Is facing bedknives effective?

Facing bedknives to improve cut quality is a practice that has been around for 100 years. “Old-timers” in our industry used to use a file for this process. Today, it is made easier with pneumatic and/or electric hand held disc grinders. Following are some general statements that can be made about facing bedknives:

  • Facing bedknives has nothing to do with your adjustment practices or the way you grind your reels. This facing process can be effective for temporarily improving cut quality, because you’re giving yourself at least on good edge to produce the cut.
  • Try to be consistent on each bedknife when using a file or a facing tool for this practice. By doing so you can avoid gouging the bedknife front face, and the cut quality will be more consistent.
  • Care must be taken so the bedknife front face is not ground too much during the life of the knife. If the front cutting edge is ground back too far in relation to the center line of the reel, the attitude of the bedknife can be affected enough to change the geometry of the shear point and the optimum cutting unit position. This would require spending valuable time to continually change the bedknife attitude.
  • Facing should not be conducted on certain bedknives because of a special insert or hardening coat that is applied in some of the manufacturing processes. You should consult your OEM for their recommendation on bedknife facing.
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