Belt tool sharpener and honer DIY #3: How it's used, belts and more...

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by mafe posted 04-07-2019 12:40 PM 715 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Making the honing wheel and other modifications Part 3 of Belt tool sharpener and honer DIY series Part 4: Grinding / sanding belt organizer »

Belt tool sharpener and honer DIY III
How it’s used, belts and more…

This is part three of the modification of a inexpensive belt sander (grinder) / disc sander, making it into a sharpening station, mainly for knives, axes, draw knives, hook knives and spoon knives.
(Start from part one, for more understanding and how it started).

This was where we ended last time, with the machine ready for it’s new use.
Also the fist bunch of sanding / grinding belts had arrived.

But first we flip the machine, like this you can hold the blade away from you and the belt will also move away.
This is what we want for the fine grit sharpening.
(The band on the machine is 40 grit and not for sharpening, actually for wood).

Sharpening can also be done with the table on the belt sander.

Stropping is also fine to one side, with the sander table on, but will be out of control to the right, that’s why we want the table away, when we use the machine for sharpening.

Here you see, how there is plenty of room now, for the hand.

The size of the stropping wheel, must be so big, that a long knife can pass the belt housing as you see here.
Yet not so big, that it conflicts when using it as a grinder with the table on.
I could have made it a wee bigger, but it works perfectly well.

Finally the rest of the belts arrived, these are the super fine grits and I also ordered a leather strop to mount on the belt sander.

Made a small wedge…

This loosens the belt wheel more, so the belts come off more easy.
It’s still tight even the screw is fully loosened on this machine.

Finally time to sharpen, here with a 800 grit band and a pocket knife, just for a few seconds.

Also mounted a cheap IKEA lamp on it so I have good light, where ever I take it.
(Stripped the two cables together).

Then stropping again for few seconds.

Voila!!! Razor sharp in seconds, this will become a favorite, no doubt.

Shine baby, shine!

Tried with the 2000 grit, not a lot of difference, but I will try and look with a USB microscope at one point.

Finally the power strap.
This one is brilliant for curved tools, like spoon knives and crooked knives, since it can follow the curves as you move over it.
I did a sharpening on a never sharpened spoon knife, I have forged and it became razor sharp.
Went 320 – 400 – 800 – 1500 and then the strop.
For daily use, the strop will be plenty and once in a while 1500 touch up.

You ALWAYS hold the sharp edge of the blade, in the same direction, as the belt turning direction (sharp edge pointing in same direction as the arrow on the machine), other wise you will cut into the strap and it will be useless, also you might get seriously hurt, when the knife fly through the room, shot off at 3950rpm!
This is why I have painted the direction on the wheel and on the machine, to never make that fatal mistake.

Grinding: 40 – 60 – 80 – 100 – 180 – 320
Sharpening: 400 – 600 – 800 – 1000 – 1200
Honing: 1500 – 2000
Stropping: strap belt with different types of compound – green, Gold, white…
That should keep me covered, as I figure out the types I need and prefer.

I’m forging my blades to shape, I have no plans on ALL grinding, so I only plan to use try this machine, for truing up and getting that mirror on the cutting edge, besides the main function as a quick honer. If you plan on real knife grinding from bar steel to knife, you should go for a real 2×72” machine with a 2hp motor and preferable speed control also. If I get a bigger shop, I will love to have one of these, but for now my large disc sander and an old belt grinder, combined with files are what I have used for that part and it has worked just fine, except the belts die too fast on the normal belt grinder, by wear or the belts open, due to heat, since they are so short.

I will make a follow up blog at some point, after having used it for a while, where I will share my thoughts and if I make upgrades or adding jigs.

Advice and ideas is more than welcome, if any of you have used these small 1×30”, 2950rpm belts.


View on YouTube
This is the final stropping, with a leather belt and compound.
It works like a dream!
Just sharpened a bunch of knifes, two spoon knifes, four draw knifes and three axes in app 45 minutes, all of them are razor sharp and polished to mirror shine. (In my book that’s really fast).
I went 600 – 1000 – 2000 – honing strop or wheel.
So I can highly recommend building a machine like this. ;-)

Hope it can be to some inspiration, perhaps even a belt sharpener and honer._

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

3 comments so far

View lew's profile


12736 posts in 4116 days

#1 posted 04-07-2019 03:48 PM

This is quite the sharpening station, Mads!

Your mention of being able to sharpen even large knives points out a flaw in my Tormek water sander.

Thanks for taking us along on another educational and informative journey!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Joe Lyddon's profile (online now)

Joe Lyddon

10585 posts in 4413 days

#2 posted 04-07-2019 08:36 PM

A very COOL addition!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

22527 posts in 3467 days

#3 posted 04-08-2019 09:35 PM


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics