Any "Motorized" Sharpening Users?


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Ladies and Gents-

I'm looking for some opinions by those folks that use any of the "motorized" sharpening systems (Tormek, Worksharp, etc). How do you like it? Would you buy it again? What did you gain, if anything, by going this route? Any other input is welcome. I have been seriously considering a Tormek T4.

I am lazy and, ideally, want a robot to do it for me. Since that is not likely to happen, anything that would get me closer to "not doing anything" than my current water stone setup would be great.

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I have one of the early Tormek models and most of the accessories. It does a great job but it's slow, real slow. I've also got a set of water stones and a MK II guide. They do an even better job, especially on touch ups. I go to the Tormek to re grind nicks and chips out of edges. It's also good for reshaping edges to a different angle. The jig for sharpening planer / jointer knives was expensive when I bought it almost 20 years ago, now it very expensive, but it does a better job than any service I've ever used.Plus its open nights and weekends, but it's time consuming to set up. Once it's set up I tend to go ahead and sharpen both sets for both machines. And it takes off far less metal than a service will on blades that are just dull and aren't chipped.

So the Tormek system works well but slow and expensive. For chisels and hand plane blades the water stones give a better edge unless its chipped up.

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I have a WorkSharp. It does a very good job and is much faster than stones - for chisels. It seems to give as good of edge as stones but there is not a way to do a secondary bevel. I do have stones and a MK II guide but seldom use them for chisels.   I also bought the plane jig for the WorkSharp but I consider it dangerous for a plane blade larger than a block plane. I tried to use it on a smoother blade once and a corner caught, spun the bade and jig and the blade gave me a nasty cut on my hand.

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I have the older tormek and only use it for nicks in my chisels and plane irons and for sharpening planer and jointer knives.  I do 90% of my sharpening on stones with a Veritas honing guide.  Once the backs are flat it's usually a couple of minutes to redo the micro bevel and it's off to the races!  If I set up a permanent sharpening station for my stones touching up the micro bevel would be under a minute!

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I also use a tormek I have t 2000 older one.I like it and when this stone is too small I'm going after the newer t1.

I also have a high speed grinder .

The tormek is slower kinda like sharpening a pencil with a handheld pencil sharpener.

The grinder is like sticking a pencil in a electric sharpener my plane blades got short really fast.:o 

So I usually hollow grind on the tormek then stones.

Aj

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I have a newer Tormek and agree with wdwerker .  I use it for taking off a lot of metal like changing a bevel.  I think it will also be good for sharpening curved turning and carving chisels, but I have not used it that way yet.  By the way I like the fact that the Tormek is slow.  Gives me more time to see what I'm doing and I am less likely to remove more metal than I need or overheat the tool.  

I have the Shapton stones and Veritas MK II guide for honing up straight edges.  I think this system is quick and easy.  The stones only need a quick spray of water, not a soaking.  Check out the Woodwhisperer page and search for sharpening.  Marc did a great video on sharpening with these stones.  

 

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 I've had at Work Sharp 3000 for years. It is definitely a quick, reliable, repeatable way to touch up square irons. I picked up some for thousand and 8000 grit diamond lapidary plates and also have a leather honing desk. 

 I normally sharpen on diamond plates or stones, if you will. If I am going to do a lot of chisel work at the bench, I set the WS 3K on the bench is well and stop every so often for a quick touchup. This makes any heavy chopping sessions go quicker and easier.

All that having been said, it does not replace hand sharpening or do what I consider  to be a complete sharpening job. For the price though, and the value it adds to my work, I am very happy with it even after all these years.

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On 9/19/2017 at 9:26 PM, Sawdustdad said:

I have one of these makita water cooled sharpeners. It won't handle my planer knives, but I do use it for jointer knives and it's the bomb for plane irons, chisels, etc.  I normally go to the water stones for polishing after using the makita.  

 

 

MAK-98202-2T.jpg

I have the exact same unit inhereited from my father who bought it new in the 70's. Its identical to the same thing you can buy today except the table has changed slightly. Great unit. Been running strong for longer then I have been alive. I use it for the same type of sharpening, planes, chisels, etc. Turns a 3 hour sharpening job into about 2 minutes... and half of that is finding the right angle.

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On 9/21/2017 at 2:54 PM, minorhero said:

I have the exact same unit inhereited from my father who bought it new in the 70's. Its identical to the same thing you can buy today except the table has changed slightly. Great unit. Been running strong for longer then I have been alive. I use it for the same type of sharpening, planes, chisels, etc. Turns a 3 hour sharpening job into about 2 minutes... and half of that is finding the right angle.

I bought mine in about 1985.  I do also have a Wolf rig for my slow speed 8 inch grinder for sharpening lathe tools, and that works very well, especially for bowl gouges. 

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I use a work sharp 3000 for pretty much everything. I've got some cheap diamond plates that I don't use much since getting it. You can do up to 2 inches in the bottom port, and I bought the add on table for the top to use a honing guide with it. That's rather fiddly to get aligned with the wheel, but once you do it works fine with bigger irons. You do need to be careful about how you present it to the wheel so it won't catch, but I've never had a problem.

Like Gee dub, I've picked up some diamond wheels for it. They work great if you need to remove a nick it something.

The other part of my sharpening, and what I use most is a strop at the bench. It's quick and easy and keeps the blades very sharp. For me, minimizing the sharpening mess is important. I have no sink in my shop, so I like that these methods are both dry.

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On 9/18/2017 at 9:53 PM, pridmore said:

Ladies and Gents-

I'm looking for some opinions by those folks that use any of the "motorized" sharpening systems (Tormek, Worksharp, etc). How do you like it? Would you buy it again? What did you gain, if anything, by going this route? Any other input is welcome. I have been seriously considering a Tormek T4.

I am lazy and, ideally, want a robot to do it for me. Since that is not likely to happen, anything that would get me closer to "not doing anything" than my current water stone setup would be great.

You get out of sharpening what you put into it. I am not suggesting that sharpening should take a lot of effort - far from it. Good sharpening requires putting your effort where it counts. But you do need to put some effort into it, otherwise you will hate your blades.

I have a Tormek 2006. It is used as a grinder, not a sharpening system. It is used to shape a bevel, and the sharpening is done on stones. Actually, I do not use it any more. I use a half-speed bench grinder with a 180 grit CBN wheel. The smart bit about sharpening efficiently is to create hollow grind that leaves the minimal amount of steel to hone. The CBN wheels are amazing. What's more, when they are set up, they require no upkeep and no adjustments.

UltimateGrindingSharpeningSetUp_html_5c5

There is a write up on my website with a run down of the Spyderco stones I use (also minimal upkeep) - the system for the smart lazy person! :)

http://www.inthewoodshop.com/WoodworkTechniques/UltimateGrindingSharpeningSetUp.html

Regards from Perth

Derek

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I bought a Rikon 1/2 HP low speed grinder and really like it.  It has been on sale at Woodcraft for $99.95- $40 off!  I also spent a  couple of shekels and  bought the Wolverine Grinding Jig.  Next on the list is the Skew attachment.  I do know of one turner who has made his own out of plywood.  Fits on the platform and you just run it back and forth with a built-in angle jig.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Probably Babylon have had all the responses you need by now.  I bought the Worksharp a number of years ago and used it for awhile. It’s easy to use and it puts a good edge on chisels. When I started flattening the backs of my blades on diamond and water stones, the Worksharp always put scratches on the chisels when I’d go back to using for resharpening. So now I have an old Tormek which I may start using again when I need to put a fresh primary bevel on a blade. I have the Worksharp which I doe use for non-chisel sharpening. Finally o have series of diamond stones for rough sharpening and a 4000 and 8000 Shapton glass stones for final honing and putting a micro bevel on the blades. This final method with the stones seems to be fast and easy once I have the blade back flattened and a good primary bevel.  Mostly I’m just a putting a fresh micro bevel on with the 4000 and 8000 stones. I think hand sharpening with a great jig like the Veritas MKII or Lie Nielsen’s new stainless jig does the best job and doesn’t necessarily take a lot of work unless you have to put a new primary bevel on the chisel. Then a Tormek or grinder may be faster. The best advice I ever got was to pick one method and stick with it. Changing methods costs money and time to develop new skills. 

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Has anybody tried any of the Tormek knockoffs?    I happened to be looking through Rockler the other day and saw the Tormek ads, and I specced out what I would want if I got one.  It was something like $1200 for all the jigs and whatzits I would want.    Then I was looking through the grizzly catalog, and saw they had a knockoff for about $150.  With the various jigs, it would be an affordable price, especially since I do a lot of turning.   Any feedback there?

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5 hours ago, Marmotjr said:

Has anybody tried any of the Tormek knockoffs?    I happened to be looking through Rockler the other day and saw the Tormek ads, and I specced out what I would want if I got one.  It was something like $1200 for all the jigs and whatzits I would want.    Then I was looking through the grizzly catalog, and saw they had a knockoff for about $150.  With the various jigs, it would be an affordable price, especially since I do a lot of turning.   Any feedback there?

I have heard that they aren't quite the same quality but don't know that for sure. I have never felt that the Tormek is something that is the best choice for every sharpening job you might have, so buying all the jigs might not be necessary.

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6 hours ago, Marmotjr said:

Has anybody tried any of the Tormek knockoffs?    I happened to be looking through Rockler the other day and saw the Tormek ads, and I specced out what I would want if I got one.  It was something like $1200 for all the jigs and whatzits I would want.    Then I was looking through the grizzly catalog, and saw they had a knockoff for about $150.  With the various jigs, it would be an affordable price, especially since I do a lot of turning.   Any feedback there?

I have the Jet, got it when  Woodcraft had a closeout sale.  Paid $900.00 for the machine and all of the jigs.  It is identical to the Tormek except it has a torque adjustment that is used as the wheel diameter gets smaller.  (really like that) I use it for all of my sharpening needs.  I still use stones, for the secondary bevels and for touch up.  My method is very similar to @derekcohen it really reduces the time needed for sharpening.  I have used it so much I am looking for a replacement wheel.  

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15 hours ago, SeventyFix said:

On a side note, I recently purchased an OLD Tormek for $100.  It's green!  I don't know much about it and haven't used it yet.  It does turn on.

Just an older version. I have a 2000. If it's the 2000 most, if not all, the accessories are backwardly compatible so the tool rest can be upgraded to a micro-adjustable. The square sharpening jig can be upgraded to the newer version which is an improvement (I think at least). Tormek is one of those companies which has kept their newer versions consistent with older designs so that people can buy new accessories and they will fit the old sharpening systems (some self-interest there I guess).

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