AlpacaNation

The Original
Online Alpaca Marketplace
Alpaca Forum at AlpacaNation
Alpaca Forum at AlpacaNation
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Alpaca Discussion Forums
 6. Farm Facilities & Equipment
 Shearing blade sharpening
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
Author  Topic Next Topic  

bobvicki

2967 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2011 :  12:26:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Quite a while ago there was a thread on who used what company for sharpening their combs and cutters and turn around times. I can't seem to find it. So who uses what company and why? I need to get some done.

Bob

Bob & Vicki Blodgett
Suri Land Alpaca Ranch
3288 Halter Avenue
Newton, Iowa 50208
641-831-3576
alpaca@iowatelecom.net
www.alpacanation.com/suriland.asp

renfarms

469 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2011 :  3:11:38 PM  Show Profile  Visit renfarms's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Bob,
I (along with a large number of other people) use Premier1.
Along with numerous types of farm supplies, they sell combs & cutters for shears/clippers, and also offer an excellent comb/cutter sharpening service.

Regarding the sharpening service, be sure to specify the "Double Grinding" option in your shopping cart, as the sharpness necessary for shearing llamas/alpacas is greater than that required to shear sheep, etc. It costs an add'l $1 per comb/cutter, but is worth every penny in terms of the resulting gain in functionality. Also - if you are ordering new combs & cutters, you will need to ask them to "double grind" sharpen those new combs & cutters, as the sharpness that they possess from the factory is insufficient to the task of shearing alpacas/llamas.

Their costs are very reasonable and their turnaround time is quick!

Here's the link to the clipper/shearing page on their website.

http://www.premier1supplies.com/c/clippers_and_shearers

Good luck, Bob!

Best regards,
Bill



Bill and Louise Goebel
Renaissance Farms
McArthur, Ohio 45651
(740) 596-1468
renfarms@starband.net
www.alpacanation.com/renaissancefarms.asp
Go to Top of Page

gatewayfarm

1420 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2011 :  6:15:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit gatewayfarm's Homepage  Reply with Quote
What is "Double Grinding"?

I have been grinding blades for well on 15 years and have never heard of such a thing.

From their web page it would appear to apply to clipper blades, not shearing blades, but still, I would not know what they are talking about.

Clipper blades are generally done on a lapping machine.

Shearing blades (combs/cutters) are generally done on a tapered vertical wheel.

Gateway Farm
Alpaca, a natural elegance...
Go to Top of Page

elden harms

112 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2011 :  10:08:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Premier's double grind is simply a second grind of the combs with a finer grit, not worth the expense in my not so humble opinion.

Elden Harms
Token Creek Alpacas LLC
Sun Prairie WI
Go to Top of Page

gatewayfarm

1420 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2011 :  10:50:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit gatewayfarm's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Makes sense, Eldon. Why not simply use the finer grit to start out?

Actually, in my experience, the most economical way once one drops the grand on grinding equipment (less if one builds their own, although the wheel is still spendy) is to use water soluble glue and loose grit. The glue is getting somewhat hard to come by these days, but grit can be had from any number of places at a wide range of cost. I have found sand blasting grit from Harbor Freight to work admirably.

Gateway Farm
Alpaca, a natural elegance...

Edited by - gatewayfarm on 08/29/2011 11:17:39 PM
Go to Top of Page

renfarms

469 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2011 :  02:18:44 AM  Show Profile  Visit renfarms's Homepage  Reply with Quote
John/Elden,

Hi, guys!

I can only go by my experience, which began years ago in having initially purchased new combs/cutters and finding that the factory sharpening was insufficient to cleanly cut the fleece on my animals. I then took them in to the Mid-States Wool Co-op here in Ohio and had them sharpen them - still no good. After that I sent them in to Premier1 to be sharpened - and once again - not sharp enough. During a phone call to Premier1 to discuss why they weren't sharp enough they informed me that if the combs/cutters were to be sharp enough for alpacas that they needed to know that in advance of the sharpening as they did something "different" when sharpening combs/cutters for alpaca shearing. I re-sent them back in, and asked them for the "double grind" treatment, and when they came back the difference was like night and day!

A friend of mine here in Ohio who owns an alpaca/llama farm and also does shearing for his and other farms noticed this thread the other day and sent me an email saying that, "What that company is doing is using 40 grit and 60 grit sharpening. They are using 60 grit on the comb and 40 on the cutter. Traditional sheep shearers use 80 or 100 grit. This is a coarser grind."

I must confess that I don't care what they call it or if they accomplish it by swinging a dead cat around their heads 3 times in the cemetary at midnight. Personally, I never gave a second thought to the "literal" meaning of their phrase, "double grind"
All I care about is that it works - and boy does it! They can call it the "green eggs & ham" method, as far as that goes!

We use a professional shearer for our main herd shearing day. I shear all the crias born here after shearing day (the majority of them), occasionally shear my show string animals who are still out on the show circuit after shearing day, and also shear a few animals (adult & cria) for other farms from time to time, but after battling back problems for decades and having seriously broken a leg a few years ago, I'm not feeling physically ambitious enough to take on much more than that anymore.

For the number of animals I shear each year, the cost of a vertical grinder and the accompanying paraphenalia to make it work just isn't justified compared to the relatively inexpensive cost of sending them out to be sharpened. Just the $1,000 spent on a vertical grinder would pay for me sending out combs/cutters for sharpening for nearly 10 years!

I admit the numbers might work for someone else with more animals to shear each year, or who anticipated shearing for the next 15-20+ years. If I was 20 years younger (or just battling fewer orthopedic challenges) or had a herd of more than 50 animals, I might have opted to go the "do-it-yourself" route on grinding.

Cheers,
Bill

Bill and Louise Goebel
Renaissance Farms
McArthur, Ohio 45651
(740) 596-1468
renfarms@starband.net
www.alpacanation.com/renaissancefarms.asp
Go to Top of Page

gatewayfarm

1420 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2011 :  9:27:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit gatewayfarm's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by renfarms


A friend of mine here in Ohio who owns an alpaca/llama farm and also does shearing for his and other farms noticed this thread the other day and sent me an email saying that, "What that company is doing is using 40 grit and 60 grit sharpening. They are using 60 grit on the comb and 40 on the cutter. Traditional sheep shearers use 80 or 100 grit. This is a coarser grind."



Grit becomes finer as the number goes up, i.e. 40 is coarser than 60. 100 grit is akin to finishing sand paper with particle sizes in the 140-160 micron range.

I use 70 grit and have never had the problem you describe. Hard for me to decipher if what I use is finer or coarser than what you describe.

Gateway Farm
Alpaca, a natural elegance...
Go to Top of Page

Alpacas4Pets

7 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2018 :  11:47:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello,

As I was seeking to understand how to sharpen shears for alpacas, I stumbled upon this thread. My purpose here is to correct an error in something that was said, namely the grit # used. One of the participants in this topic said that he was told that the experts use 40 and 60 grit. Sooo, I plunked down the $ and bought a set of each...only to find out that these numbers of grit are WAY too rough and very dangerous to try and use. I found out that it's a good way to lose your hand, and when the comb or cutter flies out of your grip you better not be standing in the way.
A friend loaned me his belt sander wherein he had a very worn-out 50 grit belt that seemed to do a fair job. A brand new 60 will grind your metal down to nothing in seconds, that is, if you can find a way to hold it on the belt. Number 40 grit, just forget it, unless you want a trip to the hospital. Perhaps these coarse grit numbers came from someone who sells combs and cutters...
I now have purchased a multi grit pack and starting at 320 am working my way down. My guess is somewhere between 80 and 120 grit will be the best, but only testing will tell. If/when I find the best grit I hope to report it here, so that others won't waste their $ and/or get injured by erroneous information.

Jeff Mueller
Go to Top of Page
   Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
Jump To:
Alpaca Forum at AlpacaNation © 2000 - 2009 AlpacaNation LLC Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000

WELCOME TO ALPACANATION

Our family has 8,863 breeders, with more joining every day.

Join Now!