Sharpening

WOOD WORKING BY DESIGN

Welcome to the Sharpening section.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!

The Following sharpening rigs and other Tormek items will be discussed:

Tormek SuperGrind 2000

tormek machine
IMAGE 1
Tormek SuperGrind 2000.

I could never do the work that I do as a wood worker without my Tormek. I have had my SuperGrind since November of 2001 and it is the heart of my workshop because it affects nearly every knife-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 While my machine is now outdated - it is no longer manufactured by Tormek - there is not an edge tool that has not benefited from its continued functionality and versatility.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 and engineers.

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 silicon wheel 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 IMHO the end result was the same - A very sharp carving gouge edge. I have since gone back to the original grindstone as seen in Image 1 above.

IMHO, all you really need is the original grindstone unless you have a special project which calls for a harder grindstone. Tormek also offers a waterstone grindstone, but thus far I have not had any need for it. I have used my grindstone for over fifteen years and it still appears as good as new. I do not abuse my grindstones (or any other tool that I own) and that has worked well for me.

Tormek Rigs
I have what I consider to be a necessary collection of these jigs to sharpen the tools I used in my work. The first Tormek item I want to go over is their universal support because it affects every jig that they make. Let's have a look at it.

Universal Support US-105
This support I would call a must have Tormek item for the simple reason that if you are using this machine to sharpen carving or turning gouges it will make your sharpening much, much easier.

tormek machine
Image ?. Tormek Universal Support US-105.

Looking at the image above I have pointed out the adjustable wheel or micro-adjust which increases/decreases the distance that your carving rig is from the wheel. In reality this micro-adjustment allows you to bring the bevel of your carving gouge parallel to the surface of your stone. If you wish to change the profile of your gouge simply adjust the support to suit.

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 SVS-32/38
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tormek machine
Image 1. Tormek SVS-32 short tool sharpening jig.

Phasellus rutrum quam ut nisi. Aliquam ornare. Ut scelerisque feugiat magna. Nullam ipsum mauris, posuere ullamcorper, laoreet et, facilisis in, arcu. Nullam pellentesque commodo orci. Aliquam erat volutpat. Nam tempus turpis mollis tellus. Suspendisse et leo at ante rhoncus condimentum. Vestibulum et elit. Phasellus sed diam. Proin vel justo a lorem semper venenatis. Cras sapien diam, consectetuer sed, consectetuer quis, mollis ut, turpis.

Gouge Sharpening Jig SVD-185/186
Phasellus rutrum quam ut nisi. Aliquam ornare. Ut scelerisque feugiat magna. Nullam ipsum mauris, posuere ullamcorper, laoreet et, facilisis in, arcu. Nullam pellentesque commodo orci. Aliquam erat volutpat. Nam tempus turpis mollis tellus. Suspendisse et leo at ante rhoncus condimentum. Vestibulum et elit. Phasellus sed diam. Proin vel justo a lorem semper venenatis. Cras sapien diam, consectetuer sed, consectetuer quis, mollis ut, turpis.

tormek machine
Image 1. Tormek SVS-32 short tool sharpening jig.

Phasellus rutrum quam ut nisi. Aliquam ornare. Ut scelerisque feugiat magna. Nullam ipsum mauris, posuere ullamcorper, laoreet et, facilisis in, arcu. Nullam pellentesque commodo orci. Aliquam erat volutpat. Nam tempus turpis mollis tellus. Suspendisse et leo at ante rhoncus condimentum. Vestibulum et elit. Phasellus sed diam. Proin vel justo a lorem semper venenatis. Cras sapien diam, consectetuer sed, consectetuer quis, mollis ut, turpis.

Multi-Jig
Phasellus rutrum quam ut nisi. Aliquam ornare. Ut scelerisque feugiat magna. Nullam ipsum mauris, posuere ullamcorper, laoreet et, facilisis in, arcu. Nullam pellentesque commodo orci. Aliquam erat volutpat. Nam tempus turpis mollis tellus. Suspendisse et leo at ante rhoncus condimentum. Vestibulum et elit. Phasellus sed diam. Proin vel justo a lorem semper venenatis. Cras sapien diam, consectetuer sed, consectetuer quis, mollis ut, turpis.

Square Edge Jig
Phasellus rutrum quam ut nisi. Aliquam ornare. Ut scelerisque feugiat magna. Nullam ipsum mauris, posuere ullamcorper, laoreet et, facilisis in, arcu. Nullam pellentesque commodo orci. Aliquam erat volutpat. Nam tempus turpis mollis tellus. Suspendisse et leo at ante rhoncus condimentum. Vestibulum et elit. Phasellus sed diam. Proin vel justo a lorem semper venenatis. Cras sapien diam, consectetuer sed, consectetuer quis, mollis ut, turpis.

Tormek SuperGrind 2000 Problems
The ONLY problem I have had with my Tormek - and it was and still is a problem - is that the shaft was not made of stainless steel. From what I have read their engineer's felt that a zinc-coated shaft would protect the shaft from rusting, but that turned out not to be the case: In due time the wheel-side nut rusted on the shaft.

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 at no charge to me. The gentleman from Tormek apologized and hoped the new components would help.

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 all the shafts and fastening hardware on new machines are now fabricated out of SS. That solves the rusting problem. I also recently noticed that they offer a SS replacement shaft for my machine.

UPDATE! Please read the following topic because this will exemplify Tormek's extraordinary customer service that they have provided me.

MSK-250 Stainless Steel shaft

Tormek Extraordinary Customer Support

February 2016
As I was writing the above section a thought popped into my head: "I wonder if Tormek will sell me a stainless-steel shaft for my SuperGrind at a reduced price?"

I felt that would be a reasonable request and was aware that they made a SS shaft for my machine, so why not ask and find out? That evening I sent them an email explaining my dilemma while offering to pay a reduced price. To my astonishment the very next day I had a cheery reply from one of their representatives and his exact words were:

"Hello,
Of course we will help you get a new shaft.
Please send me your address.
Best Regards"

(Note. I do not have permission to use the gentleman's proper name which is why I did not include it.)

Needless to say I was astonished at his reply of 10 Feb 2016, but took him at his word and sent him the info he requested. Ten days later on 20 Feb 2016, the Tormek package from Sweden arrived. The package contained the MSK-250 Stainless Steel shaft that you see in the image below: A brand-spanking new stainless-steel shaft for my old SuperGrind 2000! Hallelujah!

Tormek stainless-steel shaft
Image ??. New Tormek stainless-steel shaft for my SuperGrind 2000..

Waterstones

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.

Hard Arkansas Stones

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.

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.