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Topics - stevebot

This project is having some problems getting its finished product out of China because of Covid-19, but it is worth looking into.

For reference see

Knife Sharpening / Viel-PSI variable speed conversion
January 13, 2020, 08:07:25 PM
Correction: Penn State Industries DOES offer the 1/2 hp variable speed motor and controller.  There is also a 3/4 hp model available.

Shaft diameter is the same so it should work. Has anyone built a Viel-PSI with the new motor?

PS: We have adapter plates in stock and expect 3" pulleys bored for the 15mm PSI shaft by next week.
General Tormek Questions / Carrying your T4
December 13, 2017, 06:16:23 PM
I use a T7 in my shop but like to carry my T4 out for smaller jobs. The handle is awkward and off center. Ken reported he carries his in a bowling ball bag. I looked for a bbb at W-mart and did not find one, but came across a 42 can rolling cooler for $30. I put an 8x8 box in the bottom for the wheel and the T4 sits on it. It even fits with the US105 in place. Pockets on the top and front hold additional stuff. Did I mention it rolls?
Knife Sharpening / US400 Extended Universal support
October 27, 2017, 04:29:36 PM
Tormek has indicated we can place a special order for the US400 but supplies are limited. I indicated I thought I could sell 10 here is Continental USA, but I would like a show of hands of those interested before I commit to ordering them. Price is not known but with special order, shipping, etc. I am guessing around $80. Reply if interested.
Knife Sharpening / Boy Scout Jamboree
July 25, 2017, 12:55:11 AM
I spent an interesting day last week at the Boy Scout Jamboree at Bechtel Summit Reservation in WV. Scouts have a large property there, and it is capable of hosting 40,000 scouts and their leaders for Jamboree. I was there representing my publisher, Knife World, and we shared a booth with Klecker Knives.

Logistics were amazing. With so many people the only access was by shuttle bus, and the BSA must have chartered every bus in WV. Vendors parked at the new Ruby Welcome Center near Mt. Hope and we were bused 30 minutes to the site. Vendors were arranged along one side of a football size grassy area, concessions were along the other side, and the far end had an amphitheater for events.  Troops were arrayed in a semi-circle around this central area.

I brought a Tormek T-4 and a bag of small tools. I demonstrated sharpening to anyone who would listen, but most boys (and their leaders) just wanted me to sharpen their knife.  Many were brand new scout knives bought from the trading post across the way. I ground primary bevels freehand with the Tormek, knocked off the burr on a Spyderco Sharpmaker to save stropping time, then finished on the leather wheel. One scout timed me at 1:10 for his knife.

Speaking of scout knives, Knife World pulled off a very nice thing. The July issue of Knife Magazine has a 1928 Remington Heroism knife on the cover and a story inside about its history. This is one of the rarest collectible knives out there. KW gave away 3000 copies of the magazine. They even had a copy of the October 1928 Boy's Life on display that covered that years presentations of the knives.

Two final observations on the T-4. The handle is inadequate - sharp edged and off the center of gravity. It is a bitch to carry any distance. And the small size makes it hard to strop anything larger than a pocket knife. T-8 next time for sure.
General Tormek Questions / Price confusion
September 05, 2016, 09:10:50 PM
Sharp-eyed eBay users spotted Tormek T-7s on sale for $186 a few weeks ago. The offer kept self re-listing over the weekend and several dozen were ordered at that price, until the seller opened for business on the following Monday. Orders were cancelled and buyers were given false stories (out of stock) for a couple of days until the truth of the typo came out.

Now something similar is going on at Grizzly. An email to their customers promises their anniversary edition copy of the Tormek for $140, but the link takes you to their website where it on sale for $165. Yes, they copied the anniversary edition right down to the pearl gray paint job. Come Tuesday someone will be doing a lot of explaining to their customers.
I ordered a new drive wheel. The plastic wheels were a weak point and I have ordered 3 or 4 for customers and one for myself. The new one amazed me! It is Zink, weighs a ton and should last forever.
General Tormek Questions / Transporting the Tormek
January 09, 2016, 05:46:19 PM
I know the conventional recommendation for shipping or other long transportation of a Tormek is to remove the wheel to prevent a hard bump from bending the shaft. I do not bother for short trips by car because the ride is soft, and I have had no problems in over 15 years.
Currently I am thinking of a trailer which will have a harder ride, and I am thinking of removing the water tray and transporting the Tormek resting on the wheel.
What do others think?
Hand Tool Woodworking / SE-76 Squareness revisited
November 26, 2015, 12:21:31 AM
I sharpened 5 plane irons for a wood worker yesterday, including two deemed too wide to sharpen by the local tool store.  SE-76 handled them all, but all were out of square by a couple of degrees. Squareness was this guys hot button (he brought his own square), so I had to carefully skew each iron in the jig to match his already square edges.  What is the point of a Square jig that is not square? More important, how do I fix it? Do I need to tune my jig to fit my machine?  Could the truing tool be the culprit?

For the record, I trued the wheel immediately before sharpening. I started with the irons squarely  ;) up against the stops. Bottom plate was parallel to top plate, and since these are plane irons over 2" wide there was no question of being tilted in the jig like a chisel can be.

Any suggestions welcome.
General Tormek Questions / Giant Tool Sale
November 14, 2015, 03:58:29 PM
If you live in or near Ohio, consider visiting the Hartville Hardware Giant Tools Sale and Expo November 20 and 21. Dozens of suppliers including Tormek will have booths and representatives there with special prices that are not available elsewhere. I attended last year for the first time and was amazed. Hero Member Ken Schroeder will be demoing for Tormek.
Knife Sharpening / Sharpening for a better burr
July 18, 2015, 06:19:57 PM
Here is a video on how to use the Tormek knife jigs from the horizontal support to get a larger exit burr.
General Tormek Questions / Posting videos
July 17, 2015, 04:52:09 AM
Can videos be posted on this forum? Or is it necessary to post them on YouTube or elsewhere and post links here?
Scissors Sharpening / Scissor Sharpening
June 19, 2015, 09:28:38 PM
To understand scissor sharpening you have to think of a pair of scissors as a machine whose purpose is to make one cutting edge ride exactly on the other edge.  They cut with a shearing action and can cut things like cloth and hair that a knife does not cut well.  The first thing we want to do is make sure the edges will meet.  The scissors should open and close smoothly.  Look at the inside of each blade.  You should see a shiny line right along the edge.  This is called the ride line.  If it is badly damaged, worn away or ground away by an amateur sharpener, the scissors may not be sharpenable.

Any work on the inside surface must be done with factory precision and should be avoided until you have the proper equipment and training.  Bad sharpening on the inside surface can render scissors useless - just two sharp edges passing by each other with no shearing action.  Do not touch the inside surfaces until you know what you are doing.

Next, do the scissors open 90 degrees?  If they do not open over 90 degrees they need to be taken apart for sharpening.

Most scissors are sharpened with a bevel.  (The exception is convex salon shears for cutting hair.)  You can see this bevel when the scissors are closed.  We grind only this bevel, not the inside. 

Some scissors, like children's safety scissors or pinking shears, will be ground square.  Scissor angles are measured from square, which is called 0 degrees.  Paper cutting and older cast scissors will be ground at between 5 and 15 degrees, leaving an acute angle at the edge.  Grinding the other way and leaving an obtuse edge, called a negative angle, is bad.  You may see this on low quality scissors or after poor sharpening jobs.  In newer scissors this angle increases up to 25 - 35 degrees or so, but some scissors are deceptive.  Always look carefully for the steepest cutting bevel and duplicate it.  The highest angle found in household scissors will be 40 or 45 degrees.  This is found on the finger blade of knife edge dressmaking shears, although the thumb blade may be at a lower angle, usually 15 degrees.

For standard scissors with both blades the same, grind the bevel until it is right up to the ride line and a slight burr is developed on the inside of the edge.  Sharpen both blades, then before you close the scissors, push the blades apart and carefully close them without letting the blades touch.  Now pinch the blades together and open the scissors.  Repeat a few times.  This will move the burr outside the ride and burnish the ride line of the scissors so they operate properly and the blades will not cut into each other.  An alternative method is to run a VERY fine hone absolutely flat on the inside surfaces.

For knife edge scissors sharpen the thumb blade first, then the finger blade.  Remove the burr as described above.  Put the finger blade back in your equipment at the same angle and polish the finger blade or knife edge.  This sharper edge will cut with less effort.  The resulting burr will be small and can be cut off by cutting a piece of paper towel once or twice.  The second cut should be much smoother.

Scissor blades have a slight curve or bow to them to provide tension when cutting near the tips. This tension is adjusted by tightening or loosening the pivot screw.  For most scissors a good adjustment is so they close freely for half of the blade length, but have tension in the final half.  This can vary from 1/3 to 2/3. Cheap scissors have a rivet instead of a screw.  This type may not be worth sharpening.  The rivet can be carefully peened to tighten them.  Be careful with this type not to peen the rivet too much, it is difficult to loosen once you have peened it.

Test your newly sharpened scissors by cutting the following materials, arranged by degree of difficulty:
1. paper
2. Paper towel
3. Wet paper towel
4. Wet facial tissue
5. Plastic grocery bag material, very close to silk
6. Silk
7. Latex or nitrile gloves
8. Surgical or silicon rubber

Household scissors should be at least a 5. dressmaker shears at least 6.

Another test is to see how many layers of cloth the scissors will cut.  Fold a heavy piece of cloth 3 times and you have 8 layers.  This is a combined test of sharpness, alignment and strength.
Scissors Sharpening / Sharpening Pinking Shears
June 19, 2015, 09:21:04 PM
1. NEVER touch the inside area. It is lapped to meet the other blade and any metal removed will cause a gap between the blades.  Examine the inside area, you will see a color change at the where the lapping ends.  You cannot sharpen below it or the shear is ruined.

2. Sharpen the bevel like regular scissors.

3. Maintain the original angle, a few degrees positive, NEVER NEGATIVE.

4. Grind until the tips are needle sharp and have no glints of light.

5. Cut off the burr on a paper towel.

6. Test on blouse silk or a plastic grocery bag.

7. Adjust the tension only as a last resort.  Try a 1/4 turn in either direction to see if it improves the cut.  The tension mechanism is to keep the blades parallel and does not work like it does on regular shears.

8. Another last resort is to lap the blades again.  Tormek compound worked on one pair for me.  Valve grinding compound should be faster, but I have not tried it.

Remember, 20 to 25% of new pinking shears do not cut well out of the box.  Always ask the customer if they cut well when new, and warn them your chances of that is slight.
General Tormek Questions / New topic?
June 13, 2015, 05:05:35 PM
Can the moderators set up a new category for Sharpening Scissors?
General Tormek Questions / New Tormek LED lamp
June 01, 2015, 05:25:29 PM
If you buy a Tormek T-7 between June 1st and June 30, 2015 you get an LED lamp which fits on top of your machine.  Stig, Will this lamp be offered as a separate product?
General Tormek Questions / Tale of a frozen Tormek
February 28, 2015, 10:24:50 PM
This often comes up from people with unheated workshops.  Here is my experience:
A few years ago I took a discarded wheel and put it in a pan of water on our back porch. Two weeks of freezing/thawing weather later the wheel was no worse for wear. Then...
My last knife sharpening gig was a grocery store lobby on a snowy day about two weeks ago.  I packed hurriedly and put my Tormek T-7 in the car with a full water tray. (Yes, Ken, it was there during the Hartville show.) Weather here has been below zero almost every night since then. Yesterday I made calls on several upholstery shops. At the first one the staff had brought in their knives so I needed the Tormek in addition to my scissor machine. The tray was a solid block of ice.
Fortunately the shop had hot water for tea so I poured in as much as I could.  This thawed the tray enough that I could drop and empty it, but the ice still clung to the wheel. Two more trays of hot water and the wheel was ice free and unharmed. I proceeded to sharpen with no problem.  BTW, this stop brought in over $200, in case anyone is thinking of a part-time business.
I do not advocate leaving water in the tray nor letting it freeze, but we needn't obsess if we accidentally do.