Knew it had to happen....eventually....

Bailey Boat

Well-Known Member
I've been grinding for several years and maybe I've just been lucky but this morning I blew my first belt. OMG.... it scared the living crap out of me!!! I swear I may have wet my pants just a little. All of the noise and stuff flying every where. I didn't have a clue as to what just happened but I vacated the area faster than I ever thought I was capable of moving.
Closer inspection (after my heart rate steadied) showed the belt hanging on by a little 1/4" strip with the rest of it shredded and hanging loose. Nothing actually hit me but I was happy to be wearing safety goggles and a respirator so most of my face was covered but it has me thinking about a full face shield.
Ya'll be careful.......
Yep...... others can talk abou it, but until you experience it for yourself, you just can't grasp the scope of it. :)

I've picked up a few cuts and scratches on my face over the years when a heavy grit belt went. The ones that I hate the worst are the micro-finishing belts (or any of them with a mylar backing)...... the edges of those things are like razor blades flying through the air.
I've had a few go, mine started with a loud ticking, and getting louder FAST, then boom, sounded like a gun going off. each time I heard that ticking I got out of the way quick. my snaps were at the glued seam. I know one maker that got it in the gut and had to get stitches, he quit making knives and is a dealer now.
I inspected the belt closely (after event) but can't see why if failed. There were no apparent issues and it wasn't at the seam. I wasn't leaning on it very heavy at all. Any ideas what makes the come apart for no reason?? This was a fairly new belt, <3 months....
Ed, I never thought about the mylar belts, but I can see where they would be more dangerous.
Mine was above the seam and it was a ticking sound then things when. Flying and I needed a new pair of shorts.
I was trying out a new kind of belt while tapering a tang and it exploded so after shaking off the rather traumatic experience I threw on another belt and that one popped too. I was shocked, pissed and bloody. The second belt ground off the bandages I just put on my arm from the first belt failure. I went back to my normal belts and put on a sweatshirt for the rest of the day. I have not had a problem with any other belts ever. I'm glad you didn't get hurt but I feel for ya anyway, that's a scary deal.
One reason I love the spark guard on my TW-90. I had two belts blow the same day. It does make a weird sound before hand.
After reading about all of you experiencing PBBT (post-broken-belt-trauma):what!:, I thought it was probably time to order a better faceshield- one I would actually wear- It just arrived. I chose one that I think John Wilson recommended in a thread titled 'Safety Gear'. I'm anxious to try it out.
Face Shield.jpg
Maybe it's because I recently added a small wheel attachment to my setup, but I wonder how many belt-fails occur on a small wheel. Since the belt probably experiences more stress at a tighter radius, I just wondered if that is coming into play with any of these failed belts. -or if we should be running a little less tension? Any of your belt fails occurring on small wheels?

I will definitely be cautious of that 'ticking' sound, and be extra cautious with Mylar belts, now. They say a word to the wise is sufficient- no one ever accused me of being wise, but maybe wiser now. Who knows- maybe it'll never happen for me, but on the other hand, maybe some fellow knifedogs have spared me a trip to the ER in the future!
Thx everyone,
I'll be honest here, after Ed's description of a mylar belt coming apart I have ceased using the 2 I had. Mine were in micron size and useful for touching up the edge of a blade but not worth the risk in my book.....
Bill, what I really like is that face shield has so much coverage. When your head is tilted down during grinding your neck, face, everything is protected.

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