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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
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    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. #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.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by paul handley View Post

    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.
    Tormek are made in Sweden, not China and assembled in the US.

  13. #13
    I made a sharpening disk for sharpening my carving tools - it fits on my lathe. You can see what I did here.

    I'm not a big fan of the Tormek. It's very expensive and it's a wet sharpener so it can be messy. And you still need water stones to work the back of your chisels and plane irons.

    I use my sharpening disk for carving tools, and a WorkSharp and water stones for my chisels and plane blades. The WorkSharp is underpowered but it does the job. I now use diamond plates on the WorkSharp that you can buy for about $12 - and they last a long time. Here's my process for sharpening chisels.

    Mike

    [I noticed that I didn't talk much in my sharpening disk post (above) about why I put sandpaper on the face of the disk. I use that to reshape a carving tool when I really mangle the edge (such as dropping it on a concrete floor. First, I grind the edge square on the face of the wheel. I hold the tool perpendicular to the wheel and grind the front of the tool flat until the damage is removed.

    I then grind the edge looking down on the work (using safety glasses). That is, I hold the carving tool in a vertical direction, handle down, and address the edge to the face of the wheel. I look down on the edge so I can see how close I'm getting to grinding out the flat. Once I'm happy with the rough edge, I go to the honing area around the wheel to finish the edge.]
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 04-26-2018 at 12:52 PM.
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  14. #14
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    Do you have a good source for diamond plates with the hole the same diameter as the Worksharp shaft? I got one recently and so far have just played a bit with some cheap chisels.

    Until I got the 1200 grit CBN wheel for it I used it on a stainless steel table mostly because of the water mess. I do agree the Tormek is not for every woodworker. However, it is phenomenal for sharping lathe spindle and bowl gouges using the SVD-185 jig. I also use it to sharpen curved hand scrapers. I'd like to find a second one for a reasonable price. I'm not willing to pay the new price again.

    JKJ



    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    I made a sharpening disk for sharpening my carving tools - it fits on my lathe. You can see what I did here.

    I'm not a big fan of the Tormek. It's very expensive and it's a wet sharpener so it can be messy. And you still need water stones to work the back of your chisels and plane irons.

    I use my sharpening disk for carving tools, and a WorkSharp and water stones for my chisels and plane blades. The WorkSharp is underpowered but it does the job. I now use diamond plates on the WorkSharp that you can buy for about $12 - and they last a long time. Here's my process for sharpening chisels.

    Mike

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    Do you have a good source for diamond plates with the hole the same diameter as the Worksharp shaft? I got one recently and so far have just played a bit with some cheap chisels.

    Until I got the 1200 grit CBN wheel for it I used it on a stainless steel table mostly because of the water mess. I do agree the Tormek is not for every woodworker. However, it is phenomenal for sharping lathe spindle and bowl gouges using the SVD-185 jig. I also use it to sharpen curved hand scrapers. I'd like to find a second one for a reasonable price. I'm not willing to pay the new price again.

    JKJ
    Do a search on Amazon for "6" diamond disk" and you'll find plenty. The hole on the ones I have are a bit larger than the hole for the WorkSharp glass plates but it's easy to align them by eye - and if the plate is not exactly true it doesn't matter because you're using the bottom, not the side.

    I got some of my disks on eBay and a few from Amazon. I think the prices were about the same but you can check.

    They don't last forever but they do have a lot longer life than sandpaper. Note that I only used my WorkSharp for setting the primary bevel - I put a secondary bevel with my water stones - so I use a fairly coarse disk on the WorkSharp. I think I now use an 80 grit, although I started with an 180 grit. The 180 grit works fine but the 80 grit is faster and since I use water stones to finish, I don't mind the rougher surface on the primary bevel.

    Mike

    [I recently got a 180 grit CBN wheel for my 1725 RPM grinder and am looking forward to experimenting with it.]
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 04-26-2018 at 12:44 PM.
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

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