Newbie questions.

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
I could build a grinder today without much trouble. When I first started making knives I’d never even seen a belt grinder in real life, and all I had for machine tools was a 10 inch drill press and a vise. It made more sense to me to buy one. I can’t even remember how I came up with the money for the grinder, but it almost made me throw up.

Looking back, I’m glad I bought one. It got me up and running immediately and started making me money. That grinder has bought every tool I own now, and I have a shop I could only dream of back then. Now that I have an array of tools I could make any grinder or attachment I want. But a big part of that is actually knowing what I want, and why. Back then I didn’t even know what questions to ask.
 

bigdan574

Member
For steels, I generally go USAKnifemaker, AlphaKnife & NJsteel baron as Heikki point out. I to started with O1, but then switched to high alloy CPM tool steels after my accident.

As for a belt grinder. Let your heart guide you. YOU know better than anyone if you are capable of building a high quality belt grinder. I knew I was, and it was absolutely the correct decision. (you’ll hear this again & again from DIY’ers). If you know you have the ability, don’t let naysayers sway you. In the end, I spent a fraction of the price of a top shelf grinder....a FRACTION! Also remember there is a difference between a hobbyist, like myself, and a someone who makes blades for a living. They don’t have the time to worry about “building” a belt grinder, when they have mouths to feed! For me, it was logical to build. Making knives is a passion for me, not a moneymaker. As well as being a DIY’er, and the enjoyment of building the grinder itself.

All that said, you build a good grinder and it will do everything $3,000 grinder will do. Remember, it’s not the tool that MAKES the blade. It’s just a helping hand. Files & sandpaper can achieve the exact same quality, given materials used are the same. And the cost savings can be dramatic. I’m not a wealthy man. I can’t just drop $3,000+ on a tool! You get arguments against this I know...but what you won’t get is the evidence I bring. So, do your research and like I said, let your heart guide you. I know there are many people here who would love to help you with anything you may need.:)

This is mine.


And here, along with the “FIRST“ DIY Surface Grinder Attachment.
Thank you. I almost pulled the trigger on a
For steels, I generally go USAKnifemaker, AlphaKnife & NJsteel baron as Heikki point out. I to started with O1, but then switched to high alloy CPM tool steels after my accident.

As for a belt grinder. Let your heart guide you. YOU know better than anyone if you are capable of building a high quality belt grinder. I knew I was, and it was absolutely the correct decision. (you’ll hear this again & again from DIY’ers). If you know you have the ability, don’t let naysayers sway you. In the end, I spent a fraction of the price of a top shelf grinder....a FRACTION! Also remember there is a difference between a hobbyist, like myself, and a someone who makes blades for a living. They don’t have the time to worry about “building” a belt grinder, when they have mouths to feed! For me, it was logical to build. Making knives is a passion for me, not a moneymaker. As well as being a DIY’er, and the enjoyment of building the grinder itself.

All that said, you build a good grinder and it will do everything $3,000 grinder will do. Remember, it’s not the tool that MAKES the blade. It’s just a helping hand. Files & sandpaper can achieve the exact same quality, given materials used are the same. And the cost savings can be dramatic. I’m not a wealthy man. I can’t just drop $3,000+ on a tool! You get arguments against this I know...but what you won’t get is the evidence I bring. So, do your research and like I said, let your heart guide you. I know there are many people here who would love to help you with anything you may need.:)

This is mine.


And here, along with the “FIRST“ DIY Surface Grinder Attachment.
Thank you again. I almost pulled the trigger on a OBM. I couldn't see spending that much on one piece of equipment either. I have settled on the path with how i am going to go about it. I bought the plans from knifemaker. I also bought the plans from Brian Housework. I really like how much his is put together. I will most likely also purchase the plate steel package from him and built my grinder. I am a tool maker/machinest I am confident I can put it together. The only thing i hesitated on was the wiring of the motor and the VFD. I have done my research and I should only have about 700 in it total. I can purchase a mini mill and build my furnace and have some left over with what I would have had in purchasing a grinder. cheers everyone!! Thank you for all the replies.
 

One Armed

Well-Known Member
That is the truth. In fact, you can build a nice belt grinder, a good furnace, heat treat oven, hammer, tongs & STILL have enough for a good bit of steel.... ALL for the same price as ONE top shelf grinder.

Each person’s choice.
 
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