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Topics - micha

Knife Sharpening / T-8 with DRO
April 11, 2023, 11:56:57 PM
Dear fellow Tormekers,

I just want to share my attempt of adding DROs to the machine. It's still kind of beta-testing - but so far I'm very happy with the results.

I had thought about DROs for a while, when I found some with very reasonable prices. I ordered one just to confirm it would do the trick.

This is how it looks now:
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I wanted something that could remain mounted but wouldn't get in the way somehow. So I printed some hinge and added a clip for the usb. After some trial-and-error it works really well. It can be folded back (and even down) easily.
(As you can never know the whole device can be taken out from the hinge, it's just press fit.)

The clip coupling, after being reinstalled, gives the same values as it had before. It's repeatable and reliable and precise enough. 

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Because it worked so well, I added another one on the FVB. Maybe I'll change the fixture so that it can be folded down the other way, but I've had no problems yet. (And it can always be removed with one hand, if really needed)

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One thing to keep in mind is that you won't be able to move the readout to a real zero position. Of course there is the hinge and the housing, so you'll have to work with an offset. I calibrate the system by setting the USB to 10cm with a height gauge, then set the DRO to zero. Now I just had to add that offset in the calculator - using TormekCalc made that easy. Recalibration is usually only needed if you change the batteries. (For some reason the DRO notices movements even when it's switched off.)

Well, I know that this may seem a very over-engineered way of doing things.  ::) Anyway, I enjoyed the challenge and the tinkering. And now I have to admit I don't really miss all that fiddling with gauges and calipers while sharpening.

Other thoughts and observations:
- I never turn the machine around, if you do, that might be something to consider as there are some additional wires

- The DROs are Rear:20cm/8", for the FVB: 15cm/6" are more than sufficient

- Both of the DROs were less than 80 $, the plastic parts were 3d-printed as needed.

- the attachment of the hinge required two M3-threads in the zinc housing (might be an issue with warranty), maybe shouldn't be done carelessly.

I hope the concept is fairly comprehensible, if not, please feel free to ask.


Knife Sharpening / KJ-45 - first thoughts
April 20, 2022, 10:14:22 PM
Yesterday I received the new jig and gave it a try.
I'm very pleased with its overall look and feel, and it works very well with a wide variety of blades. It holds blades very firmly without overtightening the screw.

Of course it changes parts of the cherished workflow, eg. there are quite unaccustomed projection distances.
(Ken, I'm afraid you'll have to climb the mountain again, we need new stone tablets  ;D . We presumably need shorter Kenjigs, too)
As you can't change the jig's length, it probably will require more USB setting.
The possibilty of using the secondary stop to create a convex edge is interesting and requires some thinking. For those of us using calculators and measuring distances a little modification to the measuring block may come in handy (if you use one, of course). It just compensates for the 12mm of the USB. (see pictures below)
I'm sure I'll continue to use the SVM jigs for 'average' knives, but I think that jig is a real solution for many of the special blades which have been a challenge so far.

And I'm anxious to hear about your thoughts and experiences.

General Tormek Questions / Quick tip: Diamond facing
September 18, 2021, 08:32:32 PM
For some of the flat grind needs one may encounter from time to time, this might be an interesting option.
I got curious when I saw these the other day:
These flat lap "wheels" are actually disks with a thickness of only 1.2mm, that means you can even mount them on the face of a conventional stone if not worn out too badly.
250mm, a 12mm bore and a variety of grits from 60 to 3000 - I just had to order some and give it a try - works fine.
You'll need a spacer between the Tormek stone and the Ezylock so that the diamond disk stays dead flat. 

As this is a bit of a makeshift solution, I'll make a base plate for these disks that will allow for better tightening of the Ezylock.

Some of you have already put the AngleCube to good use and there are quite some interesting applications for it. I sometimes tried to use the AngleCube for setting the USB parallel to the stone, especially when setting up the SE-77. Immediately after truing, you can be sure it's parallel, but after (re)moving the USB once that may be gone. To obtain proper results with an AngleCube, it's necessary that the AngleCube is perpendicular to the stone and perfectly in line with the USB. Otherwise it's just guesswork.

Finally an idea for a little helper came up, and I wanted to give it a try. So here's the prototype (CNC milled from scrap wood and somewhat looking like a ruined clothes hanger  :D ).
As you can see, it didn't come out too big. There are 2 pieces of 12mm steel rod inserted below the USB-notch, so the center of gravity is below the USB, which makes it more stable. It might have been better to put these even lower, but it works o.k.

It's useful for

  • setting the Anglecube on the stone and zero it (I understand that could be done without any jig, but it's easy and more stable)
  • putting the jig on the USB and aligning the USB while the AngleCube stays in place.
It's quite easy and according to the probe results are repeatable.

Drill Bit Sharpening / Setting up USB for the DBS-22
September 04, 2021, 02:39:02 PM
This may not be a very innovative idea, but as I found it to be quite helpful, I thought I'd share that.

The template that comes with the DBS-22 is used to set the 14mm distance between the wheel and the USB.
Not a big deal, but it doesn't tell anything about the stone surface and the USB being parallel or not.

Thus I turned a simple cylinder, a little wider than the stone, with a 12mm bore and 14mm wall thickness for the distance.
In other words, 40mm diameter with a 12mm hole. Checking the setup in good light and from the right angle makes it quite easy to see the proper alignment of the USB.

Besides, and maybe even more useful, it's a great tool to quickly check the trueness of stones, if put on the top USB and simply turning the wheel while in contact with the cylinder. (Won't grind into the USB this way)


Knife Sharpening / Proof of concept - small blades
August 24, 2020, 04:46:40 PM
Yesterday's Salmon knife thread made me think about a simple solution for very small and thin blades.

Using shims was a first approach, which held the knife, but of course not very firmly.
I thought about using something as a separator or spacer between the two shims.

Found some rubber today and decided to give it a go.

I hope the pictures will make it clear. Basically, it's just two pieces of feeler gauge stock 0,5mm and a thin segment of rubber in a duct-tape cover. Altering the width of that rubber segment could make things even better.

Even with this quick-and-easy approach I could clamp the knife with quite some protrusion, back of the spine even shifted beyond the jig's edge. It centered ok and clamped firmly enough for the knife to be ground. Taping the blade might result in an even firmer grip. I could have lowered the angle to about 10° without grinding into the jig.
Finally I can sharpen my old DE razor blades, too. (just kiddding...)

The same could be done for the SVM 140, of course.

Just wanted to share that, I'd be glad to hear about your thoughts or ideas for improvement.

General Tormek Questions / One year with the T-8
August 14, 2020, 06:26:25 PM
A year ago I bought a T-8. That was a great decision, followed by an interesting time of learning, experimenting and improving skills. Of course there's still room for improvement as always, but that's the fun part anyway.

I've sharpened a lot of knives, blades and tools. The Tormek allowed for experiments with MDF wheels, felt wheels, diamond wheels, line laser,  etc. Additional Tormek jigs like the DBS-22 were added, too.  And, oh, yes, an FVB, of course...

There also was a significant increase in the amount of peripheral equipment: microscope, BESS tester, diamond compounds, sprays ...

Examining and comparing the results was also a big challenge, and added to putting the machine to good use. And I enjoyed reading everything I found related to sharpening, like wootz' book, or anything I found on the net.

And I'm still enthusiastic about the manifold experiences and hints so generously shared in this forum. There has been a lot of development over the last year, especially with calculators and ,Tormek-math'. Keeping pace is a constant challenge but also adds a lot to gaining deeper insight. 

Meanwhile I get knives, plane blades and other stuff from friends – and I still enjoy sharpening. They enjoy getting back sharp tools 😊
I also took up woodturning together with my son, so there are even more occasions to sharpen.

One thing I learned: You can achieve great results with the standard wheel. While it's nice to have the SJ or Diamond wheels, these are not indispensable for a close-to-perfect result. There may be advantages in speed or other preferences, but the SG wheel is a great general-purpose tool. (I'm on my second SG-250 now.) It surely is the wheel I use most, despite having other options at hand.

For honing I use a rock-hard felt wheel or MDF wheel. MDF is great for experiments, as it's cheap and easily available. Cutting my own MDF wheels (and attaching them to the T-8) was one of the first projects, followed by many more, that were inspired by (or shamelessly stolen from) ideas from here: Herman's platform, KenJigs and its offshoots, like Rick's and Jan's HanJigs, to name a few. 

I just wish to thank you all warmly for sharing so many ideas and advice.

General Tormek Questions / Just saying hello...
August 31, 2019, 04:35:29 AM
Hello community,

I'm looking forward to being part of this great forum. It's been a wonderful source for all kind of information. Just by lurking around here I learned so much.
I'm really grateful that so many of you "old hands" here are sharing your profound knowledge so generously.

To introduce myself a bit:
I'm quite a new Tormek user, after some careful consideration I got a new T8 with quite some accessories.
I'm mostly into knives, but also enjoy woodworking, thus I'm also fascinated by the great job this machine does with sharpening chisels and planer blades. A great addition to my workshop. I'm just a hobbyist.

Just wanted to say hello and thanks again for your willingness to help and your great ideas.

Regards from Germany