Author Topic: Thoughts on the Diamond Wheels vs. Traditional Grindstones  (Read 3327 times)

Offline RichColvin

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Thoughts on the Diamond Wheels vs. Traditional Grindstones
« on: November 13, 2018, 01:56:01 am »
I am so ever grateful to Ken Schroeder for loaning his diamond wheels to me.  I am posting my initial comments below about them.

The summary is this :  I don't see the value to them for me.  What it appears to be is :

Advantages of the diamond wheels
  • When reshaping a tool, the coarse wheel works well, even on tough metals.  It is probably a better choice than using the same jig on a traditional, high-speed grinder (via the BGM-100).  Indeed, I found I was able to easily clean up some past grinds (that were functional, but not that pretty).
  • Swapping out the course wheel for the finer ones keeps the shape consistent across the grind (makes the grind nicer looking on tools with large bevels, especially tools like skews -- though it doesn't necessarily make it cut better).
  • Moving between wheels is convenient as I don't have to re-adjust the universal support bar when grinding a tool with finer grits.
  • Unlike CBN wheels, these can be used for sharpening high carbon steels.
  • They are probably cheaper in the long run.
In summary, the diamond wheels seem great for production sharpening shops.


Advantages of the traditional grindstones
  • It is very easy to use the stone grader to go from a coarser grit to a finer one, and I didn't have to change the grindstone.  In turning, this is something I need to do often.  I rough turn using the course grit, and change to a finer grit as I approach the final shape (for softer woods, I even hone the edge).  Being able to use the stone grader is faster as I don't have to swap stones.
  • This is especially useful when changing which tool I am using (this is very common with my turning approach on the lathe).  Some tools, like the spindle roughing gouge are fine when using the course grit, whilst others like the parting tools greatly benefit from a finer grit.
  • The finer graded SB grindstone seems to produce about the same surface as the DF (fine) diamond wheel or possibly even the DE (extra fine) diamond wheel.
  • The SJ stone gives a better finish than the EF stone.
  • I can swap out the grindstones between the SG, the SB, and the SJ without having to swap out the water and clean out the tray.  I get back to work faster.
  • If I get too aggressive, I can always fix it by using the truing tool.
  • I don't have to mess around with special water additives.
  • They are cheaper in the short term.
In summary, the traditional grindstones seem great for the all-around woodworker.

What I especially like is that Tormek has the right option for what works for many different sharpeners. 

I'm interested in others' thoughts.

Kind regards,
Rich
« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 01:58:26 am by RichColvin »
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Rich Colvin
www.SharpeningHandbook.info - a reference guide for sharpening
www.OTBoK.info - help those getting started in ornamental turning -- to make that journey easier.

You are born weak & frail, and you die weak & frail.  What you do between those is up to you.

Offline Ken S

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Re: Thoughts on the Diamond Wheels vs. Traditional Grindstones
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2018, 03:20:10 am »
Rich,

After twenty years with your Tormek, you have a very well developed sense of what works well for you. That is not meant to imply that you are set in your ways, only that you have a well tuned point of reference.

You are one of the people who has motivated me not to give up with my SB-250. Frankly, I have never been able to get the blackstone to work for me. It quickly glazes. That inspired me to try (successfully) working with the Norton 3X and CBN wheels. They do not glaze for me. I would write off my blackstone, if I had not seen yours well worn down to eight inches. Seeing your blackstone makes me look inward for the problem.

We all have different expectations with our Tormeks. Some of us do yeoman service with old SuperGrinds and well worn SG-250 grinding wheels. Some of us, especially turners, may prefer the SB-250. Others will gravitate toward the SJ. Some, Tormek junkies like me, want to try everything. (In fairness, this Tormek junkie does have definite preferences.)

There is no one correct way. I am pleased that your preference is based on actual sharpening experience with all of the wheels. That is valuable information for other members.

I hope to see you tomorrow evening st the Central Ohio Woodturners meeting.

Ken
« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 05:19:01 pm by Ken S »

Offline GKC

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Re: Thoughts on the Diamond Wheels vs. Traditional Grindstones
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2018, 04:13:01 pm »
Thanks Rich, that is a very helpful summary for those of us making wheel decisions.

(Ken, I think you meant SB-250 in your post.)

Gord

Offline Ken S

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Re: Thoughts on the Diamond Wheels vs. Traditional Grindstones
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2018, 05:17:52 pm »
Thanks, Gord. Noted and corrected.

Ken

Offline RickKrung

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Re: Thoughts on the Diamond Wheels vs. Traditional Grindstones
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2018, 06:38:58 pm »
Interesting thread.  I also find my reaction/assessment of the diamond wheels interesting. 

Prior to having the diamond wheels, I was frustrated by how slow even the coarsest Tormek stones were.  Ken graciously gave me two used Norton 3X wheels that he was no longer using.  I find them the be a very excellent solution to speedy coarse grinding.  If I had no other options, these plus the Tormek stones would be adequate. 

I was very excited when the diamond stones came out and quickly purchased a set.  I can say that I am very please with them in some regards, but underwhelmed in others.  First, I do not care for the sound or feel of the diamond wheels.  Tinny and hollow sounding (and they are hollow).  I like the much more solid, quiet and smooth feel of the stones. 

Recently, as I was doing farmers market sharpening, I thought I'd be using the diamond stones more consistently.  Instead, I found myself using the Norton 3X, Tormek SB and SG stones most of the time for the "usual" knives.  The 3X wheel is fast and the SB and SG stones plus deburring/stropping on the leather wheel were fast and reliably produced excellently sharpened edges.  I keep the SB stone graded coarse and the SG stone graded fine.  For the SG stone, I use a 1000 grit diamond plate rather than the grading stone.  In truth, an underlying reason I didn't use the diamond wheels more is that I didn't want to up that wear on them for the farmers market work.  I was quite pleased that it was not necessary for the bulk of that work. 

BUT...  When I want to do really precision sharpening for high end knives, I go to the diamond stones and use one of the angle setting applets.  The diamond stones are very reliable with the grind finish and consistent angles produced.  I like knowing the final DE followed by leather wheel deburring and stopping gives a very excellent and satisfyingly sharp finish. 

In short, I would not want to be without the diamond wheels.  But, in reality, I could very do very well without them.  How is that for a conflicted conclusion? 

Rick
Quality is like buying oats.  If you want nice clean, fresh oats, you must pay a fair price. However, if you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse, that comes at a lower price.

Offline RichColvin

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Re: Thoughts on the Diamond Wheels vs. Traditional Grindstones
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2018, 09:16:20 pm »
Rick,

I think we are aligned well.

Kind regards,
Rich
---------------------------
Rich Colvin
www.SharpeningHandbook.info - a reference guide for sharpening
www.OTBoK.info - help those getting started in ornamental turning -- to make that journey easier.

You are born weak & frail, and you die weak & frail.  What you do between those is up to you.

Offline GKC

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Re: Thoughts on the Diamond Wheels vs. Traditional Grindstones
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2018, 04:25:00 pm »
I have a follow-up question on the experiences with the diamond stones, keying off Rich's list of pros and cons.

For shaping HSS (for me, this means turning tools) is there a notable speed advantage as between the SB-250 graded coarse and the DC-250?  I do shaping now on CBN wheels on a slow speed grinder, which is fast, but I am interesting in knowing how I would configure my T8 to work just on it.

Thanks, Gord

Offline Ken S

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Re: Thoughts on the Diamond Wheels vs. Traditional Grindstones
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2018, 05:09:23 pm »
Gord,

I don't want to comment on the SB-250. Frankly, I have never been able to use mine well. I think the problem is operator. I like the DC-250. I have reshaped a skew from flat to Lacer grind with it. It is no speedster, but fast enough so that I was not frustrated.

I would suggest trying adapting your CBN wheels to the Tormek 12mm bore. If your wheels are D-Way, Dave sells 12 mm steel bushings for around $15 US that are plug and play with your T8. Assuming your dry grinder is eight inch, your CBN wheels will work on your T8 as well as a Tormek wheel worn to eight inches.

If your CBN wheels have a fixed 5/8” bore, you can use a piece of 5/8” OD plastic pipe. Bore the ID from 7/16” to a generous 31/64”. I use a longer piece hand held in my drill press and then shortened. This is not machinist quality, but adequate for reshaping.

These options may not be your desired long term solutions, however, they will give you an idea of how the Tormek does with coarser wheels at not much cost.

Ken

Offline RichColvin

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Re: Thoughts on the Diamond Wheels vs. Traditional Grindstones
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2018, 09:15:16 pm »
For shaping HSS (for me, this means turning tools) is there a notable speed advantage as between the SB-250 graded coarse and the DC-250?

Gord,

No contest:  The DC-250 is far faster for shaping than the SB-250.  But that is something I rarely do and typically only once for any given tool.  So, I use a traditional grinder and the BGM-100.  No problem for HSS.  Also, that way I can use the same jig for shaping as for sharpening.

A better comparison is sharpening on the SB-250 vs the DF-250 / DE-250.  I found the time difference was in this :
  • SB-250 :  fast to change grits using the SP-650 Stone Grader, vs.
  • DF-250 / DE-250 :  have to swap wheels to change grits.

Now, if I could afford multiple T-8s (and had the space for them), I’d put a diamond wheel on each.  As it is, the traditional stones work faster for me.

Kind regards,
Rich
---------------------------
Rich Colvin
www.SharpeningHandbook.info - a reference guide for sharpening
www.OTBoK.info - help those getting started in ornamental turning -- to make that journey easier.

You are born weak & frail, and you die weak & frail.  What you do between those is up to you.

Offline GKC

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Re: Thoughts on the Diamond Wheels vs. Traditional Grindstones
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2018, 09:26:31 pm »
OK, this is very useful info.  These options make for a lot of pro/con analysis to digest, but it is very helpful to have the input from experienced users. 

And I have read some of Ken's early posts about the old days when your choice was SG-250 or go home.  Tormek has come a long way since then, and with the third party wheels on the Tormek and/or the use of a BGM-100 and just about anything on a dry grinder, the options now available are many.  I prefer having complicated choices to no choices.

Gord

Offline georgegolesic

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Re: Thoughts on the Diamond Wheels vs. Traditional Grindstones
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2018, 11:09:42 pm »
Hello everyone. My first time on the forum. I came across it by accident when I was looking for information on my older Tormek SG 2000. Reading the posts so far has been great for me.  Espeacially with regards to the new Diamond wheels. That is the information I have been searching for.
My question is - Will the new Diamond wheels work on my older model Tormek. I think they will but would like confirmation from people who have had experience with them.  I am a hobby wood turner.  I recently took a woodturning course with Glen Lucas and had first hand experience with a diamond wheel and absolutely loved it.  Would like to retrofit my Tormek with one.

Thanks
George Golesic

Offline cbwx34

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Re: Thoughts on the Diamond Wheels vs. Traditional Grindstones
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2018, 11:35:46 pm »
Hello everyone. My first time on the forum. I came across it by accident when I was looking for information on my older Tormek SG 2000. Reading the posts so far has been great for me.  Espeacially with regards to the new Diamond wheels. That is the information I have been searching for.
My question is - Will the new Diamond wheels work on my older model Tormek. I think they will but would like confirmation from people who have had experience with them.  I am a hobby wood turner.  I recently took a woodturning course with Glen Lucas and had first hand experience with a diamond wheel and absolutely loved it.  Would like to retrofit my Tormek with one.

Thanks
George Golesic

The diamond wheels will work on any Tormek that a 250mm wheel will fit on... T-8, T-7, Supergrind, etc.  Won't fit on the ones with the smaller wheel... T-4, T-3, etc.

So, if your older model will take a 250mm stone... the diamond wheel will fit with no modifications needed.  (But if you're going to be swapping stones, the EzyLock setup is worth considering, if you don't already have it). :)

Offline RichColvin

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Re: Thoughts on the Diamond Wheels vs. Traditional Grindstones
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2018, 03:40:22 am »
George,

I tested them on my T2000.

Kind regards,
Rich
---------------------------
Rich Colvin
www.SharpeningHandbook.info - a reference guide for sharpening
www.OTBoK.info - help those getting started in ornamental turning -- to make that journey easier.

You are born weak & frail, and you die weak & frail.  What you do between those is up to you.

Offline georgegolesic

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Re: Thoughts on the Diamond Wheels vs. Traditional Grindstones
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2018, 04:21:19 pm »
Hello Rich
Thanks for posting the pic - worth a thousand words!!   I am trying to find a 1200  Grit diamond wheel  (DE-250).  Apparently a production problem. Anyone heard of any suppliers who are stocking them at this point??

Thanks
George

Offline RickKrung

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Re: Thoughts on the Diamond Wheels vs. Traditional Grindstones
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2018, 05:46:28 pm »
Sure don't know whether they are in stock, but these are the suppliers I've used:

Advanced Machinery
https://advanced-machinery.myshopify.com/pages/tormek-home

Affinity Tools
https://affinitytool.com/brands/tormek-catalog

Sharpening Supplies
https://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/Tormek-C101.aspx

Sharpening Made Easy (Steve Bottorff)
https://sharpeningmadeeasy.com/tormek.htm

Rick
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 02:26:56 am by RickKrung »
Quality is like buying oats.  If you want nice clean, fresh oats, you must pay a fair price. However, if you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse, that comes at a lower price.