I love watching Frank Klausz’ videos. One thing to watch out for is to understand his whole methods. In his video entitled “ Frank’s quick sharpening lesson” for example, he starts with a quick statement that he does the initial grinding with a Tormek sharpener. These things are great grinders which put a perfect hollow bevel on tools and makes his quick forehand method a lot easier. It’s very easy to register on a perfect hollow grind.
Unfortunately, if you have priced a Tormek, they are out of the price range of a beginning woodworker.
I was in my local woodworking store yesterday and they are asking $800 USD for a T8 model with attachments.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by Larry Geib.
Please allow me to add on sharpening with a hollow ground bevel. From Mr. Tom Fidgen I learnt that no secondary bevel is necessary, nor – as you point out – a honing guide. Even I, the perpetual and perennial beginner, can maintain what in my humble are very sharp edges, by basically give the backs of the blades some polishing on DMT Extra Fine (4000[?]) and Extra Extra Fine (8000) diamond stones, after first having ground and sharpened them on my Tormek. The bevels receive a few, more perfunctory, strokes with no substantial pressure applied. And, it takes no time at all: now that I eventually got around to make a sharpening station.
Actually I believe that joy out of one’s work is the most important aspect to the beginning woodworker, who can start with small projects – not necessarily easier than big ones – which only require a few tools of the “ready to use from the box” type; and have as much pleasure as talent and growing skills will grant. A Tormek, albeit costly, will mitigate the distress that comes out of being uncertain on re-sharpening those once perfect edges, and thereby add quite a lot to the joy of actually achieving something that isn’t immediately destined for the wood burner – like a keepsake with secret dovetails???
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Just curious, how often do you have to true your wheel on your tormek? It seems I have to do it quite often. I’m wondering if it’s from my shop not being heated or if it’s from trying to take the corners off of plane blades. Do you wait until hand sharpening to take the corners off or do a convex or do you do that on the tormek to start?
I use different methods for different tools. Narrow chisels and gouges still get sharpened freehand on my very nice transparent amber novaculite oilstone. I find I get a finer edge than with diamond stones and dont screw up my water stones. I only have to flatten the stone occasionally. It still has another lifetime left.
(I use a touch of soapy water on the stone, not oil- less mess and smell)
My plane irons get honed on water stones. Yes, it’s a bit messy, but again, I get finer edges. And because I use water stones, I have taken to the Charlesworth method. It’s very quick and I don’t nick up my soft 800 grit or my fine 16K stones. And with the Charlesworth method, I don’t have to strop.
I have diamond stones, but they aren’t as quick and need more pressure, something I try to lessen with my elbow arthritis.
But I’m not advocating. There are 100 ways to sharpen and most work.
And maybe I wasn’t clear. I don’t own a Tormek.
I was just looking at one. I do know they need refreshing often. A buddy of mine says he has to flatten them as often as I do with my water stones. But maybe both of you wait too long, I don’t really know.
There is a jig that makes that pretty much automatic, I’m told. That and the cost is why I haven’t sprung for one. In a couple years I’ll be moving to a place with a communal shop that has one, so I may never pull the trigger, but just buy stones for that one.
For rough grinding, I use either a, old hand grinder with an 80 grit blue stone or if things have really gotten out of hand, a metal working 4×48 belt grinder I have access to. Things have to be dire, though. It’s too easy to screw things up worse. The thing is a monster.
I’m with you and my F.K. video was so long ago it was VHS. Tormek wasn’t even on the horizon. No grinding for Frank, just water stones, several of which I gouged to death before I acquired the then lately on the market Veritas honing guide. A great aid for a beginner but OMIGOD it takes forever to lose a thousandth and uneven pressure is nearly built-in.
I learned to seek out proper light to establish the angle then trust my hands to maintain it. Just this morning I got out my 2 dovetail chisels and discovered they had been put away with serrated edges. Shame on me. 15 or 20 strokes on the 600, a dozen more on the 8000 and back in business.
Tormeks, Diamonds and over-engineered European power tools; hard wood isn’t getting any cheaper but one can still buy a shipload of lumber for the price of those goodies.
Trueing the stone is something I thankfully don’t need to do very often, supposedly because I use a file to round the corners of the blades (or, at times, the side of the Tormek stone), and don’t intentionally put a camber to them. As I manly use it for grinding, the roughing-stone gets used a lot.
Far be it from me to give any advice. I was just commenting out being happy to have confirmation on that hollowing has benefits. Next step is to get my water stones out of the boxes. Then, I too will – with some modifications – follow Mr. D Charlesworth, and reserve the diamond stones for narrow blades.
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