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Belts storage

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by gdpolk, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. gdpolk


    Sep 19, 2011
    It may seem like a dumb question but what are you guys most efficient ways to store 2x72 belts?

    I'm in a 1-car garage and the belts are always moving and piling up on me. Right now they are bungee corded by grit size/type to the front of a wire storage rack where I keep stuff that I don't access daily; it's pretty inconvenient and hard to keep track of inventory with them all piled up on top of each other. I'd like to invest in a really solid storage solution for them whether that means buying it or fabricating it and am looking into ideas. Thanks in advance.
  2. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Hanging on the wall is common, but can get messy and unsightly. Four to six belts is all you need hanging by the grinder. Dozens or hundreds is just a dust trap.

    One way to store your belts for easy access is to roll the belts in groups of three to six by grit and type and store in a plastic storage box. The boxes that around 12X6X8 work perfect. Store each grit in a separate box and write the grit number on the top and all sides. Stack the boxes on a shelf.. When you need a 220 belt, just grab the box with 220 on the side. You can even roll up a used ( but still good) belt and put back in the box when done with it.

    To roll a belt, let it hang in one hand with the belt between the thumb and forefinger. Then loosely roll the belt around that hand. Don't crimp the loops at the ends flat. If you are a purist, place a 2" long piece of 1.5" PVC pipe in the ends of the loops. Just slice a couple feet of PVC pipe into 2" pieces and put the pieces in a storage box kept with the belts.

    I buy storage bins at Costco in bundles.
    The flat multi-colored storage boxes ( around 14X14X3 ) will work well too for belts. Lay the rolls on their side. The nice thing about them is they stack well. I store all my knives, parts, wood, and projects in these. I have stacks 5 feet high and they never collapse or topple over. Everything that goes to a show is packed in these and loaded into the back of the car or a trailer. At the show, I just pop the tops off and stack them under the table, leaving the wood or other parts in the flat open box. It makes storage, transport, display, and packing up easy. If I need curly maple handle blocks I grab one of the ones filled with curly maple.
    J. Keeton likes this.
  3. Alex Topfer

    Alex Topfer

    May 1, 2019
    I suppose part of the question is how many are you keeping on hand?
    I often only have 15 or less belts on hand in 3 grits, so I just hang them at the end of my work bench (48" belts). Stacy's system sounds like it would be better if I had 10 belts for each of 8 different grits.
  4. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Even three boxes with five belts per box makes it easy to find the right belt quickly. It also keeps a small shop neater and cleaner.
    If you only have a few belts, put them all in one box.
  5. 12345678910


    Jul 13, 2009
    I think moisture will age the belt and glue joint.

    I think grit and grinding dust from coarse grits can contaminate the fine grits.

    Home depot pails with desiccant, they stack up well.
    Ken H> likes this.
  6. Rhinoknives1

    Rhinoknives1 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 1, 2013
    I use 3-4” of 3-4” diameter cuts of Carpet card board tube hung on a nail or any other way you want to secure them on a shop wall. Finest grits furthest away from the grinder. Keep larger amounts of finer grit belts, in a box. Stay safe & have fun!
  7. gdpolk


    Sep 19, 2011
    I order 10-15 belts at a time of
    • Ceramic X weight
      • 36
      • 60
      • 120
      • 220
    • AO J weight
      • 120
      • 220
      • 400
      • 600
    Then I have one of each of these
    • Three grits of trizacts for sharpening
    • Leather strop with compound
    • Leather without compound
    • Two types of scotchbrite belts

    Then sometimes I play with new stuff too just to see what I’m missing.
    Coy Ranch likes this.
  8. Brock Cutlery

    Brock Cutlery KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 10, 2015
    Guilty as charged.
  9. john april

    john april KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 27, 2006
    i like the idea bob loveless had. nail coffee cans to the wall and hang the belts over them. you can see them in his videos.
    Josh Rider likes this.
  10. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    That works great for a few belts per grit size, but gets really messy when you try to hang dozens of each type.

    I did see one system that looked pretty good. The person had bought a half a dozen unused paint cans (HD or ebay) and screwed them to the wall studs. He hung some belts over each and stored the rolled up extra supply of belts in the open can. He had screwed the lids on the wall above each can and marked the belt type on it. The attractive six belt storage system probably cost him $25.


    Dec 17, 2005
    I have pegs on the wall to keep my working belts organized and at hand.
    For storing the new belts until I need them, I have some surplus nautical chart storage drawers. They are slightly over 2" deep, 28" front to back and 38" wide. I store all my new belts in these starting with the 36 grit belts in the bottom drawer and the 15 micron belts in the top most drawer. Thus the coarse grit can't contaminate the finer ones. This makes it easy to see what I have and don't have. And I can pull a belt out with one hand if necessary.
    I usually use a felt pen to put a date on each belt so I use old stock first date the belts.
    ShadNuke likes this.
  12. Josh Rider

    Josh Rider KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 2, 2014
    Admiral steel ships steel in thick cardboard tubes. I cut them up about 3” long with a bandsaw and wood glued them to a 2x4. My problem is space though so I’m still trying to hang sections of 2x4 somewhere easily accessible.
  13. AVigil

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

    Feb 17, 2009
    Got to Home depot and buy some cheap shelf supports. But some PVC pipe in the diameter you want and mount the support to the wall and then cut the pvc to the length you want and then put a screw through the pvc into the exisiting hole in the shelf mount.

    It is very cheap way to hang belts
    Brock Cutlery likes this.
  14. ShadNuke


    Aug 7, 2016
    I grabbed some generic utility hooks from the dollar store for mine. My workspace is a small shed, so space is limited. I have couple 4 tier shelves and my workbench, with some standing space. I am going to put a couple hooks up, so I can hang the belts that I am using. I am also going to get a couple of those bags that you store a suit on a hanger in the closet. I'm going to fish them up onto the hooks, so I can keep my belts protected, and zipped up in the suit storage bags. You have to be extremely mindful about cross contamination, especially with your conditioning belts. All you need is a chunk of 36 grit stuck in a conditioning belt and you'll be going back to square one to get the ugly scratches out. Store your $25 fancy belts in a closed cabinet or way away from your grinder!!
  15. gdpolk


    Sep 19, 2011
    Thanks for y’all’s help. I had a section of treated 2x4 left over from making a canoe rack, some 4” PVC from a longbow shipping container for a one piece bow that I’ll never sell, deck screws in my spare hardware stash, and zip ties nipped off just above the lock at the ends of the pvc for belt keepers. Total cost = time and scraps. I’m now well organized.
    Brock Cutlery likes this.

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