What direction do you prefer, why?

JawJacker

Well-Known Member
Those of you who use a grinder to sharpen, what direction is your belt traveling and why?
I always have used away from the cutting edge. lately I have noticed more and more toward the edge. What am I missing??
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Away from the edge just always seemed counter-intuitive to me... I tried away from the edge when I first started out, but something always went wrong....whenever I would sharpen with the edge into the direction of belt travel, I could see what was going on, so I've just stuck with that methodology. I suspect the ease of either method would depend on the type of grinder a person has/uses. On my KMG, I use the slack belt area between the top platen wheel, and the idler/tracking wheel.
 

Drew Riley

Well-Known Member
I always grind and sharpen edge up so I can see what I'm doing. As for belt travel, it still goes down, towards the edge. I've tried running the belt in reverse, but it doesn't track as well, and it throws sparks and grit up at your face anyways....
 

Self Made Knives

Well-Known Member
Edge up, belt running backwards. I keep the speed down and use a slack spot between the platen and top wheel. I like this method because you can see the wire edge form.
 
Same as Ed. I use the slack belt area immediately behind the top platen wheel. I run the grinder in reverse with the belt going away so I can see the burr pop up. I would be scared that I would cut the belt by sharpening into the blade, especially on bigger/heavier knives because I like to roll the edges on those knives pretty heavy and apply a good bit of pressure to do so.
 

Justin Presson

Well-Known Member
Good topic. Not to high jack the thread but I'm about to finally pull the trigger on a vfd and start sharpening with mine.
What belt progression do you use and do you use a 2" belt or split it in half to sharpen?
 

Drew Riley

Well-Known Member
Good topic. Not to high jack the thread but I'm about to finally pull the trigger on a vfd and start sharpening with mine.
What belt progression do you use and do you use a 2" belt or split it in half to sharpen?

I normally leave the belt 2", and sharpen with a used 220 or so. If I want a little more polish, I go up to a used 320 if I've got it. Grind until there's a wire and then knock it off with a couple quick passes on the buffer.

If I'm establishing a secondary bevel from scratch, I might pick a used 120 or a fresh 220. It doesn't take much though.
 
I always start with a sharp 220X. I find that anything coarser than 220X puts small scratches on the bevel just above the edge. I go up to 600X or 1000X depending on the type of cutting a knife will see and finish up by buffing the burr off.
 

JawJacker

Well-Known Member
What I do is tilt the platen away from me and I made a jig and guide to hold the blade and run in reverse just seemed safer. Cutting the belt was my main concern.

Same as Ed. I use the slack belt area immediately behind the top platen wheel. I run the grinder in reverse with the belt going away so I can see the burr pop up. I would be scared that I would cut the belt by sharpening into the blade, especially on bigger/heavier knives because I like to roll the edges on those knives pretty heavy and apply a good bit of pressure to do so.
 
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