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Thread: To TORMEK, or not to TORMEK - that is the question

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Crystal Lake, IL
    Posts
    492
    My Tormek is over 20 years old, and still going strong. I'm on my 2nd grinding wheel. I have a bunch of different jigs for it, and I think they all work great. I use it for re-establishing bevels on all my tools, including scissors, knives, chisels, plane blades, gouges, and turning tools. I do not use it for honing. I do that with 3M microabrasive.

    If I need to establish a proper bevel on a tool that is way out of whack, the Tormek is way too slow. I recently reground a timberframing slick that is 3 1/2" wide. It's a Greenlee. Excellent, very hard steel. It was ground by an idiot at 45į, which is why I think I got it so cheaply. I used my 2X72 belt grinder for this, and other vintage chisel regrinds, as the Tormek would have taken 2 days to do this.

    What I really like about my Tormek jigs is they allow for excellent repeatability. I do a lot of different work in my shop, and turning, for instance, is not a daily occurrence. Because it isn't, I don't rely on freehanding an expensive bowl gouge. I don't want to screw it up and waste valuable metal. The Tormek jig for gouges and carving tools is instantly repeatable with the same exact results over and over.

    I hone everything on 3M microabrasive on granite. I get my tools to a mirror polish and insanely sharp in minutes. Works for me. Almost all my tools are either O1 or A2.
    Jeff

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Pasadino, CA
    Posts
    847
    Lifetime investment. Sooner you buy it, sooner it starts paying for itself.

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    Hi Fred

    I have had a Tormek for about 10 years. Since discovering CBN wheels (180 and 80 grit) and using them on a half-speed bench grinder with the Tormek guides (about 3 years ago now), the Tormek, per se, has had minimal use. The CBN wheels are simply streets ahead in regard to set up, speed of grinding, lack of wear, never needing to be adjusted or re-surfaced .... and the use of the Tormek guides means that I have the best of both worlds.

    You must have read the article I wrote a few years ago: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/Woodwor...ningSetUp.html

    My enthusiasm for this set up has not changed, and I believe that many have modelled their grinder on mine. It is a real game changer.

    So my advice is to look into the cost of a half speed machine. I believe Rikon sell one. Get a 180 grit CBN wheel if you can only get one (I use this 90% of the time). I do not use the SE77 jig (I have one and find it excessively finicky, unnecessary). I use the SE76, and then add the micro camber in by hand.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Derek, How important is it to grind at half speed ?
    Best regards

    Lasse Hilbrandt

  4. #19
    Lasse, grinding without over-heating the steel involves a compromise of factors. One is, the faster the wheel speed, the lighter the touch. Similarly, the finer the grit, the greater the chance of high heat, and the a lighter, shorter touch is needed. Coarser grit is cooler. A 28 grit wheel is cooler than a 180 grit wheel. The CBN wheels, being metal (some steel and some aluminium), are a large heat snk, and carry away the heat. Therefore they run cooler. It is yin and yang.

    A high speed 8 " grinder will creater more heat than a half speed 8" wheel, so lighten your hand, take shorter grinding motions, check the warmth of the blade more frequently, cool in water more frequently if needed.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  5. #20
    I have the old grizzly 10Ē wet grinder over twenty years old , that I used for establishing bevels works well but a pain to drain in freezing conditions
    I bought their version of the tormek
    I like it very much
    I canít spend big bucks just to establish bevels so I went with the grizzly

  6. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by phil harold View Post
    I have the old grizzly 10” wet grinder over twenty years old , that I used for establishing bevels works well but a pain to drain in freezing conditions
    I bought their version of the tormek
    I like it very much
    I can’t spend big bucks just to establish bevels so I went with the grizzly
    If a hollow grind is the basis of your sharpening method (as it is for my Western blades), then the quality of the hollow can speed of sharpening quite considerably. This was the reason I moved to a Tormek originally, and in more recent years moved to CBN wheels. The CBN wheel is a real game changer. It allow one to safely grind to, or close to, the edge of the blade without burning but - importantly - with a straight and clean edge. It is possible to start honing with a 6000 grit stone, rather than work up to this with 1 or 2 other stones.

    Here's that picture again ..



    My argument is that you can reduce the expenditure on sharpening media if you prepare the ground with a great hollow. Saving money with a cheap grinder will force you in the other direction.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post

    My argument is that you can reduce the expenditure on sharpening media if you prepare the ground with a great hollow. Saving money with a cheap grinder will force you in the other direction.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    See this is what I dont understand my sharpening media is over twenty years old
    I use water stones, the top and back are used for plane blades and the sides are used for chisels
    by consciously moving the blades over all the surface my stones do not cup or hollow out.

  8. #23
    Phil, don't forget that I prefaced my comment with "If a hollow grind is the basis of your sharpening method..". I also hone without grinding. My Japanese blades are honed on the full face. No secondary or micro bevels. They are designed for this, and the emphasis moves to the quality of the media. My preference with hard steels, such as A2, PM-V11, and M2, is to hollow grind before honing. My explanation, above is in regard to hollow grinding.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  9. #24
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    N Illinois
    Posts
    4,307
    Have both an "older" Tormek and a Worksharp...Find the Tormek to be dependably good for the basic level..very consistant..,..,.Most people here at SMC like to take the sharpening to a higher (sharper) level....I'm pleased with mine.
    Jerry

  10. #25
    Thanks again everyone!
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  11. #26
    I may be a heretic inviting himself to be burned at the stake but .....
    When I want to take a Japanese chisel to a fresh start (or change the bevel angle), I indeed use the Tormek. It's quick, safe for the steel, and accurate. Then I move on to the stones, and stay with the coarsest (800 Bester in my case) until the hollow is gone or almost gone. When I finish up, I have a flat bevel.
    This doesn't take long at all because the large wheel leaves a comparatively shallow hollow. So don't feel the Tormek will not serve you if you use Japanese chisels.
    I'd love to play around with a CBN wheel one day.
    Edwin

  12. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin Santos View Post
    I may be a heretic inviting himself to be burned at the stake but .....
    When I want to take a Japanese chisel to a fresh start (or change the bevel angle), I indeed use the Tormek. It's quick, safe for the steel, and accurate. Then I move on to the stones, and stay with the coarsest (800 Bester in my case) until the hollow is gone or almost gone. When I finish up, I have a flat bevel.
    This doesn't take long at all because the large wheel leaves a comparatively shallow hollow. So don't feel the Tormek will not serve you if you use Japanese chisels.
    I'd love to play around with a CBN wheel one day.
    Edwin
    I put a primary bevel of 25 degrees on my Japanese chisels with my WorkSharp, then a secondary bevel of 30 to 35 degrees. I read that you have to sharpen Japanese chisels at 35 degrees but I've never had any problems with the edge failing with my process.

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

  13. #28
    Mike

    My "chopping" (aka bench) Japanese chisels (and all Western chisels used the same way) receive 30 degree bevels. I have never had a Japanese chisel fail when used this way ... and sometimes I also hollow grind the Koyamaichi dovetail chisels on the Tormek. I've never chipped one chopping into hard woods. My Kiyohisa slicks receive a flat 25 degree bevel in the traditional manner. These are pushed and never struck.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

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