Anyone ever used the $40 dollar harbor freight belt sander with Aluminum Oxide belts to sharpen your knives? I have tried many different sharpening systems (lansky, stones, ect), and by far, this is the best way I’ve found to sharpen hunting and pocket knives.
Sander is here: http://www.harborfreight.com/1-inch-...source=linking
Buy the first 4 different grits of 1x30 Aluminum Oxide (D) grinding belts from Lee: http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/pag...40&cat=1,43072
The 180 is only needed for serious metal removal, be careful with this one! Even the 320 isn't needed much.
Basic setup is to remove the protective side plate and load in the belt, tightening the tension a bit till it runs in the middle of the rollers (beware, when the belts are running , they can easily cut you on the edge, ask me how I know this!). Yes I leave the protective plate off for easy belt changing, but be careful.
I have learned to hold my knives by hand at the appropriate angle, one or two semi-quick passes per side of the knife, and I move on to the next finer grit belt (or have several knives for each belt). I usually start with 500, then finish with 1200 (think the belts are labeled in microns). I also have the leather belt for the sander that can be used with some compound, but I find that I don’t really use it. I simply lay a flat piece of good belt leather on the table and finish by stropping on both sides a few times, with some good pressure. I get about 60 knife sharpenings per belt, so there is some running cost.
I would highly recommend starting out with sharpening some junk knives, until you get the hang of it. Process is relatively quick, and my hunting and pocket knives are very sharp.
Anyone else use this system? This guy shows you how.
To maintain an edge, the 500 (20 micron) and 1200 (9 micron) belts with stroping of leather flat on the bench is all you normally need (green compound optional). I believe the guy in the video says that too about 20 and 9 micron. The only reason you would ever use the 180 is for serious removal (think i only used it once) and 320 (40 micron) on an occasion if the edge is nicked up, or i sharpen someones dull knife from scratch.
The leather belt for the sander is a bit expensive @ $22, and not needed imo. Just some wide leather from an old belt, with or without green compound, works fine for me.