"Regarding previous comments about contacting distributers for help and/or training, I phoned D & M Tools , a distributer of Tormek and they do not do Tormek training. Brimarc the UK importer advised that they likewise do not undertake Tormek training as people would not pay the price. They have a representative who may be in Scotland possibly every 12 weeks or so, and if contacted that person may call in to a customer who has reported problems. I don't think kennyk (or indeed anyone else) can hold his breath that long!"
I don't mean to fault Tormek AB on this issue. Adding enough trained support personnel to the payroll to give "boots on the ground" support world wide would surely sink the company. After all, Kenny's school is located within an hour of Glasgow, a major city. He could just as likely been located near a sheep station in Australia or in among the woodcarvers in Truchas, New Mexico (a nice little town, but very remote).
We live in an age of distance learning. It is truly astounding that a person on a sheep station or anywhere in the world with broad band can receive a university education online. Compared with having fifty technical assist persons on the Tormek payroll, producing several you tubes in house seems miniscule. Add to that the fact that these you tubes could easily be overdubbed in several languages. What an amazing learning tool!
Look back over this forum. The same issues keep popping up. People have trouble using the stone grader. The USB alignment puzzles new users. Grinding chisels square is a perennial issue. I believe most of us are not completely comfortable using the leather honing wheel. These are all issues which can easily be handled with a session with a Tormek expert. I believe they are all issues which can be handled by a well done you tube.
For the sake of Tormek AB, I believe it is crucial that these you tubes be produced in house. Without such learning tools, I believe Tormek's greatest competition will be the used Tormek market from discouraged users. We live in an age of instant learning expectations.
The Tormek does have a learning curve, as do all tools. The marketing videos ignore this and paint an unrealistic rosy picture. If Tormek produces videos dealing with the real world issues of learning how to use this fine product successfully, the end result will be happy users reluctant to sell their Tormeks on the used market. They would become Tormek's best advertisement. Also, if Tormek produces the videos, they won't be done by someone who might suggest a way to make a "comparable" machine at home with twenty dollars worth of scrap parts and an old motor.
We would all benefit from well done instructional videos. The expectation today is that such videos be readily available at no cost on the Internet. So be it. I have no doubt that the marketing department will subtly project the message of Tormek quality and versatility into the instructional videos. Why not? That's the way of the world, and, if the videos are genuinely instructional, we all benefit. (Just make sure that the marketing department plays a minor role.)
I believe it makes sense to rely more on videos than on dealers for solving customer problems. Most dealers (at least in the US) sell several brands of sharpening equipment, including several brands of wet grinders. The dealer makes money regardless of the brand purchased. With very well done Tormek produced brands, the Tormek name remains predominant.
I believe Kenny might have experienced much less frustration if such instructional videos were available. The Lie-Nielsen company in Maine (USA) makes world class metal planes. As part of their instructional you tubes, they discuss how to deal with play in the threaded adjusting wheels. Does this mean their planes are inferior? Certainly not. A certain amount of play in threads is just the nature of the beast. Why not deal with it intelligently so that it will not create a problem? Dealing with grinding wheel wear and alignment problems are part of the nature of the sharpening beast. Let's acknowledge this and move on as trained users.