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Topics - Ken S

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General Tormek Questions / BGM-100 questions
« on: September 23, 2018, 04:30:17 pm »
For several years I have resisted setting up my dry grinder with the BGM-100. I have several reasons for this. My dry grinder is a six inch high speed model. According to the Tormek instructions, this should work. To be kind, I would say that it does not seem an ideal set up.

Until quite recently, I had no use for the dry grinder with Tormek jigs. That is changing a little as I have recently started woodturning. I have successfully done some reshaping with Norton 3X, CBN, and, most recently, the new Tormek diamond wheels. It can be done, although not with as much lightning speed as some would like. I still don't have enough need to purchase and tool up a lower speed eight inch dry grinder, however, if it would be effective, I would consider redoing my present high speed six inch dry grinder to include a BGM or two on the baseboard. I presently have a 3X 46 grit wheel and an 80grit white wheel on my dry grinder.

My first question is: Have any of the hooked up a similar six inch grinder with the BGM-100? If so, how well has it worked?

My second question concerns the OWC adaptor to adapt Tormek jigs to the Oneway Wolverine system. I presently have the OWC adaptor, although not the Wolverine kit. The OWC seems more versatile to me than the BGM. Does anyone have experience with it?

I still have misgivings about using my dry grinder. I am quite content with the water cooled, dust free Tormek environment. 3x, my 180 grit CBN wheel and the DWC-200 Tormek diamond wheel give my T4 plenty of firepower. My 80 and 180 grit CBN wheels and Tormek DC-250 diamond wheels provide plenty of firepower for my T7/8. The only constraint is that reshaping takes several minutes, instead of less than a minute. We live in fast times.


Hi, all.

I received another request for the sheet I posted on the kenjig. In the past, valient members have found it. I thought Rich Colvin had included it in his Sharpening Handbook. No such luck.Finding it among my almost 5000 posts is like finding a common word in War and Peace. If someone can find it, I would be most grateful.


Wood Turning / new turner thoughts
« on: August 26, 2018, 12:08:08 am »
I can speak with some authority about being a beginning woodturner; I am one. I hope sharing steps and missteps will prove beneficial to other beginning woodturners and Tormek sharpeners. I post this on the forum because much of my turning time involves sharpening with my Tormek, and because some of my Tormek sharpening is not directly out of the handbook.

First some background information:

I just set up my lathe. It is a 1930s vintage Sears Companion “garden variety” wood lathe. The original owner was my grandfather. It was also used by my father in the 1950s and briefly by me in the early 1960s. It has a nine inch swing and thirty inches between centers. It has 3/4”x16 threads and #1 Morse Taper. I realize that larger threads and Morse taper are preferred today. I have no desire for a larger lathe. I would like to turn the small Viking bowl that Glenn Lucas has popularized. I have no desire to turn large bowls that that. I am quite content with my lathe. For anyone reading this, I would recommend larger threads and Morse taper.

I have made two worthwhile upgrades. I replaced the original four prong drive center with a Oneway safe center. The safe center converts catches to harmlessly stopping the work. It has completely removed my apprehension about using the skew. I also changed the dead center to a Oneway three bearing live center, eliminating the need for using beeswax to prevent the wood from burning. I did not realize it at the time, however, the old dead center would also work as a driven safe center. I consider the conversion to the safe center the more important upgrade.

I also purchased a Taper Mate to keep the Morse Taper openings clean. I recommend this.

Along with good housekeeping of the lathe, I replaced the original cord of the 1/3 hp motor and the V belt. My lathe runs smoothly and quietly now.

I have found several good sources of online videos. Alan Lacer, both Stuart and the late Allan Batty, and, of course, my teacher, Ernie Conover, come to mind. I have found no shortage of good information.

So far, I have been practicing on inexpensive 2x4 stock cut in half. I have many skills to learn. The first project slated for the not too distant future will be a handle for my unhandled detail gouge.

I have spent considerable time learning how to reshape and sharpen my skew to the Alan Lacer grind using my Tormek.

Two ideas are presently in use, but undecided. I have been sharpening my 3/4” spindle roughing gouge with the SVS-38 short tool jig instead of the recommended SVS -50 Multi Jig. The 3/4” spindle gouge will also fit in the older model SVS-32. If this method proves useful, my larger, 1 1/4” roughing gouge can fit into the SVS-38 with only the slightest minimal amount of filing on the jig.

 I have also had very good success using my collection of 3/4” bench chisels for roughing, planing and making tenons.

I had originally planned to share these thoughts with three members who I know to be active turners. I decided to post this topic to see if there is any more general forum interest. I welcome comments.


General Tormek Questions / a valuable link for BGM-100 users
« on: August 18, 2018, 03:44:40 pm »
Anyone using a dry grinder with the Tormek BGM-100 should be knowledgeable about dry grinder set up and safety. Here is a link to a very well done youtube by Ernie Conover. I have known Ernie for more than twenty years. He is an outstanding woodworking instructor.


Wood Turning / the value of multiple watchings/readings
« on: August 18, 2018, 02:26:24 pm »
We had a discussion on the forum a while back. The issue was the comparative value of video learning and instructor led learning. (For the record, my vote was firmly "D, all of the above".)

As part of my learning process to master sharpening and using the Alan Lacer skew, I have watched several youtubes and Alan Lacer's DVD more than once. My mind seems to absorb only so much on the initial viewing.With all due respect to good instructors, I rarely have the opportunity of repeating the class once the basics have settled in.

Last night I watched the Alan Lacer Skew video for the third time. I continue learning more about the different cuts. My understanding of his sharpening method is becoming more honed (and how I can duplicate it using the Tormek). For the first time, I noticed a comment he made and demonstrated. He said to always part off at the headstock end, because, separated from the power, the parted piece stops turning. That seems logical; I had just not thought of it before.

I have much to learn on this journey.


Wood Turning / Lessons learned and forgotten/learned
« on: August 10, 2018, 10:38:34 pm »
Lessons  learned and forgotten/relearned

I don't feel I have discovered new additions to Tormek technique. I do feel that I have learned some things previously unknown to me and remembered some things that I have forgotten. Here are some lessons from my recent skew reshaping/sharpening project. I hope they might benefit the forum:

Both reshaping and sharpening work better as separate functions. When I switched to reshaping with the tool held at ninety degrees to the wheel, my efficiency improved.

Not all grinding requires jigs. When I reshaped, I supported the skew chisel with the support bar placed very close to the grinding wheel. Working carefully, this gave me very good control.

The revolving base does not have to be used in only one of two orientations 180º apart. By rotating my Tormek 45°, I was able to work in much better light. This was easier than trying to reposition my magnetic base LED light.

For grinding the radius part of the bevels, I needed easy access to pivoting to both the left and right.

My water spillage was very minute. I had more water (and ACC ) loss from evaporation over the several days involved. At the start of every grinding session it is important to check that water is flowing over the grinding wheel. Once or twice, I noticed that my grinding wheel was dry. I am learning. As the diamond wheels work wet or dry, no damage was done.

I switched from using the Multi Jig traditionally used to the platform. My skew actually fit in the closed seat of the Multi Jig. The jig just didn't work in my situation. Was this the jig or the user? I will leave the jury out on that. The platform works.

I found that the platform worked better in reversed orientation in my case. (The locking knob needed to be located to the left of the grinding wheel for clearance.) I placed two thicknesses of plastic gift cards on the platform going down to the surface of the grinding wheel. This let me easily use the Anglemaster with one edge against the grinding wheel. I needed to convert Alan Lacer's "bevel length one and one half the thickness of the tool" to "Anglemasterese". The answer was very close to 20º for each bevel.

The reversed platform orientation also allowed me to place my thumb beneath the rear facing part of the platform to counterbalance the four fingers placed on top of the platform and skew. These are placed very close to the edge. The light grinding touch needed for diamond wheels makes this very steady.

Grinding the new bevels did not go quickly. However, the DC-250 gave a satisfying grinding sound and feel during the entire operation. Progress was not fast. It was also not frustrating. It was a pleasant change from my experience with the SB-250.

Once the platform was properly set for the settings did not change when the coarse completed and the wheel switched to the fine (and extra fine) grinding wheels. I removed the support bar with the platform still in place during the wheel changes. No readjustment was necessary when the support bar was replaced. No readjustment is necessary for future touch ups of the skew chisel. With spares available, the combination can be dedicated and left ready to go, a trick I learned from Jeff Farris' video sharpening the turning scraper.

Incidentally, Alan Lacer sharpens his skews to 80 grit and uses a 600 grit hone for honing. This method, while initially slow, may be as fast and as sharp as Alan Lacer's own method, or at least very close. The DF-250 is 600 grit.

That was as much new technique as my brain cells can absorb in one new project. I hope it also proves useful for you. As always, I welcome suggestions.


Wood Turning / reshaping a skew chisel
« on: August 09, 2018, 02:57:39 am »
I have a flat, straight ground one inch skew chisel that I am reshaping to an Alan Lacer grind. The Lacer grind leaves a third of the chisel with a straight grind (with no skew) and the other two thirds ground with a radius. From the tip of the straight portion to the tip of the radius portion, there is a combined skew angle of twenty degrees, often stated as seventy degrees. I am doing this on my Tormek. It has been laborious, however, it is a one time project. Resharpening in the future will go much more quickly.

I am new to sharpening turning tools. This project is very educational. It is also humbling. Let me state up front that I don't know how many of my difficulties are Tormek related and how many are operator inexperience. I am making progress.

Switching from the horizontal position to vertical helped. Switching from the Multi Jig to the platform was a big help, at least for this combined grind. Also, I found that turning the platform around helped. The locking screw rides outside the grinding wheel. The platform is offset to the right. This allows the long side of the platform to face between the support bar and the grinding wheel. It keeps the chisel much steadier.

I use two thicknesses of plastic gift cards laid on the platform to allow the Anglemaster to touch the grinding wheel. Alan Lacer describes the bevel angle as the angle which makes the bevel 1.5 timesthe thickness of the chisel. In plain trig, that is close to twenty degrees. I plan to dedicate one of my several support bars to this grind and leave the platform "permanently" set as well as the microadjust set. This will speed up future resharpenings.

My sharpening of the radius portion was not going well. Getting the platform oriented better was an improvement. Using the gift cards with the Anglemaster set the bevel angle properly. I also noticed that I did not have enough skew angle. By the end of today's session, I still had the enduring small flat spot on the radius edge. I did get rid of the multiple bevels and down to one clean bevel. I think the flat spot will be ground away as I correct the skew angle. My next sharpening session will see me much closer to the finish line.

Incidentally, Alan Lacer hones with a 600 grit diamond hone. The DF-250 600 grit diamond wheel may prove to be an ideal honing tool. I am not there yet. I am making progress.


General Tormek Questions / rethinking the BGM-100
« on: August 07, 2018, 07:08:41 pm »
I am rethinking my ideas on using Tormek jigs with high speed dry grinders. For this discussion, I will include 1725 rpm "low speed" grinders with 3450rpm grinders. My thoughts are also influenced by having a Tormek.

I like the water cooled, dust and spark free Tormek environment. I have tried, with some degree of success to incorporate the faster grinding of higher speed into the Tormek world. The best tool for this is a modified Norton 3X 46 grit grinding wheel. It is not as fast as dry grinding, however, it lowers the extra time to a tolerable level while maintaining the Tormek environment.

Reshaping a turning skew has caused me to take a second look at my forty five year old Craftsman high speed six inch dry grinder. For the record, I would prefer an eight inch 1725rpm Baldor, however, I already have this grinder and two good grinding wheels. One wheel is a six inch 46 grit Norton 3X. It will easily overheat a tool, but removes metal very quickly.

The second wheel is an eight inch 180 grit D-Way CBN wheel. It has worked very well in the past with my T4. I now have a Tormek DWS-200 360 wheel which does essentially the same work on the T4. I can safely remove the guard on one side of my dry grinder to accommodate the eight inch wheel. D-Way owner, Dave Schweitzer, routinely sharpens with an eight inch 3450rpm dry grinder. My grinder is rated at 1/2 horsepower, the same as many new eight inch grinders. D-Way sells a special reducing bushing with an inset for shorter shafts for $13. If I need one, that is certainly reasonable. I will need a half inch reducing bushing inany case.

I have some 3/4” MDF pieces left over from my lathe top and shelf. Two thicknesses will make a substantial base. I presently have  two BGM-100 components. I think I might eventually want to switch to the OWC plate and use the plate with the Oneway Wolverine rig, so I will incorporate that into the base design.

This design is far from ideal. A better design would be a slow speed eight inch grinder with eight inch 46 and 80 grit wheels. However, this set up is for reshaping, not final sharpening.



Wood Turning / solid information
« on: August 05, 2018, 04:45:18 pm »

Wood Turning / rethinking setting turning tools
« on: August 04, 2018, 03:55:11 pm »
After much study, I believe I have discovered the supposed difficulty in sharpening the 40/40 grind. In the process I have deepened my understanding of both the gouge jig and the setting tool.

I have often stated my belief that the SVD-186 gouge combined with the TTS-100 is Tormek's most innovative jig and set up tool combination. Include the SVS-50 Multi Jig, and it is a very powerful combination.

The next part is my opinion. When a question is asked about something like sharpening the 40/40 grind, we often mistakenly think it cannot be done with a Tormek. This is not correct. I believe the Tormek designers thought that explaining the full potential of the turning tools combination would prove confusing to the average Tormek user. So, they put together a preprogrammed group of seven combinations, as recommended by leading turners. In general, I believe this was a wise decision. However, this selective process also excluded many other leading turners.

Tormek selected 30° and 45° as the chosen bevel angles. These were not bad choices, however, after becoming accustomed to using the labels, it is too easy to assume that they are the only two bevel angle choices. Gouge and skew bevels can be as versatile as chisel bevel angles if you do not limit yourself to the three projection slots.

With the new 186 jig, the seven sweep settings are fixed. 99% of the time, this is a real improvement over the older 185 design, where slippage was a problem. For very precise sweep settings, the older jig might work better, especially if the setting was left fixed. Personally, I prefer the newer jig.

The projection and distance settings on the TTS-100 need not be limited to the jig's presets. Setting turning tools can be set as easily as with a kenjig or similar tool.

The 40/40 grind or something almost identical is possible with the Tormek; it just didn't make the preset cut.

Like Tormek, I believe that the vast majority ofTormek turners will be very well served by the presets. However, we should not feel limited to the pre sets.


General Tormek Questions / Multi Base-100
« on: August 03, 2018, 02:29:46 am »
My Multi Base-100 arrived today. (Mine was not part of the kit with the three diamond wheels.)

At first glance I am impressed. It is made of machined zinc, and definitely has a next generation Tormek look and feel. I have noticed that Tormek often incorporates innovations from one jig into another. In this case, Tormek borrowed the much improved jig setting knob from the new 186 gouge jig. The machined zinc top from the T4 and T8 reappears as the two support legs being integral parts of the zinc base, nothing to go out of alignment or loosen.

The locking knobs on the sleeves can be attached on either the front or the back. This base is very flexible. The platform can be rotated 270°. This base will become increasingly useful with familiarity. It is definitely not a one trick pony.

The Multi Base-100 is well designed and well machined. It seems an excellent complement to the three new diamond wheels with side grit.


General Tormek Questions / new English language T2 video
« on: August 02, 2018, 02:36:19 pm »
I found this video this morning.


Wood Turning / Alan Lacer skew revisited
« on: July 30, 2018, 08:02:23 am »
We receive questions occasionally about sharpening Alan Lacer skews with the Tormek. I do not feel we have ever offered a satisfactory answer. Until now, I have not been an active turner. This week I purchased and assembled a metal stand for my lathe. I hope to join the active turner ranks very soon.

We seem to get hung up because the Lacer skew doesn't quite fit in the closed seat of the Multi Jig. The skew is 1 3/8” wide by 3/8” thick. I think the problem is that none of us actually has a Lacer skew. One reply thought the constraint was that the 3/8” thickness was too thick for the closed seat. My unaltered closed seat opening is 12mm (almost 1/2”) by
1 1/2”. No thickness constraint.

I think the 1 3/8” width could be made to fit with some filing. At present, I do not have a Lacer skew. I think it is a well designed, useful tool. I intend to purchase one and a spare closed seat and try to fit it.

The real constraint was that the closed seat is designed to work with skew angles from zero to forty five degrees. "Forty five degrees" has a nice marketing ring, however, who among us ever sharpens a turning skew to that angle? Alan Lacer recommends a twenty degree skew angle. Even the Tormek videos only recommend thirty degrees.  That room in the closed seat might be put to better use accommodating larger turning skews. I hope Tormek remembers this when redesigning the Multi Jig to be made of zinc.


General Tormek Questions / New light on the Tormek
« on: July 28, 2018, 05:07:37 pm »
I had two LED lamps for my Tormek. Both had good light output and both have problems. The battery powered lamp has a very good magnetic base and works well until the batteries inevitably wear down. It has a major design flaw. The AA battery chamber is undersized. The thickness of AA batteries varies. The better alkaline and rechargable brands are sized near the thick end of the specifications. Only the thinner, inexpensive off brand batteries will fit in this lamp. Except for this flaw, it is an excellent lamp.

My AC powered LED lamp does not hold well with a vertical surface. I presently have it held with two electrical ties. The flexible arm is also somewhat wimpy.

While researching CBN wheels, I noticed that woodturningwonders also sells heavy duty magnetic base LED lamps. Ken Rizza promptly and thoroughly answered my questions. I have found his customer service excellent. I was unsure which model I wanted. I chose the Beacon. I think I will eventually purchase a couple more. The Beacon is the smallest of the three. My thought was to try it out with the Tormek and several other shop tools and probably use it with my grandson's 3D printer. I found it works very well in all of my locations.

It uses a switchable dial indicator magnetic base, a real convenience. The thirty inch flexible arm really does stay in place. I would (and will) purchase it again. The base is shaped to work with both flat and round surfaces. It works very well on my drill press column. It hangs nicely from my iron support I beam. The one place it slips is on the vertical painted supports of my heavy metal shelves (next to my Tormek work station). Woodturningwonders provides a fix for that. I ordered a well made thick steel plate. The plate is drilled for and includes two flat head wood screws. I will have to relocate one of the holes to match the holes in my shelf support. Then I will have a very secure magnet on the vertical surface.

Ken mentioned that he can custom build the Beacon with a heavier pull magnet from the Aurora or Super Nova model if needed, a nice touch.

Several years ago, I discovered that (as the handbook states) the Tormek really is easier to use with good light. The woodturningwonders lamps provide that light very well.


Knife Sharpening / Frontal Vertical Base
« on: July 17, 2018, 10:02:48 pm »
The Frontal Vertical Base I purchased from Knife Grinders (our own Wootz) arrived yesterday. It is impressive. It is large enough to be solid and compact enough to store easily. The quality of the machining is quite good.

I only had a few minutes with it. I believe it will prove valuable in getting rid of any slop in using the leather honing wheel.

Class A product and service, Wootz!


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