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Topics - Ken S

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Wood Turning / video that CB sent me
« on: Yesterday at 04:55:49 pm »
CB sent me this instagram covering using the BGM _100 with a dry grinder and CBN wheel. It clearly demonstrates the process.

This procedure obviously works. However, my personal preference is to use the 180 grit CBN wheel directly in the Tormek. If I did not own a Tormek, I would go the BGM route. It provides the consistency and repeatability of the Tormek jigs, insuring that a minimum of steel is removed in sharpening.

Thanks, CB.



Knife Sharpening / santoku informational review
« on: January 14, 2018, 12:41:04 am »
This seems informative.  Enjoy.


I have grumbled about the SB-250 for a long time. The key to success in using it seems to be using light grinding pressure. I thought that Tormek neglected to mention this. I just rewatched the grinding wheels video with Alan Holtham. Sure enough, at 1:10, Alan stated, (regarding the SB-250), “It’s designed to work at lower grinding pressure.”

I admit that I was wrong; Tormek does mention this. However, in my defense, and considering the number of posts having difficulty with it, I feel it could be mentioned more prominently.

This brings up another question for me. If the SB-250 is designed to work at lower grinding pressure, why is it not also made in an SB-200 version for the T4? I have felt all along, based on using mine, that the T4 is an underappreciated treasure, and every inch a Tormek. I have used my T4 with both Norton 3X wheels (46 and 80 grit) and a CBN wheel (180 grit, although an 80 grit would work, also).
I see no reason why it would not perform well with the blackstone. It would combine the blackstone’s cutting with harder steels with the. Compact size of the T4.


General Tormek Questions / set up for micro bevels
« on: January 12, 2018, 12:21:47 am »
I have known about and generally used micro bevels since the time when I sharpened with oilstones.That changed when I started using the Tormek. However, recent posts on the forum, notably by Jan and Wootz, have caused me to revise my thinking.

Jan posted that raising the microadjust one revolution raises the support bar 1.5 mm (1/16”). As I recall, Jan translated that to 2°. This change can also be easily made with either Wootz' computer program or a kenjig. However, the problem with all of these methods is remembering where the support bar is set, up or down?

These shims are also available in a horseshoe shape which could be inserted into the threaded leg of the support bar below the microadjust. With the shim in place, the support bar is in the up position. No shim = lower position.

Shims like this can work either way. Up for a traditional micro bevel. Or, following Wootz' idea for toothy edges, down. Using his computer program would provide accurate thickness requirements.

Attached is a link showing some horseshoe shims. This project seems ideal for being shop made.


Knife Sharpening / small Tormek, large knife
« on: January 11, 2018, 11:31:52 pm »
This photo from the Tormek facebook site caught my eye. Not bad for a T4, and a larger knife than I ever plan to sharpen.


ps The sharpener looks familiar!

General Tormek Questions / thoughts for 2018
« on: January 02, 2018, 12:52:27 pm »
I will divide my New Year thoughts into three categories: personal goals, suggestions for the forum, and a suggestion for Tormek.

I hope to have more shop time this year. I want to finally make nice with my SB-250 blackstone. Forum posts have convinced me that my lackluster results with it are due to bad technique on my part. In past years, I have become fluent with the TT-50 truing tool, stone grader, and leather honing wheel. This year I want to add the blackstone to my fluent list. I also want to spend more time with my SJ-250 4000 grit stone.

I want to understand burrs and burr removal more fully.

I need to reorganize my Tormek storage. I have long ago outgrown the storage in my Tormek Work Station. I have already moved the planer and drill bit jigs to shelf storage. I need to move some of my other rarely used jigs to make space.

I want to make a proper Herman platform. My two use the Torlock platform. Herman's scissors jig platform works much better. When I do this, I will make two, one for the larger Tormeks and one for the T4.

I have two suggestions for the forum: 1) Work in good light. Set up outside sometime to see what proper light can do for you. Then look for a really good LED task light. Avoid the pitfalls of AA battery units with battery compartments which are too tight for most batteries. If your chosen batteries do not slid in properly, avoid the lamp. Send it back. The other nuisance is a flexible gooseneck which is too limp. If it will not hold its podition, move on. I am still looking for such a lamp. My present lamps are barely adequate.

My second forum suggestion is to become really fluent with the basic operations. I have watched videos by competent clever users with goid ideas who fumble with things like the water trough and EZYlock. Learn these parts of the process. Buy a turkey baster and use it.

Tormek now has a fine teaching facility, divided into a workshop and a kitchen area. The past few years have seen several new Tormek products. I hope this year will see a series of in depth videos teaching the finer points of using these fine tools. Look st the turning tool DVD and Alan Holtham's videos on the drill bit jig. Tormek can produce outstanding training films. So much frustration with basic parts of the ooeration could be avoided with good, in depth training videos. We have made the investment in purchasing Tormek equipment. We deserve better video support.

I look forward to another productive learning year with Tormek sharpening.


I found these this morning. I am really mpressed. Ron Calverley is both a skilled troubleshooter and Tormek user. I highly recommend watching all three parts.


Scissors Sharpening / scissor edges
« on: November 28, 2017, 12:46:52 am »
We have had much discussion about polished vs. toothy edges for knives. What about scissors?

Whereas knives have one edge, usually with two bevels, scissors have two edges. Should each edge be sharpened the same way? Should the edge which supports the material being cut have a toothy edge to help prevent the cut material from slipping?  What about the other edge? Should both edges receive the same amount of polish?

I have read that there is an advantage in using two grinding wheels when sharpening scissors. I have also read that often only the coarser wheel or belt is used.

I have seen machines which sharpen scissors with small diameter grinding wheels, large wheels and flat grinds.



Wood Carving / good news for carvers
« on: November 24, 2017, 04:54:09 am »
For a long time, I have felt that the forum has several very strong knife sharpeners. Sadly, I have felt that we are lean on really expert turners and carvers.

I recently talked with Tim Crawford. I had first met Tim several years ago. Tim is a veteran carver and Tormek user. He is also a rep for Flex Cut. I asked if he would be willing to answer an occasional carving question via email for the forum. He agreed.

I finally feel we can provide more in depth answers to carving questions.


Wood Turning / new very short video
« on: November 24, 2017, 04:47:17 am »
I recently received an email from Tormek with a link to this video. I like the friends video with Glenn Lucas. If I had more time and money, I would love to attend his school in Ireland.

This very short video left me thirsty for more. I hope Tormek will follow up with more.


I read a disturbing post in the past day or two. The poster stated that he used the leather honing wheel moving into the tool. This is a dangerous practice both for the sharpener and the honing wheel.

The handbook is very clear on this.


Knife Sharpening / knife sharpening and auto racing
« on: October 20, 2017, 05:38:38 am »
I have seen photos of some very high quality, advanced knife sharpening on recent forum posts. They remind me of some of the advances pioneered in auto racing. Numerous automotive innovations which began in auto racing would have seemed like overkill for driving the family sedan at fifty miles per hour. Today many of those innovations have become part of everyday family auto technology.

Wootz' photos (nice job, by the way, of both the sharpening and the photos) strike me as quality sharpening well beyond the typical home sharpening or busy farmers market sharpening. To be worthwhile for the sharpener, this quality workmanship would require a very sophisticated customer who appreciated it.

With innovations like his set up app and modified knife jigs, I can see these advancements gradually filter into everyday sharpening.

We are all enriched by the pioneering work of our sharpeners.


General Tormek Questions / October special sale
« on: October 03, 2017, 08:55:17 pm »
Removed by poster (me).

Knife Sharpening / a set up idea for mobile sharpeners
« on: September 27, 2017, 03:02:26 am »
I stumbled upon this video. Toward the end, it shows a clever Tormek set up in the pickup truck. It should also work in a van, SUV, or hatchback.


ps Oops....I initially forgot to include the link. Thanks for pointing that out to me, CB.

General Tormek Questions / T2 Initial Review
« on: September 26, 2017, 05:29:15 pm »

I recently sharpened eight knives with my T2. The eight knives were a mixture of sizes, ages and quality. All were reasonably sharp prior to this sharpening. I used the T2 according to the instructions. This was preliminary work to break in the new DWF-200 600 grit diamond wheel.

I was generally pleased with the simplified knife jig. It easily handled all of my knives except for my eight inch Henckel chef’s knife. This is a traditional style European knife with a bolster and a thicker back. Its dimensions are within the T2’s limits, however, it did not slide well in the jig with the paper installed. At this early stage, I don’t know if the constraint is with the jig or the operator. I will investigate further.

Following the suggestion CB made in a later post of this topic, I resharpened my eight inch Henckel chef's knife, this time inserting it lower into the slot. It slid in and out nicely. The grinding went more smoothly, and the BESS reading came down to just over 200. That reading won't win prizes, but it is much better than a factory new reading. The knife is sharp. While I was sharpening, I took the opportunity to grind down the bolster. The T2 did this very well.

My initial BESS readings were not impressive. They would pass muster for a new knife, however, they would be no match for a skilled sharpener with a conventional Tormek. I believe they may be typical of results from restaurant employees. I expect to improve them with practice.

I found setup quick and had no trouble switching knives. I used the provided protective paper and noticed no scratches. I was pleasantly surprised with the low amount of both grinding metal and rubberized debris from the honing wheel.

The T2 requires a change in mindset for Tormek users. The conventional Tormek models, T 7/8, T4, etc., are designed to allow the skilled operator to create very sharp edges on a variety of woodworking, home, and kitchen tools. These edges are efficient, repeatable, and require a minimum amount of metal removal. The T2 is designed to allow restaurant personnel to quickly produce acceptable edges on kitchen knives only with a minimum of setup or time involved.

In my opinion, the target market would be well served with a T2. The professional sharpener, or those who sharpen a variety of tools, would be better served with a T8.

My testing and reviewing will continue. Comments, as always, are welcome.


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