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

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  #1  
Old 06-08-2017, 03:18 PM
KevBooth KevBooth is offline
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First hollow grind

Tried my first hollow grind today. With all due respect and absolutely no disrespect to anyone at all, hollow grinding was wayyyyy easier for me. I had way more control over my plunge lines, I had more control over my edge. For me it was a better way to a good product, faster. I realize it's not perfect, but for the time invested, it's a much nicer product than the same time spent flat grinding. I'm sold. My setup is second rate at best, but a nice contact wheel just made it to the top of my wish list. Thank you to all those here who have helped and posted advice.




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Old 06-08-2017, 04:27 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Well, there ya go! I don't know why but everyone seems scared of hollow grinding at first but it really isn't that hard to do......


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Old 06-08-2017, 04:42 PM
Sawdusthappy Sawdusthappy is offline
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Congrats! Great Job. It looks awesome!
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  #4  
Old 06-08-2017, 08:57 PM
KevBooth KevBooth is offline
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I will admit I was very intimidated at first. Something about adding a radius, to an already difficult project seemed daunting.
On top of the new contact wheel I got some new ceramic belts today. WORLD of difference. My old belts were pretty worn, I will not make that mistake again, sharp belts for bevels from here on out.
It was a good day for me in the knife shop. Working on my skills for the KITH, has been huge. Tomorrow I'm starting on the real deal. Stay tuned.
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Old 06-09-2017, 07:28 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Some of the best advice I ever received as a new knife maker was to treat belts like they were free. This is especially true for the 60 grit ceramics that I use for the initial grind on a blade. My basic rule is "one blade, one belt". The used belt will be saved for profiling the next blade and then tossed. If that seems wasteful at first you'll change your mind after that dull belt ruins the grind that was almost finished and you have to scrap the blade...


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Old 06-09-2017, 08:55 AM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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FWIW I tried these folks last time I ordered belts.
https://www.combatabrasives.com/store/
I believe their prices are pretty good. They MAKE THEM TO ORDER right here in the good ole USA. This DID cause a delay which I questioned via email. The guy called me three days in a row until he finally got me on the phone. He apologized profusely and explained that some of the finer grits they make to order and usually ship within 3 days but they had a material delay. They heavier belts they keep in stock. He was genuinely concerned for my business. Good customer relations is important and I'll order from them again because of that phone call.
I would rate their 60 grit ceramic slightly ahead of TruGrits economy 60 grit ceramic. Seems I easily get two blades out of each and sometimes with a smaller blade I can get 3. I use them then to profile a few, then to hog out wood initially when shaping a handle or scales. Then I reluctantly throw them out.

"...treat belts like they were free."

I'm not there yet. Because they're NOT free, in fact, they're darn expensive. I try to get all the mileage I can out of them. Yes, without a doubt grinding goes faster and smoother with a new belt. Maybe false economy when added time is factored in. Dunno. As yet, I haven't ruined anything as a result but I do on occasion realize how long it's taking to grind a bevel and then change it for a new belt.


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Last edited by WNC Goater; 06-09-2017 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 06-09-2017, 09:45 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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I grind my blades after they are hardened so naturally I won't get as many blades out of a belt as you might if you grind while the steel is still annealed. Even so, if I'm grinding small folder blades then I'll do more than one on a belt. The point of 'treat belts like they are free' is really that you shouldn't try to squeeze every ounce of cut out of one as that will often prove to be a false economy. The finer grits can be safely used more than the coarse grits. However, on the 400 grits I usually use more than one on a blade if it's at least 4" long because that's the best way I know to get the particular satin look that I like. Belts certainly are not free but they are part of the cost of making a knife and one of the reasons that custom knives are not cheap ...


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Old 06-09-2017, 10:58 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is online now
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KEV.... glad you found hollow grinding easy. It may be one of those things that everyone is comfortable with different things. I find flat grinding much much easier....I have a hard time with hollow grinding. In the beginning I tried and tried and just couldn't get it. So I just stoped trying. Now recently I started again trying to do it good and finally making progress with it but still needs work.

As far as the belts. It depends on the belt I grind after HT also and my low grit ceramic belts get used once for bevels. IF there is still some grit left I hang them on a hook and use them to profile. BUt never do another knife's bevel with them. The higher in grits depend on the type for example a 600 grit klingsspor usually 1 use BUT I have been using the 3m gator belts more and more and when I do use them I use all of them I wont use a 120 gator then a 220 Norton ect... But if I do a 60 grit ceramic then switch to a 80 grit gator followed by 120, 180, 240, 400, 600 all gators (I don't always go to 600 but you guys get the idea) When I do it like that it only takes a couple quick passes on each grit. And they last a very long time I could probilly get 10 folder blades out of them. Slightly less for bigger knife. I think the key is using them all togather so you only have to make 2-3 passes on each side....I find they work good with slight to medium pressure for some reason the harder you push they worse the finish comes out
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Old 06-09-2017, 11:46 AM
KevBooth KevBooth is offline
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Thank you for the comments and advice.
As for the belts, I feel somewhat embarrassed now. Prior to the ceramic belts I was using economy belts one step above AO, and I got 10+ blades out of them all (yikes!). I suppose that's where I may have been picking up some of the difficulties.
However I did my first hollow on a 36 grit that had seen 10+ roughing and beveling procedures, and several files getting safe edges. It still worked out?! At least to my expectations. I just find it easier to control my grind lines and edge cutting edge dimensions with the hollow grind. Moving the hollow up and down the blade is much simpler for me than flat grinding.
My setup is terrible. I'm using a 10" caster wheel, and it terribly out of round and not balanced. I have decided on a procedure to help fix the out of round issue, that I think will work. If not I'm not out much. However in combination with the new belts, and an improved stance, and tool height, I'm really liking the hollow grind. I need to do more research on edge geometry combined with bevel geometry, as it applies to application and such to make sure I'm applying the appropriate geometry for its intended use.
Given all that it's nice to have anther tool in the box so to speak.
Thanks again for all the advice.
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Old 06-09-2017, 12:35 PM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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Kudos on your hollow grind. Never tried one as I haven't bit the bullet as yet to buy the KMG hollow grind attachement. (Yep, should have got it when I got the grinder) Also, heck, I'm still trying to get my flat grinds right!
I try to define the bevel, grinding it about 1/2 way before HT and then finish after HT. I run into most of my problems with the higher grits. I'll get everything to my satisfaction up through about 320 grit then invariably at that point or at the 400 grit I end up somehow losing the feel for the bevel, somehow tilting the blade and getting a secondary angle. I've found I DON'T like the light J-Flex belts. That's what I have in the finer grits and I just feel they are too flexible/thin. Plus I get the "bump" from the tape joint.

Gonna have to try the Gators.


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Old 06-10-2017, 06:12 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is online now
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WNC....Gators are great besides them lasing longer you only need a light touch and since they remove very little material its easy to refine the scratch lines without moving the grind line up like what would happen on a regular belt with decent pressure
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