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Author Topic: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion  (Read 3100 times)

Offline John B

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Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« on: October 05, 2017, 08:40:10 PM »
Has anyone converted a drag type sharpener to CBN?

I have a Cooks Cat's claw sharpener. It looks like it would not take much to convert it to CBN.


1.) It looks like i would have to fabricate a new cam. I can make a new cam but if someone is already making one, it may be easier just to purchase one.

2.) Figure out how to mount the CBN wheel. The arbor is mounted on pillow block bearings. I can figure this one out.

3.) Add oil cooling. Any do's or don'ts?


Am I missing anything?

I am open to everyone's input.

Thank You,
John B

Offline Kirk Allen

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Re: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2017, 09:07:35 PM »
I converted my WM sharpener to the CBN. They sold conversion kits in Canada at the time but not the US. Had a friend order one for me and shipped it to me. Works great. 

Don't know if WM sells the conversion in the US yet or not.
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Offline xlogger

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Re: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2017, 05:02:43 AM »
No conversion here but I did sell my Wrights drag sharpener and purchase a WM250. Big difference in my sharpening. I know some on here has had good luck with their drag but for some reason I was just not happy with it. I really like the way my blades cut now.

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2017, 07:32:40 AM »
John, why not, I would make a cam that way you could always go back without the $80.00 something for a new cam. There is an after market co. making CBN wheels, forget the name now, but they make wheels usable on other grinders. Do believe a simple gravity dripper would cool the wheel or possibly mist. I think the company is from Ireland. Frank C.

Offline Ox

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Re: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2017, 11:10:42 AM »
I had this very thought a little while ago and talked to Cutting Edge about it.  He would be able to get a cam, CBN wheel from Rix Saws (which is apparently one of the best if not the best wheels out there) and has insight that I never thought about.  Like the fact that oil will be getting on the rubber drive belt.  A CBN wheel should bolt right up where your grind stone goes now.  He thought about producing a kit that converted Cats Claw sharpeners to CBN but because every Cats Claw that comes out is different somehow and some are quite misaligned and the way the public/society can be when it comes to making things work without bitching about it he decided not to.  Let's face it - many folks think things should work perfectly with no bullshit even when everything is always different.

In short, if you bought a thing or two through Cutting Edge I think he would probably be glad to help you as long as you have at least a little mechanical aptitude.
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Offline Stevem

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Re: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2017, 01:47:26 PM »
What about just putting a CBN wheel on my TimberKing sharpener?

They say there is no need for a different cams because there's is adjustable.
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Offline jb griffin

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Re: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2017, 05:39:04 PM »
Saying theres no need for different cams because it is adjustable,  is like saying you don't need different tires for your truck and motorcycle because the air pressure is adjustable.

Makes sense don't it.

Can you honestly say that you can perfectly follow the profile of every blade made just by turning a few knobs?
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Offline John B

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Re: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2017, 06:35:58 PM »
Like the fact that oil will be getting on the rubber drive belt.

I took a look at mine tonight, and at least on the version that I have, there is plenty of room for a shield between the cbn wheel and the belt.

Offline Ox

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Re: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2017, 07:00:45 PM »
I think it's more the fact that there will be an oil mist produced which will eventually deteriorate the rubber drive belt.  This is what I got from my conversation with Cutting Edge.  I think he was talking about chasing down a neoprene belt or something like that.

Maybe if you can get an airtight seal for a guard it would be okay.  Maybe the belt won't get very much spray and it'll last a surprisingly long time.  I don't know.  But at this stage in my life I think I'm not going to go down this road because it'll be diminishing returns for me.  I'm half crippled and only getting worse, so my milling and forestry type work will be slowing down, including my blade sharpening.  The guys I sharpen for are sometimes busy  where I got blades brought in every week or so and sometimes I don't see them for months so no big deal there.

I'm still following this, though.  It's absolutely doable without a question. 
K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid
Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without
1989 GMC 3500 4x4 diesel dump and plow truck, 1964 Oliver 1600 Industrial with Parsons loader and backhoe, 1986 Zetor 5211, Cat's Claw sharpener, single tooth setter, homemade Linn Lumber 1900 style mill, old tools

Offline John B

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Re: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2017, 07:53:23 PM »
What about just putting a CBN wheel on my TimberKing sharpener?

They say there is no need for a different cams because there's is adjustable.

The cbn wheel contacts the tooth face, gullet, and back of the next tooth all at once; then lifts up high enough for the next tooth to advance underneath it.

You can test the TK sharpener. If you can sharpen the face of a tooth, touch the gullet, while it it is adjusted to pick the wheel up high enough so that you do not grind any part of the next tooth with room to spare, it may work. Remember that the width of your cbn is going to be the same as your tooth spacing (usually 7/8" or 1").

The entire wheel  needs to clear the advancing tooth.

Offline John B

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Re: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2017, 08:34:15 PM »
I think it's more the fact that there will be an oil mist produced which will eventually deteriorate the rubber drive belt.  This is what I got from my conversation with Cutting Edge.  I think he was talking about chasing down a neoprene belt or something like that.

Maybe if you can get an airtight seal for a guard it would be okay.  Maybe the belt won't get very much spray and it'll last a surprisingly long time.  I don't know.  But at this stage in my life I think I'm not going to go down this road because it'll be diminishing returns for me.  I'm half crippled and only getting worse, so my milling and forestry type work will be slowing down, including my blade sharpening.  The guys I sharpen for are sometimes busy  where I got blades brought in every week or so and sometimes I don't see them for months so no big deal there.

I'm still following this, though.  It's absolutely doable without a question. 

Keeping the oil away from the belt is the easy part.

My plan is to cut a circle from 3/32" plate in the lathe, then cut it in half. I'll need to weld a 11"/32" spacer to the bottom of it, Drill a hole in the center of it, and tack weld it in place. Depending on how confident I am, I can either install a cup for a felt seal, or a lip seal around the shaft.

I would seal the outer circumference with something like 3M 5200.

Offline Ox

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Re: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2017, 10:51:00 AM »
Awesome - it sounds like you've got it figured right out.  I'll be following this intently.  If you methodically post with everything you're doing with the conversion I think it will bring many folks over here from the FF and maybe they'll see then that it's much better here.
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Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without
1989 GMC 3500 4x4 diesel dump and plow truck, 1964 Oliver 1600 Industrial with Parsons loader and backhoe, 1986 Zetor 5211, Cat's Claw sharpener, single tooth setter, homemade Linn Lumber 1900 style mill, old tools

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2017, 07:28:36 PM »
John, if theirs enough oil mist in the air to deteriate a belt I would be more concerned with your lungs. Wonder if theirs a water based coolant that would do the same job. Possibly a suction hose to pull the oil soaked vapors away. A belt may give long enough service to be considered expendable. Frank C. 

Offline jb griffin

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Re: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2017, 07:39:30 PM »
Water based coolant.won't lube and clean the cbn wheel therefore you'll end ruining it.
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Offline jb griffin

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Re: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2017, 07:44:50 PM »
If any one is considering a cbn conversion I strongly suggest they talk to Richard at Cutting Edge, the man knows his shit.
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Offline 4x4American

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Re: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2017, 08:08:08 PM »
Richard Cutting Edge told me you can use mineral oil as lube IIRC.  Said you can get it right at any feed store by the gallon, as its used for constipation in livestock.
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Offline Cutting Edge Saw Svc.

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Re: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2017, 06:37:44 AM »
John B,

Can a Cooks sharpener be converted ?... Yes, BUT, there are some things you need to consider.

1.  Cooks sharpeners have MASSIVE inconsistencies from one sharpener to the next.  No two machines are identical.  This is the reason I have abandon the project of manufacturing a CBN conversion kit for them. 

2.  EVERY machine I have either used, rebuilt, serviced, etc. had problems with consistent tooth indexing OR LACK THEREOF.  A machine HAS to have the tooth indexed PRECISELY and EVERY TIME, no exceptions. 

3.  A CBN wheel has to have coolant.  It has been proven that certain AG mineral oil will work, Food Grade mineral oil is even better.  Water based/oil emulsion is NOT sufficient and has several drawbacks.  FACT - The oil WM markets as "coolant" is one of the WORST to use on any CBN coated tooling.  The correct mineral oil is nothing more than unscented baby oil with a slightly higher viscosity.

4.  Motor/mandrel drive HAS to be converted to a cog or timing belt style.  Also has to be oil resistant to prevent de-lamination/deterioration of the belt itself.  An "oil slinger" as you are proposing will not prevent migration of oil into, onto the belt drive system.  It would slow it down, but not prevent the inevitable.

5.  The cam is a matter entirely in itself.  I manufacture CNC cams for Cooks machines, which has given me a tremendous amount of feedback from customers.  I have spent an enormous amount of time helping people with their machines... refer to back to #1.  The cam has to have a certain profile and be accurate within thousandths of an inch.

6.  Cost... well, it ain't going to be cheap, even on a DIY scale.... another reason I abandon making a CBN conversion kit.  I never could get the price to a point where I thought is was a good value AND be profitable.  Any profit to my business would be eaten up by doing Tech Support on the phone FIXING the customer's machine BEFORE said "kit" would perform correctly.  The ONLY way I would do a conversion would be to have the machine here onsite.  Refer back to #1, #2, & #5.

Will a Cooks machine sharpen blades right out of the box ??  Kinda/sorta.  Depends on your expectaions of blade performance.

Will it do it with any sort of consistency and accuracy out of the box??  Maybe.

Can the machine be made to work "well" out of the box ??  Yes, with a decent mechanical background and ALOT of patience.  Every machine is unique.  Could be decent, could be a red boat anchor. 

Would I recommend a person purchase one ??  NO!

I personally have approx 8 hrs of re-work in my Cooks sharpener.  This was required to fix the above problems BEFORE I would even trust it to grind a blade of my own, let alone one for a customer.  Near new machine that sits idle 99% of the time and only gets used for blades with "special needs". 

Does it now work and grind blades with acceptable precision, Yes.  But using it in a professional operation is not cost effective nor efficient. 



Cutting Edge Saw Service, LLC -
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 - Portable/Custom Milling and Slabbing
 - On-Site Sawmill Maintenance/Repair
 - Phone: (304) 878-3343
 - cesawservice@gmail.com

Factory Direct Kasco WoodMaxx Blade Distributor
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2017, 07:36:23 AM »
I'm not doubting what our brother Richard said but its not all gloom and doom with the Cats Claw. I have sharpened a lot of bands for some fussy sawyers without complaints. Good lumber can and will be cut with a less than perfect bands. New bands come with inconsistency's the Cats design just follows them. Maybe I'm a crude dude but I've been happy with the ceramic wheels and drag sharpening and have never cut with a CBN sharpened band. Some times good enough is good enough. Frank C.

Offline Cutting Edge Saw Svc.

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Re: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2017, 08:42:48 AM »
Frank,

I should have included the following info in my previous post:


Based on the machines I have personally had my hands on...

The older machines are noticeably better in build quality, consistency and precision.  I assume you've had yours for several years and it may be one of said vintage.  Sounds like thi may be the case. 

EVERY one that has been approx. 7 years and newer are visibly "poor".  Welds are pith poor, holes drilled inaccurate and components aren't even close to having what many would consider being "aligned".  It is what it is.  IMO, it would be luck of the draw to purchase a new/newer machine. 

To many people have contacted me needing help because Cooks couldn't/wouldn't provide the tech support they needed.  Almost every time I have spoken with someone, Cooks (Marcie) would blame their problems on them, the operator, when it was usually an issue with the machine itself.  They can flat out be rude about it and will literally lie to a person to cover their own hind-end.    :-\   Is it my responsibility to fix their fudge up w/ no financial gain to myself ? ... NO !   >:(  But at times I feel obligated to help a person whom is at their wits end and is in desperate need of good information.

As far as grinding wheels are concerned, to each their own.  But many, myself included, only run the pink grinding stones for several reasons.  There is a little science behind why they work better.

Cutting Edge Saw Service, LLC -
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 - Portable/Custom Milling and Slabbing
 - On-Site Sawmill Maintenance/Repair
 - Phone: (304) 878-3343
 - cesawservice@gmail.com

Factory Direct Kasco WoodMaxx Blade Distributor
Rix-Saws CBN Wheels - www.rixsaws.com

Offline Ox

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Re: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2017, 09:37:38 AM »
This thread is turning into a really good one.  Lots of ideas and information, with the latter not being based on conjecture.
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Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without
1989 GMC 3500 4x4 diesel dump and plow truck, 1964 Oliver 1600 Industrial with Parsons loader and backhoe, 1986 Zetor 5211, Cat's Claw sharpener, single tooth setter, homemade Linn Lumber 1900 style mill, old tools

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2017, 03:37:42 PM »
This is how we learn on an open forum. Richard I didn't realize the quality has slipped. In your opinion whats the best  grinder available and whats the best value grinder. Thanks Frank C.

Offline Cutting Edge Saw Svc.

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Re: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2017, 06:40:24 PM »
Frank,

In My Opinion...

Best grinder currently available and best value too - WM BMS 250.  Not a perfect machine, but when you compare it to a Cooks, the choice is pretty clear.  A slightly higher cost, but 10x better quality and performance.

If looking at the used market:

Wright W37 - Dry Grinder and setup can be finicky, but once it's spot on you're good to go.  Well built, durable platform w/ precision fit components.  Cams are pricey but VERY well machined and worth the investment.

WM LTAGA Shop Series CBN - Older machine, and somewhat under powered.  But for the smaller operator, a very effective and well built machine.  With a quality CBN wheel (not from WM), the performance is significantly better and helps the little 12V Leeson run alot cooler. 



Cutting Edge Saw Service, LLC -
 - Sharpening Services - Narrow Band and Woodworking
 - Portable/Custom Milling and Slabbing
 - On-Site Sawmill Maintenance/Repair
 - Phone: (304) 878-3343
 - cesawservice@gmail.com

Factory Direct Kasco WoodMaxx Blade Distributor
Rix-Saws CBN Wheels - www.rixsaws.com

Offline xlogger

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Re: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2017, 04:29:22 AM »
I totally agree with Richard, I got the wm250 (believe me I'm not a fan of WM) but I'm really happy with the performance of my blades now.
Ricky

Offline Ox

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Re: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2017, 09:47:28 AM »
I've got a Cooks up for trade for a WM250 if anyone's interested.  I'll even throw in the setter and the tables those two are mounted to.  ::)
K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid
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1989 GMC 3500 4x4 diesel dump and plow truck, 1964 Oliver 1600 Industrial with Parsons loader and backhoe, 1986 Zetor 5211, Cat's Claw sharpener, single tooth setter, homemade Linn Lumber 1900 style mill, old tools

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Drag type sharpener to CBN conversion
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2018, 07:06:02 AM »
Good luck guys on the conversions, please keep us posted. Myself I'm not going to try to fix something that's not broken and hang in there with my Cat and ceramic wheels. Sharp is sharp and if they cut well why mess with success. Frank C.