2" x 72" Sanding Belts for Stock Removal
WHAT IS STOCK REMOVAL?
Stock Removal is one of the methods used to create a basic blade shape. Stock removal involves cutting and sanding away parts of a steel or metal blank to a desired shape and size. Ceramic sanding belts are the fastest and most cost effective way to remove stock when grinding steel and stainless steel.
What are ceramic shredder belts?
Ceramic Shredder belts come in an orange/reddish color, typical of ceramic grains. The grain structure of these belts provides continuous renewal of the most consistent and uniform cutting edges. The nature of ceramic grain allows for faster cutting and cooler stock removal. They are adhered to a Y-Weight Polyester backing. A material's backing thickness (related to its flexibility) is categorized by the alphabet. Backings closer or rated as 'A' are substantially more flexible than the stiffest 'Y' weight backing you'll find on our site. Backings with an 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D', 'E', or 'F' backing are all considered paper backings. 'E' and 'F' weight backings are typically used to make belts as they are the most durable paper backings available (typically found in the wood industry) though still much less durable/thick than the full or partial synthetic backings like an 'X' or 'Y' weight. Typically various 'X' and 'Y' weight backings are used in metal working as the standard. Y weights are very sturdy and typically full synthetic polyester materials versus some 'X' weights often being a cotton-poly blend material to allow for greater flexibility. J Flex refers to an even greater flexible backing material that is often used without a contact wheel and some slack in the belt so it can softly contour rounder shapes (e.g. a wooden handle). It's important to note that our shredder sanding belts can be ran WET in grits 24, 36, 40, 60, 80 & 120. The ceramic J-flex belts because of their backing, cannot be ran in wet applications.
Should I buy ceramic or zirconia belts? Which is better?
2" x 72" sanding belts for stock removal can be used in both zirconia or ceramic although the ceramic belts are FAR superior in every category. Traditionally knifemakers used to use zirconia sanding belts for the stock removal process but since the advent of the newer technology "ceramic" abrasive grain, the market has almost entirely gone to ceramic. This is for a variety of reasons, while you only pay about 30-40% more for ceramic VS zirconia, it is still a tremendous value due to to the 60% increase in cutting speed, 2-3X the longevity and life of the belt and lastly the ceramic belt stays cooler for much longer. If you are simply looking to spend the least amount of money per belt and feel that you won't get the full wear out of the belt, zirconia is a good option. If you are using these belts to their full grinding, sanding & finishing capabilities, the answer is 100% ceramic!
Why 2" x 72" Sanding Belts?
2" x 72" sanding belts offer the best middle ground between heavy duty grinding and finer detail work blades can take—e.g. sharpening or detailed handle work. This makes the 2" x 72" size the most common belt size for knife making for profiling, bevel grinding, detailed edge sanding, and sharpening.
Which 2" x 72" sanding belt should i get?
Combat Abrasives offers several options for 2" x 72" belts. These stock removal belts are the most aggressive belts we offer and are recommended to quickly prepare a blank or a custom forged piece to the shape required. Honestly, we recommend our Ceramic Shredder line here—it's geared towards long life and high performance without breaking down to heat. Our Ceramic J-Flex (available in 220 grit) offers a quick performing ceramic belt that is extremely flexible. Great for using on harder material for handles for example.
These leather strops are used with polishing compound to finish the sharpening and edge of the knife. Typically these belts last a very long time and most knife makers only have one for each type of compound they finish with—often settling on one single compound and belt to finish their edge.
What grinders are common for 2" x 72" sanding belts
Common machines our customers use, though this is not an endorsement necessarily, are the Wilton Square Wheel Grinder, The Burr King 972 Knifemaker Grinder, The Hardcore Belt Grinder, the Bader Bill, the Bob Dozier, Grinder, and the AMK 2" x 72" Grinder (which we are partial to).
What is the best sanding belt for sanding steel or stainless steel?
Ceramic sanding belts are bar far the best type of abrasive to use when cutting any type of steel or stainless steel. Our revolutionary ceramic grain and resin coating technology provides the best performance in cutting, shaping and long lasting performance. As our triangular shaped abrasive grain wears, it continuously fractures...forming new sharp points and edges that effortlessly cut through the hardest steels. Our #shredder ceramic sanding belts provide the longest life and consistent grain finish at any grinding pressure.