Belt sander sharpening?

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Forum topic by bandit571 posted 12-30-2012 12:15 AM 1759 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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21567 posts in 2861 days

12-30-2012 12:15 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tip sander sharpening

been at it for a few years. been even better at it when i got my current sander that I can clamp upside down.

As for grits of belts? i get the finest grit i can find, otherwise, any old worn out belt will do. As long as it is still in on piece, it will do. I have an old worn out Task Force belt on there right now. yes, it is cheap. Big deal. I use a honing guide, and my fingers. The fingers tell me when things are getting a might too warm for the steel. Time to cool thing off. Roller of the honing guide gets a touch of light oil, now and then. does it get on the belt? maybe, again, not a big deal.

Sparks: I leave the dust bag ON the sander. I would rather the bag burn up, than anything else. I can always replace the bag. I have been known to clamp the sander onto a bench covered in shavings. I may burn the bag, but never have a spark hit the shavings.

I post this little blurb, not in competition with Mike’s post, but because I am on Mike’s Block list, and can’t respond to his post. But, then again, maybe he doesn’t want to hear from years of experience…

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

4 replies so far

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jim C

1472 posts in 3276 days

#1 posted 12-30-2012 04:37 AM

I was in the machining/grinding trade for many years. I probably know more about grinding tool steel, carbide, and every other steel there is than anyone on this site.
Having said that, what you are doing is as good as any grinding methods available. The only caution here, as with any sharpening method is heat.
Keep it cool, get an edge, and some final honing to eliminate the high marks.
Good to go.
(I’m blocked from Mike also…......his loss on education)

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15659 posts in 2796 days

#2 posted 12-30-2012 04:45 AM

Good stuff, Gents! Thanks for posting, Bandit, and the validation, Jim.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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21567 posts in 2861 days

#3 posted 12-30-2012 04:55 AM

Since Mike has lifted the block on me, I will support his thread, and let this one go. IF others that are blocked wish to put in their $0.02 worth, they can here. No sense in letting a blockage stop the learning process..

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View runswithscissors's profile


2875 posts in 2203 days

#4 posted 12-31-2012 02:03 AM

I have used a similar setup to grind-sharpen planer and jointer knives. I made a kind of trough out of 1” angle iron, welded onto a chunk of 1/4” steel plate that bolts on in place of the sander’s fence. The trough is about 12 or 13 inches wide, extending beyond the edges of the sander both sides, and faces up (when the sander is put in its vertical configuration). I could get just the right angle by first blackening the bevel with a felt marker and taking one or 2 light strokes, then tilting the angle iron toward or away from the platen as needed. I also made a blade holder out of some odd scraps of 1/4” aluminum plate (which I pick up at a local metal recycler from time to time—al is now selling for about $1.50 a pound—cheap!!). This slides from side to side in the V-shaped trough to sharpen the knife. Does a beautiful, even, straight job. One thing I learned is the nicks sand out much quicker on high carbon steel than they do on HSS. I’d go through several grits before ending with a 220 belt if the nicks were deep. Since a 48 inch belt has a long ways to go before coming back to where it started, heat build up was never a problem. In fact, the knife would barely get warm. Of course I wasn’t putting a lot of pressure on, partly because too much pressure would throw off belt tracking. Ended up finishing by hand with wet or dry paper.
But I don’t do that any more since I sold both machines and bought a jointer/planer combination machine with a helical cutterhead.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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