Author Topic: Tormek T-4 knife sharpening question for beginner  (Read 279 times)

Offline Alihussein8

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Tormek T-4 knife sharpening question for beginner
« on: June 27, 2020, 02:59:32 am »
Hello all!

So i am new to the Tormek community and to the machine. i have watched almost every video on youtube on how to sharpen knives. with me its a hit or miss when sharpening, some are razor sharp, and others are as if i didnt do anything. with that being said do you guys have any tips for beginner sharpening? one of the problems ive been having is when knife sharpening my knife tends to get dragged by the wheel. i had two get snagged. and every other video ive watched they make it look effortless. sorry for the long message but any help is much appreciated!

Offline cbwx34

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Re: Tormek T-4 knife sharpening question for beginner
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2020, 01:59:23 pm »
Hello all!

So i am new to the Tormek community and to the machine. i have watched almost every video on youtube on how to sharpen knives. with me its a hit or miss when sharpening, some are razor sharp, and others are as if i didnt do anything. with that being said do you guys have any tips for beginner sharpening? one of the problems ive been having is when knife sharpening my knife tends to get dragged by the wheel. i had two get snagged. and every other video ive watched they make it look effortless. sorry for the long message but any help is much appreciated!

I'll refer to this video, to help answer your questions...

https://youtu.be/R2ifZQOJA7k


For the knife catching, I have two thoughts.  One is there's a chip or something in the stone that is catching the knife.  Consider using the Stone Grader (fine) for a few seconds to make sure the stone is relatively smooth.  Also, slightly round the edges, as explained around 16:25 in the video.

My second thought is too much pressure.  You don't need a lot to sharpen.  (This wiil be explained in the next section).

For beginners, I always suggest the basics.  Mark the edge with a Sharpie, match the existing angle, create a burr, then remove the burr.  So for this watch from 19:35-21:20.  I suggest marking the whole edge, as explained in the video, so you can see where you're removing metal along the entire length, and insure you're sharpening all the way to the edge.

Then for sharpening, watch from 22:20-38:00.  Note what he says about pressure, creating a burr, and then removing the burr.  You can probably leave the stone graded fine, since you're matching the angle on the knife.

One mistake here, is not creating the burr, which may be why some knives come out sharp, and others feel like you "didn't do anything".

Stick with these basics until you can get a consistent edge on the knives you're practicing on.  Not too much pressure... match the angle on the knife... create a burr, remove the burr.  Once you have that down, you can move on to adjusting angles, reprofiling, etc.

That's my .02  :)

Offline john.jcb

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Re: Tormek T-4 knife sharpening question for beginner
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2020, 03:16:14 pm »
Use light pressure when honing as well. It does not take much to remove the burr left by sharpening. Also when you are honing concentrate on keeping the angle constant as you move the blade across the wheel.
Sharpen the knife blade
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Offline micha

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Re: Tormek T-4 knife sharpening question for beginner
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2020, 07:31:50 pm »
In addition to the great advice above, I'd suggest getting a decent USB microscope or a very good magnifying glass.
That helped me a lot in understanding what's going on on the edge, and often revealed the reason for the results not being as good as expected.

Offline jeffs55

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Re: Tormek T-4 knife sharpening question for beginner
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2020, 01:36:47 am »
Sharpen with the wheel turning away from the knife edge and it will not catch. The sharpening action is less aggressive and will take longer but it will not catch the edge.  Keep the stone trued and graded. Do not let it glaze over, use the corner of the stone grader to rough it up if you need to. You need a rough stone to grind with. I don't mean the roughness caused by the stone grader that makes the stone like 200 grit but I mean a fresh surface. As you sharpen the stone clogs with metal shavings. Keep it clean by grading and or truing. The truing will not be done constantly but the grading can be done more than once per edge being sharpened.
You can use less of more but you cannot make more of less.

Offline cbwx34

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Re: Tormek T-4 knife sharpening question for beginner
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2020, 03:35:59 pm »
Sharpen with the wheel turning away from the knife edge and it will not catch. The sharpening action is less aggressive and will take longer but it will not catch the edge.  Keep the stone trued and graded. Do not let it glaze over, use the corner of the stone grader to rough it up if you need to. You need a rough stone to grind with. I don't mean the roughness caused by the stone grader that makes the stone like 200 grit but I mean a fresh surface. As you sharpen the stone clogs with metal shavings. Keep it clean by grading and or truing. The truing will not be done constantly but the grading can be done more than once per edge being sharpened.

Your post reminds me of the old joke... Doc it hurts when I do this.... well then don't do that.  :D

I don't think "sharpening away" is really a solution, it just avoids the issue.  Sharpening "edge leading" (into the stone) gives better results.

And I have to say, my experience is different with pretty much the rest of your post... the SG stone wear + combined with running thru a water bath stays pretty fresh and rarely "glazes over", at least on knives.  (Just look at the magnet or debris in the trough at the end of a sharpening)  (The SB stone might have some issues in this area).  And for knives, keeping the stone graded fine or just leaving it in it's "natural state" (between coarse and fine) works well, expect for reprofile or repairs.  No need to continually grade it "more than once" per knife.  Especially when matching the edge while learning... you shouldn't have to grade the stone very often... although it's a good technique to learn as experience grows what the different grit finishes will do.

Offline Ken S

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Re: Tormek T-4 knife sharpening question for beginner
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2020, 09:54:11 pm »
Your situation with your knife reminds me of the hand cut dovetail class I took several years ago. As part of the class, each of us made a Shaker candle box with dovetailed corners. The student dovetails, including mine, were not superb. Our instructor, Ernie Conover, told us that if we made fifteen boxes, the last few would be fine.

In your case, as you approach knife number fifteen, your sharpening technique will be fine. You can do it; it just requires some practice.

Ken

Offline Alihussein8

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Re: Tormek T-4 knife sharpening question for beginner
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2020, 04:42:45 pm »
i thought the stone might have not been true. so i ended up purchasing the truing tool. and i was surprised at how not round the wheel was lol. when i use the stone to change the grit to "220" and attempt to sharpen the knife, it feels as if the knife is trying to get pulled. i used some hot glue and glued some earth magnets on both sided of the water trough and it seems to do great.



Hello all!

So i am new to the Tormek community and to the machine. i have watched almost every video on youtube on how to sharpen knives. with me its a hit or miss when sharpening, some are razor sharp, and others are as if i didnt do anything. with that being said do you guys have any tips for beginner sharpening? one of the problems ive been having is when knife sharpening my knife tends to get dragged by the wheel. i had two get snagged. and every other video ive watched they make it look effortless. sorry for the long message but any help is much appreciated!

I'll refer to this video, to help answer your questions...

https://youtu.be/R2ifZQOJA7k


For the knife catching, I have two thoughts.  One is there's a chip or something in the stone that is catching the knife.  Consider using the Stone Grader (fine) for a few seconds to make sure the stone is relatively smooth.  Also, slightly round the edges, as explained around 16:25 in the video.

My second thought is too much pressure.  You don't need a lot to sharpen.  (This wiil be explained in the next section).

For beginners, I always suggest the basics.  Mark the edge with a Sharpie, match the existing angle, create a burr, then remove the burr.  So for this watch from 19:35-21:20.  I suggest marking the whole edge, as explained in the video, so you can see where you're removing metal along the entire length, and insure you're sharpening all the way to the edge.

Then for sharpening, watch from 22:20-38:00.  Note what he says about pressure, creating a burr, and then removing the burr.  You can probably leave the stone graded fine, since you're matching the angle on the knife.

One mistake here, is not creating the burr, which may be why some knives come out sharp, and others feel like you "didn't do anything".

Stick with these basics until you can get a consistent edge on the knives you're practicing on.  Not too much pressure... match the angle on the knife... create a burr, remove the burr.  Once you have that down, you can move on to adjusting angles, reprofiling, etc.

That's my .02  :)

Offline cbwx34

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Re: Tormek T-4 knife sharpening question for beginner
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2020, 05:31:54 pm »
i thought the stone might have not been true. so i ended up purchasing the truing tool. and i was surprised at how not round the wheel was lol. when i use the stone to change the grit to "220" and attempt to sharpen the knife, it feels as if the knife is trying to get pulled. i used some hot glue and glued some earth magnets on both sided of the water trough and it seems to do great.

Truing will help too... should have added that.

I rarely use 220g unless the knife is damaged, or needs to be reprofiled... for example sharpened at a lower angle.  Then, I use it only to make the repair... switching to a finer grit to finish the edge.  But, I still think the culprit here might be pressure... see if using less is more comfortable, and doesn't pull the knife.

Offline Ken S

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Re: Tormek T-4 knife sharpening question for beginner
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2020, 05:54:39 pm »
I am pleased that truing your out of round grinding wheel has corrected your problem. Too many of us are reluctant to use the truing tool, fearing it would prematurely wear the grinding wheel. Frequent, very light truing removes very little of the wheel and insures that your wheel is in optimum condition. this practice will serve you well.

I agree with CB about the importance of understanding grinding pressure and varying the grit. Give yourself some quiet time to experiment with grits and pressures. It will be time well invested.

Keep us posted.

Ken

Offline john.jcb

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Re: Tormek T-4 knife sharpening question for beginner
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2020, 07:21:23 pm »
I am pleased that truing your out of round grinding wheel has corrected your problem. Too many of us are reluctant to use the truing tool, fearing it would prematurely wear the grinding wheel. Frequent, very light truing removes very little of the wheel and insures that your wheel is in optimum condition. this practice will serve you well.

I agree with CB about the importance of understanding grinding pressure and varying the grit. Give yourself some quiet time to experiment with grits and pressures. It will be time well invested.

Keep us posted.

Ken

Ken, If a stone is allowed to go severly out of round or develop a large low spot do you think that overall more material will need to be removed to make it right than periodically truing the stone and removing just a little to make it round? The only thing that disappoints me is that you cannot recondition the stone back to the roughness it is at after truing.

If a knife is not damaged and I am keeping the same angle I do not even use the rough side of the conditioning stone. I like the middle ground it settles into and finer for virtually all my work.
Sharpen the knife blade
Hone edge until perfection
Cut with joy and ease

Offline Ken S

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Re: Tormek T-4 knife sharpening question for beginner
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2020, 03:44:22 am »
John,

My feeling is that frequent, light truing should remove less wheel than occasional heavy truing. In the worst case, They might be equal.

You should be able to easily recondition your grinding wheel after truing it. The stone grader is not "digital", meaning only 220 or 1000 grit. Instead, the grit number can be varied. I know a Tormek rep who like to use "600 grit". In my opinion, "600 grit" just means a middle grit rather than an exact number. I think if you snuck up on your desired grit by varying the stone grader time and pressure, you would soon match you desired grit. ( Be sure to remember the time and pressure for next time.  :)

I have noticed that the the coarse side of the stone grader doesn't seem to be as coarse as the TT-50.

Ken