Go Back   Ukbladesforum.co.uk > The Workshop > How To's and How Do You's

How To's and How Do You's Need a helping hand? Want to offer a helping hand? This is the place to post your questions and/or tutorials about knife making.

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-08-2011, 03:21 PM
Mike Bowler's Avatar
Mike Bowler Mike Bowler is offline
Laird Bowler
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: uk
Posts: 3,155
Mike Bowler has disabled reputation
Default abrasive belts

I found this on another forum .Hope Johnt1102 won't mind .
I have had requests on this forum for a tutorial on abrasive belts so here goes.

WHAT SIZE? If you are thinking of making or buying a grinder be sure to pick a standard size.If you do not you will face high individual order costs as you will have to take a minimum of ten belts per grit size.Popular Knifemaking sizes (metric) are-
25x762,50x686,50x915,50x1065,50x1220,50x1830,50x20 00,100x915.
If space is not a problem then the longer the belt the better.This gives a cooler cut & a lower cost per metre of abrasive.
WHAT TYPE?There are several options all of which will work but there are sound reasons for choosing the correct one.

Aluminium Oxide offers the widest grit range (24-600) & the widest range of backing
cloths- "X"(heavy),"J"(Flexible),"JF"(Very flexible).It is also the only product in the finer grit range that is suitable for blades & handles.The flexible backings are obviously good for contour work.The lowest initial cost.

Zirconia.Grit range 36-180.Good at the coarse end offering faster cut,longer life & higher stock removal than Aluminium Oxide.Cost about 15% more than Aluminium Oxide but worth it if you are removing metal.

Ceramic.Grit range 40-100 in heavy backing & 120-220 in "J" backing.The ultimate coated abrasive designed to retain a sharp cut throughout its very long life while delivering a higher quality finish.Cost about 60% higher than Aluminium Oxide but the most cost effective of all.While Aluminium Oxide & Zirconia tend eventually to "glaze",
i.e. go blunt,Ceramic grain tends to "self sharpen".Approx 60% more expensive than Aluminium Oxide.Typical life factor could be 3 times higher.

Trizact. Grits 400(A45),800(A30),1400(A16),2000(A6).This is a unique patented
product that is micron graded.It is intended to produce very high quality repeatable finishes on metal over an amazingly long lifespan in the minimum of passes & saves an enormous amount of time over hand finishing.Depending on the finish you require you may use just one or two grits or you may use the full sequence.Cost factor is approx 3.5 times Aluminium oxide.

Grit Sequence.Every Knifemaker seems to have a sequence that works for them,all different, but points to consider are as follows.
The coarser you start the more work you have to do later on to remove the scratches.
Do not leave too big a gap between grits.It is false economy to use too few grades.
Having said that I know a very well respected maker of working knives who only uses 80g Ceramic!You need to experiment to find what suits you.Basically the better the finish the more grades you need.

Joints.There are two types-overlap & butt.Basically an overlap joint should only run in one direction for safety reasons.A well made butt joint will run more smoothly & can run in either direction,this allows you to reverse the belt if you have excessive wear on one edge.

For hand finishing Aluminium Oxide wet& dry paper will out-perform the more freely available Silicon carbide on blades & handles.

Any queries please send me a pm.Any comments from Makers ref types & grit sequences are welcome.Please share your experience.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Abrasive Belts.What Size?What Type?What Grits?Why? started by johnt1102 View original post
Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2011, 09:16 PM
Tom's Avatar
Tom Tom is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Briton
Posts: 5,049
Tom is on a distinguished road

One more thing....ceramic belts.
Don't tickle them, to get the best lean on the work piece and really work the belt.
(But remember to keep the work piece cool)

Belt will also last longer, strange but true

Wood and Knife Making Supplies & Web Hosting from £4.25 per month

'Make no little plans, they have no magic to stir menís blood'
Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2011, 06:27 AM
HillBill's Avatar
HillBill HillBill is offline

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: West Yorkshire
Posts: 2,614
HillBill is on a distinguished road

Originally Posted by Mammoth View Post
One more thing....ceramic belts.
Don't tickle them, to get the best lean on the work piece and really work the belt.
(But remember to keep the work piece cool)

Belt will also last longer, strange but true

I agree with that, don't be scared to give em some
Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2011, 07:56 AM
johnt1102 johnt1102 is offline
Senior Member

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 148
johnt1102 is on a distinguished road

Thanks Mike,always grateful for publicity.Cheers,john.
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 02:52 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.