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Tormek alternatives - any experience?


baroquecello
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Wow, I got more than I wanted, even if not the answers I was hoping for. Thank you for all the responses.

What I currently do when refurbishing old gouges and chisels that are rather abused is to do the rough work eyeballed with a standard high speed dry grinder. I found out that wetting the tool prior to and during grinding helps prevent heating up to some degree and manage to get relatively ok shapes, that I can then refine using dry and wet stones and Veritas jigs. However, I dislike working with wet stones because of the mess they make, especially when doing several tools, and the time it takes for them to properly soak up enough water beforehand and to clean up and dry afterwards. I also find one has to straighten the rougher stones again rather soon. And lastly the Veritas jigs make it impossible to use the whole stone (unless one makes a "container" for each stone, which has an edge that is level with the stone, which I havent). I would like to replace the finer grinding with a Tormek (or equivalent), so that there is less of a mess, but still a good result. When working with stones the Veritas jigs for straight blades like chisels, don't work for round tools such as gouges, and these always remain very much of an eyeballing job. The results are ok for those too, however, as I understand it, the Tormek system has jigs that make precision easy also for gouges. I also like Tormeks T8 for the mirror side of old tools, which often need a lot of precision work that doesn't go so well with my dry grinder and is much too time consuming using stones, because the surface of the mirror side is large. I know one could leave the mirror side just sort of ok and do a slight back bevel instead, but I like a totally flat mirror side, which is then good for (almost) all eternity.

I must say gettting one of the better quality dry grinding wheels does seem attractive, I'll look into that some more. Although I will need to make my own jigs or keep trying to improve eyeballing. Hmm.

Nobody seems to have any experience with Tormek knock-offs. I'll either have to take the plunge with those and hope for the best, or get a Tormek. Hmm.

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On 11/4/2022 at 1:40 AM, baroquecello said:

Wow, I got more than I wanted, even if not the answers I was hoping for. Thank you for all the responses.

What I currently do when refurbishing old gouges and chisels that are rather abused is to do the rough work eyeballed with a standard high speed dry grinder. I found out that wetting the tool prior to and during grinding helps prevent heating up to some degree and manage to get relatively ok shapes, that I can then refine using dry and wet stones and Veritas jigs. However, I dislike working with wet stones because of the mess they make, especially when doing several tools, and the time it takes for them to properly soak up enough water beforehand and to clean up and dry afterwards. I also find one has to straighten the rougher stones again rather soon. And lastly the Veritas jigs make it impossible to use the whole stone (unless one makes a "container" for each stone, which has an edge that is level with the stone, which I havent). I would like to replace the finer grinding with a Tormek (or equivalent), so that there is less of a mess, but still a good result. When working with stones the Veritas jigs for straight blades like chisels, don't work for round tools such as gouges, and these always remain very much of an eyeballing job. The results are ok for those too, however, as I understand it, the Tormek system has jigs that make precision easy also for gouges. I also like Tormeks T8 for the mirror side of old tools, which often need a lot of precision work that doesn't go so well with my dry grinder and is much too time consuming using stones, because the surface of the mirror side is large. I know one could leave the mirror side just sort of ok and do a slight back bevel instead, but I like a totally flat mirror side, which is then good for (almost) all eternity.

I must say gettting one of the better quality dry grinding wheels does seem attractive, I'll look into that some more. Although I will need to make my own jigs or keep trying to improve eyeballing. Hmm.

Nobody seems to have any experience with Tormek knock-offs. I'll either have to take the plunge with those and hope for the best, or get a Tormek. Hmm.

I've posted about the Grizzly knock off and the KG CBN grinding wheel that you could use to make your restoring much simpler and less mess. Maybe you missed it. The Tormek wheels will fit the knock offs and they are interchangeable.

I buy and restore a lot of old chisels and gouges so I speak from experience. Bench grinders have their place but it sounds like a wet grinder can help you get those old edges back into shape. 

You could buy a Tormek and chose the wheel that you want. You don't have to buy the stone wheel. You could but one of their diamond wheels instead and the leather honing wheel.

Again I would recommend buying the KG 80 grit CBN wheel for restoring the edges and a finer wheel to finish.

http://knifegrinders.com.au/11Shop.htm

I'm done beating my chest. Good Luck.

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18 hours ago, JacksonMaberry said:

Hey Nathan. I use the veritas rest and love it. They sell an aftermarket table that accommodates 1.5" wheels, which I bought. Still have the 1" table lying around, not sure what to do with it. The rest is easy to adjust, stays out, and feels secure. I recommend it without reservations. 

Thanks Jackson. Looks like my next purchase.

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On 11/3/2022 at 6:02 PM, nathan slobodkin said:

…I am…interested in…the Veritas tool guide and will be buying a new grinder to put them on.. Is any one  using this combination?…

I have been using a Veritas tool grinding fixture for over 25 years, and I am very happy with it.

I bought my (Craftsman) standard bench grinder for $25 about 45 years ago at a going-out-of-business sale of an auto repair shop that had suffered a fire.  The plastic parts of the grinder had melted, and I had to replace the cord.

Tool grinding equipment does not have to be expensive.

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Specially to restore the chisel that you are not only working on the edge , a belt sander is another option with a little of modifications . 
although I have managed to use a belt sander with no support or guide but the final edge I make by jig and on the stone manually , this is working great for me to restore gouge and chisels 

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On 11/4/2022 at 8:52 PM, JacksonMaberry said:

But at what cost? Giving Swedes your money? Not in my America.

Those Christ forsaken Swedes. I never trusted them either. 

But not many things beat a low speed grinder and a white wheel. With some skill and patience, you can do anything with that setup. It's what I use everyday at work. 

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1 hour ago, Nick Allen said:

Those Christ forsaken Swedes. I never trusted them either. 

But not many things beat a low speed grinder and a white wheel. With some skill and patience, you can do anything with that setup. It's what I use everyday at work. 

Sigh... You're right. Sometimes one has to compromise on ones code for results. Respect. 

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On 11/4/2022 at 5:52 PM, JacksonMaberry said:

But at what cost? Giving Swedes your money? Not in my America.

 

19 hours ago, Nick Allen said:

Those Christ forsaken Swedes. I never trusted them either. 

 

Most of my carving gouges are Swedish, EA Berg and Karlsson and of course a Tormek. I have no problem paying for quality no matter where it's made.

My bench chisels are American made, stamped TH Witherby but probably made by the Winsted Edge Tool Works of Connecticut.

IMG_2186.thumb.JPG.620cf7e0a87346994f74f030f34bf32a.JPG

IMG_2188.thumb.JPG.5e7d1cbc2cb4d3f45b3d1ee0795cd8b6.JPG

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39 minutes ago, charliemaine said:

 

 

Most of my carving gouges are Swedish, EA Berg and Karlsson and of course a Tormek. I have no problem paying for quality no matter where it's made.

My bench chisels are American made, stamped TH Witherby but probably made by the Winsted Edge Tool Works of Connecticut.

IMG_2186.thumb.JPG.620cf7e0a87346994f74f030f34bf32a.JPG

IMG_2188.thumb.JPG.5e7d1cbc2cb4d3f45b3d1ee0795cd8b6.JPG

It was just me and Nick playing around, nothing serious against Swedes or anyone else. I'm a quarter Svensk as it is.

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Thanks David, I don't have the room that I used to. I had to convert my space into a home office when Covid struck so my wife could work from home. I now have just a small space in one corner of my garage and I'm grateful to have that. It has allowed me to get rid of stuff I don't use and has accumulated.

I used to have the space through the doorway as well and used this part of the garage to house my power tools. 

IMG_2039.thumb.JPG.e58f7ecc6fc0ea584c9c0da0287dc0e8.JPG

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On 11/6/2022 at 7:02 PM, Nick Allen said:

Those Christ forsaken Swedes. I never trusted them either. 

But not many things beat a low speed grinder and a white wheel. With some skill and patience, you can do anything with that setup. It's what I use everyday at work. 

I agree, as long as you have a solid tool rest and keep a cup of water nearby.  I've had my tools set up for a while, and haven't touched my grinder for quite a while. 

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On 11/6/2022 at 8:02 PM, Nick Allen said:

But not many things beat a low speed grinder and a white wheel. With some skill and patience, you can do anything with that setup. It's what I use everyday at work. 

I have a low speed grinder (about 100 rpm) with a white wheel. Doesn't heat the tools up enough to ever need water cooling.

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I realize I am a bit late to this party, but what are folks thoughts on using the CBN wheel on a low speed (1400 RPM) vs regular (3000 RPM) grinder? Is the CBN on a high speed preferable to low speed without CBN? Is CBN + low speed overkill or even nicer? Am I way overthinking this at this point and should probably get back to the workshop?

For context, looking at this low speed vs. this high speed with potentially this CBN, as I look to finally replace the Grizzly Tormek knock-off I had back in the US, and left behind when I moved to Europe.

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1 hour ago, Jedidjah de Vries said:

I realize I am a bit late to this party, but what are folks thoughts on using the CBN wheel on a low speed (1400 RPM) vs regular (3000 RPM) grinder? Is the CBN on a high speed preferable to low speed without CBN? Is CBN + low speed overkill or even nicer? Am I way overthinking this at this point and should probably get back to the workshop?

For context, looking at this low speed vs. this high speed with potentially this CBN, as I look to finally replace the Grizzly Tormek knock-off I had back in the US, and left behind when I moved to Europe.

My suggestion would be CBN+ low speed. This is only because the 180 grit wheel I have is very aggressive, and the motor I have is in line with the peak rpm of a slow speed grinder, and it gets all my jobs done quickly and cool. 

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It might be worth noting that you virtually never see a knife maker or file maker using anything but a belt grinder. Coarse belts cut fast, are easy to change, and it's easy to control geometry. I have a couple of stationary belt grinders and a traditional grinder and grew up old school, but if I were to make a change, I might pick up something like Grizzly's 10x2", 200 RPM wet grinder with a strop wheel for around $160.  Looks like a good spend to me. (It could be that they have only the ones with an un-needed VS feature now. VS is only one more thing to fail with no benefit that I can see.)

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1 minute ago, Michael Richwine said:

It might be worth noting that you virtually never see a knife maker or file maker using anything but a belt grinder. Coarse belts cut fast, are easy to change, and it's easy to control geometry. I have a couple of stationary belt grinders and a traditional grinder and grew up old school, but if I were to make a change, I might pick up something like Grizzly's 10x2", 200 RPM wet grinder with a strop wheel for around $160.  Looks like a good spend to me. (It could be that they have only the ones with an un-needed VS feature now. VS is only one more thing to fail with no benefit that I can see.)

Belt grinders are handy, and I'm glad to have one around. I also use the miter table with a shop made miter gauge for all sorts of things, like fingerboard ends, nuts, saddle, etc. If I had to select only one grinder for blade work however, I'd pick the Cbn wheel. Our needs as sharpeners aren't quite the same as new makers of knives or files, in my view. 

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