wrecks?

New online I found prices from $303. I paid $195

7A749
12-22-2016, 11:16 PM
Steve, that is REALLY nice!

Thanks for the info. I'll have to keep my eye out for components and build one similar.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Thanks Terry. I didn't do any big refinements when I put it together. I was gonna build a guard and stuff for it but never got around to it.

You can find them up there, you'll just have to look around. I was gonna buy a bigger machine from Kalamazoo before I bought this but couldn't justify the cost at the time. Looking back now, it was a great deal ($1200 for a 2" heavy duty horizontal belt grinder made in Kalamazoo MI).

I'll be posting pics soon of the one I'm working on now. It's a beast lol. That Kzoo machine you have is iconic. A true workhorse and last forever. I have a 3x132" Hammond I'm rebuilding right now. It's really, really cool. Totally industrial...

Here it was when I got it.

7A749
12-22-2016, 11:21 PM
You have different arms to replace the one that's holding the large wheel. Each arm does a different function. For a flat platen, you have an arm that has the platen at right angles to the arm with a wheel above and below the platen for the belt to ride on. At least that's how I did it. You could probably think up an alternate to that by looking at the various DIY versions on the web.

Note the spring at the rear. The purpose of that is to put pressure on the belt and when you change grits (or change arms), you pull down on the top pivoting arm and the belt slips right off. Put the next one on and your tension stays the same.

I haven't made a holding plate yet but it wouldn't be hard at all to do with some 1/4" plate. I'd probably attach it to the bench with a means to swing it out of the way rather than attaching it to the grinder frame.

Yes, you want the 3M belts (or similar) specifically for hogging steel. It's not the configurability that makes it a grinder but the SFPM and the power. That motor would probably get you there. The one I made is using a used 3/4 hp motor, similar rpm and works OK. It can slow down a bit if you really lean into it. 1 hp would be good or 2 hp like 7A749 uses would probably let you stand on your workpiece with no slowdown. :)

There's a bunch of 2x72 belt grinder groups on Facebook. Lots of plans out there to build your own. It's quite economical really and a fun project with a really satisfying outcome. If I didn't already have the Hammond and a Burr King I plan to rebuild as soon as the big machine is done, I would do what you did too. There's some really sweet little machines out there.

pitman
12-22-2016, 11:33 PM
I just ordered a multi tool 2x36" grinder from Trick Tools, I'm hoping it works out well.

eeapo
12-28-2016, 02:31 AM
I have two bench grinders Six and ten inch, they both get used a lot. I also had a three inch belt sander sold it at a garage sale, not much use for it.

Mikel_24
12-28-2016, 08:16 AM
There's a bunch of 2x72 belt grinder groups on Facebook. Lots of plans out there to build your own. It's quite economical really and a fun project with a really satisfying outcome. If I didn't already have the Hammond and a Burr King I plan to rebuild as soon as the big machine is done, I would do what you did too. There's some really sweet little machines out there.

Uh.... economical?... compared to what? Purchasing a KMG? Then well... yes, to some extent!

I made a grinder long time ago. It takes 2500x50mm belts (a bit bigger longer than the 72" belts we are talking about now. The design with direct drive (motor housing needs to fit under the tracking arm) and longer than usual flat platten are the culprits. I didn't know much about welding but in truth, the welding part was he least of my worries. Laying out everything straight was key. And it was also key to find a shop to turn the pulleys for me. I couldn't locate any pulleys locally that could serve me well. The tracking wheel is a transpallete wheel (already somewhat crowned). in this case I had to ask for help to drill and tap M20... since I don't have the means to tap anything bigger than M12.

For someone with machining/turning/welding skills and equipment, drops of the appropiate sized tubing (if you go with a nested tubings design)... is a piece of cake AND cheap. BUT if you need to outsource some tasks, buy whole sticks (6m) to use only 1m, get a new motor, get a VDF, get custom sized belts... then it starts getting quite expensive.

Also my feeling is that I go through belts quite quickly... maybe I am using crappy ones? The seam is PRETTY NOTICEABLE. I would never dare to grind the bevels of a knife edge UP like I have seen the pros doing. I have them made locally....

In this picture I was using it on wood, to shape the stock of a homemade wooden speargun.

http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k305/miferna14267137/Madero/63-Desbastado01_zpsdskxz8zd.jpg

I will probably redo it to be able to use standar length belts... whatever STANDAR LENGH means... Changing the motor for a 3ph one and controll it via VDF would be a nice touch so as not to burn the wood and prevent mishaps. Right now, if i am shaping something and I blink at the wrong time, the whole speargun stock is thrased!

7A749
12-28-2016, 08:48 AM
Uh.... economical?... compared to what? Purchasing a KMG? Then well... yes, to some extent!

I made a grinder long time ago. It takes 2500x50mm belts (a bit bigger longer than the 72" belts we are talking about now. The design with direct drive (motor housing needs to fit under the tracking arm) and longer than usual flat platten are the culprits. I didn't know much about welding but in truth, the welding part was he least of my worries. Laying out everything straight was key. And it was also key to find a shop to turn the pulleys for me. I couldn't locate any pulleys locally that could serve me well. The tracking wheel is a transpallete wheel (already somewhat crowned). in this case I had to ask for help to drill and tap M20... since I don't have the means to tap anything bigger than M12.

For someone with machining/turning/welding skills and equipment, drops of the appropiate sized tubing (if you go with a nested tubings design)... is a piece of cake AND cheap. BUT if you need to outsource some tasks, buy whole sticks (6m) to use only 1m, get a new motor, get a VDF, get custom sized belts... then it starts getting quite expensive.

Also my feeling is that I go through belts quite quickly... maybe I am using crappy ones? The seam is PRETTY NOTICEABLE. I would never dare to grind the bevels of a knife edge UP like I have seen the pros doing. I have them made locally....

In this picture I was using it on wood, to shape the stock of a homemade wooden speargun.

http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k305/miferna14267137/Madero/63-Desbastado01_zpsdskxz8zd.jpg

I will probably redo it to be able to use standar length belts... whatever STANDAR LENGH means... Changing the motor for a 3ph one and controll it via VDF would be a nice touch so as not to burn the wood and prevent mishaps. Right now, if i am shaping something and I blink at the wrong time, the whole speargun stock is thrased!

Well, compared to the prices ppl want for built ones, yeah I would say it's plenty economical.

My point was NOT to make an exhaustive comparison of labor versus value of buying a complete turnkey machine, but rather to say that for the guy who likes to tinker and wants a project, you can build one on the cheap using recycled parts and some spare time. These guys used everything from treadmill motors to skateboard wheels and built some pretty nice stuff. Sure, if you want an elaborate setup with top of the line parts then you're going to spend some money. The option is also there to save some if you're willing to use repurposed materials. There's some really clever ppl out there who have built some pretty nice stuff out of mostly junk and out of the box thinking.

But, for $400 you can buy a very nice, complete built machine (you provide a motor) from guys like Keegan Boone on FB. Can't really beat the value there, but not all guys wanting one have that to spend, or may want the challenge of building one themselves. All really depends on how you go about it I suppose.

If I were to build one, I would work off something close to your machine. I like the open slack areas and find many of the designs too "tight" for my liking. You could probably modify the length of the top bar holding the idler wheel to accommodate smaller, regular size belts. Unfortunately, you'll run into seam issues using glued belts versus manufactured ones. I do a pretty fair amount of belt grinding and finishing where I work and if we had to deal with that we would probably get a lot of rejected stuff because of the skip in the belt.

IMHO of course

Pete.S.
12-28-2016, 12:52 PM
Unfortunately, you'll run into seam issues using glued belts versus manufactured ones. I do a pretty fair amount of belt grinding and finishing where I work and if we had to deal with that we would probably get a lot of rejected stuff because of the skip in the belt.


Glued belts versus manufactured ones?

Could you elaborate on that? I think the ones I've used has all had a noticable seam - and they were bought at industrial supply places. Are there any other kind? What are they called? I want to get a bunch of those.

Slob
12-28-2016, 01:03 PM
I ceased purchasing glued belts on my wood belt sander as when they get hot, the seam always seems to part. Manufactured belts are one piece and do not appear to have a seam but they could be layers with the seams not on the same plane? Regardless, they don't come apart until they are used up. I'll have to look for the vendor I've used as don't remember off the top of my head.

7A749
12-28-2016, 05:14 PM
Glued belts versus manufactured ones?

Could you elaborate on that? I think the ones I've used has all had a noticable seam - and they were bought at industrial supply places. Are there any other kind? What are they called? I want to get a bunch of those.

The belts I'm referring to are factory manufactured and the seam is completely flush with the rest of the belt. For what little you save either gluing your own or buying them made from roll stock, you're much better off with the factory ones. The belts my boss buys for the big sander are less than four bucks a piece for general purpose grade. If belts have a seam that's not flush, it creates a lot of problems with skipping and inconsistency in the finish.

Hope that makes sense

davec
12-29-2016, 02:18 AM
There are a few ways to make the splices on belts. Cheap to expensive, not surprisingly. Cheapest is butt splices. They suck and you rarely see them anymore. Most splices are angled nowadays. The biggest issue is what they do from there. The cheap way is to just cut at an angle, stick the ends together and stick some thick splice tape on the back. This makes the "bump" that Steve is seeing at times. There is more prep that can be done. The GOOD splices abrade the backing down a bit to thin it down and then use a very thin splice tape (more $$) to get a nice flush splice. No bump. Really a case of you get what you pay for. I am surprised the belt suppliers don't tout this more as a selling point. Anyone who has used any belt sander/grinder for any time would "get it"...