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Messages - Ken S

Wood Carving / Re: Tormek jigs
January 15, 2011, 12:14:11 PM
Ignatius,  does your Kalamazoo belt grinder have its own motor, or will you be using the sewing machine motor?  The real question is, is the motor you want to use compatible with variable speed?  if so, no problem.

If not, you might switch the pulleys to slow the speed.  That's what I did with my old Dayton belt grinder.  It came with a 3" drive pulley and an 1 1/2" driven pulley.  I switched both to 2 1/2" which slowed the belt speed to about a third.  It is slower to use, but more controllable.

Your belt grinder rig would be more apt to overheat your chisels if not used carefully.  However, changing grits would be very fast.

Steve Bottorff ( shows a belt grinder modified to slow speed with a DC motor.  The rig is designed to sharpen celery cutting knives in the field.


Wood Carving / Re: Pfeil #9/50
January 15, 2011, 11:55:08 AM
Hi, Howard.  Welcome to the forum.

You seem to have hit the flat spot on the forum wheel.  Your two questions represent almost a fifth of the thirteen on woodcarving.  You may single handedly make this a banner year for woodcarving on this forum.

My carving chisels are quite sharp.  They were last sharpened by my grandfather during the Truman administration, so I claim no expertise.  A google search on pfeil 9/50 confirmed my thought that this was a number 9 sweep 50mm width gouge.  The Amazon photo shows it as an out cannel gouge.  Is this correct?
If so, I would think it could be sharpened like a roughing gouge using the multi jig. My thought would be to use the Tormek stone graded fine and use light pressure.  If it just needs to be "refreshed", you might even just use the leather honing wheel.

Keep us posted.


ps Leonard Lee shows some interesting small gouge honing techniques with wood and green honing compound in his excellent sharpening book.  His book and DVD should be part of a sharpener's library.

General Tormek Questions / Re: Clean-up
January 13, 2011, 09:31:55 AM
Whether it works or not, (it should work), the idea of using slurry as a lapping agent is clever.  Good thinking, Ionut.

One of my photography instructors had a favorite saying (from a Chinese fortune cookie); "When you are in a hurry, dress slowly".

We have probably all heard the story of the high school wood shop teacher who made his students endure countless hours handplaning a board until it was perfectly square and parallel.  It is tempting upon opening a new Tormek to gather all the chisels, plane blades, etc. for a long awaited sharpening.

The idea of spending much of an initial sharpening session concentrating on one blade painstakingly checking it with a Starrett square probably doesn't sound very exciting.

Shawn, I think you are wise to want to get your block plane blade dead on.  By the way, how did it go?

General Tormek Questions / Re: EZYlock thoughts
January 09, 2011, 12:51:24 PM
Hi, Ionut.

Very clever of you to try twisting the stone with the original shaft.  I did not think of trying that.

The instructions tell how to change stones, not the shaft.  Yes, it is very straight forward to change.  Maybe all children learn how to change grinding shafts in Sweden as part of the Sloyd knife program.  I had no problem doing it; but it would have been nice to have had a diagram to follow.

Before installing the new shaft, I had planned to use only the original wheel.  Changing wheels seems like a nuisance.  I was more interested in the finer Japanese wheel, but thought my water stones would do the job more quickly.  I had not even considered the black wheel. 

The new shaft opens up more possibilities.  Changing wheels takes only seconds.  It speaks well for the Tormek that the most recent units come equipped with both the EZYlock and the improved water trough as standard equipment.


ps My "new" square edge jig is presently maneuvering through the postal system.
General Tormek Questions / Re: oboe knife
January 08, 2011, 08:03:28 PM
Excellent post, Neal.
General Tormek Questions / EZYlock thoughts
January 08, 2011, 08:02:38 PM
I just installed the EZYlock shaft upgrade on my T7.  It is very much a Tormek product.  It is well designed and nicely manufactured.  A real quality job. 

Installation took about ten minutes.  My T7 once again purrs like a kitten, and it certainly is a snap to change wheels.  I think I have it installed properly.  I'm really not sure.  Neither the kit nor the most recent edition of the handbook have either a diagram or description of changing the shaft.  The new shaft design seems to have entered the thought process at Tormek, but not the handbook or instruction process. 

Very nice product.  It deserves better instructions for those of us who have only average mechanical ability.


General Tormek Questions / Re: paper cutter
January 07, 2011, 10:16:50 PM
Pleased to help, Brett.  It speaks well of you as a loving husband to be willing to purchase a Tormek accessory for your wife. :)  She doesn't happen to have any high speed lathe turning tools she wants you to sharpen, does she?  If so, we will help provide encouragement. 

General Tormek Questions / Re: paper cutter
January 07, 2011, 12:57:03 PM
I think Jeff and Herman are going in the right direction.  The scissors jig is a somewhat longer and narrower version of the Torlock tool rest.  The Torlock is not expensive, and has many general purpose uses.

I would suggest removing one of the blades and doing a dry run:  holding the blade against the Torlock platform next to the stone with the machine off.  Moving the blade back and forth will either feel comfortable (well supported) or not.

In either the vertical or the horizontal position, you could also clamp small blocks of wood on either side of the wheel to keep the blade in place.  Again, I would recommend doing a dry run to get comfortable with things.

I would set the tool rest for a 90 degree cut.  Take a light cut.  You should not have to remove much.

Go slow and remember, "fortune favors the brave".  Keep us posted.

General Tormek Questions / Re: oboe knife
January 06, 2011, 01:27:44 PM

"The knife that I have looks like only half of it was sharpened."

That may be the crux of the problem.  I wonder how many oboe students give up reed making because they don't know how to properly sharpen their knives.  I wonder how many turners get discouraged because their turning tools are not sharp; how many woodworkers never get good results with their dull tools, and how many cooks muddle along with dull knives.

You have the opportunity  to share a very important skill for reed making with your daughter (in addition to driving and funding the operation!).

I have enjoyed this conversation, also.

General Tormek Questions / Re: oboe knife
January 06, 2011, 02:21:14 AM

Ron Hock's book is The Perfect Edge.  It includes much more than the tormek, however, he is Tormek friendly.  Ron is a knife and blade maker.  I think his book should be part of the reference bookshelf of every serious sharpener.  Also, after reading it, I had some questions and emailed him.  He answered my emails and my questions.

I think you have made  good choice with the diamond stones.  Your daughter won't have problems keeping them flat, and they should cut very well.  I think the Tormek is certainly up to sharpening an oboe knife.  I also think the teacher is wise to have your daughter learn how to sharpen by hand.  (She certainly does not want to carry a Tormek as airline luggage!)

My daughter studied both cello and oboe.  Her cello teacher and first two oboe teachers were all classmates at Eastman.  All were fine musicians with Master's Degrees.  The difference was the cello teacher played with the Cleveland Orchestra.  (There are more cellists, and more job opportunities in the orchestra.)  Both oboists played in a smaller orchestra.  The cellist made a good living.  The oboists moonlighted doing waitressing and office work to make ends meet.  For them, $100 would have been a chunk of change.

I know an oboe can make a Tormek seem reasonably priced.  (I bought one, too, many years ago.)  Be grateful that you don't have to buy a bow.

The oboe makes a beautiful haunting sound.  Best of luck to your daughter with her studies.


ps Back to the Tormek:  I would suggest you start with the fine grit configuration of your stone.  I doubt the knife is more than a little dull.  (no nicks)
General Tormek Questions / Re: SB-250
January 05, 2011, 11:18:29 PM
Hi, Ionut.

Thanks for the info.

General Tormek Questions / Re: oboe knife
January 05, 2011, 02:52:16 AM

Your post piques my curiosity.  I talked my my former oboe playing daughter, who played in the old oil stone days.  I did some preliminary googling "oboe reed knife/ sharpening".  The one supply house featured knives in the hundred dollar range. (No wonder the teacher is a bit gun shy about using a grinder.  The teacher probably has no idea about the difference between a dry grinder and a Tormek.)

Apparently the oboe community has not read Ron Hock's fine book on sharpening.  Some more modern stones were listed, however, the oil stones are still players.  Even the triangular arrangement where three stones of different grits shared a common oil bath, as did their swarf.  These were in vogue during the last millennium.

For sharpening one knife used in reed making, one could buy a lot of high tech sandpaper and a glass or granite surface for less than the price of regular sharpening stones.  And, it would always be flat.  I would suggest thinking carefully before spending on stones.

One article described using a burr on the knife edge to scrape the reed.  Is this part of the reed making process?   

General Tormek Questions / Re: A Tormek New Year
January 05, 2011, 02:39:23 AM
"Man is the only animal with the One True Religion, all seven of them"

Mark Twain
General Tormek Questions / Re: SB-250
January 05, 2011, 02:36:38 AM
Interesting.  It did not occur to me to use the SB wheel for lathe tools.  Why not, the modern ones are high speed steel.  I guess the real criteria is the kind of tool steel, not the kind of tool.

Any thoughts on which wheel would work better with A2 steel, as used in some chisels and plane blades?