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Topics - RichColvin

I am in the process of designing a goniostat for the Tormek, and am seeking feedback.  This jig is designed for sharpening these types of tools:

  • Single point cutting tools for small metal lathes.
  • Engraving bits used in rotary cutters, especially as driven by a router type motor on a CNC machine, and
  • Tools for ornamental turning, especially on rose engines.
  • End mills

The picture below shows the parts I've designed so far.

The parts are:

  • DBS-22 Plate (item #2, p/n 2350, shown in gray).  This slides left / right on the base of the DBS-22.

  • Goniostat Base Plate (blue).  The final one will need some form of marking to show the angle for setting.  The drawing below shows shows the tool fence with the pointer at the top and the locking knob removed.  This angle would read 90°, and the fence can be rotated left or right as needed.

  • Tool Fence (red) - used to set the angle for grinding the edge.  The tool or tool holder would be held against this when sharpening.
    The bolt coming up thru the Goniostat Base Plate is a T-Slot bolt from McMaster-Carr (p/n 92770A113).  I had to turn the shoulder down a little so that it did not protrude too much above the surface of the Goniostat Base Plate.  The area noted in red below is what was turned to the the same as the screw shaft.

  • Plate Angle Gauge (yellow) - used to set the angle of the plate (DBS-22 and Goniostat Base Plate) on the USB.  This would also have indicator marks.  They are simulated at 15° increments in the drawing below.  There are no rollers on the design (like on the TTS-100).  That would be an improvement which would be welcome.

  • Round Tool Holders (green) - these are used to hold tools for sharpening which have round shafts.  They have a 60° nose angle to allow the held tool to be ground up close.  The hole in the top is for a 6mm set screw to hold the tool's shaft in place.
    The sizes shown on the right are the ones I will use.  3D printing the 8 of them will take a while on my 3D printer, which is pretty slow. There are two generic ones shown on the left.  The left-most one is 25mm square and would be drilled for holding bigger tools.  The other one is 15mm square and would be drilled for holding smaller tools.
These are videos of the goniostat in use.

Wood Carving / Tormek will get chisels SHARP
November 22, 2023, 08:40:45 PM
I recently re-sharpened my Two Cherries 40mm carpenters chisel after a project.  My process was:

  • Clean up the edge using the SG-250 grindstone, graded to a rough grit
  • Sharpen the edge using the same SG-250 grindstone, graded to a very fine grit
  • Hone on the leather wheel
  • Hone on a paper wheel using red rouge
  • Hone on a paper wheel using jeweler's rouge

When I grabbed one of them today to use it again, I slipped and it cut me pretty badly.  The picture below shows how easily it was to splatter blood (yes, it is my own blood).

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So, two take-always:

  • The Tormek is more than adequate for sharpening chisels
  • Be careful handling those sharpened tools.
Hand Tool Woodworking / Grindstones for Old Chisels
October 06, 2023, 07:28:40 PM
Today I experienced an interesting find relative to the correct grindstone to use for sharpening for an old chisel.  The chisel of note is an old Stanley 1 1/2" wide chisel I inherited from my grandfather.  He passed away in 1985.  So I know the chisel is over 40 years old, but it is probably closer to 75+.

All that matters as it says that this chisel is definitely made from high carbon steel.

I love using this chisel for all the nostalgia reasons, but also because it works so well.  Recently though, I nicked the blade when using it on old wood (I hit a hidden nail). 

The process I wanted to follow was:
  • Re-profile the ground surface, removing the nick, using the coarse diamond wheel (DC-250).
  • Sharpen the chisel using the fine diamond wheel (DF-250).
  • Clean up the grinds using the extra fine diamond wheel (DE-250).
  • Hone the edge using red rouge on a paper wheel.
  • Hone the edge using jeweler's rouge on a paper wheel.

What I found was that step 1 was taking a LONG time.  So, I switched over to the tried-and-true process:
  • True the traditional grindstone (SG-250), and then re-profile the ground surface, removing the nick.
  • Re-grade the traditional grindstone to around 250 grit, and then clean up the surface scratches.
  • Re-grade the traditional grindstone to around 1000 grit, and continue cleaning up the surface scratches.
  • Do a final clean-up of the cutting edge using the Japanese waterstone (SJ-250).
  • Hone the edge using red rouge on a paper wheel.
  • Hone the edge using jeweler's rouge on a paper wheel.

I found that the 2nd process took about 30 minutes, and I achieved the desired sharpness on my chisel.  After applying camellia oil, this chisel is ready for business again.

I was surprised at the difference I saw in the time required.  It reinforces what Ken has said so many times:  the original grindstone is not dead.
General Tormek Questions / Honing Support Bar
April 18, 2023, 06:01:57 AM
Brad Winesett posted this idea on the AAW Forum (  I think it's an awesome idea and am making my own version. 

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Wood Turning / Dedicated Universal Support Bars
December 19, 2022, 07:51:08 PM
I love using the Tormek for resharpening my wood lathe tools, and I am always looking for ways to make that ever more efficient and speedy.  I have found that sharpening these tools almost always uses the A or B setting on the TTS-100 (only a few tools don't use this approach).  The use of the TTS-100 is a great innovation by Tormek to standardize that setting.

But, it is a bit annoying to re-set the USB each time I need to change from the A to the B holes.  So, I purchased two new USBs and attached a collar to them where the vertical setting is locked into place.  A picture is below.

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Now, all I have to do is drop the correct USB into the Tormek, set the tool's projection in the correct jig, and then go to town.  I am now back using the lathe quickly.

And since it is so simple and quick, I sharpen often.  This is key for making lathe work easier and the results are better.

The USBs I purchased are the US-103s designed for the Tormek T-4, but they work extremely well for this.  The legs are the same length, and the shorter horizontal bar (10mm less) is not an issue for turning tools.
General Tormek Questions / Thank you Torgny Jansson
November 17, 2022, 04:56:31 AM
Next year, Tormek will be celebrating 50 years of providing us with the superb sharpening system we call a Tormek.  We need to find a way to thank Torgny Jansson, so please respond to this posting with your favorite thoughts or ideas about his wonderful invention.
In some parts, I use flat head screws which need an 82° chamfer to the drilled hole.  As the counter sinks for that are usually quite expensive, I wanted to resharpen a drill bit to do that job.

I was able to modify my DBS-22 by adding only one new hole and get the desired results.  Pictures below show the overview.  Details and instructions are at:

The new Tormek KJ-45 jig makes for an easy time when resharpening my Japanese weeding sickle. Really nice innovation.
Knife Sharpening / Often Ignored Jig
May 04, 2022, 01:07:27 AM
I was sharpening my wife's paring knives today and found that the SVM-00 jig (held in an SVM-45 jig) is a great way to hold the knives.  As the knives are symmetrical side-to-side, this really made sharpening them easier!  This little jig is one that I think is often ignored.
Hand Tool Woodworking / SE-77 & TTS-100
April 11, 2022, 02:52:54 AM
I've been re-sharpening my chisels a lot lately.  I think there must be a way to use the TTS-100 Turning Tool Setter to make the sharpening process faster.  Using the diagrams below, I'd like to come up with a formula for the projection based on the desired angle.

There are 3 key measurements:
  * When using the B hole on the TTS-100, I measured that the USB is set to be 17 mm away from the grindstone. 
  * The distance from the USB to the SE-77 where the top of the chisel is held is 25 mm.
  * The width of the SE-77 is 35 mm.

The values I measured for P (projection) are:

   20° bevel angle, P = 49 mm

   25° bevel angle, P = 44 mm

   30° bevel angle, P = 38 mm

But, I would prefer to have a formal to calculate this.  So this is a request of my geeky friends to help me find such a formula.  Anyone?
I was updating my quick reference on the Tormek part numbers.  I changed the colors so that replaced jigs are shown in black vs. the new ones in blue.  It quickly showed me how few jigs have had to be replaced -- clear evidence to me of how much engineering and design go into their design. 

Thank you to the Tormek engineers!

Tormek Jig numbers
* DBS-22 Drill Bit Sharpening Attachment
* RBS-140 Round Blade Sharpening Attachment
* SE-76 Square Edge Jig
* SE-77 Square Edge Jig
* SVA-170 Axe Jig
* SVD-110 Tool Rest
* SVD-180 Gouge Jig (old — replaced by SVD-185)
* SVD-185 Gouge Jig (old — replaced by SVD-186)
* SVD-186 Gouge Jig (old — replaced by SVD-186R)
* SVD-186R Gouge Jig
* SVD-110 Tool Rest
* SVH-60 Straight Edge Jig (old — replaced by SE-77)
* SVH-320 Planer Blade Attachment
* SVM-00 Small Knife Jig
* SVM-45 Knife Jig
* SVM-100 Long Knife Jig (old — replaced by SVM-140)
* SVM-140 Long Knife Jig
* SVP-80 Moulding Knife Attachment
* SVS-32 Short Tool Jig (old — replaced by SVS-38)
* SVS-38 Short Tool Jig
* SVS-50 Multi-Jig
* SVX-150 Scissors Jig

Tormek Accessory numbers
* ACC-150 Anti-Corrosion Concentrate
* ADV-50D Diamond Truing Tool (old — replaced by TT-50)
* ADV-D Exchange Diamond Bit for TT-50
* AWT-250 Advanced Water Trough
* BGM-100 Bench Grinder Mounting Set
* CW-220 Composite Honing Wheel
* EM-15 Edge Marker
* HB-10 Tormek Handbook
* HTK-00 Storage Tray for Hand Tool Kit
* HTK-806 Hand Tool Kit
* LA-120 Profiled Leather Honing Wheels
* LA-122 profiled "discs" (leather honing wheels)
* LA-124 narrow profiled "discs" (leather honing wheels)
* LA-145 Leather Honing Wheel
* LA-220 Leather Honing Wheel
* MB-100 Multi-Base
* MH-380 Machine Cover
* MSK-250 / MSK-200 Stainless Steel Shaft
* OWC-1 Tormek Converter
* PA-70 Honing Compound
* RB-180 Rotating Base
* RM-533 Rubber Work Mat
* SP-650 Stone Grader
* SVD-005 Upgrade kit for SVD-180
* T8-00 Storage Tray for Tormek T-8 Accessaries
* TC-800 Tormek Case
* TNT-00 Storage Tray for Woodturner's Kit
* TNT-300 Woodturner's Instruction Box
* TNT-808 Woodturner's kit
* TS-740 Sharpening Station
* TT-50 Truing Tool
* TTS-100 turning tool setter
* US-103 universal support for T-3 & T-4
* US-105 universal support for T-7 & T-8
* US-430 Universal Support Extended
* WM-200 AngleMaster

* WT-200 Water Trough (old — replaced by AWT-250)
* XB-100 Support Base (plate and knobs only)

Tormek Stones
* DC-200  Diamond Coarse
* DC-250  Diamond Coarse
* DF-200  Diamond Fine
* DF-250  Diamond Fine
* DE-200  Diamond Extra-fine
* DE-250  Diamond Extra-fine

* DWC-200 Diamond Wheel Coarse

* SB-250 Blackstone Silicon Grindstone
* SG-200 Original Grindstone
* SG-250 Original Grindstone
* SJ-200 Japanese Water Stone
* SJ-250 Japanese Water Stone
General Tormek Questions / Low Cost Tormek Cart
September 19, 2021, 12:29:18 AM
Here's a really cool plan for making a low cost cart for your Tormek.

Kind regards,

Nice video of a Tormek user!
General Tormek Questions / Hand Tools Manual
March 03, 2021, 02:09:52 PM
A few days ago, Chief Warrant Officer (ret) Rick Laws sent me an eMail with an attached manual from the U.S. War Dept that was issued back in 1945. 

         TM 9-867 Maintenance and Care of Hand Tools

Rick noted that he "... used this manual for soldier training and information. It is a little dated, but so are most tools used by most people."  He is right:  I have tools I've inherited from both my grandfathers.

Rick later sent me the updated versions from 2004 and 2020.  All 3 versions are available at this link ==>

These are really good manuals to reference about the use and care of hand tools.  It is not Tormek related; however there is a lot of information that there that carries over to the use of a Tormek.
Wood Turning / Notching Tool Handles
January 04, 2021, 01:10:48 AM
David Reed Smith ( has a number of tools he has made for wood turning, and shows how to sharpen them also.  Some of them, like the pyramid point tool and the mini cove tool are not easy to repeatable sharpen using standard Tormek jigs.

David's recommendation is to cut a notch in the tool's handle so that the handle neatly fits onto the universal support bar.  Two examples for this are:
The tool's notch can be put onto the USB, and the angle set using the WM-200 and be back into business soon.  I love simple solutions, and this is a great idea for these tools.
Drill Bit Sharpening / Reason #22 to get the DBS-22
January 01, 2021, 11:04:51 PM
Today I had to re-drill some screw holes on a drive pulley.  They were not deep enough, and the flat head screws projected above the surface. Using the DBS-22, I was able to quickly re-grind a ½" drill bit to a 90° point angle, and it worked like a champ!

Second item of note:  the diamond grinding wheels made this a whole lot easier!  I used the DC-250 to re-shape the bit, using it to cut the primary and secondary facets.  I was then able to swap the DC-250 out and use the DF-250 to touch up the primary facet and get a really great looking grind!The whole process took about 15 minutes, and that is because I took it really slowly (no need to rush).  And that was a whole lot faster than ordering a new drill bit.  I was back to woodworking fast.
Wood Turning / Tormek T-8 Custom for the Wood Turner
November 16, 2020, 01:35:35 AM

I recently added a T-8 Custom to my Tormek sharpening tool set.  I believe I now have achieved the ultimate sharpening machine for the wood turner:

T-8:  So, so much to like about this machine.  The overall design is awesome, and I especially like how easy it is to raise and lower the water level so that too much is not there and splashing all around.

Diamond wheels:  It is great to be able to swap between the wheels and not have to adjust anything on the jig or the tool's placement in the jig.  This lets me get back to work on the lather faster.

  • The course wheel (DC-250) works extremely well for setting a tool's shape quickly, especially for harder steels and carbides.  This saves the potential for losing the tool's temper when shaping the tool on a high grinder.
  • The fine wheel  (DF-250) is great for getting a tool sharp, and resharpening it often when hogging off loads of wood.  And as we all know, a sharp tool is a safer tool.
  • The extra fine wheel (DE-250) is great for even keener sharpening when getting to the final cuts, especially before dropping the tool onto the honing wheel.
CW-220 Composite Honing Wheel:  Initial testing shows that I can get a very fine finish on tools that need it.  Some examples include the skews, and any tools used for final passes.

SVD-186:  The jig to sharpen spindle and bowl gouges

SVS-50:  The open seat setup is used for parting tools and the spindle roughing gouge.  The closed seat is used for skews.  I recommend you buy the additional parts needed to permanently set it up as a closed seat.  These are part numbers #2200 (housing) and #7070 (mounting screw).  This way, you'll have one setup as an open seat, and one setup as a closed seat.

SVD-110:  This jig is used for sharpening the Lacer style skew chisel and scrapers.

Kind regards,
André Jacob Roubo published a great picture on how the old guys used to make their own tool sharpeners.  I am SO happy we now have Tormeks!

I've been adding the Tormek Sharpening classes that Sèbastien and Wolfgang created to the Sharpening Handbook.  As each appeared, I've added it of the related pages (#1 to the knife pages, etc.).

As noted by others, these are really great for the beginner, and offer various nuggets of wisdom for even the experienced sharpener.  Thusly, I've also added them to the Resources page


These are worth cataloging so they can be quickly re-found and re-watched.

Kind regards,
In ornamental turning, it is vital that the cutters be sharpened to a mirror finish. 

Jon Magill wrote a really great article for the Spring 2008 edition (Vol 23, #1) of AAW's "American Woodturner". In the article titled, Build an Overhead Drive (pages 30-31), he wrote:

QuoteCutters must be sharp! You will never achieve a reflective cut off the tool, which is always the goal in OT, if your cutter isn't sharp. I once read that you can never get a better finish off of your tool than the finish on the tool itself. In other words, unless your cutter has a mirror finish, you cannot expect to produce a mirror finish on your work.

The attached picture shows the results of sharpening my cutters with the SJ-250.  By the way, there is no sanding here -  this is straight off the rose engine lathe.

Kind regards,