View Full Version : workshop 3000 or wet grinder?

Thomas Knapp
07-12-2009, 12:52 PM
Most of the time strop will bring up the edge I need. I use either a hand strop or a felt wheel with green compound. To refine a badly shaped edge or reestablish a bevel that is getting too blunt, I have used stones. The stones are a little slow and my grinder for turning tools is more aggressive than I like for carving tools, especially small tools. If I burn an edge that means removing more metal and taking more time. I have been thinking of getting either a worksharp 3000 or a wet grinder for speeding up reshaping carving tools. Has anyone used these for carving tools and been happy with the results? I have also been looking at the Grizzly wet grinder. Is there a better power option than the above that is not more expensive than the worksharp? Time spent sharpening is time not spent carving.

Steff Pace
07-12-2009, 5:11 PM
I like the Tormek-I started out with it about 6 yrs ago doing carving tools, it's not aggressive, stone turns at 90 rpm and is water cooled, so you don't have to worry about the temper. The only drawback is it is expensive, and every jig is expensive. I bought mine back when I could get all the carving jigs, honing wheels and Tormek for around $500. It's a little pricier now. I am into turning now as well, and I use it for all my gouges, chisels, etc. I also use it to sharpen the bevel on my plane irons after flattening the backs on the Worksharp 3000. I have used the Wolverine for my gouges on a slow speed grinder, and altho it's not supposed to affect the temper, I have had them get to straw color before I noticed it. Every class I have taken, and every woodturner I know has the dry grind/Wolverine system, and if I had gotten into turning first, I would probably have began using that system. I have sharpened several flat chisels on the 3000, but I have to constantly dunk them in water to cool them off, and it is slow going for flattening, but quick when you get to the bevels, but there's a size limit when you get to really big ones or doing bevels-I don't have the plane iron jig for it yet. So, altho it is technically a "dry" system, you still need some water around. Both do a great job for certain things, but I am partial to the Tormek, part of my philosophy is I have spent enough! So I will use what I have and make the best of it! Manufacturers are always trying to sell the next best thing. A wise man once said, find a system, any system, and stick with it long enough to get good at it, and you won't need any other gizmos. Well that's my loooong two cents worth! Good luck!

Phillip Bogle
07-13-2009, 2:54 AM
I have the WorkSharp 3000, Tormek 7, Edgemaster, Edge Pro, OneWay system, Paper Wheels, Twice As Sharp, Ookami Gold, Bench grinders, Japanese water stones, DMT diamond stones, Arkansas oil stones, leather strops.

I started just doing my woodworking tools and then one thing led to another, and now I am sharpening professionally. I still do all of my carving tools by hand. The power units are much too aggressive to use on expensive carving tools. Nora Hall, who made several carving videos, uses the Koch system ($600) that is carried by WoodCraft. I think they have an exclusive. I have seen the Koch system in action and that is the only power system that I would ever use on carving tools. Do not get me wrong, I love the other systems that I own, but each shines in it's own way and nothing really is perfect for every tool or style. I will say that I have not tried the Japanese WaterStone for the Tormek. The Worksharp will put a mirror finish on flat blades, the curvature of most carving tools felt too awkward to handle on a flat disk sharpener. If you have hand plane knives, or wood chisels The WS 3000 is THE ticket, but may be more than you will want to $$$ for those tools.

I bought the Grizzly unit when they first came out and I had to return it. The wheel kept falling off since the shaft was threaded wrong, the jigs were so sub standard they brought cheap down to a whole new level. I will say Grizzly's customer service is first rate, and they made it right. I would just look elsewhere for a sharpening solution.

Don't be afraid of sharpening by hand, I do it all the time. A machine can really mess up the works FAST!

Those are my opinions, bias, and preferences. I pass no judgement if you choose differently.
Good Luck,

David Keller NC
07-14-2009, 2:11 PM
The stones are a little slow and my grinder for turning tools is more aggressive than I like for carving tools, especially small tools. If I burn an edge that means removing more metal and taking more time. I have been thinking of getting either a worksharp 3000 or a wet grinder for speeding up reshaping carving tools. Thanks

I have a Tormek, japanese water stones and coarse carborundums. I do use the tormek frequently to re-shape the bevels on plane irons and flat chisels, but it takes a really big nick out of a carving tool for me to take it to the grinder.

The reason is that any wheel grinder except for the really huge industrial 2' diameter ones will leave an appreciable hollow grind. That's highly desirable for a flat chisel that isn't used bevel-down, and a plane blade that rides in a fixture, but it's highly undesirable for a carving tool.

The reason is that the presence of an appreciable hollow bevel will cause the tool to "dive" at the beginning of the cut, and it doesn't want to exit the cut cleanly when the edge is being brought back to the surface.

So - If I've really trashed the bevel on a tool by hitting an embedded rock or piece of metal in the wood, or dropped it on the concrete floor, I will grind it back to shape on the tormek and then hone the bevel back to flat on the coarse carborundum - followed by the japanese waterstones.

A water grinder may well save you time if you regularly nick the blade, but I've seen enough on the forums to convince me that the Jet and Grizzly Tormek clones have quality issues. There's a "baby tormek" on the market now that's a good deal cheaper than the original, though it has a plastic base instead of metal, and good deal smaller diameter wheel, which will mean more work on the coarse stones by hand to get the hollow out.

Thomas Knapp
07-14-2009, 3:52 PM
Thanks for the replies. I am still firmly undecided in my choice. I know a fellow carver in the area that uses a Tormek. I'll see if I can check out how does his tools, maybe that will give me some firsthand insight. For now Ill use stones up to the strop stage. I have a 10" dry grinder, but don't want to use that too close to the cutting edge. I hate that blue color on a carbon steel edge.

Phillip Bogle
07-16-2009, 6:50 PM
I just found out about a new option for the Tormek. The BGM-100 that several Tormek dealers are now stocking. It is a jig that allows you to use all of the main woodworker jigs on a regular grinder. I have one on order from Packard. By the position of the universal support and the BGM-100 you can work into the rotation or with the rotation edge. What is going to be a neat twist is the possability to use felt wheels and different compounds for sharpening. So by mounting the units or changing the wheels you can have all of the options you need. I am also planning on installing the Japanese Water Stone in my T7, for wider choices on edge finish.

Just passing the information along -- I am not connected with Tormek in anyway.

Phillip Bogle

Thomas Knapp
07-26-2009, 5:30 PM
For better or for worse I went with the Worksharp 3000. I bought it Friday at the Woodcraft Sale, so I got 10% off on the machine and 15% off on the accessories. I haven't had a chance to even get it out of the box yet. I'll let you know what I think of it once I get to use it.

Michael Schwartz
07-30-2009, 1:56 PM
If you want a hollow grind get a wet grinder.

Otherwise I would recommend the work sharp. I do not use a hollow grind on my carving tools. I have been pretty satisfied with my work sharp, and I have not been a big fan of the tormeks I have used. The slow speed is too slow for stropping/polishing, and for anything else than plane irons I am not a fan.