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School me on cork belts please

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by godogs57, Aug 13, 2019 at 7:05 PM.

  1. godogs57


    Apr 16, 2004
    Been making knives for 38 years and for the first time, I want to see what a cork belt can do for me. I’m as ignorant as a box of rocks about this, but love the finish it imparts on the knives Ive seen.

    Any suggestions, etc would surely be appreciated.

    Thanks folks
    LCoop likes this.
  2. LCoop


    May 5, 2007
    I'd like to know the difference of cork belts and scotch bright. Hope I don't side track your thread.
  3. AVigil

    AVigil Adam Vigil knifemaker working the grind Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Platinum Member

    Feb 17, 2009
    Cork belts IIRC came from SR Johnson. They are used in the glass industry.

    When you look at a cork belt they look like they are all 36 grit and look super course. Cork belts have to be broken in, on Trugrits website they have SR Johnson break in protocol.

    I use them with and without compound from 200 grit to 1000 grit.

    When you break in a belt SR Johnson uses a flat bar of steel, I use a round bar of steel. I find the round bar smashes down the pikes instead of shaving them off.

    Standard break in is put your grinder on High speed and use green compound on the belt, then use the bar of steel and lean into the belt for a solid 10 minutes on a contact wheel by the clock and let that bar smash belt for the entire time.

    I use a round bar and do the same with and without compound depending on the finish you want. No compound and the belt leaves a fine satin finish with compound it will polish the blade.

    It is easy to go to mirror finish by using a 400 grit belt and 1000 grit belt with green compound then take it to the buffer for a couple of minutes, or take it to the bench and hand sand to satin in a few minutes
  4. J. Keeton

    J. Keeton Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    I just started using them (220 and 400 after a 400 J-flex). So far I like the results. Seems to really cut down on my hand-sanding!
  5. Alex Topfer

    Alex Topfer

    May 1, 2019
    how long do the cork belts last?
  6. Busto

    Busto KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 26, 2011
    If used correctly with proper break in procedure they can last years. I have a couple that are a couple years old 800-1000 grit.
    Alex Topfer likes this.
  7. godogs57


    Apr 16, 2004
    Thanks for your help folks. Very much appreciated

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