Author Topic: Bringing Tormek precision to paper wheels  (Read 27364 times)

Offline wootz

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Bringing Tormek precision to paper wheels
« on: March 16, 2016, 08:26:59 pm »
2017 Update: We have started manufacturing a Controlled-Angle Support for Paper Wheels - please check our website knifeGrinders.com.au
And below is the story of how it all started over a year ago...

I thought you may find interesting my set-up for honing knives on paper wheels with controlled angle.
I used Tormek parts to bring Tormek precision to paper wheels.
Should I even explain importance of angle control?
As you finish sharpening, the angle the knife attacks the abrasive surface becomes very critical.
1º too steep and you'll be gouging the edge into the abrasive surface dulling the edge.
1º too shallow and you'll be honing on the side of the knife, not the edge, honing and honing to no effect.
A coated blade tosses another challenge to freehand sharpening, and angle control helps maintain clear demarcation along the edge.

I tried both 8" and 10" paper wheels, getting pretty similar result.
But as I sharpen knives on 10" Tormek, I get somewhat better results finishing on 10" paper wheel as better matching the profile of the T7 grindstone.
With both 8" and 10" wheel a single slow pass across the wheel on each side of the knife invariably delivers hair splitting edge, but as I switched from 8" to 10" I started getting hair popping sharpness, ie as the hair touches the edge, the severed part jumps away.


The wooden support heght is 20 cm.
I used parts are from the Tormek Bench Grinder Mounting Set BGM-100, but they are also sold individually as Horizontal Base for the Universal Support XB-100 and Univeral Support with Micro Adjust US-105.


Distance AB is 13cm for 10" paper wheel, and 8cm for 8" paper wheel.

I realised that even if the paper wheel is true out of the box, I have to true it for actual setup to ensure the wheel surface is parallel to the support.
The stone was trued with the Tormek Stone Grader and the Tool Rest as shown, first coarse side, then fine.


Clamped the knife in the Tormek Knife Jig SVM-45, and set the angle with AngleMaster (select 8" or 10" wheel size depending on what paper wheel you use).
Marker method works as well.
Angle is changed by elevating/lowering the support, fine tuned with the support micro-adjust wheel.


I use 0.25 micron diamond paste, but the white rouge that comes with the paper wheels, or green rouge work as well, except for the hardest steels. I selected the diamond paste because  it covers all range of knife steels, including harder high-end, and once rubbed into the wheel, you cannot change to a different compound on the same wheel because of contamination.
A single slow pass across the wheel on each side of the knife, with light pressure just enough to maintain continuous contact of the blade with the wheel.
Don't forget safety glasses.


Just one pass, and that Chef's knife whittles hair. The hair in he photo is my younger son's, he's blond - I mention this because blonds have thinnest hairs of all. Human hair cuticle is about 0.3 micron thick, and to whittle the hair, the edge must be thinner than that to get between the cuticles - this 0.25 micron paste really does the job.


With these two - Tormek and paper wheels, my multiyear search for getting a perfect sharp knife edge fast is over. Can't wish any better.

Tormek accessories used:
Bench Grinder Mounting Set (BGM-100)
AngleMaster (WM-200)
Tool Rest (SVD-100)
Knife Jig SVM-45
« Last Edit: July 19, 2017, 03:41:25 am by wootz »

Online Ken S

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Re: Bringing Tormek precision to paper wheels
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2016, 02:48:27 am »
Wootz,

You have suggested an interesting alternative method. While I do not have paper wheels, I have seen Steve Bottorff use them in his shop. Your method differs in some ways from Steve's. (Not surprising; Tormek sharpening and sharpening are very versatile.)

Would you please describe your method from start to finish? Take a regular kitchen knife from typically dull to popping sharp.

Thanks,

Ken

Offline wootz

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Re: Bringing Tormek precision to paper wheels
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2016, 02:59:56 am »
Hi Ken,
I use paper wheels for honing only.
Talking of knives, Tormek beats paper wheels in every aspect, except honing.
And controlled angle honing on paper wheels gives exceptional sharpness.
Using Tormek for bevelling and sharpening, and paper wheel for honing is solution for knives I finally found to my complete satisfaction.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 04:34:00 am by wootz »

Offline Elden

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Re: Bringing Tormek precision to paper wheels
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2016, 03:17:08 am »
Vadim,
   Great job! You followed through with an idea I never finished. 2 - 3 years ago, I started a similar project with a grinding unit that requires a belt to hook up the motor (mandrel type of set-up). I made a USB that is double ended for two paper wheels, one each side, as I recall. I will have to dig it out of storage to check it out.
Elden

Online Ken S

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Re: Bringing Tormek precision to paper wheels
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2016, 03:30:24 am »
Hi, Wootz.

Interesting observation. Sharpening is a juggling act between time and cost. While I believe the Tormek is quite capable of handling all the sharpening operations when used skillfully, I do not believe it is always the most efficient method for all facets of sharpening, or at least the only method.

I have experimented with value grinding compound with the Tormek leather honing wheel (a separate wheel) with good success. I have used diamond paste with a dowel for sharpening my bread knife, also with good success.

My very limited introduction to paper wheels with Steve involved handholding knives. I think your idea of using diamond paste with the ten inch honing paper wheel deserves a try. (My sharpening budget will be lean again!)

As my dry grinder is a six inch diameter, I will probably need to eventually purchase an eight inch grinder for the ten inch paper wheels. My thought would be to purchase a variable speed model. Any thoughts on this?

I would do this out of my "sharpening hobby" (thank you, Herman) curioslty. The Tormek leather honing wheel serves my needs. I don't really need the extra speed of the paper wheels. Your method would allow me to very efficiently use the precision of the Tormek knife jigs with more efficient honing times.

At the risk of beating a dead horse, you could set your bevel angle more efficiently with a kenjig. (Sorry for the shameless self plug)

Keep up the good work!

Ken

Online Ken S

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Re: Bringing Tormek precision to paper wheels
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2016, 03:31:18 am »
Interesting thought, Elden.

Ken

Offline wootz

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Re: Bringing Tormek precision to paper wheels
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2016, 04:22:24 am »
Vadim,
   Great job! You followed through with an idea I never finished. 2 - 3 years ago, I started a similar project with a grinding unit that requires a belt to hook up the motor (mandrel type of set-up). I made a USB that is double ended for two paper wheels, one each side, as I recall. I will have to dig it out of storage to check it out.

Thank you, Elden. It is really soothing to know others think in the same direction. Without that, I occasionally question myself whether it is really a drive for improvement, or just another symptom of 'anal perfectionism'.  :)
« Last Edit: March 17, 2016, 09:00:00 am by wootz »

Online Ken S

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Re: Bringing Tormek precision to paper wheels
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2016, 11:17:13 am »
Good comment, Wootz.

I have not detected any "anal perfectionism" on the forum. What I have seen are practical solutions to problems. The small knife platforms pioneered by Herman and Ionut were in response to a topic posted by a member who could not sharpen very small knives with the existing Tormek jigs.

My work on the kenjig, which I consider ongoing, was motivated by a post by Mike40. Mike is a very likeable and skilled older gentleman was has difficulty with his eyesight. I wanted a way to accurately set bevel angles which was not as dependent on visual acuity. The use of mathematics by Dutchman, Jan and Herman has allowed us to eliminate much frustrating trial and error.

Steve Bottorff's pioneering work with knife sharpened was founded on the necessity to be able to sharpen quickly enough to work in a farmer's market. Steve considers his Tormek his "workhorse", but needed to complete the sharpening process more quickly. If you do not already have it, you would find his Sharpening School DVD fascinating and excellent training. I continue to learn a lot from it. Your method of using paper wheels fidders from Steve's, although They seem complementary to me. I believe a really skilled sharpener should be fluent with several methods of work in order to use the strong points of each method.

I look forward to seeing Elden's take on this. I inherited my grandfather's buffing head. He used it as hig grinder. I have used it for buffing. It should work well with paper wheels.

Keep up the good work everyone.

Ken

Offline Jan

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Re: Bringing Tormek precision to paper wheels
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2016, 03:30:36 pm »
Really great job, Wootz! Thanks for sharing your well documented solution with all necessary dimensions.  :)

I have three questions:
1)   Do you use the 10" paper wheel with 8" or 10" bench grinder?
2)   Do you know the purpose why the paper wheel is slotted?
3)   Do you think it is necessary to operate the paper wheel in a high speed regime?

I sometimes happen to sharpen scalpels and think the paper wheel may be perfect solution.

Jan

Online Ken S

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Re: Bringing Tormek precision to paper wheels
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2016, 04:21:52 pm »
Jan,

I will try to answer your questions. I will state upfront that all that I know about paper wheels came from Steve's kind tutelage.

Razor Edge, maker of the paper wheels recommends using a six inch buffer or grinder with the eight inch paper wheels and an eight inch buffer or grinder with the ten inch paper wheels. I believe the reason for that is that the paper wheels are used without the guards. There is no worry about shrapnel from cracked wheels with paper wheels.

I believe the slots are to help keep the wheel cooler. You still have to pay attention to heating. When I sharpened my pocket knife with Steve's paper wheel set up I noticed the blade quickly became warm.

Steve told me the higher speed is necessary to melt the wax. Since the ten inch paper wheels have more surface feet per minute at the same motor rpm, I don't know of using a slower speed motor would cause a problem. I would check further into this. Steve had a photo of a paper wheel attached to the drive wheel on a Tormek on his website. He apparently tried this and seems to have abandoned the idea. I hope he will post.

Ionut posted that he thought his (and Herman's) small blade jigs were capable of sharpening scalpels. I have not tried this, nor am I sure that Ionut actually sharpened any scalpels. I think it would be worth a try.

Ken

Offline wootz

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Re: Bringing Tormek precision to paper wheels
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2016, 05:54:49 pm »
Hi Jan,
Ken already answered most of your questions.
I cannot say on the last one either, I haven't tried them on a low RPM grinder.

Just a few more observations.
Paper wheel producers recommend using 6" grinder for 8" wheel, and 8" grinder for 10" wheel, however, when I was switching from 8" wheel to a 10", I had the 10" wheel running initially on the 6" grinder fine, I just had to place a 3.5cm spacer underneath it to make clearance for the wheel. (I then changed to a 8" grinder only because I needed the 6" for something else.)

There are two major paper wheel producers: "Razor Sharp Edgemaking System" and "Slicing Edge Sharpening System" (aka Charlies Wheel of Fortune).
"Razor Sharp" makes both 10" and 8" wheels, while "Slicing Edge" only 8".
I had a chance to try both, and "Razor Sharp" is way better made.

Others tried MDF wheels instead - I wouldn't go this direction; pressed paper has its advantages.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2016, 06:51:17 pm by wootz »

Online Ken S

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Re: Bringing Tormek precision to paper wheels
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2016, 06:05:25 pm »
Interesting thoughts, Wootz.

I could convert my veteran Sears six inch dry grinder. Raise it up and convert one side to a paper wheel. The other side would remain with my trooper six inch Norton 3X 46 grit wheel.

Ken

Offline Jan

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Re: Bringing Tormek precision to paper wheels
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2016, 06:33:39 pm »
Ken and Wootz, thanks for your quick response and detailed explanations!  :)

I am not worried about a shrapnel from cracked paper wheel, but I am worried that an inept handling can cause the knife is catapulted and cause serious injury. Therefore I'd rather operate it on a lower speed when technologically possible.

Jan

Offline SharpenADullWitt

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Re: Bringing Tormek precision to paper wheels
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2016, 06:43:41 pm »
Let me ask you all to define a low speed grinder.  I think we all know there are variable speed models, as well as some models of grinder that make the Tormek look inexpensive.  Typically though, a bench grinder IMHE, is one of two speeds, 3590 rpm or 1725 rpm.

So when you are talking slow speed, are you talking 1725 rpm, or something closer to the Tormek's speed?
Favorite line, from a post here:
8)

Yeah you know Tormek have reached sharpening nirvana when you get a prosthetic hand as part of the standard package :/)

Offline wootz

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Re: Bringing Tormek precision to paper wheels
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2016, 06:54:45 pm »
Paper wheel makers recommend 3000+ RPM, in this context saying low RPM I have in mind half of that or slower.

E.g. Richard J., the U.S. paper wheel guru sharpening knives for a living, uses 1/2 hp 1725 rpm motor.
http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/578787
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 01:54:39 am by wootz »