I have been wanting a belt grinder for a few years, and I finally went for it. A VFD-controlled three-phase 1.5kW (2HP) TEFC motor driving an 82" belt, and I’ll do what I need to to put a 72" belt on it because that’s the size I can get in the belts I want. It was about $1K.
I have some work to do, but less than if I built it from scratch. The ebay images weren’t particularly accurate but I don’t think they were misleading. (For example, the arm sleeve is no longer made with a bolted-on top section; it’s either extruded or welded, I didn’t try to figure out.)
It was advertised as shipping from New Jersey, but was actually shipped LTL freight from California, so it was not a quick trip. I hope that the shoe prints on the case were from the stock from which it was assembled and not because the case was being used as the floor on the trip across the ocean…
The unit was intact inside the crate, which was sturdy, and used folding metal clips to hold together:
It comes with one sheet of paper of “instructions” that tell you to read the instructions, and not much more. You had better know how these things work.
It is advertised as a 120V unit. I was intrigued; I’d expect to want 240V to drive a three-phase VFD. Turns out it ships with a 120-240V transformer in a box. The VFD has a euro-style plug without a ground pin, plugging into a receptacle that supplies a ground but without a pin to connect ground. Not awesome.
I’ll probably eventually run a 240V outlet and wire it directly, including a ground wire. But 12A @ 120V is OK; my shop outlets are 20A.
It says to try to keep grinding dust out of the VFD. Well, yeah. Turns out that the VFD has a control panel that can be removed form the case and remoted through an ethernet cable. This means that the VFD can be mounted away from grinding dust, and the mostly-sealed control panel mounted near or on the unit.
The VFD did come pre-programmed correctly for the unit, as far as I can tell, and included the instruction manual for the VFD, with plenty of detail including RS485 modbus protocol information in it. Might be a nice VFD to keep in mind for other projects to be honest!
Things looked pretty good, everything packed well in the crate, until I got it up on the bench.
Every wonder why your import tools are covered with thick grease? Here’s your answer for a tool that sadly wasn’t so protected!
I treated all the surface rust with Corrosion-X to stop the rusting.
I missed getting a picture, but the 200N gas spring also had a lot of surface rust.
The welding on the table looks worse than my welds. I’m not sure yet what I’ll do with the table, but I’ll probably do something for precision angles for grinding HSS blanks for my lathe.
The wheel looks fine, though I expect rarely to use it.
The concave grinding rack had something that looked like salt on it but was actually not corroded.
Mostly I expect to use the flat platen. The platen and at least upper roller are not square to the machine. This looks like more work:
The platen is graphite coated. I’ve ordered a 2" x 6" ceramic platen liner to replace it and will add a safety shelf when I install it:
It came with three 180grit aluminum oxide unidirectional belts. I’ve ordered a pack of various grits of Red Label ceramic bidirectional 72" belts. I’ll see which grits I use most of and buy more of those belts as I find need. I’ll also find out whether I need to modify the unit at all to fit 72" belts.