Author Topic: New to Tormek but not new to sharpening  (Read 2937 times)

Offline Y-Not

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New to Tormek but not new to sharpening
« on: April 11, 2018, 02:58:18 pm »
Hey Folks,

With a little luck, my Tormek T8 with the Wood Turners kit will arrive on Friday the 13th.  I'm hoping this is not a bad omen.  :P

I've been sharpening by hand with stones and leathers for about 40 years. For the past 10 or so years, I've sort of become the guy in the hood that'll sharpen just about anything.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to become the sharpening vendor at a local Farmers Market and I knew that I had to speed up my sharpening process.
It's one thing to have someone drop of 5 or 6 knives and be willing to pick them up a few days later.  It's a whole different creature if they are expecting to get them back within 30 minutes or so.

After reading, researching, reading some more and finally pulling the trigger, I bought a T8. I've used other systems like the Tormek in the past with very favorable results. But I've never owned one nor have I been put on-stage and expected to produce results on the spot. Much like I expect to be at the Farmers Market.

Assuming my T8 arrives on Friday, I'll have exactly 6 weeks to become comfortable with the Tormek before the opening day of the market.

I'll be sharpening mostly knives but I also expect to get axes, scissors, chisels, carving tools, etc. All of which I've sharpened successfully before, by hand.
But as most of you know, doing all those by hand can be a VERY time consuming chore. Thus the need for something that will speed up the process and still yield the same, if not better results.

As I mentioned before, I've been reading and researching as well as watching all of the videos on how to set up and use the Tormek systems.
Thus far, none of it has been bewildering. Most of it seems like pretty much the same as what I've done in the past. I do not foresee there being too much of a learning curve and I expect (hope) that I'll be whipping out fresh sharp edges in short order.

From my understanding thus far, I should start out with some chisels.  I've got some REALLY cheap chisels as well as a number of high end chisels.  Of course, I'll start out with the cheap ones before trying my hand at the more expensive ones.  Once I get those hammered out, I'll consider sharpening my Grandfather's chisels.  Maybe... I have a great deal of respect for my Grandfather and I don't want to screw up his prized chisel set.   :-\

Then I'll start with my cheapo knives. The ones that have been banging around in a drawer somewhere. Most have not seen daylight in 10+ years. Again, once I feel good about those, I'll move up to my more expensive knives.

What I'd like to know from those with hands-on Tormek experience, is what surprises you encountered when you first started using your Tormek (or Tormek like devices).

I'll listen to anything and everything.  I'll sort out the useful bits and give them a try during the upcoming weeks.

Thanks in advance!
Not as sharp as I once was but I'm as sharp once as I ever was.

Offline cbwx34

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Re: New to Tormek but not new to sharpening
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2018, 03:15:17 pm »
Hey Folks,

With a little luck, my Tormek T8 with the Wood Turners kit will arrive on Friday the 13th.  I'm hoping this is not a bad omen.  :P

I've been sharpening by hand with stones and leathers for about 40 years. For the past 10 or so years, I've sort of become the guy in the hood that'll sharpen just about anything.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to become the sharpening vendor at a local Farmers Market and I knew that I had to speed up my sharpening process.
It's one thing to have someone drop of 5 or 6 knives and be willing to pick them up a few days later.  It's a whole different creature if they are expecting to get them back within 30 minutes or so.

After reading, researching, reading some more and finally pulling the trigger, I bought a T8. I've used other systems like the Tormek in the past with very favorable results. But I've never owned one nor have I been put on-stage and expected to produce results on the spot. Much like I expect to be at the Farmers Market.

Assuming my T8 arrives on Friday, I'll have exactly 6 weeks to become comfortable with the Tormek before the opening day of the market.

I'll be sharpening mostly knives but I also expect to get axes, scissors, chisels, carving tools, etc. All of which I've sharpened successfully before, by hand.
But as most of you know, doing all those by hand can be a VERY time consuming chore. Thus the need for something that will speed up the process and still yield the same, if not better results.

As I mentioned before, I've been reading and researching as well as watching all of the videos on how to set up and use the Tormek systems.
Thus far, none of it has been bewildering. Most of it seems like pretty much the same as what I've done in the past. I do not foresee there being too much of a learning curve and I expect (hope) that I'll be whipping out fresh sharp edges in short order.

From my understanding thus far, I should start out with some chisels.  I've got some REALLY cheap chisels as well as a number of high end chisels.  Of course, I'll start out with the cheap ones before trying my hand at the more expensive ones.  Once I get those hammered out, I'll consider sharpening my Grandfather's chisels.  Maybe... I have a great deal of respect for my Grandfather and I don't want to screw up his prized chisel set.   :-\

Then I'll start with my cheapo knives. The ones that have been banging around in a drawer somewhere. Most have not seen daylight in 10+ years. Again, once I feel good about those, I'll move up to my more expensive knives.

What I'd like to know from those with hands-on Tormek experience, is what surprises you encountered when you first started using your Tormek (or Tormek like devices).

I'll listen to anything and everything.  I'll sort out the useful bits and give them a try during the upcoming weeks.

Thanks in advance!

Welcome to the forum.

Forum member Steve Bottorff has run a successful knife sharpening business... and has quite a bit of info on the subject... you may want to visit his site (if you haven't already)...

http://sharpeningmadeeasy.com/

... and YT channel...

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUy0dLEXa0nTMubaVUMAEKg

Good luck, and keep us posted on what you learn! :)

Offline Y-Not

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Re: New to Tormek but not new to sharpening
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2018, 03:45:57 pm »
Yeah, I've seen Steve's stuff and bookmarked his sites.

Loads of useful stuff there.  ;D
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Offline Y-Not

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Re: New to Tormek but not new to sharpening
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2018, 04:13:46 pm »
Well...Perhaps I can disregard the bad omen...I just got notification that my T8 is on a truck and scheduled to arrive today.   :)
6 weeks and three days to get comfy using the new equipment.

Fingers crossed it'll workout half as well as I hope.
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Offline SharpenADullWitt

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Re: New to Tormek but not new to sharpening
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2018, 04:38:25 pm »
I would also recommend Steve's book/course, and make a recommendation of hitting up thrift shops in your area (garage sales as well) for old knives/tools.  You could practice on them and then have them for sale, as a reminder for people to bring their stuff for sharpening.
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Yeah you know Tormek have reached sharpening nirvana when you get a prosthetic hand as part of the standard package :/)

Offline Y-Not

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Re: New to Tormek but not new to sharpening
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2018, 04:47:02 pm »
I would also recommend Steve's book/course, and make a recommendation of hitting up thrift shops in your area (garage sales as well) for old knives/tools.  You could practice on them and then have them for sale, as a reminder for people to bring their stuff for sharpening.

Oh yeah. Once I've gathered up all the old knives and such that I've lost track of over the years, my booth may end up looking like a thrift shop instead of a sharpening booth.   ::)

I've got a few random butter knives that I'm going to dork around with as well.  If they sharpen up well, I'll have them out as displays.  "Taking a knife from butter knife dull to razor sharp"  Or something to that affect. 

I've been excited about the T8 arriving.  Now that I know it'll be here today, I feel like a kid on Christmas eve.

Too bad this silly full time job of mine is getting in the way of my fun.
Not as sharp as I once was but I'm as sharp once as I ever was.

Offline Ken S

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Re: New to Tormek but not new to sharpening
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2018, 05:06:13 pm »
Welcome to the forum, Y Not.

I will include myself in the choir recommending Steve Bottorff. Steve is one of only three forum members I have met personally. Even though Steve had effectively retired from teaching, he walked me through his class. He has been my mentor and friend. I reviewed his Sharpening School video for the forum. It is excellent, essential training for sharpeners. Having both studied with him personally and watched the DVD many times, I can state that his DVD is like personal instruction with him. Steve is a veteran of many years in the trenches as a farmers market sharpener. His trainng is very practical.

His you tube channel has only a fraction of the DVD. I would not even think of starting a sharpening business before purchasing and intensely studying Steve's DVD (sharpeningmadeeasy.com).

My other suggestion is the first topic in the general tormek part of this forum, the tips and techniques. This started out as one longish post, but has grown too large. You need to become fluent with the Tormek fundemental skills, especially as a weekend warrior sharpener.

Keep us posted and do not be shy about asking questions; you are among friends.

Ken 

Offline RichColvin

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Re: New to Tormek but not new to sharpening
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2018, 05:22:57 pm »
Tony,

I don't run a sharpening business, but if I did I would start with the following :

I'd like to know how this goes, and I think you should let us know what bumps you experience (i.e., let us learn from your mistakes).

Kind regards,
Rich
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Offline Grizz

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Re: New to Tormek but not new to sharpening
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2018, 05:37:11 pm »
Hey Folks,

With a little luck, my Tormek T8 with the Wood Turners kit will arrive on Friday the 13th.  I'm hoping this is not a bad omen.  :P

I've been sharpening by hand with stones and leathers for about 40 years. For the past 10 or so years, I've sort of become the guy in the hood that'll sharpen just about anything.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to become the sharpening vendor at a local Farmers Market and I knew that I had to speed up my sharpening process.
It's one thing to have someone drop of 5 or 6 knives and be willing to pick them up a few days later.  It's a whole different creature if they are expecting to get them back within 30 minutes or so.

After reading, researching, reading some more and finally pulling the trigger, I bought a T8. I've used other systems like the Tormek in the past with very favorable results. But I've never owned one nor have I been put on-stage and expected to produce results on the spot. Much like I expect to be at the Farmers Market.

Assuming my T8 arrives on Friday, I'll have exactly 6 weeks to become comfortable with the Tormek before the opening day of the market.

I'll be sharpening mostly knives but I also expect to get axes, scissors, chisels, carving tools, etc. All of which I've sharpened successfully before, by hand.
But as most of you know, doing all those by hand can be a VERY time consuming chore. Thus the need for something that will speed up the process and still yield the same, if not better results.

As I mentioned before, I've been reading and researching as well as watching all of the videos on how to set up and use the Tormek systems.
Thus far, none of it has been bewildering. Most of it seems like pretty much the same as what I've done in the past. I do not foresee there being too much of a learning curve and I expect (hope) that I'll be whipping out fresh sharp edges in short order.

From my understanding thus far, I should start out with some chisels.  I've got some REALLY cheap chisels as well as a number of high end chisels.  Of course, I'll start out with the cheap ones before trying my hand at the more expensive ones.  Once I get those hammered out, I'll consider sharpening my Grandfather's chisels.  Maybe... I have a great deal of respect for my Grandfather and I don't want to screw up his prized chisel set.   :-\

Then I'll start with my cheapo knives. The ones that have been banging around in a drawer somewhere. Most have not seen daylight in 10+ years. Again, once I feel good about those, I'll move up to my more expensive knives.

What I'd like to know from those with hands-on Tormek experience, is what surprises you encountered when you first started using your Tormek (or Tormek like devices).

I'll listen to anything and everything.  I'll sort out the useful bits and give them a try during the upcoming weeks.

Thanks in advance!
one thing that is confusing me here, you say you ordered the T-8 with the wood turning kit. I believe the HTK-706 is the kit you will need for knife sharpening.

Offline Y-Not

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Re: New to Tormek but not new to sharpening
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2018, 05:54:35 pm »
Hey Folks,

With a little luck, my Tormek T8 with the Wood Turners kit will arrive on Friday the 13th.  I'm hoping this is not a bad omen.  :P

I've been sharpening by hand with stones and leathers for about 40 years. For the past 10 or so years, I've sort of become the guy in the hood that'll sharpen just about anything.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to become the sharpening vendor at a local Farmers Market and I knew that I had to speed up my sharpening process.
It's one thing to have someone drop of 5 or 6 knives and be willing to pick them up a few days later.  It's a whole different creature if they are expecting to get them back within 30 minutes or so.

After reading, researching, reading some more and finally pulling the trigger, I bought a T8. I've used other systems like the Tormek in the past with very favorable results. But I've never owned one nor have I been put on-stage and expected to produce results on the spot. Much like I expect to be at the Farmers Market.

Assuming my T8 arrives on Friday, I'll have exactly 6 weeks to become comfortable with the Tormek before the opening day of the market.

I'll be sharpening mostly knives but I also expect to get axes, scissors, chisels, carving tools, etc. All of which I've sharpened successfully before, by hand.
But as most of you know, doing all those by hand can be a VERY time consuming chore. Thus the need for something that will speed up the process and still yield the same, if not better results.

As I mentioned before, I've been reading and researching as well as watching all of the videos on how to set up and use the Tormek systems.
Thus far, none of it has been bewildering. Most of it seems like pretty much the same as what I've done in the past. I do not foresee there being too much of a learning curve and I expect (hope) that I'll be whipping out fresh sharp edges in short order.

From my understanding thus far, I should start out with some chisels.  I've got some REALLY cheap chisels as well as a number of high end chisels.  Of course, I'll start out with the cheap ones before trying my hand at the more expensive ones.  Once I get those hammered out, I'll consider sharpening my Grandfather's chisels.  Maybe... I have a great deal of respect for my Grandfather and I don't want to screw up his prized chisel set.   :-\

Then I'll start with my cheapo knives. The ones that have been banging around in a drawer somewhere. Most have not seen daylight in 10+ years. Again, once I feel good about those, I'll move up to my more expensive knives.

What I'd like to know from those with hands-on Tormek experience, is what surprises you encountered when you first started using your Tormek (or Tormek like devices).

I'll listen to anything and everything.  I'll sort out the useful bits and give them a try during the upcoming weeks.

Thanks in advance!
one thing that is confusing me here, you say you ordered the T-8 with the wood turning kit. I believe the HTK-706 is the kit you will need for knife sharpening.

I can certainly see where the confusion is coming from.
While I was reading and researching this, the T8 with the hand tool kit was available. Then literally, the day I decided to go for it, it was no longer available. So I went with the next step up that had everything I needed for the Farmers Market and a whole lot that I might or might not find a need for.

I was getting desperate and needed to get my hands on the T8 as soon as I could.  So yeah, i wound up buying things that might never get used. On the bright side, once the package that I was looking at becomes available again, I can return the one I bought for the one that I need.

There's jigs in the wood turner's kit that, at a farmers market, I'll never ever use.  But...If during the course of the market someone asks, then sure.  In the long run, if sharpening odd ball things like that (odd in a Farmers Market sort of way) turns out to make enough to off set the difference in price, I might keep the one I bought.

We'll see.

Right now, I'm happy to be getting what I need and have time for us to get to know one another.
Not as sharp as I once was but I'm as sharp once as I ever was.

Offline Y-Not

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Re: New to Tormek but not new to sharpening
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2018, 05:58:12 pm »
Tony,

I don't run a sharpening business, but if I did I would start with the following :

I'd like to know how this goes, and I think you should let us know what bumps you experience (i.e., let us learn from your mistakes).

Kind regards,
Rich

Rich,

Thanks for the links and suggestions.  Some of those I know I've recently seen. Others, maybe not.  But I'll be sure to take them in over the next few days and weeks.

Thanks again!
Not as sharp as I once was but I'm as sharp once as I ever was.

Offline Y-Not

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Re: New to Tormek but not new to sharpening
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2018, 06:10:32 pm »
Welcome to the forum, Y Not.

I will include myself in the choir recommending Steve Bottorff. Steve is one of only three forum members I have met personally. Even though Steve had effectively retired from teaching, he walked me through his class. He has been my mentor and friend. I reviewed his Sharpening School video for the forum. It is excellent, essential training for sharpeners. Having both studied with him personally and watched the DVD many times, I can state that his DVD is like personal instruction with him. Steve is a veteran of many years in the trenches as a farmers market sharpener. His trainng is very practical.

His you tube channel has only a fraction of the DVD. I would not even think of starting a sharpening business before purchasing and intensely studying Steve's DVD (sharpeningmadeeasy.com).

My other suggestion is the first topic in the general tormek part of this forum, the tips and techniques. This started out as one longish post, but has grown too large. You need to become fluent with the Tormek fundemental skills, especially as a weekend warrior sharpener.

Keep us posted and do not be shy about asking questions; you are among friends.

Ken

Ken,

I've no doubt about Steve.  His sites were among the first that I landed upon and his insight is what pushed me over the edge and caused me to agree to the invite to the Farmers Market.  Steve's pages are a treasure trove of tips and suggestions as well as the price sheets (edited for my area and needs), the sheaths (never thought about), etc...

Again, Steve's page is a must have/go to for me.

I've been lurking on this forum for a few weeks.  I've read the tips and techniques string. Over and over again.  Like you said, it started as one long thread then turned into a monster.  But that's fine.  There are nuggets in there and I'll scoop them up.

I'm looking forward to becoming one with my Tormek. As luck would have it, I work from home and I've got to work 1 AM to 10 AM all next week. Normally, I hate working that shift.  Someone has to be on-shift but nothing ever happens and because it's not my normal shift, I find myself falling asleep.

Not next week.  ;) I'll be dorking with my Tormek all night, every night next week. :)

I'll keep ya'll posted as my progression continues.  It's sure to be a popcorn munching good time.
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Offline cbwx34

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Re: New to Tormek but not new to sharpening
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2018, 06:30:29 pm »
Since you've been sharpening for a "mere" 40 years... I find it hard to offer any advice... but maybe some questions that you've already thought of that might further the conversation (mostly thinking knives here... I'm guessing that's what you'll do the most?) ...
  • Do you plan on sharpening freehand or using a jig or guide (or combo)?
  • Will the Tormek be your only device?  (Many sharpeners, especially at Farmer's Markets, seem to use a combination of devices for quicker sharpening).
  • Do you have a plan for repairs?  (Broken tips, recurves, reducing bolsters, seem to be the most common...).
Just some "fuel for thought".  ;)

Offline Y-Not

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Re: New to Tormek but not new to sharpening
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2018, 07:23:43 pm »
Since you've been sharpening for a "mere" 40 years... I find it hard to offer any advice... but maybe some questions that you've already thought of that might further the conversation (mostly thinking knives here... I'm guessing that's what you'll do the most?) ...
  • Do you plan on sharpening freehand or using a jig or guide (or combo)?
  • Will the Tormek be your only device?  (Many sharpeners, especially at Farmer's Markets, seem to use a combination of devices for quicker sharpening).
  • Do you have a plan for repairs?  (Broken tips, recurves, reducing bolsters, seem to be the most common...).
Just some "fuel for thought".  ;)

Fuel for thought...Yeah, that's something that I need more of.  :)

Part of what's been keeping me awake is trying to think of all the off-the wall things I've been asked to do and how I've done them.
Broken tips, re-curves, bolsters, removing the squared edges from the backs (right near the handle), rounding heals, etc...

I'll be taking everything I've got.
Flat stones, files, belt sander, strops, wet/dry sand papers and anything else that I might need. So no, the Tormek will not be my only device.  As I think Ken said, it's a workhorse but it can't be the only horse in the stable. 

I need to be prepared for just about anything. In addition to being prepared to say no or I can't or won't do this or that. I'm not going to fake my way through anything.  If I'm presented with something that I've no idea how to sharpen, then I'll just have to say no.  I'm good with no.  Lord knows my wife has been telling me know for 30 years.

For the most part, I think I'll be using the jigs with the Tormek. It'll really depend on how it feels to me once I get it set up and start putting metal to stone.  Chances are, it'll wind up being a combo of jigs and freehand with the Tormek.

Thanks for the suggestions and please, keep them coming. I might be stupid enough to jump into adventure this but I'm not so stupid to think that I've thought about everything there is to think about.
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Offline Ken S

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Re: New to Tormek but not new to sharpening
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2018, 07:45:16 pm »
I think you have a good chance at success, if you stay focused and simple. Stick with basic knife sharpening. With a Saturday morming busy routine you don't have the luxury of spending a lot of time with one knife. Spend your learning time mastering the basic machine and knife sharpening.

If a knife needs more than sharpening, suggest that the customer pick it up next week or decline the work.

I would start out with the Tormek knife jigs and standard technique. You can always get fancy later if you want to. Many of us have developed our technique, which we will be more than glad to share, however, I highly recommend you begin with standard Tormek doctrine.

I recommend that you return the turning kit. You need to focus your spending on what you are actually using. It seems odd to me that your dealer did not have the handtool jigs.

Practice.......

Ken