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I tried a new way to sharpen blades today

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by grass_cuttin_fool, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    I think it was topsites, a member here a few weeks ago that was asking about sharpening blades with a flap wheel. Today I was in Northern tool and found some 60 grit flap wheels. Not to be a smarty pants but in case some dont know what they are. Its a circular disk that is made mainly from small pieces of sand paper.
    I got the ones that fit a 4 1/2 inch hand held side grinder. they cost about 6 dollars for 3 of them. I got home and put one on my grinder and proceeded to sharpen the blade and I was impressed, In less than a minute I had the blade sharp. Ive tried to sharpen blades before with a handheld grinder and if you are not really careful you can mess a blade up by grinding too much metal off. Theese flap wheels seem to sand lightly and not take much metal off at a time. I dont know how many blades I can get from a flap wheel but I think it will save me on blades because Im sure Ive been grinding off more than I needed to.
    Hope this helps someone, If anyone has any ideas or suggestion feel free to chime in
  2. T-N-T

    T-N-T LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    I use the 60 gritt also and we get about one month of sharping before the disc is gone I would'nt use any other its the best and your right it hard to mess a blade up with them good choice USE THE 60
  3. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,845

    I have used the flap sandpaper, but found some 1/8 inch thick fiber impregnated discs that flex from the Pearl Abrasive Co. Commerce CA.

    They do not heat the metal, they are smooth, and last a long time.

    Another good method is a 4" Belt Sander with the commercial canvas back belts - 80 grit. Flat and even finish all at once.
  4. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    i use a belt sander and get pretty good results. i'll have to try the flapwheel sometime
  5. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    Thanx for the feed back and tips, I picked the 60, they had 40 and 80 so I split the difference and went with 60. Also that is something else I noticed and forgot to mention is that the blade doesnt get very hot. I think my grandpa had a belt sander, I might have to try that method also some time. For right now I think I will be using a sanding method instead of grinding method to sharpen my blades. If I hit a rock or something I could see using a grinder to get the blade back in shape
  6. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    Not exactly a "new" method... Iv'e been using the flap disks for years... I usally recommend them to those asking on here as well.

    If the edge is pretty bad (dull) then I find it's easier to use the old hard disk (can't think of what to call it, lol) it grinds faster being that it's more abrasive.

    I don't know about the heat comment... I actually notice it's eaiser to 'blue' the edge with the flap disk than with the regular disk. That's why, if I need to remove a lot of material, I will revert back to the old style grinding wheel.

    Also... If I'm balancing blades I will sometimes need to really grind and grind on one side. This really heats it up a lot more than just sharpening it... I will then break out a bucket of cold water to dip it into as soon as i'm done grinding on it to cool it fast so it will retain it's temper better and not get soft from the extreme heating.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yes I been asking about this mainly because the grinding disc is so coarse...

    I will try these flap discs at least once, for sure, it sounds good.
  8. jasonnau

    jasonnau LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 454

    Hmm, I've always just used a table top bench grinder. I take it that's not a good idea?
  9. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    Hey, if you have the steady hand and the good eye to use a bench grinder and get a good consistent edge then GO FOR IT! I, myself, have tried a bench grinder a few times and I have almost ruined a blade or 2 in the process... Can't ever get the angle right, then as I move it along it wanders everywhere and takes forever for me!
  10. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    Same here for me also Jason. My daddy made a small table for a bench grinder and rest the blade on it to sharpen it and does a good job. I never could get the hang of it very good. This flap disk worked simple and easy for a dummy like me.
    Im glad you saw this thread topsite, I had you in mind when I posted this. Northern had a 3m brand flap disk for $6.00 for one.Well they had a performer brand by olympia for $6.00 but you got 3 disk in the pack. So far Im pleased with them

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