CBN Wheel vs. Jet wet wheel?

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Mark Hepburn, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. Steve Worcester

    Steve Worcester Admin Emeritus

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    I've been through most of these. Would recommend a slow speed grinder with Camel Red wheels for the low cost, and Oneway blue wheels for medium cost. Tried a couple lower cost Nortons but they were horrible in wear (not the SGs or 3X). Not that much difference really, but to some, maybe big in the wheel cost. You can use a 120 or greater anywhere you use an 80 grit, just takes more time if you are changing the angle and more cost because you are using more of the wheel.
    Bought a Tormek years ago (or any other wet grinder) and determined I can make the same angles on it just takes longer and on a high grit wheel, takes more of the wheel. If you have a bunch of gouges and only sharpen as a matter of reloading the quiver of gouges, probably doesn't matter because it is only non-turning time involved. If you only have a few gouges and you are sharpening between turning, the opposite is true.
    With harder steels (M3/4 V10/15) it gets worse because of the hardness.
    What a CBN wheel really does is allow you to reshape with less issues of the wheel wear and wheel dust. Both are issues for different reasons and you need to weight the cost of the results for your individual results.
    Eventually, i with a slow speed grinder and CBN wheels and the Tormek sits in the corner waiting for me to do something with it.
     
  2. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

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    Thanks Steve. I'm shopping for a slow speed grinder. Already have the CBN wheel and I'll probably let the Jet gather dust or maybe sell it.
     
  3. Jerry Bailey

    Jerry Bailey

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    I use the Rikon 8" slow speed grinder from Woodcraft, in combination with the CBN
    cannot say enough how much the quality of edge has improved and sharpening much easier and smoother.
     
  4. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

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    Jerry,

    I was looking at that same grinder on Amazon. I don't have any experience with Rikon but have ruled out quite a few other "brand names" including Delta. So are you happy with the grinder itself? Any regrets?

    Robo Hippy mentioned that Woodcraft also has a grinder (I guess the Wood River house brand) that sometimes goes on sale for about $100. I don't mind spending another $40 for a grinder that I'll be happy with.
     
  5. Jerry Bailey

    Jerry Bailey

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    Mark, I have the exact same grinder robo was talking about, and yessir quite happy with it
    I got mine with the Wolverine Sharpening system, but was on sale at time of purchase.
    Some days, and with some woods, and I am at grinder every 4-5 minutes resharpening, the Rikon keeps up just fine.
    As with anything, you get what you pay for, and I believe the $140 you spend now will save you $ later ;-)

    The CBN you have, does it have a 1" hole, or a 5/8" hole? the Rikon is 1" so if you get it, you might need adapter for your CBN if not 1" ......

    The Rikon usually goes on sale @ Woodcraft every 2 months or so..........
     
  6. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

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    That's good to know. I'm going to order it. Probably sell my Jet wet grinder since the consensus seems to be that it'll be a paper weight.

    The wheel is a D-way wheel, 1 1/2 " with a 1" hole, but I bought the bushing so it would fit on my Jet. Probably will keep the bushing just in case. And thanks.
     
  7. Paul A Andrews

    Paul A Andrews

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    Decision made

    This thread has been awesome. I've only been turning for two years and now I'm setting up a home workshop. Choosing a grinder has been problematic. Reading online reviews is a bit of a waste of time. They lead you everywhere. One of the things I like about the AAW forum is its a genuine place (OK maybe somebody has a bias or self interest but they usually disclose) full of brothers and sisters in turning who are eager to help and share their experiences.

    My grinding skills need a lot of work. Also I'm not much of a mechanic so the stories of Chinese product that buyers had to fix scared me because I doubt I could have diagnosed and fixed the issues. So I decided to buy my way out of the problem by buying quality. Chose Tormek T7 because it has consistent high quality and is grinding for dummies with its jigs. Then I realized I would need the Woodturners' Kit in addition to the basic machine and that added $425 (all numbers Canadian, multiply by 70-75% if you're in the US) to $699 and that caused me to gag. Back to the drawing board. Read a lot more about wet/dry wheels, RPM and wheel/jig choices. This thread turned the light on and I've decided to go with the Rikon 80-805 and I'll add the tool rests/jigs to help with the angles and consistency. Running water is right there in the room.

    Thanks everybody for this sudden surge of clarity.

    BTW, I'm not sure how this happened but I've tentatively decided on four Rikon products. I know guys who have Rikon and are happy and the prices are competitive. Think I'm going with the 70-220VSR lathe, the 50-120 belt/disc sander and the 10-325 band saw. All my turning and cutting to date has been winters in Arizona on Jet products, so I know and like them. They aren't sold in Canada :-(

    Any comments about these choices would be welcome.

    Paul
     
  8. Paul A Andrews

    Paul A Andrews

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    Should have mentioned

    You can buy Tormek jigs now for competitors' grinders. Apparently the Swedes figured out that a lot of people were roughing with high speed dry grinders to get them close and then finishing them with the very slow, wet Tormek grinders. The Tormek jigs looked very appealing.
     
  9. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Most likely in the long run you will be happier with the Rikon grinder.

    We have a tormek that mostly gathers dust unless I need to sharpen planner blades.
    It is a fantastic system but most woodturners migrate to an 8" dry grinder like the Rikon.
    Because the ease of use and quick set up.

    Don Geiger had a lot of cool grinder add ons at the Florida Symposium -
    platforms, jigs, terrific wheel dresser, vertical solution pro sharp spectrum ( a marvelous gadget that has a lot of versatility to aid in sharpening just about any turning tool.
    The set ups are built into the device.

    http://m.geigerssolutions.com/Products.html

    Have fun,
    Al
     
  10. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Paul,
    There are also a lot of chapters in Canada.

    Al
     
  11. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    This thread is 2 years old... There are now 1000 grit CBN wheels for the Tormek, and 600 grit wheels for standard grinders. Rikon now has a 1 hp grinder which will handle the steel CBN wheels easily where the smaller 1/2 hp Rikon struggled a bit, but seems to do the job.

    robo hippy
     
  12. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't recall who sells them, but there is an aluminum CBN wheel for the Tormek. This means that you could run it in the water bath if you wanted to do so. I took my Tormek to the last club meeting and showed how to sharpen bowl gouges for those who were interested during our "open shop" time before the regular meeting. A few members commented that the Tormek is too slow ... perhaps just repeating what they heard from others. I showed how I sharpen bowl gouges ... and it was just as fast as anybody who used a dry grinder and jig. I've been using my Tormek for about 17 years, but I don't think that matters ... it isn't at all difficult. One new turner in the club who was using his Tormek to sharpen lathe tools said it took him forever to sharpen his tools. I suspect that he was grinding away more metal than necessary from not taking the time to get the bevel to match the wheel.

    There is one tool that is deadly slow to sharpen on the Tormek standard wheel ... the dreaded skew. If I used it more than I currently do then there might be reason to use the dry grinder.
     
  13. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    Bill Wood Turners Wonders has the Tormek CBN wheels. All grits up to 1200.
     
  14. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    If I am doing a lot of spindle turning I will drag the tormek out just for the skews.
    The wheel edge and the strop wheel do a fine job and the strop is like power honing.

    I never have to empty, clean, and refill the water tub on my dry grinder and that takes time.....

    Al
     
  15. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Several years ago when Nick Cook was at our club for a week of conducting classes, he noticed the razor edge on my oval skew and asked if I used a Tormek. When I confessed that I did, he said that is the best way to get a skew as sharp as it ought to be, but when he is teaching classes, he knows that very few turners use the Tormek so he teaches sharpening on what people use ... the dry grinder.

    I took a test drive using a CBN wheel on a dry grinder to sharpen a skew and I was very impressed ... it was very close to using a Tormek.

    Here is how much time messing with the water trough takes me: Usually once a day I top it off using a gallon Gatorade jug (with water, not Gatorade in it). The water jug sits on the floor next to the Tormek -- time is 15 seconds if I lollygag. About once a week I will take the water tray off and carry it to the back yard, lay it on the grass, pick up the water hose and blast it with the high pressure nozzle. Then I dry the exterior with a paper towel before reinstalling and filling with water -- time is three to fifteen minutes depending on whether I stop to brush the cat or talk to the neighbor. Usually I do this on a day when I am just cleaning up the garage and not turning. Generally when I am turning I have about a half dozen bowl gouges on the tailgate of my truck (AKA tool rack) and never have a need to stop and sharpen them unless I am dealing with some really hard wood. Anyway, I'm not in a race with time when turning. I typically spend more time thinking and scratching than turning.
     
  16. john lucas

    john lucas

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    I guess I'm still not used to the Tormek. I've had it while and just don't use it for turning tools. I use the strop to hit my skew every now and then. I haven't set up jigs for the skew yet on that machine so it's still much faster for me to simply hit the skews with my diamond hones by hand. I don't have running water in the shop and just never got in the habit of filling the Tormek. When I do I have to fill it, let it run, fill it again, let it run, fill it again. Takes several minutes to get the wheel to stop absorbing water.
    I tend to use the same 4 or five tools (not all bowl gouges) all the time and it's just faster for me to change out the tool rest or V arm to sharpen those tools on my dry grinder.
     
  17. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    We found the little water holder on the Tormek would collect wood chips and needed to be cleaned several times a day if it was anywhere close to the lathe.
    I also, perhaps wrongly, thought it was bad to leave the stone in water overnight.

    A memorable moment occurred at a woodworking show. I asked the Tormek guy to show me how to use the Tormek jig for the Ellaworth grind. I handed him my bowl gouge. while my tool was in his hand Tormek guy answered another customer's question. To my astonishment he said something like:

    Only a Tormek could produce an edge of this quality while pointing to the edge of my tool sharpened on an 8" dry wheel.

    I stifled my laugh and he eventually failed at reproducing the Ellsworth grind.
     
  18. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Both Dave Schweitzer of D Way and Ken Rizza of Wood Turning Wonders sell 10 inch wheels for the Tormek and other wet wheel systems. Ken's are on aluminum hubs. The only problem I can see with sharpening a skew on the Tormek is setting the angle. This system is for fine finishing type sharpening, not reshaping. If the poor Tormek guy had to reshape your swept back grind at all, it would take all day... I do sharpen my skews by hand on a platform. If you use the platform on a Tormek, and are off by 1/2 a degree on you angle, you have to reshape, well, unless you are using the convex grind like Eli Avisera. If I could figure a way to use my robo rest on a Tormek, then that problem would be greatly reduced. I have set up the platform on my Tormek to sharpen gouges, and it works, and I have been able to do swept back profiles, but I think most of that is from a lot of practice platform sharpening with my standard grinder and CBN wheels. The 600 grit CBN seems to make minimal difference in cutting on my gouges, but more testing is needed. The edge does not seem to last as long. More testing to come when I get the 1000 grit CBN wheel from Ken. Curiosity is expensive, but some one has to do the experimenting....

    The CBN wheels will still produce dust on the Tormek, and it will float around the shop. Not sure if an oil bath would help or not.

    robo hippy
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2016
  19. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Having running water in the shop is of no consequence either way. I don't have running water either, but my gallon jug is good for a couple weeks as long as I don't need to clean the tray. I pour water in the tray while the machine is running and then let it run for a couple minutes and top it off if necessary as the machine continues to run. The topping off is needed to take care of water absorbed into the wheel. It sounds like you may be doing things the hard way. Also, if you only use the Tormek once in a while then the wheel will get completely dry and is a lot thirstier than a wheel that gets regular use. Sometimes I don't bother lowering the tray if I will be turning the next day so the wheel stays hydrated overnight.

    As far as sharpening jigs are concerned, different types of tools have different types of jigs ... just as would be the case for a dry grinder. There is a jig for gouges, another for skews, and the platform for scrapers. I use two different grinds for most of my bowl gouges, so I gave myself the luxury of getting two bowl gouge jigs.

    My one criticism of the Tormek is the unreasonable price tag. Way back last century when I bought mine, the price at a woodworking show was reasonable. When I saw the price recently at my neighborhood Rockler Hardware store, I could hardly believe it and it's not even gold plated. Since I sharpen neanderthal tools as well as planer and jointer blades, it gets more use than just sharpening turning tools.
     
  20. Zach LaPerriere

    Zach LaPerriere

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    Anyone tried the 600 grit CBN?


    Hi Robo,

    Have you had a chance to spend much time with the 600 grit wheel?

    I'm a fan of honing for finish cuts, and I get a better cut after honing with my 800 grit CBN Honestar hand hone. I can only imagine that a 600 grit wheel would do a better job.

    If anyone would like to share their results, I'll be in your debt for a while!

    Thanks,
    Zach
     

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