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The Newbies Arena New to Knife Making? Here's all the help you need ...

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  #1  
Old 12-23-2016, 07:56 PM
tyrippin tyrippin is offline
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harbor 130!!!

Hey everyone! I'm new to knife making and recently purchased a harbor freight 130 and I'm struggling with it!
Looking for some advice from people who have experience with them!

One major problem is getting the belts to fit correctly I've messed with the tension but there's still a good bit of slack!

And bevels....oh bevels haha I can't get a decent bevel!
I've done plenty with files but want to learn on a grinder, I've been doing freehand and have had less than decent results. Any tips! Or simple cheap jigs I could build!?

Lastly ANY re omandations on simple mods or anything about this machine would be super helpful!
Thanks guys,
Ty.
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  #2  
Old 12-23-2016, 08:35 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Look at it this way: once a person decides for sure they want to make knives they need a good grinder and that's about a $2000 out lay. Your 1x30 was probably under $50. That indicates a huge difference in the type of performance you can expect from those two grinders.

Bottom line is, lots of guys try to start out with a 1x30 (I did) but, honestly, you're better off using files and sand paper. The 1x30 has no power, won't track if you put any pressure on it, and the belts are so small that they wear out almost instantly if you do manage to grind some metal with it. I made one or two pen knife sized blade with mine and threw it away.

So, my 'tip' would be to stick with the files for a while until you feel ready to spend at least $600 on a Grizzly or similar entry level machine. Others will tell you about 2x48 machines and various 4x36 things and all those can be crudely used, many knives made on them. But, the really good ones cost a fair piece of what a Griz 2x72 will cost and while the Griz is no Cadillac it is a turn key system with a ton of power. Probably half the makers I hear from have started with a Griz and continue to use them even after they get a much more expensive grinder (because one grinder is never enough) ....


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  #3  
Old 12-23-2016, 09:22 PM
tyrippin tyrippin is offline
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I hear ya man, thanks for your advice! I was actually lookin at a 272 by a brand names ameribade? What do u think of that machine!?
Not gonna be anytime soon but I am saving up for one!
Until then I'll keep in truck in with this 130!
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  #4  
Old 12-23-2016, 09:24 PM
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M&J M&J is offline
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+1 with Ray. Getting started is a wallet hit when building up the gear when making the commitment. I'd been a collector many years before having the urge to make knives. When I asked makers what their advice was, they had gone through the machine progression. Their advice was buy it right the first time and get a 960 2x72 Burr King. Wilton and Burr King were the main choices back in the mid 90's.

I bought a single speed and that worked for hogging out steel and roughing stuff. For finish work, nope. About a month later a call for a variable speed motor to swap the single out. For a grinder these days your pick on wallet comfort, I would suggest a variable speed motor with it too. That way you can hog out the heavy stuff and do light finishing work on them.

My years were served well with two grinders but 3 would have been nice. One with the big contact wheel, the flat platen/knife maker attachment and small wheel set-up's. YMMV.


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  #5  
Old 12-24-2016, 12:12 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is online now
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Cool Tyripping, how much do you want to be a blade maker?

That is the question. I am a hobbyist who has made knives since the early 90s and a few way before out of necessity. I live in an apt. and have to put my grinder on a big heavy duty cart to take outside. I use a 1x42 with an 8" disc on the side. The disc is great for flattening wood and setting angles. I do my finishing by hand with silicon carbide (SC) wet-dry sandpaper and diamond compound, but that's a conversation for another day. For small knives I'm good with the 1x42, if I go big I use an angle grinder to get my initial bevels and contour. I live on a fixed income and a budget. Because of size constraints I really cannot go bigger than a 2x48 or 2x42. There are not a lot of choices for those two, the best is the Kalamazoo 2x48 at $436 shipping included, it has a 1/2 HP Baldor motor and is good quality and American made. Of the 2x42s available the Palmgren is the best at around $200. Since they both can grind vertical or horizontal and Tru-grit carries a big variety of belts for both one of those two is what I'll go for next.

The 2x72 is the grinder of choice for almost all knifemakers. The Grizzly is hands down the cheapest at less than $600 shipping included from Grizzly. It seems to have tracking problems and needs some tweaking just to warn you and it will need a harder platen before long. Ray and the guys can tell you all about both of those problems. Kalamazoo makes a 2x72 for $730, but it only has the same 1/2 HP motor as the 2x48. You can buy it without the motor for $550 and get a nice 1 HP for $300 or less, just remember it has to be enclosed. Those are the 2 options for less than $1000 for 2x72 and both will need platens that are not mild steel. My Delta came with a mild steel platen, I took a 1"wide piece of 1/8" O1 and put a slot on one end and bent it in a press and Heat treated it and tempered it to about RC61-62 and it has stayed good for a long time. Or you can get a ceramic plate. Also do not forget you can build your own 2x72, USA Knifemakers sell plans for them, plus there are lot of YouTube vids about that.

I know a lot of makers will tell you get the 2x72 and if you have the money that's fine and your 1x30 is OK for wood handle shaping and sharpening and probably with the right belts could make some small knives, but if your belts won't get tight take it back and get a refund or buy their 4x36 with the credit take the 3/4 HP motor off (throw the rest away) buy the 2x48 Kalamazoo without the motor for $280 plus $26 shipping from Jantz supply and put it on that. A powerful 2x48 for less than $400 and the Kalamazoo has a rubber contact wheel and the motor won't get in the way because it will be behind it running it on a pulley.

So there you go, lots of options, but take that defective sander back to HF if nothing else.
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  #6  
Old 12-24-2016, 07:45 AM
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Crex Crex is offline
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You want to get the most out of the 1x30 drink lots of coffee first so you can match the bumps and jerks of the machine......just sayin.

All of the above - precision requires precision.


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  #7  
Old 12-24-2016, 11:47 AM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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^^These guys know what they're talking about. There is a reason the 2 x 72 is the "standard". Listen to them. However, you have a 1 x 30 and want to make some knives.

You can make knives with the 1 x 30. That is a tentative "can". I made probably a dozen or so with one before buying the 2 x 72. Just understand you are handicapped right out of the gate and will never reach a level of efficiency that you can on a "real" grinder. Thus you will struggle with multiple issues and also never acheive quite the level of enjoyment that knifemaking can bring.

Yet you can do it, I did.

I do not believe you will have any success in trying to freehand grind with a 1 x 30 for a number of reasons which includes every reason laid out in previous replies as to why a 1 x 30 just won't do.
I had to use a jig. So make yourself a simple homemade jig (YouTube) and clamp some mild steel to it to practice. Get some mild steel from Lowes or Home Depot and grind a few. Transfer what you learn to some relatively inexpensive and easy to heat treat steel, like 1084 and make some blades.
If you find you like it, then save your pesos for a 2 x 72 like the Grizzly Ray mentions above, or even better, take the advice Ray gave me and save a few more pesos, jump over the Grizzly and get something better like a KMG, because you're going to end up doing that eventually anyway.


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Last edited by WNC Goater; 12-24-2016 at 11:51 AM.
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  #8  
Old 12-25-2016, 12:10 AM
PoolQs PoolQs is offline
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Everyone is correct that a 2x72 is optimal. Myself, like you, can't get one of those at this time. I still wanted
to learn to make knives and only have a 1x30. I have made it work now for more than 3 years and 50+ knives.
I have just about every belt they have but I also burn them up 4x faster. I have made a 14" Bowie,
a 10" fighter, and several dozen chef knives, most of which are 8", 10" and 12".

Is my work anywhere near the quality of the rest, NO. Can I make their quality in the future with my equip, NO.
Am I having fun learning and expanding my abilities, YES !!! Does it take me 10x longer to make a knife, YES.
But still having fun, YES !!

My opinion is do what you can with what you have and learn. When I finally get my "Big Boy Machine",
I will be so far ahead in my learning curve. Here is a link of what I did with my 1x30. I turned into a
variable speed and I now can do soo much more:
http://www.knifenetwork.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=65237

Good Luck and have FUN !!!
Troy
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  #9  
Old 12-26-2016, 03:46 PM
milkbaby milkbaby is offline
 
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+1 to Troy above! I'm a newbie and only made 3 knives all on a combo 1x30 with a 6" disc... better to do it now and learn than only dream about it! It may be more difficult, but the thing is it forces me to really take care and make sure I am doing things right. If you can grind 50+ knives on a 1x30 like Troy, just imagine how skilled you'll be, and then if/when you upgrade to a 2x72...

If you get to 90-95% done on a 1x30 then the rest by hand, there's no reason your knives can't be totally awesome IMHO.
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  #10  
Old 12-27-2016, 06:00 AM
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Crex Crex is offline
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Hey Troy, looked over your treadmill grinder thread. All you needed to do was add an arm for a third wheel (contact) and have some wider drive and idler wheels turned and trued and you'd have a 2x72 varispeed grinder.
Probably could have used some of the frame work from the TM. Great ingenious conversion as is, but could be an easy inexpensive conversion bump to the 2x72.
Any how, great thread thanks for sharing. Just goes to show there are more than a few ways to skin the neighbor's cat.


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  #11  
Old 01-14-2017, 04:51 PM
tyrippin tyrippin is offline
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Wow guys! Just saw all these response haven't been on here in awhile!! I have been busy with my 1 by 30 and have definently caught the bug! In love with this craft! Just finished my first knife today and am pretty stoked on it! Where I want it to be absolutely not.
Couple things I'm strugglimg with
_grinding the bevels to thin before heT treatment.
How do I bring the bevel up high enough with out getting it to thin?
_ have a glass platen what is the best way to apply it?
_ easiest way to put final edge on? What belts?
Thank u guys!
Ty
_
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  #12  
Old 01-14-2017, 05:32 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Glass platen on a 1x30? Don't bother. But, if you must, apply the glass with double sided carpet tape after AFTER AAAFFFTTTEEERRR you screw a small piece of metal to the bottom of the platen to support the glass and prevent it from slipping down. If it slips down while the machine is running it could turn into a glass grenade. Maybe not considering the power of a 1x30 but it's YOUR eyes at risk so I'd put the foot under the glass. Nothing else, no kind of epoxy, can guarantee that the glass won't slip. Yes, I have 'attitude' on this subject because I survived a glass grenade and it wasn't fun.

Grinding the bevels too thin, solution: more practice (seriously).

Ditto to bringing the bevel up higher, practice. More power would make it a lot easier too.

Final edge, 120 grit until its sharp, then finish with a manual system like a Lansky...


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  #13  
Old 01-14-2017, 05:56 PM
Wrankin Wrankin is offline
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I got the HF 1x30 myself. I think it was about $27 after all the coupons.

Quote:
Just finished my first knife today and am pretty stoked on it!
Sweet! Upload a pic!

Quote:
How do I bring the bevel up high enough with out getting it too thin?
Practice and a much lighter touch. It's very tough on the 1x30 - the belt is just moving too fast. You may want to try using a slightly finer grit belt - you will go through them faster, but it will slow things down a bit and that will help.

In general I've been using the 1x30 for profiling and cutting the initial bevel. Then I switch over to a file jig to set the final geometry.

Quote:
easiest way to put final edge on?
I actually use a Lansky. If you want to use the 1x30 go on YouTube and search for something like "1x30 knife sharpening" and you will get a host of videos that cover that fairly well.

Good luck,

-bill


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  #14  
Old 01-14-2017, 06:02 PM
PoolQs PoolQs is offline
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Ray is right on these issues. I have one on my 1x30 and it been on for about 2 years now. I really thought
it would make a considerable amount of lowering the heat level on grinding. It did but in very small amounts.
I did what Ray said and put a small metal bar for the glass to rest on top of. The only difference, I tried the
tape first and it got hot and lost its stickiness. I then put it on with high temp JB Weld and have had no issues
with it since.
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  #15  
Old 01-14-2017, 06:43 PM
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cnccutter cnccutter is offline
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Ray is right about the practice. You can't have enough of it! I still have days I struggle after 200+ folders.

One thing people haven't touch on is your method of grinding. You didn't say if your using layout die. If your not, get some! When you starting out as a beginner, you need to know for sure where and how much you need to grind off. You need side profile lines and a set of double lines on the cutting edge to grind too and keep the blade centered. It takes a person that grinds every day to even have a reasonable chance at just picking up a bar and having things turn out right.

Erik

Ps, might fill out your bio a little better. Never know, you might have a knife make right around the corner that would be willing to show you a few tricks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tyrippin View Post
Wow guys! Just saw all these response haven't been on here in awhile!! I have been busy with my 1 by 30 and have definently caught the bug! In love with this craft! Just finished my first knife today and am pretty stoked on it! Where I want it to be absolutely not.
Couple things I'm strugglimg with
_grinding the bevels to thin before heT treatment.
How do I bring the bevel up high enough with out getting it to thin?
_ have a glass platen what is the best way to apply it?
_ easiest way to put final edge on? What belts?
Thank u guys!
Ty
_
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