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Author Topic: Drag sharpener vs CBN  (Read 1815 times)

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Offline Quebecnewf

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Drag sharpener vs CBN
« on: August 30, 2021, 04:24:23 PM »
Both types have been around now long enough to get some real world feed back . 

What are your thoughts ?

Have you used both ?

Cost to run each kind ?

Blade life ?

Stone life ?

And the biggie 

How sharp are your blades .?

Jump in with your comments and feel free to criticize 
Or praise either or 

Quebecnewf  

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2021, 05:20:14 PM »
 :P
John Sawicky

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Offline Bradm

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2021, 05:38:49 PM »
In my opinion, there is no comparison in quality and long term cost.  CBN all the way.  It may cost a bit more to setup and each wheel profile costs more than the $15-20 per aluminum oxide wheel, but you get a sharper tooth with a profile that doesn't change due to wear.

Edit: added "long term" above

Offline JoshNZ

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2021, 05:54:24 PM »
I've not used a CBN wheel but have spent a lot of time reading about both while modifying the ltaga I have.

The resounding answer is "why didn't I switch to CBN sooner". I don't think you'll find anyone advocating for drag type over CBN. Other than someone like me who is running out the last of my assorted blade types before I switch to one type - and CBN

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2021, 07:11:56 PM »
I've had both.  Both a drag and CBN sharpener work fine.  Both make bands sharp.  Both need user knowledge.  The drag sharpener is good when lots of profiles are needed.  The CBN sharpener excels where limited profiles are used.

The comparison ends there.....

CBN is like the difference between an automatic dishwasher and washing dishes by hand in the sink.  It's the difference between manual steering and power steering.  It's like the difference between an axe and a chainsaw.  It's the difference between a boat paddle and an outboard motor.  It's the difference between a hammer and a nail gun.  

A CBN gives the exact same profile, every time, all the time.  I can sharpen a band in 3 minutes.  The wheels are expensive, but only cost about half the price of a box of bands, so its not a big deal. The wheels last a very long time.  I only have to make minimal adjustments between bands, most time none at all.  I can do 15 to 20 bands in an hour while watching Tube on my iPhone.

A drag sharpener, uses a "rock" or wheel that will change profile every band, or every several bands, depending on composition, thus changing the profile of the band.  The wheels are cheap, but don't last long, and a half dozen of them equals about one CBN wheel, so the cost is a wash.  Since the profile of an abrasive wheel changes continually, adjustments must be made every band to get it just right.  With my old sharpener, it took two passes, sometimes 3, at about 7 minutes for pass to get my bands sharp.  That's 15 minutes per band, or 4 bands per hour.  Considering I go through 2 or 3 bands a day, that's an hour of sharpening every day.  Nope, not gonna happen.  I'd rather poke myself in a soft spot with a sharp stick....Compare that with a CBN where I walk out to the garbage in the morning, start up the sharpener, put on my boots, take the just sharpened band out, put in another, and a couple minutes later I have two sharpened bands and I'm heading towards the mill.  Ball game.  

I had a guy call me up years ago and offer to give me his two drag sharpeners for free, because he had switched to CBN.  I didn't want them, and didn't take them, even for free.  It's not an issue of machine quality, at all, but rather, it's an issue of technology.  Do you want to use a horse or a car?  Both will work.  Me, I just want to get in, turn the key, step on the gas, and get to where I'm going.        
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Offline Cedarman

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2021, 07:36:47 AM »
Having started in 83 with a hand setter, no dials, all guesswork and a sharpener that you pulled down by hand, it is like going from horse and buggy to a ferrari.
Going from pulling down the sharpener to the automatic sharpener many years ago was like going from the horse and buggy to a model T.  Needed a little cranking, but you didn't have to feed the horse every day.  
I remember Bibbyman expounding on his new CBN.  Don't know why I waited so long.
I am in the pink when sawing cedar.

Offline Percy

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2021, 11:25:50 AM »
I have had both types and while the CBN  is much better, I did/do appreciate what I learned using the drag type. 
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Offline JustinW_NZ

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2021, 05:02:31 AM »
CBN all the way  :) - consistency is key in my view
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Offline alan gage

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2021, 09:26:11 AM »
I asked for advice about a drag sharpener and everyone recommended I go with CBN. I simply couldn't justify the extra expense so bought a drag sharpener. It's worked ok but I wish I hadn't bought it. That doesn't mean I wish I would have bought a CBN, I just wish I wouldn't have bought any sharpener and sent my blades out instead.

I'm low volume.

Alan
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2021, 09:35:08 AM »
I will forever be grateful that Wood-Mizer's Resharp service was a viable option for me 20 years ago.  :)
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Offline Durf700

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2021, 10:20:24 AM »
I don't mill a ton every month, but wanted to get set up with sharpening and setting my bands.  I didn't want to spend a ton of money.. I looked around for several months, didn't find anything that was a good enough deal to justify going used.  I started out with the manual woodmizer sharpener/setter combo for 1 day.. I hated it due to having to advance the blade and then apply consistent pressure to the CBN when sharpening each tooth.  luckilly my local woodmizer shop was nice enough to order me the BMS 250 full auto sharpener..  what a difference!  I then purchased a BMT 250 full auto setter about 2 weeks later also. I was spending about 15 minutes a band on the manual cooks setter (granted, I was not super efficient with this) ...  after 2 days with the setter and understanding it I can set the bands within about 2 minutes.  this includes time to place band on setter, dial in the setter and make a complete pass. 

its a large investment for both the setter and sharpener if you want to go full auto..  but in my rookie opinion, bite the bullet and get the right equipment the first time..  because time is money and consistency/accuracy is key .

they all work, just depends on what your after and your budget. 

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2021, 12:02:54 PM »
I'm trying to get my hands on a BMS25 (the 12v version drag sharpener).  I called my local WM.  They had one on the shelf (Friday late) but would call me back next week to let me know if was reserved for an order (?).  Never got a call back all week (got sidetracked on my end) so I called Tuesday (yesterday).  Oh, sorry, that one is not available.  We could order one but 4 to 6 months wait.  Thanks for making me wait.  

So I called every WM dealer (except Alaska) yesterday to see what they might have.  Talked to 2 and left messages for all the others.  One said none available but could order.  The other said they had one but it was a really old order and shouldn't be here.  He wanted me to call him back today sometime to check. ::)  I said, how about you call me when you find out!  He called this morning and it was not available.  I'd hate to be that customer that ordered it and never notified it was in for a "long time".  So far, none of the others have called back - they've been open for 3 to 5 hours now.  One of the message said they would get back to me in a couple of days.  Wow...  Colorado is just a busy signal - still in business?  Another puts me in a phone tree but I need to know an extension to leave a message - Whaaaa?

I can see not having a mill in stock as it wouldn't have the options a customer might want.  But a commodity item like a setter or sharpener?  I would think you would want one on hand to make the sale, especially now with the long lead times.  Very frustrating. :-X
John Sawicky

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Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2021, 12:34:32 PM »
The BMS 250 and BMT 250 paid for themselves in about a year (nearly 500 sharpenings).  I was expecting about 15-18 months payback but the amount of sawing I was doing shortened the payback period.  My costs now are my time, cutting oil and CBN wheels.  In the time it takes me to pack and ship a box of blades, I can sharpen at least half that box at home.

The good thing about sharpening my own blades is I do not hesitate to change blades often to ensure quality of cut.
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Offline Southside

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2021, 01:29:55 PM »
I can see not having a mill in stock as it wouldn't have the options a customer might want.  But a commodity item like a setter or sharpener?  I would think you would want one on hand to make the sale, especially now with the long lead times.  Very frustrating


They are produced in Poland, so I am sure that adds to the complexity these days. 
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Offline Lasershark

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2021, 02:27:09 AM »
Off topic but on-topic; I myself have been researching this question for months and I eventually settled on the Cooks Mfg sharper and setter package. I started with a BMS50 manual sharpener/setter but I was dissatisfied with the loose tolerances the machine was built to, the blade advance handle in particular felt very wishy-washy and I lost confidence in it. Additionally, I found the oil mist formed a fog in the small  sharpening room and that sharpening the blades was physically taxing enough I needed to take frequent breaks. 

The Cook's package offered several advantages; as a drag mechanism, you don't need an oil bath, it's automatic and it will also sharpen our 3" stellite tipped resaw bandsaw blades in the woodshop. It's also a solid 125 Lbs. The dual tooth setter comes with a pair of tension gauges built-in to fine tune each blade. Can't wait to actually try it when it finally arrives after a 3 month back-order!

Also; here's the results of my poll for  Best Value Tooth Setter 
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Offline Crossroads

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2021, 09:29:30 AM »
At this point I send my blades out, but will be buying my own sharpening setup next year. I am all mobile and go through about 20 bands a week, then I spend several hours every Monday dropping off and picking up bands. Monday is supposed to be a day off. When I order, it will definitely be a CBN. First though, I need to get electricity 😋
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Offline barbender

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2021, 05:43:01 PM »
LS, I understand not liking the oil, but I'll be waiting to see some pics of fully ground but unburned tooth tips when you get your Cook's up and running. I've not been able to get mine to not burn teeth, I feel it is nearly impossible.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline pineywoods

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2021, 06:09:57 PM »
How about both. cbn drag sharpener. I put a 10 degree cbn wheel on my OLD woodmizer drag sharpener. Made my own cam and use water/diesel fuel mix. Upgraded the wheel motor to 110volt 3600 rpm junkbox special. Go slow and no burned teeth. Worked well enough to completely wear out a cbn wheel..BUT I used it to re-profile a bunch of 0 degree blades to 10 degree..NOT a good idea.
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Offline JoshNZ

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2021, 03:39:51 PM »
The good thing about sharpening my own blades is I do not hesitate to change blades often to ensure quality of cut.
That there is the crux for me. To have a handful of blades in the back of my truck that I spent all of 2-3 minutes each sharpening and can do so again for just about free, completely removes the pressure of pushing blades when you're paying for, then waiting for them to be sharpened. And as Ted says it's all about quality of cut. A blade at the 60-70% life mark will still cut most things straight but might deviate a little in at a knot and it's the difference between slowing down and crossing your fingers that the last 30% of blade life will see good straight grain or just getting rid of it and burning on  8)...


I haven't setup for my CBN wheel yet but as it is now, the ltaga is pretty darn easy to use. I touch it with a diamond dresser between each blade then run it slowly for probably 20 seconds while I find the edge of the tooth and depth of the gullet. Then I turn it up to ~2 teeth per second, I don't even have time to go and pickup a broom before it's done.



I haven't yet added setting to my routine but it is on the way...

Online YellowHammer

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2021, 10:59:52 PM »
For grinding fluid, the stuff WM sells is hard core nasty stuff to breathe and should only be used in a well ventilated or even forced ventilation area.  Years ago I switched to basic mineral oil, available anywhere, and it is much better on my nose, and seems to work as well. 

I was thinking of trying peanut oil.



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If it wont roll, its not a log; its still a piece of tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not pieces of trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, theyre burned, and you cant fix them.  Dont burn the cookies.

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2021, 03:46:58 PM »
Yellowhammer, I would stay away from peanut oil just because of the severity of some ppl's allergies to it. Doubt it will matter on lumber but if you have any employees come in contact with it, it could be bad. Plus you would have to hang up signs notifying of the use.

Offline DON FRANK

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2021, 09:05:03 PM »
Do cbn's have to use and oil bath or can they be used dry.  Can cbn's be used on a drag sharpener like a  woodmizer 525. I use cbn wheels dry to sharpen woodturning tools but they are a harder steel than a bandsaw blade.

Offline JoshNZ

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2021, 12:52:05 AM »
I've been told by several people using them dry will significantly reduce their lifetime. Oil bath or sprayer/mister.

Not sure why you get away with grinding hss tools dry

Online YellowHammer

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2021, 07:27:31 AM »
A dry CBN wheel will dull up very quickly.  

Drag sharpeners would have to be modified for a traditional CBN wheel because a CBN sharpene does the whole profile by a single drop onto the entire tooth profile, sharpening the tooth, gullet and shoulder at once, whereas a drag grinder "drags" the stone across the whole profile.  Two completely different sharpener strokes.  
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Offline jimbarry

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2021, 10:15:38 AM »
I liked the BMS250MU so much I bought a second one. Like YH, I switched to mineral oil, same cost here.   

You can't compare sharpening a chisel dry with a bandsaw blade that have 160-180 teeth. You gotta use a coolant, otherwise the heat build up on the wheel will destroy the adhesive properties of what keeps those cbn particles on the alum wheel.
Jim
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Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2021, 12:10:54 PM »
I have only seen videos of the cbn sharpeners and heard the talk of the oil mess and it got me wondering if a cabinet around the entire operation would be nice to have (like a cnc milling machine would have), it would keep the mess pretty much contained and could be vented outside or through a filter.

Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2021, 12:52:51 PM »
My friend who passed away last year had 3 of the Woodmizer cbn with cabinets it still made smoke and oil in the air .
I have never seen the others run.
I would think an overhead draft hood would be needed 
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Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2021, 12:59:36 PM »
BMS 250 does come in a more or less enclosed cabinet with a duct on the top lid. If you ran a hose to a small fan to outside, the other openings in the lid would have fresh air coming into them and probablyAll the oil mist would go out the duct hose.
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Offline jimbarry

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #28 on: September 15, 2021, 01:37:02 PM »
BMS 250 does come in a more or less enclosed cabinet with a duct on the top lid. If you ran a hose to a small fan to outside, the other openings in the lid would have fresh air coming into them and probablyAll the oil mist would go out the duct hose.
Not probably, it would, and does. At least for me. I got rid of the K*N filter and now vent outdoors.
Jim
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Offline Quebecnewf

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #29 on: September 15, 2021, 04:53:11 PM »
Now to add a bit more to the mix.

A friend sent me Dina Sharpener . A newer version and full auto where as mine is semi auto . He has not had any luck with it do now Im going to give it a whirl . 

The wheel on this one is a diamond wheel . Not sure about that . There is a broken normal grinding wheel in the box . 

Anyone use diamond wheel on drag style sharpener ? 



 

 

 

For some reason pics are tipped on their side . A job for our fearless adm .

Quebecnewf 

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #30 on: September 15, 2021, 05:27:13 PM »
Pretty sure diamond is for carbide and will not work as well or last on bimetal. hopefully if I am wrong someone will correct me.

Offline Quebecnewf

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #31 on: September 15, 2021, 05:33:21 PM »
I was thinking the same thing . I thought all the drag style used grinding wheels . Thats all I ever used and I dont remember anyone in here saying they used a diamond wheel on their drag grinders .

And as we know if it hasnt been tried on this site then it havent happened 

Quebecnewf 

Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #32 on: September 15, 2021, 05:50:41 PM »
Valley sawmills in Quebec is a stocking dealer in the right wheels for that new style.
The new wheels are quite different. 
That's the sharpener I want.
The owner has passed and the company is in limbo at the moment. 
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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #33 on: September 15, 2021, 06:27:18 PM »
Do you have any info on type of wheels . Ive been to that location . They make some good mills

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #34 on: September 15, 2021, 06:57:22 PM »
Pretty sure diamond is for carbide and will not work as well or last on bimetal. hopefully if I am wrong someone will correct me.
You are correct.  The diamond will glaze over and stop cutting leading to overheating both the blade and the wheel.  Very light grinding on steel won't hurt it too much (I'll hand sharpen small drill bits with one) but heavy or extended use will.

BMS 250 does come in a more or less enclosed cabinet with a duct on the top lid. If you ran a hose to a small fan to outside, the other openings in the lid would have fresh air coming into them and probablyAll the oil mist would go out the duct hose.
A better idea would be to try and fab up a mist collector to filter and recapture the oil mist while also creating a negative pressure inside the work area that won't allow any mist to escape.  I worked in a grind shop that didn't do this and the amount of mist that gets put into the air is quite excessive, not to mention expensive.

A dry CBN wheel will dull up very quickly.  
When pushed hard, yes.  Keep the grinds light and the wheel won't glaze over.  

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #35 on: September 15, 2021, 10:03:50 PM »
At one time there was a fellow on here from Ireland that made CBN wheels for a drag sharpener. I had one and it worked well until I dropped it and broke the grinding edge. The grinder I have is similar to a cooks and I think it was made by the same people before cooks started selling them. It's labeled as Suffolk. They no longer sell it.
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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #36 on: September 16, 2021, 05:01:42 AM »
Would the grinding of bandsaw blades constitute as very light grinding Im wondering .

The diamond wheel mounted on the unit ( there is another spare in a box ) is thin and the edge is about the same profile as the rock stone that I use on my olderDinasaw sharpener . 

Would be great if it worked . A lot less mess . I will try to reach out to the manufacturer in AU. If I can and see what they say .

The company in Quebecs eastern townships that sell s these units also offers a sharpening service based on these soi will look for info there ? 

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #37 on: September 16, 2021, 05:35:55 AM »
Preferably use ABN / CBN wheels and wear a suitable dust mask.

The above is a line from the instruction Manuel for the sharpener . 

Guess that answers the question? 

Quebecnewf 

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #38 on: September 16, 2021, 07:34:15 AM »
I didn't really like the mess of my dry grinder drag grinder, the grinding residue would fall all over the floor, and was a mess.  I like the WM style CBN style, it come with a hood, but smoke and vapor comes out.  Both have their drawbacks.  

I mounted mine to a rolling cart and simply roll mine outside on the concrete apron and get to sharpening.  In my mind, one of the significant advantages of a wet CBN system is a one and done grind with no burning, about 2.5 minutes around the band and done.  

In contrast, my Cooks dry drag grinder was 7 minutes around to not burn the teeth and required 2 to 3 light passes, so resulted in 14 to 21 minutes per band.  Way too much time.

The WM sharpener has a hood and a blower suction port, so if I was going to do it inside, I would mount a vapor suction unit to the port and send the vapor out the duct.   

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #39 on: September 16, 2021, 08:38:29 AM »
I adjust the oil sprays so that during grinding there are no sparks or very few to be seen.  Never see any smoke.  I set up  a small fan and hose to blow outside.  But have not noticed any difference of fumes inside.  When not using fan.  Most oil seemed to stay inside.  there would be a few drops fall to the flow while sharpening, but they evaporate.  So I know some is getting into the air.  If a blade sets after sharpening the oil on the blade evaporates also.
Anyone got any masks these days.!!
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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #40 on: September 16, 2021, 12:39:09 PM »
 

 

 

 
This is the type of wheel that is on the grinder . The box it came out of . Googled that company and it seems there closed . 

What type of wheel would you say this is . Im saying diamond but that is just what is on the box and I realize that is a company name .

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #41 on: September 16, 2021, 08:48:27 PM »
Are there any markings on the wheel itself or other labels/writing on the box?  I've got both diamond and CBN wheels that look like that.  Being as the wheel is electroplated, as opposed to a resin bond, using aluminum oxide dressing sticks to open up a dull wheel is not advised as the grit layer is only 1 cutting grit deep.

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #42 on: September 17, 2021, 05:13:44 AM »
No there is nothing at all written on the wheel . There is a label on the side of the but it is so badly faded that I cant get any info of it .there was a dressing stone in the box but Im assuming it goes with the broken grinding wheel .

Is there anyone on here that runs this type of sharpener Im wondering ? 

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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #43 on: September 17, 2021, 06:14:14 AM »
There is member that has this and knows about the different wheels
Ulcer maybe ?
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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #44 on: September 17, 2021, 07:15:09 AM »
Preferably use ABN / CBN wheels and wear a suitable dust mask.

The above is a line from the instruction Manuel for the sharpener .

Guess that answers the question?

Quebecnewf
Quebecnewf, yes, wear a mask.  I use a similar disc on my chainsaw chain sharpener (Oregon bench type). Its not a drag type, more like a BMS250 (chop saw motion).   I ordered the wheels from China, same company I get the CBN wheels for the BMS250MU I have. So I know its CBN, not diamond coated. 


Would the grinding of bandsaw blades constitute as very light grinding Im wondering . ...
The diamond wheel mounted on the unit ( there is another spare in a box ) is thin and the edge is about the same profile as the rock stone that I use on my older Dinasaw sharpener . ...

Yes to answer your first question. 
You will have to determine if it's a diamond or cbn wheel. Some info at  https://www.eaglesuperabrasives.com/capabilities-bonds/cbn-wheels/ 
Jim
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Re: Drag sharpener vs CBN
« Reply #45 on: September 18, 2021, 05:33:45 AM »
Still no time to start learning  on the new sharpening machine .

It seems from some reading and poking around that maybe the MSA option while good, isa little tricky to maintain . 

Im wondering if you have everything set and running well doing the sharpening without the MSA engaged is it then possible to engage that option without having to completely recalibrate the machine ? 

Would be great if as you get up to say 5 or 6 sharpens on a band you could then click on this option for that band to extend cutting life of the band without having to reset the band . 

They say in the instructions that a blade sharpened this way requires less set .

I could be just wishful thinking here but Im always ( as we all are Im thinking ) chasing that holy grail of a sharper blade . 


Quebecnewf 


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