View Full Version : Big Cork Belt question

02-23-2006, 01:46 PM
I just got my cork belts(15, 400 and 600grit) from Tru-grit.
I was surprised when found that finer belts look much coarser.

Please explain how exactly cork belt work. Not how to use them.

I know I have to "prime" it for 10 minutes before use. On " Making SubHilt" video cork belt looks like it's just a holder for buffing compound. Anyway there is no abrasive left in cork belt itself after 1 year of usage. So my question is - why do you want to switch from 400 grit to 600 grit belt if they just hold compound but don't have any abrasive on it's own?

I've read all post I could find on cork belts but haven't found the answer.


02-23-2006, 05:56 PM
I found some info from old postds:

The posts in this particular cork-belt thread have answered quite a few questions I had after reading the other threads. Now I think I might have messed up. After reading the older threads I thought "Well why pay for the grit if you're just going to strip it off when breaking in the belt" so I ordered my cork belts plain (no abrasive). You think they're still going to work as described if I follow the same break-in and load them with green-chrome? Anybody using them this way?

Didn't work for me. The green chrome is working more as a lubricant than an abrasive. The silicon carbide embedded in the cork is what cuts, the compound just keeps it smoother and helps it run cooler, I believe. Not that I've scientifically studied any of this, just my thoughts.

george tichbour
02-23-2006, 06:39 PM
They are with out a doubt stock removal belts but properly worn in and coated with green compound they polish as well as remove fine scratches. I use 400 grit but at times have purchased 600 or 800 when 400 was not in stock and the difference was not noticable.

02-23-2006, 07:18 PM
I wonder if it helps to put the same compound on regular belts? Will it run cooler or get less loaded?

Dan Graves
02-24-2006, 12:18 AM
I use them wet. Makes a difference. Soak in water for about 5 min. turn the grinder and after it thows the water I use. I like them as they dont build up a lot of heat and produce a finer grind line and are les aggressive as they wear.

02-24-2006, 01:44 AM
I use them wet. Makes a difference. Soak in water for about 5 min. turn the grinder and after it thows the water I use. I like them as they dont build up a lot of heat and produce a finer grind line and are les aggressive as they wear.

Are you talking about cork belts or regular belts?

Dan Graves
02-24-2006, 09:57 AM
Cork belts. They are made to be used wet. I also like them better when they are used a little.

02-27-2006, 08:40 AM
I hope your questions have been answered, Alex. The compound is imbedded in the cork, as I understand it and definitely, the 400x is more aggressive than the 600x and the 600x give a finer finish. I've never runt hem wet, that's interesting. Jess Horn, I seem to recall, did grinding with cork belts, of the more coarse versions, I'm sure. Hope things work out for you. They surely do work well for me.

Dan Graves
02-27-2006, 09:28 AM
When I first ordered this type of belt and received it, I looked at them and thought I got the wrong grit and called the the rep. He told me they were the right grit and meant to run wet and I would notice a difference in the way they ran. I do have a varible speed grinder and ran on slow but, they will work on high speed as well. I only run them until they start to dry out. One good thing about running them wet is, no heat. Try one wet without the rouge. Let it soak for about 5 min. It also softens the belt. I think you will like it.

02-27-2006, 10:27 AM
Do you break them in, or just soak them and use as new? Thanks, Dan. That is something I'll try.

Dan Graves
02-27-2006, 10:34 AM
I used just a little (once and just a little) before I soak. Just enough to knock the large chunks off. That way the water gets in.

02-27-2006, 12:59 PM
Thanks everyone for helping. I just tried 400 and 600 grit cork belts last night.
I liked them very much.
BTW By accident I rammed a corner of steel into belt I was using to do initial preparation and made a groove in a belt. Now when I apply compound it doesn't stick to this groove at all.
This doesn't seem to affect anything or I just can't see it.

02-27-2006, 01:30 PM
That groove should not be a problem, Alex.

Glad you got your questions answered and I'm happy that you like the belts.

Frank Niro
02-27-2006, 11:16 PM
Dan, Have you read the postings Steve has done on the use of cork belts? I believe you will find some most useful information on fine blade finishing if you do. Frank