Sharpening

WOOD WORKING BY DESIGN

Welcome to the Sharpening section.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!

The Following sharpening methods Will Be Discussed:

Tormek SuperGrind 2000

tormek machine
Photo 1. Tormek SuperGrind 2000.

I could never do the work that I do as a wood worker without my Tormek. It is the heart of my workshop because it affects nearly every knive-using machine and cutting-edge tool that I use. While my machine is now outdated - it is no longer manufactured by Tormek - there is not an edge tool that has not benefited from its continued functionality and versatility. The fact that it is still running like new is a tribute to the Tormek designers. When I used to use non-carbide knives in my jointer, the Tormek's ability to sharpen those knives more than paid for its base price. And, speaking as a carver, this machine is absolutely outstanding when using one of Tormek's rigs to sharpen my carving gouges.

Tormek Grindstones
I have both the Original Tormek wheel and the Blackstone Silicion wheel. The only reason that I have the Blackstone is that I needed to craft some custom knives from reciprocating saw blades. I needed these knives to make small half-blind drawer dovetails. This meant that I would have to use the side of the wheel to grind away the hardened saw teeth. Because of this I felt that the softer original wheel would take too much of a beating, so I opted to purchase the harder Blackstone for this project and that turned out to be the right decision.

On a side note: About a month ago while sharpening some carving gouges I realized that I had been using the Blackstone instead of the original Tormek stone and never noticed the difference. This is not to say that this is good pratice, but IMO the end result was the same - A very sharp carving gouge edge.

IMHO, all you really need is the Original grindstone. I have used mine for over ten years and while it does

Tormek Rigs
I have a good collection of these.

Truing Tool
This tool is used to insure the grindstone is flat and true as it wears. It goes without saying, this tool is a must have item. Mine is a much older model and is not as fancy as the one linked to. Regardless, it still gets the job done.

Stone Grader
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Profiled Leather Honing Wheel
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AngleMaster
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Planer Blade Attachment
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Short Tool Jig
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Multi-Jig
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Square Edge Jig
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Gouge Jig
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Universal Support
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Tormek SuperGrind 2000 Problems
The ONLY problem I have had with my Tormek - and it was and still is a major problem - is that the shaft was not made of stainless steel. It was zinc-coated only. To the uninitiated this means that the nut and threads on the stone side will rust due to all the water used while sharpening. Several years ago I realized I could not loosen the nut to remove the grinding wheel and emailed Tormek. I immediately recevied a reply with a guarantee that if I broke the wheel while trying to remove it they would replace it at no charge. They also sent me a new set of SS washers and a SS nut to match. They also apologized for this design oversight.

At the time I was not happy with this discovery, but decided to just live with it and make the best of it. Yes, I could have made a big fuss over this and may or may not have gotten a new machine. But, at the moment it is what it is. The upside to this is now all the shafts and fastening hardware are fabricated out of SS as they should have been from the git go. I recently notices that they offer a SS replacement shaft for my machine.

Tip!

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Drill The Center Hole
Doing this correctly is important for two reasons: (1) If we have a scared hole this will not impress people with our woodworking skill not to mention the fact that it just looks very bad and (2), a sloppy hole will fit loosely on our rig which leads to more problems.

Okay, about those small x's: If you place those x's against your drill press fence they will guarantee a certain degree of uniformity to your work. I did not mention the finishing of the legthwise outside edges or your board because you will be band-sawing this off, so why mill the surface if you are just going to cut it off? The band-sawed edge will work just fine for the following steps. Therefore, clamp your board tightly to your drill press fence as the photo above shows, then bore your first hole and repeat for the others.

Band-Saw Your Sections Free
After you bore all of your holes it is time to separate each section with your band-saw or hand saw. Now, as a precaution, I would make a mark on the edge of each section so that you can orient each of them the same way when you bore the center hole. In other words, you could place the marked edge against your drill press fence then bore your hole. This will help make them all uniform after you bore your hole.

Sharpening Stones

Tool sharpening can be done in many ways. This section will focus on the gear and methods I use to get and keep my tools sharp so I can do my work. This is not to say that my methods are the only ones that work. They are, however, the methods that I know produce the sharpest edge in the shortest amount of time.

tormek machine
Photo 2. Waterstones, Arkansas hard stone and Japanese chisel.

Waterstones
I have many waterstones. Most waterstone 'collections' begin in the same way that we accumulate tools most of which comes about from a lack of good knowledge at the time. Add to this the fact that when we begin our woodworking journey we really are not quite sure where we are headed so we purchased gear that we think we may find useful. We all do that.

That said, I have two waterstones that I seldom use. But, when I do need them I am very glad that I have them.

The waterstones I use are as follows:

Arkansas Stones
The first order of business is we heed to dimension our stock. So let run our board through the planer so your upper and lower surfaces are parallel to each other. Parallel surfaces are crucial for the rest of our project. Be certain that your board is wide and long enough for all of the napkin rings you want to make. Drawing this out should give a board that is two napkin rings wide and six (or eight) napkin rings in length. See next photo below.

Stone Holders
The first order of business is we heed to dimension our stock. So let run our board through the planer so your upper and lower surfaces are parallel to each other. Parallel surfaces are crucial for the rest of our project. Be certain that your board is wide and long enough for all of the napkin rings you want to make. Drawing this out should give a board that is two napkin rings wide and six (or eight) napkin rings in length. See next photo below.

Veritas Sharpening Rig

The rig we are going to use for this project is detailed on the Rigs and Jigs page. If you have not read that page you should probably do that before we get started.

veritas sharpening rig
Photo 2. Veritas Sharpening Rig.

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The rig we are going to use for this project is detailed on the Rigs and Jigs page. If you have not read that page you should probably do that before we get started.

tormek machine
Photo 1. Tormek SuperGrind 2000.