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Topics - RichColvin

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General Tormek Questions / Motorized TT-50 Truing Tool
« on: August 12, 2017, 04:26:56 pm »
I've been thinking of motorizing my TT-50 truing tool.  The thinking is that it would allow it to run slower (I sometimes get impatient and run it too fast). It would make it run consistently, and I can enjoy a cup of coffee whilst it runs ("Look ma, no hands!").


Knife Sharpening / Lasers & the Tormek
« on: August 10, 2017, 03:24:45 am »
I'm interested in understanding more about how lasers get used in sharpening on the Tormek.
  • what type of laser do you use ?
    • where did you buy it ?
    • how much did it cost ?
  • how do you mount it for use ?
    • is it attached to the Tormek, or to the bench ?
Pictures would be great !

Kind regards,

General Tormek Questions / SVS-50 Multi Jig
« on: July 27, 2017, 01:05:44 pm »
I use the SVS-50 Multi Jig often, and have come to two conclusions.

Firstly, it is too time consuming to have to switch between the open seat and the closed seat.  So, I went on Advanced Machinery's web site and ordered the parts so I would have two SVS-50 Multi Jigs :  on setup for the open seat, and the other for the closed seat.

The parts I ordered are :

  • 2200 Housing (1)
  • 7090 Locking Screw (1)
  • 5240 Washer (1)
  • 1050 Threaded Insert (2, though could probably use only 1)

Once I get the parts, I will post some pictures.

Secondly, I think this jig needs a collar.  I came to that conclusion when using one of the KVM knife jigs with a collar.  The collar was really great to reduce the movement of the jig to the direction where movement should happen, and preventing movement in the wrong direction.

So I've designed the one I show below.  I'm interested in feedback before I go make the parts :

I just realized that I didn't label the black screw going thru the middle.  That will be a hex head, socket cap screw.

The collar would be used to hold the tool tight agains the Universal Support Bar.  My initial thinking is to use this when using the SVS-50 with the open seat.

The idea is that part C moves up and down, but in use, it secures the tool against the bottom of the ring (part A).  This seems more useful than using a long screw to hold the tool there, and this keeps the outer ring round with no projections.  That part seems like it would be useful when rotating the tool that is to be sharpened.

As for size, I was thinking of making part A to be around 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 inches (50mm +/-) in diameter.

I'm interested in thoughts and comments ...

Kind regards,

General Tormek Questions / New Website : Sharpening Handbook
« on: June 08, 2017, 01:28:08 pm »
I am debuting a web site I've put together which I have titled "Sharpening Handbook".  Here's the link :


What It Is :  This is designed to be a quick reference guide for sharpening.  It is not intended to tell you how to sharpen, but to give you information you can use if you already know how to sharpen, but need to sharpen a tool that you don't sharpen often or haven't sharpened recently.

Others have done a great job giving information on how to sharpen.  Among the ones I have are :
  • Sharpening Made Easy: A Primer on Sharpening Knives and Other Edged Tools by Steve Bottorff (2010)
  • The Complete Guide to Sharpening by Leonard Lee (1996)

So there is no need to replace what already exists.

Sometimes, the way to sharpen something is difficult to describe, but easy to show visually.  Thusly, I have borrowed visuals from the Tormek guide (BIG thank you to Tormek for letting me reference their material).  For one tool (the Sorby Spiralling & Texturing Tool), I've added a link to a YouTube video provided by the vendor which shows quite well how to sharpen it.

This Isn't Just a Tormek Marketing Tool :  I am a big fan of the Tormek and have invested loads in their jigs.  But sometimes, there isn't a Tormek way to sharpen something.  In those cases, I have outlined what I do as that works for me.  One example is the Sorby Spiralling & Texturing Tool, on which I used a diamond file (watch the video to see).

What This Won't Be :  A forum for debating one tool type vs. another (e.g., Tormek vs. Sorby's ProEdge).  The idea is to show what the angle of the tool's edge should be.  It also won't be a forum for debating things like hollow vs. flat grinding.  I intend to show only the ideas behind both as it regards the edge angles.

Why I Put This Together :  I don't have a lot of free time, and searching for information is something I don't like to do more than once.  So I began compiling this type of information together for myself.  I used Evernote, and that worked well, but I came to the realization that others might benefit from the same information.  So, I have started publishing what I gathered.

How To Use It :  It is web based with no flash nor any ads.  You can bring it up on your computer, or a tablet, and even on your smart phone (though you should use it in landscape mode on the phone).  You don't need a user ID, and I don't have the need to track who goes there and who doesn't.

What It Is Called What It Is :  Every machinist will have a copy of Machinery's Handbook.  As I have gotten into some metal work, I now have one too.  It is a similar reference book, in that it doesn't tell me how to do machining, but gives me information such as what hole size to drill for given screw threads.  Something that is very nice to have handy when needed.

My Ask of You :  Please be so kind as to check it out and tell me what you think is good, and what needs to be improved.  This will be a continual work in progress, so, if you have some good information or wisdom, kindly send it to me and I will add it to the site.  (I'll be glad to reference you as the source.)  I've denoted the eMail account to use on the web site.

Final Note :  I'm still developing this, so it's not fully fleshed out yet.  You will see some items listed that don't have information pages yet.  I will get to that as I can (or you can send me information and I'll put it there).

Thank you,

General Tormek Questions / Goniostat jig
« on: May 20, 2017, 06:33:20 am »
I'm looking to buy or make a Goniostat jig for sharpening fly cutters on the Tormek.  Looking for ideas.

Goniostat example

Fly cutter example

General Tormek Questions / Ken is right : use the TT-50 often
« on: April 16, 2017, 01:20:38 am »
Today, I was sharpening some new chisels.  Setting the primary bevel for the first time takes some time (they are carbon steel, so I didn't want to start with a high speed grinder).  Even though I was often refreshing the stone with the SP-650 stone grader, it was taking a really, really long time. 

So, I tried Ken's recommendation of using the TT-50 to freshen the stone.   What a difference that made !!  I was able to get done in time for dinner.

So, Ken, thank you for setting me straight.

Kind regards,

Wood Turning / Sharpening based on wood type
« on: November 24, 2016, 03:05:09 am »
Question for the group :  do you change the way you sharpen your turning tools, based on the wood to be turned ?  What about, based on the the wood's grain orientation ?

It seems to me that there are three choices that could be pursued:

1. sharpen on the SB stone only (I reference the SB stone only due to the fact that most of us use high speed steel tools)
    - resharpen by returning to the SB stone

2. sharpen on the SB stone, and then hone on the leather wheel
    - rehone as often as possible

3. sharpen on the SB stone, then finish the edge on a SJ stone
    - resharpen by returning to the SJ stone stone as often as possible

My thoughts are :
  • use option 1 when roughing out a log to shape
Then, based on the wood type :
  • really dense wood :  after the shape is pretty well defined, use option 3, especially for the final passes
  • less dense wood :  after the shape is pretty well defined, use option 1 or 2.  Depending on the wood and grain direction, you'll probably have to use scrapers and sand a bit, so option 1 may be best.
  • soft wood :  stay with option 1 :   You're gonna have to sand lots anyway.

I'm interested in your thoughts.

General Tormek Questions / If you own a T2000 ...
« on: June 28, 2016, 02:56:37 am »
... then you are in the same camp as me.   Mine is 16 or 17 years old and runs like a champ.  No pasture for this stallion !

But, I have made some improvements to mine that I recommend highly :
  • the shaft was upgraded to stainless steel with the EzyLock nut (MSK-250)
  • the universal support was replaced to have one with the micro adjust (US-105)
  • replaced the truing tool, upgrading to the TT-50
  • glued a rare earth magnet to the outside of the water tray to collect as many iron filings as possible

I like the way the T8 allows the water tray to be lowered, making it easier to empty the water without spilling it.  I am thinking about some way to put a spigot and drain pipe onto my water tray so I can drain it (at least somewhat) before removing the tray.  If anyone has an idea, please post a reply.

Kind regards,

Wood Turning / AAW 2016 Convention in Atlanta, GA
« on: June 16, 2016, 03:09:32 am »
Just returned on Sunday from the American Association of Woodturner's (AAW's) 2016 convention that was held in Atlanta, GA.  This is the 2d AAW convention that I have attended, and I must say, if you are a woodturner, I highly recommend attending this meeting.

The parts I found particularly valuable are :
  • I attended a number of sessions with some truly world-class artists (both wood turners and carvers), and walked away with some really valuable tips
  • I saw some really cool stuff that I've not been doing :  one of the leading experts in Rose Engines (used for Ornamental Turning) was there presenting about how to make one very cost effectively (well, there's a new hobby that I'm now picking up ...)
  • I was able to see quite a few pieces of equipment that I am in the market to buy, and see how one vendor's product compares to another
  • I was able to talk to a number of product managers and :
    • ask questions about why the designs were the way that they are, and
    • put in some requests for changes to their equipment
But, the highlight was meeting Stig at the Tormek booth (oh yeah, and getting my hands on the T8 also).

My only complaint is that there was too much to do in the 3 days of the convention.  But, then there's next year !

Kind regards,

General Tormek Questions / Minimum stone size
« on: June 05, 2016, 04:07:38 am »
I have the Supergrind 2000, & today I had to retire the original SG-250 stone :'(.  I can tell you that 185 mm is the smallest diameter stone that will fit on that machine.  There is a small rivulet of water picked up by the stone from the trough, but not really enough to really work with.

So, I played Taps and retired it. 

But, that is ok.  The new guard has stepped in.  I replaced it with an SB-250.  This was a better stone for me anyway as I am a woodturner and most of my tools that I sharpen are HSS.  It works like a charm.  When I'm turning, I can easily drop back and touch up a gouge quickly, and get back to productive work.  This stone has permanently replaced the SG for me.

Now, Ken S. just lent me his SJ-250, so I'll have to explore that bad boy tomorrow...

I finally took the plunge to upgrade my Supergrind 2000's shaft to the new stainless steel one (the MSK-250 kit).  These are the notes I have from that upgrade :

1.  Add a little lithium grease to the shaft area where it is inside the bushings.
2.  When attaching the drive wheel to the shaft, put the nut on before putting the honing wheel on. 
3.  I have the profiled leather honing wheel, so I had to attach that shaft next.  I skipped step two, and it didn't fit right.
4.  Make sure the leather honing wheel's bolts sit properly with the drive wheel.  You'll probably have to rotate the honing wheel til it drops into the correct position. 

Note :  there's a great YouTube video on this procedure at It is much, much better than the instructions in the box. 

Ok, so at the end, it was definitely worth the cost & effort.  My stones run SIGNIFICANTLY truer.  Far less wobble. 

I have an old SG-250 that was close to end of life (187 mm diameter).  When I went to true it up, it really showed me how out of true my last shaft was.

And, the ease with which I can change the stone now is amazing.  This is also a great upgrade, and kudos to Tormek for allowing me to do this without having to buy a new machine (mine is doing just fine).

If you have the older shaft, I definitely recommend this upgrade. 

General Tormek Questions / Truing the stone : ADV-50D vs TT-50
« on: June 05, 2016, 03:41:55 am »
I have a Tormek Supergrind 2000 that I've had ten years or more. When you got one back then, it came with the ADV-50D jig for truing the stone.  That was OK, but generally so painful that it was avoided until absolutely necessary. 

Well, I finally took the leap and bought a TT-50. Man was I stupid for waiting so long.

The TT-50 makes me take the time to do a proper truing of the stone.   It also is easier to move the diamond cutter across the stone also.  And when I'm done with as many passes as needed, the stone is so smooth that I can use it right away (with the ADV-50D, I had to use the stone grader to smooth out the big ole ruts in the wheel).

One lesson learned:  don't try to be to aggressive with it.   I was, and ended up taking a row of chips off the edge of the stone as I came to the end of my pass.

Ken S. - I'm holding the AVD-50D for you.  That way you can have a complete collection of jigs !

General Tormek Questions / SVD-186 vs SVD-185
« on: June 05, 2016, 03:25:03 am »
So, it was really cool to meet Ken S recently.  One takeaway I have is about the SVD-185 which I've been using.  Ken let me see the difference between that jig & the SVD-186 !   Wow, it is really something. 

Ken makes a big deal about the zinc casting.  I can't speak to that; it doesn't mean that much to me.

The bigger throat is cool, but my lathe gouges fit ok in the SVD-185.  (I only use ½" & ⅜" bowl gouges.). That isn't a deal maker for me. 

But I can immediately see why I'll buy one.  Setting the angle :
  1. is significantly easier,
  2. is much more repeatable,
  3. is more secure, &
  4. doesn't require an Allen wrench.

And, as we all know, repeatability is one of the truest values for the Tormek system. 

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