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Messages - Ken S

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Knife Sharpening / Re: How sharp is sharp enough?
« on: Today at 03:20:55 pm »
Good post, CB.

The real "secret sauce" is skill.


Knife Sharpening / Re: How sharp is sharp enough?
« on: Today at 04:46:01 am »
Oof, I don't know about that.  If a knife is really dull, or the angle is slightly different, it takes a while to get a burr using just the fine-graded stone.  Heck, even the coarse-graded stone can take a long time if you don't put some muscle behind it.

I would put those knives in the very dull and the damaged category. (Changing the bevel angle of a knife or tool takes a surprising amount of grinding.) By all means, start with the coarse side of the stone grader then.
Standard Tormek technique includes "don't be afraid to really lean on it" with the SG.


Knife Sharpening / Re: How sharp is sharp enough?
« on: Yesterday at 11:22:58 pm »
Looking back at our longstanding favorite knife sharpening video by Jeff Farris, Jeff generally used his SG-250 graded fine. He didn't normally use the stone grader for knives. Unless a knife is damaged or very dull, using the stone grader is not necessary.

Yes, the SG will gradually decrease in diameter. The key word is gradually.

You may remove the grinding wheel if you choose to. It is not necessary.


Knife Sharpening / Re: How sharp is sharp enough?
« on: Yesterday at 06:56:58 pm »

I read your earlier posts. Are you aware of the convexing possibilities of the new KJ jigs? See this online class:

For those who want to invest in that much equipment, and are still concerned with sharpening time, having more than one T8 customs probably makes sense. These knives can easily become very expensive. This may not be a problem for your own knives; however, how many customers would be willing to pay that much for sharpening?


Knife Sharpening / Re: Why isn't there a 250mm leather wheel?
« on: Yesterday at 10:21:52 am »
After posting my last reply, I realized that it really belongs in the How sharp topic. Sorry.
Regarding this topic, I like both CB's reference to the very difficult to locate T4000 and Nick's reference to the 250mm SchleifJunkies leather wheel. Just keep in mind that your SG will gradually diminish in diameter.


Knife Sharpening / Re: Why isn't there a 250mm leather wheel?
« on: Yesterday at 10:15:37 am »

I read through your thirty one posts. You are asking some good questions. Several parameters come to mind:

We need to strike a balance between sharpness and the time (labor cost) and capital needed to reach that level of sharpness. Let's consider the standard Tormek equipment and technique as a good starting point. By this, I mean SG graded both coarse and/or fine as needed and the leather honing wheel with PA-70. As shown in the Tormek online classes and Wootz' Tormek only with FVB, this method is quite capable of producing very sharp knife edges in reasonable time without having to purchase a lot more equipment. Granted this best applies to typical kitchen knives which are not damaged or extremely dull. A professional sharpener should add a surcharge in extreme cases.

Part of this balance is reasonable customer expectations. I believe a customer should expect a workmanlike job for a fair price. This is the typical farmers market customer. Wootz established some very high end customers as part of his business. That's nice work; however, most people do not require or want to pay for olympic level sharpening.

We need to differentiate between Tormek and third party equipment and techniques. I do not mean to imply that Tormek is necessarily better, only that it is sometimes different. I have been a BESS user for many years. I think BESS has much to offer; however it is neither a Tormek product or part of the orthodox Tormek technique.

The same applies to Wootz' equipment and technique. I have always thought quite highly of Wootz and his research methods. Over the years, I have purchased several of his products and have been very satisfied with them. However, we must remember that even the FVB is a Knife Grinders product, not a Tormek product. The Tormek honing technique, as is amply demonstrated in several online classes, is handheld honing. Even when Wolfgang demonstrates removing the grinding wheel, he states that he never does this. He holds the knife at an angle. There is nothing wrong with jig held honing; it is just not the only method.

We also need to remember that the T8 and T4, unlike the T1 and T2, are not knife sharpening only machines. They are sharpening systems which work well with knives.

I encourage all new Tormek users to master the basic SG, leather honing wheel, and technique before adding more gear.


Knife Sharpening / Re: How sharp is sharp enough?
« on: May 15, 2022, 09:33:46 pm »

I think this is one of the most useful videos Vadim ever made. He shows what a skilled, careful sharpener can achieve with the standard Tormek equipment. He added a FVB.) A BESS reading of 75 is certainly quite sharp.
Admittedly, he used 12° per side; however, I would expect almost as sharp results at 15°. The constraint may be the quality of the $16 knife.


Good thought, John. I could chat with just my ipad; however, a larger screen, either monitor or TV, makes viewing a pleasure.


Knife Sharpening / Re: Why either/or?
« on: May 14, 2022, 10:57:55 pm »
Good post, CB.

I suspect you are right about the days of new SVM jigs being numbered. We will adapt. Who knows, we may even grow to prefer the new jigs. Just like with "number please" or rotary phones, the future newbies won't know what they missed.

I agree with you about Steve's technique for high volume. I have had the opportunity of having Steve coaching me.
He is a real treasure and a fine sharpener.

I got into multiple knife jigs by an unusual route. My personal sharpening needs would easily be satisfied with a single knife jig. Developing the kenjig, one of my goals was not needing to adjust the Distance from the grinding wheel to the support bar or the Projection. I did this by having three knife jigs (four including the SVM-00 as part of the set up for paring knives). Then I discovered that my middle thickness jig (an out of production SVM-100) worked because its  pre 2002 design had a longer adjustment screw. At that point,I began looking for pre2002 SVM-45 jigs and purchased two of them. Add two more SVM-45s for future modification to Wootz' (Vadim of Knife Grinders) milling. Add recently the two KJ jigs

For my own sharpening needs, just the KJ-45 would be more than adequate. I like the new design; in my opinion, the advancements more than outweigh any constraints.


PS Just for the record, I do not want to sell any knife jigs. They are readily available.

Knife Sharpening / Why either/or?
« on: May 14, 2022, 02:18:18 pm »
Among the posts about the new KJ knife jigs, I detect an attitude of having to use either the SVM or the KJ jigs exclusively. Why should we impose this artificial limitation on ourselves?

The KJ-45 jig presently costs only $54US. That makes it one of the least expensive Tormek jigs. For most users, I see no real advantage in purchasing more than one. I also happen to think that very few users really need the KJ-140 long jig. The KJ-45 regular jig will handle long and think blades where the self centering feature is useful. How many "flexible" fillet knives have we seen which are thicker than 3 millimeters?

Most of us already have at least one SVM-45 knife jig. Some of us have several.

Why not use each jig to its best advantage? For very thick or tapered knives, the KJ-45 seems the clear winner. For high volume sharpeners where the speed of the adjustable Projection stop is essential, the old reliable SVM-45 gets the nod. Some of us have doubts about pivoting with the new jig, even after watching the online class. Chances are, the pivot people already have a pivot jig. At around nine knife jigs, I have more than I need; however, having an extra jig dedicated to pivoting seems reasonable.

I sent an email to Sebastien and Wolfgang prior to the online KJ class conveying our questions. Sebastien sent a very wise reply. He appreciated my email, but decided to keep the initial class more basic in order not to lose the beginners. His plan, a good one, is to wait until the new jigs are more generally available and in use. At that point, he plans to schedule another live more advanced class geared to forum users. I will keep us posted on this upcoming class.


When I started on this from in 2009, I was using my new T7 and my 2008 21" imac. My hard drive eventually died, and I upgraded to my present 2015 imac (also 21" screen). As I got older and lazier, I started using my iPad almost exclusively. My grandson claimed the imac for his minecraft. My typing deteriorated and I learned to live with the limitations of the iPad program. My grandson moved on to faster needs and the imac sat unused.

With the advent of the online classes, I began missing my 21" retina screen. I also became increasingly frustrated with the typing limitations and occasional disappearing almost completed long posts of the iPad.With some help from my grandson and son-in-law, I deleted all the gaming programs on my imac. On a teenage time reference, the imac is "so old and slow that it is worth only about ten dollars". For an oldster like me, that is plenty fast.

The Tormek online classes are so much more enjoyable when viewed on the 21" "big screen". Being able to increase the viewing magnification while typing makes posting so much more pleasant. Not having to share the smaller iPad screen with the screen keyboard eliminates the screen crowding. Presently I have to learn some work arounds for things like the accent mark over the "e" in Sebastien or the circle over the "a" in Hakan. That will come. (I can modify the post after posting with the iPad"s on screen keyboard. That's clumsy, but doable temporarily.) The function keys on the apple keyboard make volume and brightness changes a snap, as well as pausing.

I have found that I benefit increasingly from watching the classes more than once. An example of this was watching Stig demonstrate using the side of the grinding wheel to square up a chisel. I liked the idea, but had doubts about using a wheel with a worn face. On a rewatching, I noticed that Stig only used the inside face of the wheel for squaring. The inside face had never been used for sharpening.

I still use my iPad a lot, however, for forum work and watching you tubes, my "only worth ten dollars" imac is a joy to use.


General Tormek Questions / Re: Wheel Storage...Is This OK?
« on: May 12, 2022, 05:00:51 pm »

I share both the vote of confidence in your design and workmanship, as well as the concern with dampness. I used to store my grinding wheels in their original cardboard until I encountered the dampness issue. The wheels retain dampness for a very long time, often several days, even in a dry basement. I learned this the hard way.  :(


General Tormek Questions / Re: Honing
« on: May 11, 2022, 05:04:47 pm »
I have noticed that many new and/or beginning Tormek users believe in "magic bullets". These may be the SJ Japanese wheels; different honing pastes; ultra fine bench stones; etc.

I have had the rare opportunity of watching Stig Reitan of Tormek sharpening. Stig has found the real magic bullet, years of serious practice. Stig sharpens using the orthodox three step Tormek technique with the SG, leather honing wheel, and Tormek PA-70. He has mastered these a long time ago. I highly recommend the online class video he and Sébastien did. Here is a link:

Keep us posted.


Welcome to the forum, Tom.

When I read your post, your Projection setting didn't look right. I thought it should be 75mm. Ifound a Nick Agar video. Here is the link:

At around two minutes, Nick explains the Ellsworth set up with the Tormek. Your A and jig setting 6 are correct. Your Projection should be 75 mm.

I don't seem to be able to locate my source video; however, I recall a suggestion (I think by Glenn Lucas) to set the TTS-100 for honing and then raise the microadjust one turn. This lets the honing concentrate on just the cutting apex of the edge.
EDIT: I found the source. It is the Tormek Basic Honing Online Class with Sébastien and Wolfgang, starting at around 51 minutes………

Here is a link to a good Glenn Lucas video:

Keep us posted.


General Tormek Questions / Re: New SJ250 Care Help?
« on: May 10, 2022, 05:20:08 am »
I don't use my Japanese stone much. I have trued it successfully using the TT-50 very carefully. I am a believer in gently rounding the corners of the wheel.
Two things to keep in mind:
1) the SJ is a softer, more fragile stone than the SG. Treat it carefully.
2) the SJ is, like a 4000 grit bench stone, a polishing stone rather than a grinding stone. Your edge should already be sharp before using the SJ.

The purpose of "cleaning" the SJ is to clear out the steel debris on the surface of the stone. The black marks on the wheel edge are steel which clogs the wheel. The purpose of cleaning is for cutting efficiency, not aesthetics. You set your own schedule. I like to start each sharpening session with a clean wheel.
I use Barkeeper's Friend on my ceramic rods. I would think it would also work on the SJ. A fine rubber rust eraser works well. In fact, an inexpensive set of three rubber rust erasers will be very handy to have in your shop for many things. I've had a set for thirty years and use it frequently.


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