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Topics - Rob

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Morning Folks (well it is in England anyway).

Despite the title, this is a serious question.

My trusty black friend, the SB250 has finally run out of diameter and has reached the stage where I have to remove the honing wheel for anything long.  I've just had a frenzy of knife sharpening and that was the final nail in the proverbial coffin.  it's still OK for gouges for turning because they're largely ground from up above in the elliptical jig and dont foul on the honing wheel.  But as for anything else, particularly chefs knives, alas, too small.  I think it was down to about 190 from memory so really has served me well and I think I bought it in 2015 so its pushing 5 years.

So I've done a round robin to see whats new because I have been a little distracted of late and not been on the tools anywhere near as much as I would have liked.  All comes of that pesky distraction - having to work for a living.  Boo.  Hiss.

Whats popped out of my research is of course the advent of the "girls best friend" diamonds!  They weren't really a thing last time I looked, now it seems, they really are.

Now I dont take the replacement of my SB250 lightly because it's been a versatile friend, primarily to my wood turning which has become the dominant form of my woodworking but also to the outlying fray of other edge tools I have need to sharpen.  That includes all the usual suspects ie scissors, kitchen knives, plane irons and chisels and the odd set of secateurs (felco of course).  So the replacement has to be every bit as "game" as it's redundant original.

They're also, a fair sized investment for a consumable so the value must be there.

I could of course simply replace the SB with another but that would be to betray the opportunity that innovation brings and that doesn't sit well with me.

So, I dont have the knowledge to make this decision on my own.  I thought, who/where should I turn to for expert advice and guidance and of course, add to that, warmth, friendship and camaraderie.....and of course......I visited my local tool shop!   No....stop it.....I came here.  Didn't give it a seconds thought.  I knew you guys would know the answer.

What I haven't done is trawl through umpteen posts on here to "mine" the answer and for that I apologise.  But perhaps a good enough starting point to engage your very useful minds is to say that my current thinking is to opt for the 1200 grit very fine diamond wheel.  My understanding is it's never going to need dressing (so that's one in the eye for the more need to worry about gouges furrowing the stone, requiring endless redressing with the truing tool).  Allied to the last, it will never lose it's shape and therefore will remain geometrically accurate to the universal tool rest?

Those seem to me to be the fundamental differences between this medium and a friable one like the grey or black stones.  in short, it never changes shape through the action of grinding.  Is this absolutely 100% true for HSS turning gouges with, swept back wings and quite pointy tips like 3/8" bowl gouges?  I ask this because those suckers really really really do grind quite the trench in the SB over a relatively short space of time.  So not just the diamonds themselves (which I appreciate are about the hardest substance known to man) but the underlying wheel itself would have to phenomenally resistant to avoid this happening in the future.  Are we certain this is the case?  Do we have precedent from any wood turners that use HSS gouges in the elliptical grinding jig?  This is definitely my greatest concern because I guess once, it's dented in any way, it's more or less useless since you cant dress or true it.

The other can be packaged in the general versatility category i.e. I do need this to perform widely once we're beyond high speed steel turning tools.  So my next priority would be the global knives in my kitchen.  I'm a reasonably accomplished chef and not only cook for my family on a daily basis but have wont to throw the odd dinner party where I will prepare more esoteric dishes of the moment.  This is a chore if the knives are blunt and a joy if sharp.  So this application is also really important.  Add to that the usual cornucopia of other assorted tools including scissors and my needs are met.

The grit question is the next big one then.  9 times out of 10 I'll be coming to the Tormek with a known edge and therefore only require sharpening, not shaping.  Is my thinking correct on this...…..the friable stones, when graded with the fine side of the stone grader, end up at 1000 grit right?  The finest diamond stone is 1200 grit?  So by buying the 1200 grit, I'm more or less just polishing the existing bevel?

The fundamental question for me, with respect to grit size is......will the 1200 be just a bit too fine and leave me grinding for ages if I dont set the angle accurately enough?  is it forgiving enough to remove enough metal to still give an edge if I'm out by a degree or three? 

I'm not big on fiddling and messing so I dont want to waste my life having to be uber careful setting the jigs all the time.  On the other hand, I dont want a medium so course that the edge isn't fine enough.  it's this balance between setup time and edge quality that's got me agonising between the 600 and the 1200 grit diamond stone choices.  I'm pretty clear I dont want the course one though as that seems to be more in the "ding removal" camp.

So that's my dilemma folks, that's what I would humbly ask that you bring your excellent minds to bear on and help me make the decision.  it boils down to this I think:

Should I replace the SB 250 with an SB250 or the 600 or the 1200 grit diamond stone?  But more importantly, why?

Your input, as always, is appreciated.

All the best

General Tormek Questions / Query from a Brit on another forum in the UK
« on: October 12, 2016, 09:28:28 am »
This just in on the UK woodworking forum I moderate...

LuptonM wrote:

Hi all,

Was feeling very flush last week. Whipped by wallet out and bought a "tormek" at an auction last week.

Only minor drawback is that t it appears to a retro drill powered antique.

Looks similar to this one: ... aEVftxM%3A

I don't have the original drill shaft accessory so though it would be interesting if I could somehow attach a motor to the thing.

The motor will need to be low RPM (output between 100-150 rpm) and high torque.

Problems are:

1) where do I get a suitable motor for a reasonable price? I am not too clued up on electrical motors. The motor need to be enough powerful to handle the friction of pressing the blades against the stone

2) once I have the motor how do I transfer the power to the tormek to get the best performance? I think tormeks use a wheel against a wheel but could pulleys be used for less slippage?

And my advice was...

Go to the Tormek forum ( Make your post and ask Ken S (the moderator). He will help you. Tormek closely monitor the forum and a chap called Stig (from Tormek) may be in touch to connect you with whoever may have parts. Brimarc is the UK distributor and they just replaced a part in my Tormek although it is a T7 and not as old as the one you're discussing. In the main, Tormek are good at solving technical problems like this and many of their machines are backwardly compatible so you've got a reasonable chance of success if you follow my advice. Ken S....nice bloke :-) We wont hold the fact he's American against him :-)

So there may be a post from this chap in the near future....interesting machine actually isn't it?  Was that the first ever model I wonder?

General Tormek Questions / RIP Leonard Lee
« on: July 25, 2016, 07:54:55 pm »
Mr Lee Valley has passed away.  What a thoroughly decent, innovative and philanthropic human being he was.  Rest in Peace Mr Lee, we will miss your brilliant ideas.

General Tormek Questions / Oh Dear!
« on: July 06, 2016, 07:50:42 pm »

I noticed 2 things:

The grinding wheel was starting to slip when under pressure and shortly after a bumping sound as the drive wheel went out of true.  Ouch. never seen this fault before.

General Tormek Questions / A bit off topic but.....
« on: June 04, 2015, 05:04:11 pm »
We don't have a "chat" forum for completely off topic discussion but I just felt the need to share this with you all.

Yesterday my wife and I visited our surgeon at the hospital and she was pronounced "cancer free".  Some of you know, some don't that she was diagnosed last October and after a considerably unpleasant battle I am proud to say she won!  Recently out of surgery, she is very sore but there is usually a smile on her face.

Ten years ago the variant of cancer she had was a death sentence....thank goodness for medical science and the British NHS. (National Health Service).  She was being treated (chemotherapy) within 2 weeks of diagnosis...amazing.  That expediency helped us to catch it in time.

I feel so elated today I just don't know what to do with myself...God Bless you all and I sincerely hope none of you and yours ever have to endure what my wife has just experienced.

Hi Stig

From time to time some passion gets generated on the subject of forum rules.  Would you be kind enough to spell out for the official record what the company position is with respect to vendors posting product or service commercials in posts or in signatures/avatars to posts on the forum please.

Personally, I have no interest in any other kind of rule, but this one always causes me frustration since I prefer a forum without 3rd party sales messages, like other forums.  I have no objection to Tormek product messages since you are the host and therefore as of right that is expected.

By the company taking an official posture we will all know where we stand.

Many thanks for your input.


General Tormek Questions / Happy Christmas Everybody
« on: December 27, 2014, 03:44:00 pm »
I hope you're all having a fantastic time and I wish you a healthy and prosperous 2015. Stay sharp :-)

General Tormek Questions / Spam
« on: August 04, 2014, 10:36:43 am »

Because I'm unfamiliar with this forum software I don't know what controls you have but if you have ip address banning I would be eternally grateful if you would ban Masterben's please.

If it's not possible to cut him off at the knees can I suggest you co-opt 3 or 4 regular customers (like me, Ken, Herman etc) to be assigned moderator rights so more resource is available to delete the spam as it arrives.  More eyes and ears will catch it faster if there is no software filter capable of doing the job from the management side. 

Many thanks.  PS on various other woodworking forums I attend, trusted members are regularly moderators so there is a lot of precedent for this.

General Tormek Questions / riddle me this
« on: May 06, 2014, 02:37:52 pm »
Is a hollow ground edge (say a plane iron ground at 25) ever so slightly weaker than an edge ground dead flat at the same angle?  The theory being that the concave nature of the grind would leave less supporting metal behind the edge?

I appreciate for practical purposes it probably makes no difference, this is about a theoretical debate only.

Is there less metal behind the edge of a hollow ground edge than a straight ground edge?

General Tormek Questions / Global knives.....going off the boil
« on: March 31, 2014, 11:21:00 pm »
Hi folks

Had a bit of a head scratcher today.  You may recall from a thread about Japanese knives quite a while back that I had some global knives and I'd sharpened the main cooks knife on the Tormek and got good enough results.  Then on a daily or at least regular basis I just use a kitchen steel to keep the edge.

Well today I was doing my usual 5 or 6 passes/swipes on the steel and I noticed the edge went all crumbly/serrated on me.  Looking closely at it its really become quite jagged and is obviously going to need another proper sharpening on the T7 again (about a year after getting away with just a steel).

Anyone got an clue as to what on earth is going on? I've avoided dishwashing them although it has slipped through the net a few times when other people have stacked it.

None of the other knives have had this happen although the chefs knife is my go to knife and has had considerably more use than the others.

Any help to throw light on this would be gratefully received.

Wood Turning / Sorby Pro-Edge - any opinions?
« on: February 26, 2014, 04:05:33 pm »
A few folks in my turning club rave about it. I don't know much about it other than a youtube piece I watched.  Anyone got any opinions on this in terms of versatility, accuracy.  First thing that springs to my mind is the lack of heat quenching ie no water so its going to heat the metal pretty fast but looks quick for shaping.  I don't have any experience of abrasive/belt based sharpening systems only grinders.

Well folks.  I started using one of those T shaped cheap diamond dressers to just deglaze the wheel without having to go through a full on Tormek diamond dressing tool experience.  It works an absolute charm for quick, efficient use.  Procedure is:

Slide usb to within 1mm of wheel and "rest" the t diamond dresser against the wheel exactly square. Hold it tight or the wheel will lift it off as it turns (wheel turning away from your body).  Gentle scraping/holding/grinding action and it trues and grades the wheel to "eat metal" mode in a fraction of the time it takes to setup the official dressing tool.

I doubt it's absolutely as accurate as the official tool because the calibration is done by eye.  But by holding the usb right next to the wheel it really isn't difficult to "see" its in a perfect line.  Testing it with a square and its pretty dead on.  My guess is it also might well be guilty of taking more ceramic off than the official tool.  But as a short cut when sharpening really nightmarish hard metals its a great way of bringing back the cutting action in no time at all.

Hi Folks

I think I probably know the solution to this but thought it worth checking with you.

I've been doing these old French chisels for my brother in law and I trued the stone and then graded frequently between 220 and 1000 with each new chisel.  I noticed when really leaning on the wheel which we all agreed is the right way to grade properly ie give it some welly and don't be afraid etc....I was actually able to stop my wheel rotating?

I'm thinking if I dismantle and give the drive wheel a light sanding with 220 grit paper this is likely to fix the problem right?  The goal being to increase the purchase between drive wheel and terminal assembly.

General Tormek Questions / The Wet n dry team approach
« on: July 29, 2013, 07:32:57 pm »
Well I have to say I'm very impressed with the BGM-100 for fast grinding on a dry grinder.

My brother in law is over at the moment and he kindly brought a shoe box full of the most dinged chisels I've ever seen in my life.  One had a bite out of it nearly 1/3 inch deep. Two were deeply concave.  All the backs were horrible and the bevels were miles out.  I like a challenge!!

With hindsight I should have taken before and after pics but it didn't occur to me.  Anyway, there was no way I was putting that dinged bunch on the Tormek straight off so I fired up the BGM and dry ground the 25' bevels in no time.  These things were ancient so I was careful not to overheat them.  10 minutes max and the bevels were beautifully true with the aid of the SE-76.

Now I lapped the backs on the side of the T7 and then trued the stone.  Refined the bevels and stropped after grading to 1000 grit.  Lovely mirror finishes that passed all the usual tests.  My brother in law couldn't believe it.  Anyway, he then carried on with another 5 or so while I turned a cherry bowl.  Very nice morning spent in the shop.

The combination of dry and wet for badly beaten up chisels was superb.  Fast steel removal followed by Swedish refinement...very nice.
The BGM-100 is a fabulous way to bring Tormek precision to your dry grinding.

If I wanted to lock in an angle on a spare set of both support bar and torlok for quick jig mounting/removal, how would you fix it?  Would you even need to given it has the clever locking mechanism?  Would screwing it really tight and leaving it be good enough do you think? 

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