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Thread: Wet grinder recommendation

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Wet grinder recommendation

    I'm just starting into a new hobby of chip carving and have started a collection of chip carving knives. However, I have a desire to resharpen the blade(s) but cannot do so on my bench grinder despite dipping the blade in water after every pass across the wheel; I just burn the tip. So, I'm looking for a wet grinder that's easy on the pocket book and have come across the Wen 4270 10" dual direction wet grinder/buffer on Amazon.com (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...k_ql_qh_dp_hza), and also a Grizzly unit at http://www.grizzly.com/products/10-W...ion/T10010ANV#.

    The two units look pretty much the same to me, although having bought Grizzly products in the past I'm a bit biased.

    I'm not a wood turner, so I would be using this infrequently, mainly to sharpen my carving & other knives. Have any of you used this sharpener & what do you think of it?
    Thoughts entering one's mind need not exit one's mouth!
    As I age my memory fades .... and that's a load off my mind!

    "We Live In The Land Of The Free, Only Because Of The Brave"
    “The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living."
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  2. #2
    Hi Al,
    You said you don't want to spend a lot of money, so I won't yack about buying a Tormek.

    These two look so similar that I wouldn't decide based on price. Instead, I'd go read the return policies for both Amazon and Grizzly and let that decide for me. Though honestly, even that may not matter for a $120 tool.

    Good luck!
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    You probably only need one for shaping a knife and that's something you probably only do once with each knife. I've never touched mine knives to wet grinder since the initial shaping.

    Maybe find someone local with a Tormek who would let you use it for a few minutes. Maybe ask at a local woodturning club.

    JKJ

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Launier View Post
    I'm just starting into a new hobby of chip carving and have started a collection of chip carving knives. However, I have a desire to resharpen the blade(s) but cannot do so on my bench grinder despite dipping the blade in water after every pass across the wheel; I just burn the tip. So, I'm looking for a wet grinder that's easy on the pocket book and have come across the Wen 4270 10" dual direction wet grinder/buffer on Amazon.com (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...k_ql_qh_dp_hza), and also a Grizzly unit at http://www.grizzly.com/products/10-W...ion/T10010ANV#.

    The two units look pretty much the same to me, although having bought Grizzly products in the past I'm a bit biased.

    I'm not a wood turner, so I would be using this infrequently, mainly to sharpen my carving & other knives. Have any of you used this sharpener & what do you think of it?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Newburgh, Indiana
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    I agree with John, you should need to grind but once, unless there is severe damage to the blade. After grinding, you should hone and strop only. A cheap alternative to a Tormek for knives is silicon carbide wet dry sandpaper. Find a piece of glass or any reasonably flat surface, spray a little water under the paper and some on top and you can remove quite a bit of blade without too much work. Then work up through the grits to at least 600 or beyond, then strop with green compound on a piece of leather, cereal box cardboard, MDF, or even a smooth piece of wood charged with the compound.

    To get a really sharp edge, you need to develop a burr on the opposite side of blade when honing. This ensures you are removing metal all the way to the edge. Flip the blade over and repeat chasing the wire edge back and forth until it falls off, then a few licks on the strop and you should be good to go. You can usually just strop every half hour or so depending on the wood you are carving.

    One other tip that I learned from Harley, carving is about seeing. Spend twice as long looking as carving. Also, an old Chinese saying, The best carver makes the fewest cuts.

    Good luck and most of all have fun!
    Last edited by Bob Glenn; 06-20-2018 at 2:03 PM.
    Life's too short to use old sandpaper.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Putney, Vermont
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    450
    Al, I bought the Grizzly Anniversary Edition Wet Grinder and found it to be pretty nice in my opinion. The wheel runs true as I have heard that sometimes they don't run true.
    It will fill my needs just fine for most of my sharpening needs. I want to make some marking knife blades to replace the pins in one of my marking knives and think it will do the job fine.
    I have been following your new carving experiences with John, and think you are progressing very well indeed.

  6. #6
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    Thanks to all for the responses & encouragement. I have decided to abort thoughts of getting the wet grinder. I sometimes tend towards impulsiveness when it come to an opportunity to buy a new tool. I have a nice 12" square piece of 3/8" plate glass that I use with paper for sharpening my chisels & planer blades. I'll use this for sharpening the carving blades.

    One thing I have found is how much time it does take to sand away the bevel on a factory blade, such as the Ruby chip carving knife. I've decided, I believe at John's recommendation, to sharpen the entire blade rather than having both a primary and a secondary bevel. I've found that sharpening a secondary blade, say at 10°-15°, is more difficult to consistently hold that angle while sharpening versus simply holding the entire blade on the stone. I think there is a greater chance of rolling the cutting edge. Plus sharpening the entire blades produces a thinner blade angle which slices better, although one must be careful when cutting tight arcs to avoid breaking the point - as I've already experienced.
    Thoughts entering one's mind need not exit one's mouth!
    As I age my memory fades .... and that's a load off my mind!

    "We Live In The Land Of The Free, Only Because Of The Brave"
    “The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living."
    "
    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." Winston Churchill

  7. #7
    Al,

    First, putting a power sharpener to a chip grinder is sure to be a disaster I think you've already got that ;-)

    I recommend using stones not sandpaper. I think you need to use a pull stroke to sharpen, which is almost sure to rip the paper.

    I prefer Wayne Barton's knives. It is basically the same design as a Pfeil except for blade quality and handle. Neither one have a bevel.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Al Launier View Post
    I've decided, I believe at John's recommendation, to sharpen the entire blade rather than having both a primary and a secondary bevel. I've found that sharpening a secondary blade, say at 10°-15°, is more difficult to consistently hold that angle while sharpening versus simply holding the entire blade on the stone. I think there is a greater chance of rolling the cutting edge. Plus sharpening the entire blades produces a thinner blade angle which slices better, although one must be careful when cutting tight arcs to avoid breaking the point - as I've already experienced.
    That's good advice. None of your carving knives should have a secondary bevel.
    .... Dave

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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    I cant imagine using a power grinder on my carving tools. Honestly, even going to a stone rather than strop does not happen often. My pinewood forge knife has been stropped countless times in the year or so I have owned it and I dont think it has ever seen a stone. It will eventually but I doubt it would ever see anything other than a 6k grit. Some of my gouges have seen a 1k or so but that would be a rare occurrence and indicate I was very lazy with stropping or sharpening at higher grits when needed.

    I do have one knife that needed some significant reshaping when I got it. Even there though I probably start with 1k.

    I dont hate grinders and use them all the time for turning tools. On the other hand my bowl gouge touches 2500 feet of wood per minute, a carving gouge might not do that in months so sharpening needs are very different.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon SPEAKS View Post
    I cant imagine using a power grinder on my carving tools..
    I agree, it's certainly not a normal use. Besides the initial shaping the chip carving knives needed, the only time I've touched a carving tool to the Tormek was to repair a badly chipped edge. (Somehow I let it hit the concrete floor.) The very slow and fine wheel made quick work of forming a new edge, followed by moving through the series of stones.

  11. #11
    If you have a lathe, here's a way to sharpen your carving tools. I still use this technique and it has served me well.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

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