dq7133

Landis Splitter - leather catching on knife

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dq7133   

Hi guys,

I just picked a Landis splitter and what I believe is a Champion 30 Peerless machine on Craigslist for $100! Seemed too good to be true, but the splitter works pretty well. I haven't had a chance to set up the Champion yet.

The one issue I'm having with the splitter is that the knife doesn't seem to be able to cut through the leather at the very end. I'm able to feed the leather through the rollers and it splits all the way until the last few mm and then it catches on the knife and gets stuck. At that point, I either have to cut the leather out by hand or walk it back out the way it came. 

Is this happening because the knife isn't sharp enough? 

Thanks for the assist!

 

 

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It appears that your blade has been poorly sharpened in the past, with both ends rounded slightly.  The blade should be straight across end to end.  it should either be replaced with a new blade or re-profiled and sharpened by a competent sharpening professional.  (if that competent professional is you.....have at it!)

 

Paul

Edited by sheathmaker

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Your blade needs to be correctly sharpened and moved closer to the rollers.  It can not touch the rollers though.  It is getting past the rollers but not being fully pushed through the blade.

You got a smoking deal.

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There is no fixing the splitter. I'll give you $200 for it and you can double your money and still have the Champion.:lol:

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First off congrats on picking up an amazing deal!  As been explained, the blade was sharpened incorrectly in the past, the rounded edges should not be there, it should hold a sharp flat edge all the way across.  I personally would look into a replacement rather than re-profiling the blade and having to position it to make up for the change in profile, even if minute will not be the same as it was from the factory.  Enjoy that smokin deal!

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dq7133   

Thanks everyone! @Big Sioux Saddlery you've got yourself a deal! Haha. The listing was actually just for the Champion (no mention of the Landis), but when I showed up it was sitting on the Champion table and the guy said it came with the sewing machine...Pretty crazy. 

I just sent the folks at Pilgrim Shoe Machine an email about replacement blades. If anyone with re-profiling experience comes across this post and would be interested in the work, please feel free to reach out, but it sounds like a new blade is the way to go.

Thanks again for the advice! 

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It sounds like two issues and may not have anything to do with those corners. First off before I get cyber strung up and hung here, yes that blade looks to have poor sharpening done from the front view. Pictures and especially wide pictures can have some visual effects that make things worse at the ends than what they are. I don't judge much by front view pictures anymore, One from the top helps me a lot more. The bottom view of the blade - I think I could live with that blade, you never use those very corners of the blades anyway. If it is straight across except for the ends, I'd be good with that. Not ideal but for $100 you bought some wiggle room. 

 

Yes, the blade should be straight across, but there are a a couple thousand crank splitters doing a fine job with broken out or rounded corners. 

Incomplete splits usually happen for two reasons - dull blade or poor blade positioning.

 

Most importantly It needs to be sharp. I am seeing what appears to be a rounded top bevel extending a good ways up from the edge. It  should be flat to the edge with an ever so slight secondary bevel to help back the very edge. I go with a flat grind. I've seen more blades mucked up (with an "M") by some guy trying to hollow grind one without a clue. Most anyone can flat grind - slow power or stones/papers, etc. If it isn't sharp enough to pop through, you can bet it'll hang. It needs to be sharp sharp and your guy who does lawn mower blades and general sharpening isn't always the best choice. Somebody who does woodoworking blades would be the pick, but those folks aren't set up in every town. 

Second thing is blade positioning. On the bottom roller bearing blocks there are upright tabs. These are blade stops. Put the blade on the blade rest. insert the center bolt and two side clamps. Loosely tighten them to allow the blade to slide. slide the blade up so the edge kisses the stops. there are two backup screws that keep the blade from sliding back in use. tighten those against the back edge of the blade. then loosen them about 1/2 -3/4 turn. Now slide the blade back against them and the corners of the blades will be just off the blade stops on the bearing blocks. Tighten the center bolt and the clamps. That should be the position most of the time. This is a really common thing I see with poor splitting. There are minimal instructions for crank splitters and those stops and adjusting are not intuitive for most people. If your blade is backed off too much it matters a lot. 

A few tips and tricks- 

How do the corners chip out? Because the blade edge is dead against the stop and as the springs flex with different leather thicknesses going through then the float in the bottom roller and bearing blocks lets the stops ride up and down against the blade edge. 

OK so you have chipped out/rounded out corners, what now? It may be that if you push a blade with severely chipped out corners up against the stops, then the blade potentially may be too far forward and could catch the bottom roller if you have it set for a small clearance. That likely is not your problem because the splitter should completely split better than if set back further ("correctly"). For someone who deos have that problem, back things off more turns on the backup screws, 

So I have everything set correctly, my blade is sharp enough to circumcise gnats, roller to blade clearance is right, and I still don't get complete splits. What now? I have had one, know guys who had them, and know guys who wanted to fix a problem they didn't have, they just wanted to tweak. There are reasons for tweaking and I will just leave that there. For the rest you can take a perfect blade and no matter what, it just won't complete the split. Everytime! The blade stops are keeping the blade a bit too far back off the rollers. You can burn up a lot of test leather to reach that conclusion. To bring the blade closer to the rollers you intentionally take a little off those corners to get the edge closer. It may be a casting variance with some, fitting deal with parts, who knows? The one I had it one was on an American so I know the bearing blocks were not swapped out side to side. I took about 1/16" notches in each corner and dialed it in to split like a dream. 

 

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dq7133   

Hi Bruce,

Thanks for all the advice! I ended up ordering a new blade from Pilgrim and am still tweaking.

The new issue I've run into is the indicator knob clicking out of place. For example, if I feed some 9/10oz bridle leather through the clicker at a "3" setting, the blade will sink into the leather and start splitting fine, but then the indicator knob will click to 4, 5, 6, etc... until there is no longer any pressure applied by the top roller and by that point the blade dives out of the leather and I'm left with a partial skive.

Is this a spring tension/pressure issue?

Thanks! 

 

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It sounds like the mechanism for setting has a small issue. There is a pointer that fits into those serrations. That is what holds the position. May be either a weak spring or more likely the "pointer" may be rounded off. if it is then it won't get a good bite into the notches and will wander. Reshaping that point into a more chisel shape should fix it if that is the problem. Same think can happen on a Krebs pattern pull splitter with a "weak click". The other thing can be wear to the notches but that is pretty rare and yours look good in the picture. 

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Any chance that blade has an elephant stamped on it? If so, the blades themselves are not square. I talked to Bruce about one that I had in for sharpening last winter. the blade edge had been ground properly and was next to new...problem I found was over 3/16" in depth (front to back) from blade end to blade end. The blade was also not equal in thickness. Needless to say, I spent a lot of hours truing up this blade. Customer is still elated with it, but man I lost money on that deal ;)

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dq7133   

Thanks Bruce! I took the upper roller adjustment mechanism apart and reshaped the point, which seems to have helped. 

Elton, the blade does not have an elephant stamp. 

What I ended up doing was making incremental adjustments to the distance that the blade sits from the rollers, as well as the height of the bottom roller, until everything started working. I can now consistently split heavier (6-10oz) weight leather, but my goal is to be able to split a piece of 3oz leather down to about 1.5oz.

I've almost got it, but here's the latest catch: The lighter weight leather starts to split fine, and then it sort of spins around and I'm left with something like the scrap piece below:

59bf4dde11731_Leathersample.thumb.jpg.56a3538b10c9f6cbc98c0f973c94cdfb.jpg

At first I thought there was an issue with my blade being dull in the center, but it's a new blade and I've sharpened it with 1000 grit and 2000 wet/dry, and stropped with green polishing compound. Also, the splitter doesn't have any issue cutting through heavier weight leather.

So...after further inspection, I'm pretty sure that my bottom roller is worn down in the center. It's a little difficult to tell, but if you look closely at the below photo you can see that there is a larger gap between the bottom roller and the blade in the center of the machine, and I think this is what's causing the problems. 

59bf4ddbd676a_Landis30lowerroller.thumb.jpg.cd827cff853edb1ffae31b883bfcc077.jpg

I guess my next step is to give Harris at Pilgrim a call and see if he has a bottom roller, but before I go that route, I was hoping to get some second opinions. Has anyone ever come across this issue before? It seems a bit odd, but the guy I purchased this from had it hooked up to a motor, so I'm guessing he was using it a lot. Maybe consistently running thick bridle straps through the center caused the bottom roller grooves to wear out over time?

Thanks so much for the input!

-Haik 

 

 

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