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Confessions of a sharp-a-holic......

Joined
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Like many - I started with a grinder. And now I have 2 - with 4 CBN wheels in grit ranges of 80,180, 350, and 600. Excessive? Yes....but that never seemed to help me manage diarrhea of the wallet....
So, then - I got curious about the Sorby belt sharpening system, and have one. I like it, but it does not get much use. I was giving Nick Agar grief about bringing his own Tormek to our club learning center, where we have a CBN wheeled grinder. And, then he sharpened 2 of my gouges ( same size and manufacturer ). One on our CBN wheeled grinder. One on his Tormek. He handed them back to me - grinned and said. "O.K. smarty pants - use both of these and then YOU tell me what you honestly think". Convinced that I knew "sharp" from dull...I went to work turning. Within an hour of going back and forth between the 2 gouges it was clear. The CBN sharpened one needed re-sharpening. The Tormek sharpened one did not. In fact...I used it the rest of that day. Without needing to re-sharpen. I did re-hone it on the composite wheel side of the Tormek. And...yes I bought the Tormek T-8 with the Woodturner Package....:rolleyes::)
I still use my CBN set up primarily - just habit. But I am working on matching the jig angles on the CBN to the jig setup on the Tormek. That will give me the option of CBN - for a quick, roughing gouge cut - or go to the Tormek toffee edge and hone for finishing cuts. I think....:D. Anyway - I noticed that Nick did a LONG but very good live demoon the Tormek for Lee Valley. They recorder it and posted on Youtube. Get coffee and a snack.....:)

View: https://youtu.be/hASsdPjZdkg
 
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Thanks for posting that vid. I watched it to verify I was doing my sharpening correctly and fortunately I am, I have T-8 and love it. I think for my next stone I will get the diamond stone. I do love how it makes it easy to put a very sharp edge on my gouges and very easy to hone during a turning session. When I first got mine, I noticed it came with bandaids... and the first few times I sharpened, I learned they were not being a smarty about it but indeed, I went through the bandaids... LOL, it does get VERY sharp very fast! I only use my high speed bench grinder to re-shape a tool, it takes for-ever to reshape on a aT-8, the only down-fall I have found so far on the Tormek.
 
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My pleasure!
One of the things that Nick points out - and you hit on it - having a CBN for re-shaping is his way to do it as well. For me - no one system can do everything "best".
T
 
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Panning for Montana gold, with Betsy, the mule!
I only use my high speed bench grinder to re-shape a tool

Same here.....the grinder's only purpose, is to remove metal up to, but just short of the sharpened edge. It can make small changes to the bevel angle, and true up the wings to a a better, more usable profile.

Occasionally, the grinder is used for shaping a tool grind......but, once you're past the initial newbie experimenting stage, the tool's shape seldom changes much. I do have an older 6" grinder that has a 36gt wheel.....that's where I do any needed shaping. (Every brand new tool needs shaping, and after that, you're pretty much done with shaping for the life of the tool.)

After spending 20 years in the medical instrument industry, I learned how well a system like the Tormek can produce an edge......it's true!

However, I've evolved to a method of using the grinder to remove metal up to the edge, and then hand honing with 600gt diamond hones for both top and bottom of that edge. I'm not saying others should follow my lead, but if they want tools as sharp as I can get, then the tormek is an alternative that can do it.

-----odie-----
 
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But I am working on matching the jig angles on the CBN to the jig setup on the Tormek.
This is quite easy using a tormek bgm-100 bench grinder tool arm mount. I use one on an 8” grinder with alox wheel to shape tools. Uses the same jig settings etc. I use a Grizzly wet grinder with tormek jigs to sharpen all of my gouges. Very little steel removed each sharpening.
 
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Thanks Doug - I have 2 of the bgm-100's. But the way my grinders are mounted - will not give me enough room to mount them. But - I saw in the video that Nick mentioned a newer way to mount - OWC-1 Tormek Converter. I need to order 4 of those and get them mounted.
 
Joined
Apr 20, 2006
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Last time Nick visited before he left he made sure that my Tormek was setup and the leather wheels were mounted. I'm currently configuring a new grinding system to me which is the Woodcut Tru Grind Sharpening System which will be set up to use on an 8" grinder and the Tormek. Stay tuned.
 
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Bill - will be interested to see that. I have a a couple of the Tru-Grind tool holders, but never committed to set up a Tru-Grind system. What makes it a different device from the Wolverine? Can you do things with it that the Wolverine does not?
 
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Tim, I won't say that the Wolverine can't do the same things (I don't know for sure) I believe the Tru-Grind will just make it easier and faster. Instead of writing reviews anymore I'm going to try video reviews. I got a new grinder and if everything works the new grinder and the Tormek will be back to back and Tru-Grind on right side of grinder and a Wolverine base on the left side.
 
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It is going to take me a long time to watch all of that video, takes too long for me.... I have CBN wheels from 80 to 1000 grit. I have not been able to notice any difference in edge durability, other than to me, the finer grit edges seem to dull more quickly, with 180 being pretty much the best edge, but may have to experiment with the 80 grit edge. I may have to experiment some more.....

That stropping wheel he had on there looked interesting, but couldn't find it on the Lee Valley site.

One problem with watching this is the engineer/if it ain't broke, take it apart and fix it anyway side of me.... I would want that F shaped bar that all the fixtures go on, to be redesigned. If I am using a diamond wheel, then I would want stop blocks for getting the exact angles, and a quick release or sliding main bar so I don't have to take it off and reverse it to use the stropping wheel. That, and a fixed stop type platform, similar to my old robo rest. They don't have a 40 degree setting for their gouge, but that gouge jig does not roll far enough to get a true 40/40 grind.

robo hippy
 
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Tim, I won't say that the Wolverine can't do the same things (I don't know for sure) I believe the Tru-Grind will just make it easier and faster. Instead of writing reviews anymore I'm going to try video reviews. I got a new grinder and if everything works the new grinder and the Tormek will be back to back and Tru-Grind on right side of grinder and a Wolverine base on the left side.
I am curious an interested to see what you find out on the Wolverine vs Wood-Cut in the use you describe. Sounds like something that will enhance our ability to move between grinding methods - knowing what to expect and adjust for. Please let us know when you have the video review up.
T
 
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I have had my share of sharpening systems. I had the Jet knock off of the Tormek and the Tormek jigs, however it died. No real desire to replace it. For me it takes too long to sharpen a tool, sold the jigs. I used the Wolverine systems for years and it does a decent job. I bought the Hannes Vector system and this is the best for me of the other systems. I have no desire to try any others. The Woodcut system looks to be an improvement over the Wolverine since you can sharpen all of the tool. The Tormek will put a sharper edge on a tool. However none of these systems will not give me the same profile as the Hannes Vector system. I do have the Sorby ProEdge and it is used for all my skews, roughing gouges, parting tools, etc. I like it very well for these tools.
 
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For the day in day out use of my gouges I will never give up my Vector Grind but even JoHannes has added things to it to do other grinds. The Tru-Grind has devices to use with the grinder and the Tormek so I'm looking to use the Tormek to polish the grind off the grinder using the Tru-Grind fixtures. We shall see.
 
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Just got a Vector set up from Johannes. Literally -yesterday. Have not used it yet, but looking forward to it. Anyone compare the Johannes grind to the Stuat Batty?
Well Tim, you truly confirmed your title.

I saw one post where it was said it comes the closest to the SB grind. Like Bill B., I will never give up my Hannes system. I do have the Hannes “thimble”, but never have used it. The ProEdge takes care of all my other needs.
 
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This is quite easy using a tormek bgm-100 bench grinder tool arm mount. I use one on an 8” grinder with alox wheel to shape tools. Uses the same jig settings etc. I use a Grizzly wet grinder with tormek jigs to sharpen all of my gouges. Very little steel removed each sharpening.
So I'm way behind everyone on my sharpening tools and only since I've joined this forum in the middle of last December have I realized what I have been missing and that is consistent grinds and the skill improvement that will come with use. With that said I do not have the resources to jump out there and buy a grinder with CBM wheels and a Tormek system with all of the attachments. What I can see in the near future is buying the Grizzly wet grinder and the Tormek jigs. I will try to squeeze in a slow speed Rikon grinder.
My question to you, Doug, is are you using the wheel that came on the Grizzly wet grinder? I see the Rikon grinder comes with a 60 and a 120 gt aluminum oxide wheel that should shape my tools just fine, I'm guessing. Add to these two of the Tormek bench grinder mounting sets, the gouge jig, multi jig and the tool rest, I should be able to sharpen my tools with pretty consistent grinds. Do you see anything I'm missing? Looks like my total cost at regular prices will be about $88o.99. Might could do with just one of the bench grinder mounts if shaping is best done with one of the stones on the Rikon grinder.
I do have a grinder set up with a 3/4" wide paper wheel and a belt sander set up with a 1" wide 320 gt belt for sharpening knives. I can get a knife blade dry shaving sharp in a heartbeat with this setup and have removed the burr on the outside of my chisels with the paper wheel and the stick rouge . When finished with a knife you can see yourself along the sharpened edge it is so polished. I'm thinking I can mount an extra wheel I have and turn the outer edge of the wheel down to fit inside the smallest gouge I have. I would be able hone the inside of the small gouge as well as the bigger ones. That way I don't have the need to purchase the Tormek hone with the narrow hone wheel, which I like alot.
 
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With my tormek bgm-100 bench grinder tool arm mount I bought the Tormek Wolverine Converter Bracket (rather than go down to the shop and take a pic I used a Tormet drawing). I can use it on all the grinders and put it away when not needed. Now I may have to change where I put the Woodcut Tru-Grind on the new grinder, will check later when I go to the shop as I think it has to be used on the right side of the grinder.
 

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Joined
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Relative novice turner here. My first system was a Sorby Pre Edge, pretty short learning curve to start, and still prefer for skews and spindle roughing gouges. When I started looking at taking a fundamental class I came to the realization that the Wolverine setup was the most common in use, so ended up adding a slow speed grinder (Rikon) with 2 CBNs and Wolverine.
That really improved my bowl & detail gouge sharpening. Had I started with that, I’d have probably been using it with skew & SRG seeming normal as well.
For now, I’m trying to keep blinders on for other systems and limiting the grinds I use…so I can develop better basic skills. The Wolverine may have limitations, but it seems to be transferable to travel to a class or mentor, and the CBN wheels are great. Relative low cost of Wolverine also allowed me to use budget for grinder & wheels as a base to build on.
Just my view with short experience!
Earl
 
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So I'm way behind everyone on my sharpening tools and only since I've joined this forum in the middle of last December have I realized what I have been missing and that is consistent grinds and the skill improvement that will come with use. With that said I do not have the resources to jump out there and buy a grinder with CBM wheels and a Tormek system with all of the attachments. What I can see in the near future is buying the Grizzly wet grinder and the Tormek jigs. I will try to squeeze in a slow speed Rikon grinder.
My question to you, Doug, is are you using the wheel that came on the Grizzly wet grinder? I see the Rikon grinder comes with a 60 and a 120 gt aluminum oxide wheel that should shape my tools just fine, I'm guessing. Add to these two of the Tormek bench grinder mounting sets, the gouge jig, multi jig and the tool rest, I should be able to sharpen my tools with pretty consistent grinds. Do you see anything I'm missing? Looks like my total cost at regular prices will be about $88o.99. Might could do with just one of the bench grinder mounts if shaping is best done with one of the stones on the Rikon grinder.
I do have a grinder set up with a 3/4" wide paper wheel and a belt sander set up with a 1" wide 320 gt belt for sharpening knives. I can get a knife blade dry shaving sharp in a heartbeat with this setup and have removed the burr on the outside of my chisels with the paper wheel and the stick rouge . When finished with a knife you can see yourself along the sharpened edge it is so polished. I'm thinking I can mount an extra wheel I have and turn the outer edge of the wheel down to fit inside the smallest gouge I have. I would be able hone the inside of the small gouge as well as the bigger ones. That way I don't have the need to purchase the Tormek hone with the narrow hone wheel, which I like alot.

Yes Marvin, I use the wheel that came with the Grizzly. I have the Tormek TT-50 diamond dresser to get the stone back to flat, and use both the Grizzly and Tormek dressing stones because I have them, either one will work.

Today I would recommend the WEN wet grinder, as Grizzly has raised their price substantially in the last few years. Also, I ended up using the wet grinder because I already had it for flatwork chisels and plane irons.

Either a bench or wet grinder will provide repeatable grinds with a jig. The Tormek gouge jig can mimic both the varigrind and Michelsen jigs depending on settings, and can be used with bench or wet grinders. IMO the advantage of a wet grinder is slow material removal, extending the life of a tool.

I have not used cbn wheels. I accept other user’s input that cbn wheels also reduce the amount of steel removed with each sharpening (depending on grit). Essentially a tie. Logic tells me a cbn wheel would be better for sharpening powdered metal steels as the cbn can actually cut the carbide, and its my understanding that alox is more likely to pull a granule out of the matrix at the edge vs cut it. How much of an advantage is that? Dont know. I do know my pm steel tools arent quite as sharp as m2 or m42 tools, but hold an edge a long time - same thing those with cbn say.

With the price Ken Rizza has for a grinder with cbn wheels, that would be my recommendation. I do a lot of tool shaping - primarily creating my own nrs’s from regular scraper stock, prifiling gouges, and removing the heel from gouges(I use 3 bevels, a 1/16-1/8” primary, a secondary, the take the heel away), and use a 46 gr alox wheel. IMO any newer turner needs a rough grit method to shape tools for different grinds, and there are a lot of ways to do that, including belt sanders etc.

You mentioned honing flutes etc. I do hone them some. I use a 2-3” felt wheel to polish gouge flutes, the last 1/4” or so. This will last a lot of resharpenings. I use a ceramic hone in the flute to knock down a large burr created when I need to do a bit extra time resharpening an edge, but I then take another pass on the wheel to create a small burr. I dont hone to remove a flute burr completely. I have tested honing the flute and using the leather wheel to hone the bevel - surgically sharp edge, that provides no benefit. That edge is gone quickly. I compared that edge to one with a fine burr making the same cuts in difficult wood - no difference.

I sharpen scrapers, parting tools, bedans, and skews with 80 gr alox wheel and a platform, and hone with diamond hones.

Nothing magic about a wet sharpener, I just happened to have one when I started turning.
 
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The grinding wheels that come on most grinders are junk. They do work, and if money is tight, then use them till gone and then get some good ones. My preference has always been for the CBN wheels in the 10 or more years I have had them, they just work better, last longer, and will never blow up.

As for the Tormek, I have one that is 20+ years old. The original wheel that came on it was very soft, and wore away to almost nothing in a very short while. They make a harder one now that lasts a lot longer. I do have one on my Tormek, but will most likely replace it with one of the diamond wheels, and probably the 1200 grit one for my kitchen knives and bench chisels, and plane irons. The diamond wheels should outlast just about all of us. I do like the leather strop on it. I use it for my skew chisels since, even with a 1000 grit wheel grind, that leaves a burr, and the burr needs to be removed for better cutting. I have never bothered to remove burrs from my gouges. Generally don't do it for my scrapers either, but may have to try it for my NRSs for when I burnish a butt on them.

Marvin, You could probably do fine with your belt sander for just about all of your turning tools. You may need a coarser belt for shaping. Interesting point I saw in one demo by Eric Loffstrom, he dulled his skew on the lathe bed, sharpened it on a 60 grit CBN wheel, then stropped off the burr, and the resulting edge dry shaved his arm, no problem. That burr removal can make a difference some times.

robo hippy
 
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Doug, thanks so much for taking the time to answer all my questions. I've been turning for about 18 years, first on a harbor freight lathe, then bought a 3520B Powermatic. When I started turning, a co-worker had been turning awhile and I asked him about sharpening the chisels and he told me he had various sharpening systems but ended up free handing his sharpening. So that is the direction I went.
I pretty much kept my turning to myself, it was my go to pastime for pressure relief so did not stay current on new trends. When my lathe died and I found John Coppola's write-up about replacing the VFD and followed it, I started reading and devoured the great information found here.
I've been working on my turning cuts to have to sand less and my major need now is repeatability in sharpening.
Mike Mahoney was and is my early inspiration as I can always find an abundance of downed trees near me. I ran across the video of Stuart Batty here and am much impressed with his grind and was amused to find that he and Mike Mahoney worked together as younger turners and have such different grinds.
Again I really appreciate your time and information!
 
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The grinding wheels that come on most grinders are junk. They do work, and if money is tight, then use them till gone and then get some good ones. My preference has always been for the CBN wheels in the 10 or more years I have had them, they just work better, last longer, and will never blow up.

As for the Tormek, I have one that is 20+ years old. The original wheel that came on it was very soft, and wore away to almost nothing in a very short while. They make a harder one now that lasts a lot longer. I do have one on my Tormek, but will most likely replace it with one of the diamond wheels, and probably the 1200 grit one for my kitchen knives and bench chisels, and plane irons. The diamond wheels should outlast just about all of us. I do like the leather strop on it. I use it for my skew chisels since, even with a 1000 grit wheel grind, that leaves a burr, and the burr needs to be removed for better cutting. I have never bothered to remove burrs from my gouges. Generally don't do it for my scrapers either, but may have to try it for my NRSs for when I burnish a butt on them.

Marvin, You could probably do fine with your belt sander for just about all of your turning tools. You may need a coarser belt for shaping. Interesting point I saw in one demo by Eric Loffstrom, he dulled his skew on the lathe bed, sharpened it on a 60 grit CBN wheel, then stropped off the burr, and the resulting edge dry shaved his arm, no problem. That burr removal can make a difference some times.

robo hippy
First off, thanks so much for the response and good advice. Not sure if you are familiar with paper wheel honing but I have one I've been using for years to hone my wife's kitchen and my pocket knives. Last night I mounted one of the extra paper wheels on the lathe and rounded the top to fit inside my smallest gouge. I could not find where I put the left hand threaded nut to mount the wheel but will. If the narrowed wheel works as good as a flat one, with a little rouge this will put a mirror finish on the inside of my fluted chisels. This idea came to me while looking at the two narrow leather wheels from Tormek. I am 70 years old, not sure how much longer I will be turning but will until I just can't or someone makes me stop. I can still outrun my wife so it won't happen anytime soon, I hope. Not sure if I want to wait until I have the resources put together to buy the Tormek system when I can buy a cheaper Grizzly wet grinder and a Rikon slow speed grinder for shaping and use the paper wheels for honing. The three Tormek jigs and the Tormek grinder base should provide me with sharp repeatable grinds as long as I have left.
 
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Bill - That Tormek part (OWC-1) or Converter Bracket...WHY does Tormek only make it for the right hand wheel....?
Tim I'm not sure that it can't be used on both sides. I haven't been down to the shop yet, it may be able to be set on the left side. I just know that right now it is set up like that picture which looks like it would be best to be on the right.
 
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My bet is that I will take off less steel with my CBN wheels than I will with my Tormek because I know what a light touch it takes with the CBN to sharpen it. I sharpen about 5 times before I put on the secondary bevels again.
 
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My bet is that I will take off less steel with my CBN wheels than I will with my Tormek because I know what a light touch it takes with the CBN to sharpen it. I sharpen about 5 times before I put on the secondary bevels again.

My club has a bench grinder with cbn wheels, and I believe the wheel is 180gr. It is much more difficult to get a light pass vs my wet grinder. The amount of material removed vs tool pressure and speed is significant. No doubt I would get better if I used cbn at home, but material removal rate is significantly more controllable with a wet grinder. Not attempting to say a wet grinder is better, just stating my experience with both.
 
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Doug I completely understand but I know how little steel I take off (and the pressure used) with the 180 CBN vs the Tormek. But remember that is me, very different probably for different folks.
 
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@Marvin Jones, if you are determined to get a wet grinder, I only use 3 of the Tormek tools:

SVD-186 (r version now) gouge jig
TTS-100 tool setter
SVD-110 tool rest (I use a Grizzly version)

I can freehand skews and scrapers, and saw no reason to get any of the other jigs, but for other tools, knives etc the list of jigs is almost endless. I do make some use of the WM-200 angle setter, to rough in a bevel angle for platform sharpening. I’ve made jigs now for the angles I use so the angle setter stays stuck to the grinder most of the time. Good luck with it!
 
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Don't know if this will be of help to anyone, but this is how I mounted my Tormek jigs.
20220115_201212.jpg
Notice that it don't have to remove the Wolverine knockoff v-arm. To use the Wolverine I flip the Tormek tool holder 180*.
 
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I have one here Bill....It is not "reversible". - In that , you can't turn it around. The mounting holes for the BGM-100 are on one side of the Converter Bracket -
Yes but it is in front of the wheel when you have it in the Oneway base on either side. When it is in the right base it is right in front of the right wheel and when in the left base it is right in front of the left wheel. What ever base it is in the other side is free for use. Mark that is surely one way to do it, more solutions work.
 
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I'm confused. Isn't the advantage of the Tormek the large, slow wheel? From this thread, I get the impression that the Tormek jig is the desirable part, as people are mounting it on other grinders. Can somebody please elaborate.
 
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I can't speak for anyone else, but basically I liked the grind contour I was getting with my Tormek, but I didn't like how long it would take to reshape a new tool on a wet wheel (and I was buying new tools then). I also wasn't fond of the set up and clean up of a water wheel. Using the Tormek jigs with CBN seemed like the best of both worlds.

In my quest to find the "one true grind" I have added to the Tormek jigs: the original Varigrind, Ron Brown's Best's knockoff varigrind and the Vector jig.

I keep a diary of what grind I've used on each tool, so I know how to repeat it.
 
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For honing, or maybe more properly stropping our edges, there are a bunch of creative solutions. I have heard of some using MDF and then polishing compounds on that. You could also do a MDF round and using contact cement and some tooling/saddle/belt leather, and a scarf joint, put leather on the wheel. You could also probably glue several pieces of the leather together and then sand or even use a hand plane at very slow speed to shape the leather wheel. Many possibilities. I may have to do that myself. I picked up a set of carving chisels of all sorts of sizes and shapes, and a carving axe....

robo hippy
 
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Lebanon, Missouri
I'm confused. Isn't the advantage of the Tormek the large, slow wheel? From this thread, I get the impression that the Tormek jig is the desirable part, as people are mounting it on other grinders. Can somebody please elaborate.

A large wet wheel that cant possibly burn any steel. Another pro are all the various jigs to sharpen about any type of tool. Myself, I had a wet grinder before I started turning, and decided to use it. Learned all about spending all day reshaping tools, and got a bench grinder and the tool arm jig to use with it for all the shaping work. All of my gouges have a narrow primary bevel. The wet grinder, with its inherent slow material removal, is much easier to resharpen on vs a bench grinder.

Over the years as I learned/experienced more about various jigs and grinds I came to realize that the tormek gouge jig can mimic most of the grinds from the various jigs available. Not sure if others choose to use it for that reason or something else.
 
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I read that a lot of folks ( Nick Agar in the video is one of them) Are using the Tormek jig on a CBN wheeled "low speed" ( relative term herein...) for profiling, or re-profiling a tool. Then using the Tormek for maintenance.
 
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Can anyone tell me the diameter of the Tormek support arm? Since it's made in Sweden, I assume it's metric. I want to experiment with making a custom arm to use a Tormek gouge jig on my particular grinder setup, but the jig won't be here for a little while and I want to order some materials before then.
 
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