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Sharping with a Tormek using waterstone wheel?


Nemo
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Anyone ever tried the Waterstone wheel for the Tormek grinder? I'm looking for sharpening stones or tools to sharpen gouges and plane blades. The Tormek seems to me to be an expensive sharpening system for a hobbiest, probly an overkill. I'm just getting started and looking for some advice.

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I own one of these things (soon to be Ebayed). As you can guess, my advice would be to save your money and purchase much less expensive tools. If you're new to sharpening, I recommend two DVDs that will get you well on your way to becoming an expert sharpener, which also include recommendations on what to buy:

Sharpening Simplified by Everett Ellenwood, available here;

Hand Tool Techniques Part 1: Plane Sharpening by David Charlesworth, available here.

Both DVDs cover tools and jigs. Everett's approach to sharpening is based on simplicity and how to get started for very little money. David's approach to sharpening flat irons is also based on simplicity and repeatability.

As for what I use: I have a variable speed bench grinder made by Delta for my grinding needs. I use waterstones on flat irons and I use oil stones (mostly) on my carving gouges. I sharpen my few in-cannel gouges using various and sundry water slip stones. I strop on cardboard charged with the white honing compound Everett sells on his website.

I am very jealous of Michael Darnton's hand-cranked bench grinder. I look on Ebay every once in a while, but I haven't yet found one that is in good enough shape to buy.

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David

Can I ask you why you are selling your Tormek ?

I own the Tormek system and I am quite happy with it. I also have the Japanese waterstones that go on the Tormek as an addition and find that they do a great job on gouges. Yes it is Very expensive ...but that seems to be the only drawback so far that I have run into. There is a site at Yahoo Groups that helps anyone with their Tormek and the unit comes with a good manual.

If I wanted to go with the best, yet cheapest sharpening method, in the short term, to just get up and running, then I would sugest that you investigate the "Scary Sharp" method of using sandpaper and a flat surface such as a glass plate. I say "short term" because in the long run you will spend just as much on sandpaper as you will on a good set of stones.

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It just isn't my cup of tea. I want to be able to sharpen my tools quickly and then get back to work. Sharpening anything with the Tormek is anything but quick (for me). Grinding cryogenically treated A2 tool steel, in particular, takes forever. It isn't a question of not knowing how to use the tool (it ain't rocket science); it's a question of how practical it is to use from my point of view.

I don't hollow grind my gouges as a rule, so I haven't even tried to use the Tormek for that purpose. On the rare occassions when I need to regrind a gouge, I do so by hand.

It's really a matter of personal taste and budget. I will go out on a limb and suggest that one learn how to sharpen by hand first and then figure out which tools can be used to speed up some of the process. But that's only my opinion.

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Occasionally I use a friends lathe and among his stuff is a Tormek system that he uses on the lathe tools. I have used it and could see using it on my own gouges but know there isn't one in my future. A piece of thick glass the size of standard wet-dry sandpaper and some paper in various grits up to 1500 and a honing jig for plane irons will go a long way .(I assume this is the basis of "scary sharp" system I hear about) I make inexpensive wheels out of MDF scrap, put them on an arbor and use them in the drill press for radiused edges. I would spend the money on some good tone wood.

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I thought long and hard before buying a Tormek. In the end, I wasn't sorry - sharpening has been downgraded from a time-consuming, major pain-in-the-butt enterprise to a non-event. I can now also slice through a hair held between the tips of two fingers without setting aside one day per week to achieve that objective.

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You can get an adapt-a-kit for the delta 23-700 wet grinder from Woodcrafters that allows you to use tormek tools. The stone wheel is coarser than the tormek wheel, and it is soft, but the kit is only $40. Trouble is you have to buy all the extras that come with the tormek, and you don't have a strop.The tool bar and plane blade holder will cost an additional 60 or more dollars. I got my delta for $40 at a used tool supply. I just got my kit, so have not sharpened any tools yet. I still may eventually buy a tormek because they are easy to use and more versatile than my modified delta. I wish I had sold my delta and used that money towards the tormek system.

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I have been sharpening tools by hand for 30 years, and I thought I was pretty good at it. But the Tormek, as Jacob says, make very short work of grinding and honing. I have the leather wheel for touch ups, and it's not common to have to grind an edge. Once the grinding is done, the wheels keep things sharp for a long time.

I think it's a real time saver and I can be more accurate with it. If you have more time than money, then hand sharpening is great and there are lots of ways to do it. But if you have the dough, and less time, the Tormek is a great tool.

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