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Thread: Tormek and wood carving chisels and knives

  1. #1

    Question Tormek and wood carving chisels and knives

    Would the 220 grit grinding wheel be to coarse to use on carving tools before honing on the leather wheel assuming there are no knicks?

  2. #2
    Paul,

    You can go from the 220 wheel and then to honing and produce an edge suitable for carving. I make a power sharpener (photo) where I use 220 emery paper prior to the leather wheel. Wheels, L to R: buffer, leather, 220 grit emery, 100 grit emery.

    For those beginner carvers... if using a Tormek, I'd suggest you free-hand sharpening carving tools, and not use holding jigs. It's not the same as sharpening turning tools.

    Sharpener 1.jpg
    .... Dave

    Old carvers never die.... they just whittle away.

  3. #3
    Wow! That's a nice setup! Where did you get the wheels? Did you make them yourself?

    What I'm really going to get is the Wen knockoff. They're both made in China. only the Tormek is "assembled" in the US. You really have to watch the wording in these ads! It's a great idea, the way the rods hold the jigs for sharpening and a perfect angle for the purpose and with the slow RPM you don't burn the tool. But if I'm not to use the jigs, it kind of defeats the purpose.

    I have a Worksharp 3000, and it would suffice but there is no way to get the right angle. Also, I want to be able to sharpen carving knives as well as Kitchen knives and scissors and you can't do that on the horizontal surface of the Worksharp. Worksharp had a Tormek rod like attachment that would accept the Tormek jigs, but I guess it violated Tormek's patents because they dropped it. I think if they had a jig that would allow you to roll the tool as well as get the right angle that would work. My hands are just too unsteady for freehand sharpening.
    Last edited by paul handley; 04-16-2018 at 11:53 AM.

  4. #4
    I made the wheels out of 2 pieces of 3/4" MDF, turned and trued on a lathe.

    I don't want to discourage anyone from getting a Tormek. It's a very good tool and does a good job on most things, but if you plan to use a jig to hold your carving knives (and tools), I believe you'll be disappointed. The jig will give you a second bevel, and that's not good for carving. If you take enough material off, leaving you with a single bevel, it will be concave (shape of the wheel) and that is also not good for carving. (Great for lathe tools, not so much for carving tools.) JMO
    .... Dave

    Old carvers never die.... they just whittle away.

  5. #5
    How did you attach the sandpaper?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Keele View Post
    For those beginner carvers... if using a Tormek, I'd suggest you free-hand sharpening carving tools, and not use holding jigs. It's not the same as sharpening turning tools.
    I've used my Tormek with a fine (1200 grit) CBN wheel to restore a chipped carving gouge and to shape several new chip carving knives. I did hold these freehand. I use it to routinely sharpen carving tools. I don't use the water wheel any more but I suspect it would work OK for shaping and repairing an edge.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    I've used my Tormek with a fine (1200 grit) CBN wheel....
    I've been considering buying a CBN for my carving tools. Do you have a recommended source?
    Did you mount your's on the Tormek.. or do you mean in conjunction with one on a separate grinder? Thanks.
    .... Dave

    Old carvers never die.... they just whittle away.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by paul handley View Post
    How did you attach the sandpaper?
    I put a couple coats of sanding sealer on the wheel and dry overnight. I use rubber cement to hold the paper to the wheel. This will allow the paper to be easily removed and replaced as it wears out. These wheels turn at around 450 RPM so no problem with paper coming off.
    .... Dave

    Old carvers never die.... they just whittle away.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    5,401
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Keele View Post
    I've been considering buying a CBN for my carving tools. Do you have a recommended source?
    Did you mount your's on the Tormek.. or do you mean in conjunction with one on a separate grinder? Thanks.
    I use a 10" 1200 grit CBN wheel on the Tormek. I also use 8" CBN wheels on "1/2 speed" bench grinders, 600, 220, and 80 grit. I have two other grinders with standard wheels for mild steel. (Grinding mild steel and softer metals can quickly load up a CBN wheel but there are no problems with hardened tool steel, HSS, and some of the newer powdered steels like 10V.) I use the coarsest CBN wheels only for shaping heavy woodturning tools - reshaping a 10V steel tool 1+" wide and 1/4+" thick is MUCH quicker on an 80 grit CBN! I really like that these wheels never need dressing and stay the same diameter.

    Another option for the Tormek is a diamond wheel. Evidently diamond doesn't hold up well when grinding carbon steels at higher speeds due to the heat and what the carbon in the steel does to the diamond particles. I understand diamond is not a problem at the slow speeds of the Tormek, even used dry. CBN will hold up even at high speeds and temperature.

    So far I've bought all my CBN wheels from Ken Rizza at Woodturner's Wonders. Most of my sharpening is for lathe tools. I use the 600 grit wheel the most and the 1200 grit wheel on the Tormek for all of my spindle gouges and some other tools. When I ordered the 1200 grit it seemed not many people were using them but they are getting more popular - I think Ken keeps several sizes in stock.
    https://woodturnerswonders.com/produ...-x-2-1-2-arbor

    I still have a 600 grit wheel I used with the Tormek for a while but I thought it was too coarse for the spindle gouges so I got the 1200. One thing: it appears that due to the way the grit is bonded to CBN wheels they are more aggressive when new and "settle down" only after considerable use. The electroplating evidently leaves some particles higher above the surface and until some use breaks these off, scratches on the tool bevels will appear to be coarser than expected. Reed Grey has had a lot of experience with CBN and he said once it might take a month of normal use to break in a CBN wheel.

    BTW, many dealers, Ken Rizza included, offer wheels with radiused edges, popular with some woodturners to make it easier to sharpen special tools made for deep hollowing. This is unnecessary and even a detriment for other use. Ken, at least, can get wheels in any nearly configuration you want so I buy wheels with square edges, straight across the face. I also like wheels with 1" of flat grit down the sides of the wheels, better for flattening things and shaping and sharpening special tools.



    Rizza says to use the CBN Tormek wheel dry, never with water. I sometimes dribble a little diamond honing fluid on the wheel.

    BTW, there is a lot of info and experience concerning CBN wheels over on the Turner's Forum here - lots of woodturners are using them now. I'm a fairly late adopter compared to some!

    JKJ

  10. Thank you for taking the time in providing a very detailed response. Much appreciated.
    .... Dave

    Old carvers never die.... they just whittle away.

  11. #11
    I think my question was answered. I'm not paying $700 + for a Tormek. If I have to sharpen and hone by hand anyway I'll just stick to my Worksharp 3000 and my Harbor Freight 1 X 30 sander. Thanks everyone for helping me make up my mind. Da Vinci could turn out a ton of Mona Lisas with a 69 cent brush While I couldn't paint one with a $100 brush!. It ain't the price of the tool, it's the skill of the craftsman!
    Last edited by paul handley; 04-18-2018 at 4:01 AM.

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