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Messages - Ken S


I think the #X 46 grit wheel would be just the ticket for large drill bits.  The large grit runs cooler than finer grits.  It works quickly, and, with a light touch, leaves a surprisingly smooth surface. 

(You might want to try using a final freehand smoothing pass with the Tormek.)  Keep us posted!


Check out my SVD-45 jig described in my recent post.  It might be just the ticket for sharpening muchos machetes.

Thanks, Elden for reviving that thread.  It was probably one of my best posts.  It sums up my philosophy of learning.  I would humbly suggest it as reading for the rest of the forum.

I never heard anything more out of Elizabeth.  I hope she is doing well.  The forum (and probably most forums) have lost many potentially very good members.  I hope more will post.

Back during the time period when Ionut made his small knife blade jig, I posted a couple ideas.  One was for a wooden jig, similar to Ionut's.  The other was essentially sawing an SVD-110 in half.  That would allow a small blade to be held on either side of the wheel, as the table would be about the same width as the wheel.

I purchased a second SVD-110 at the time, and never got around to finish the jig. 

Herman inspired me with his jig.

this afternoon I got out the SVD-110s.  one had two holes for holding screws.  I measured off a line about 1 7/8" from one side and headed toward the bandsaw.  My 1/2" 3 tpi blade made short work of the cut through the extruded aluminum.  Surprisingly, the cut was almost as smooth as the factory cut.

I knew I would need to turn the jig around to get close enough to the wheel.  I had purchased a regular 6mm short bolt to substitute for the Tormek knob.

Alas, the bolt was still too long.  I ground down the bolt on the belt grinder.  Still too long.  I filed down the threaded surface on the jig.  Still too long.  At this point I am unable to get close enough for a 20 degree bevel.

I have not given up.  I will attach something, either wood or metal on top of the jig.  It will work in time.  For now, I have an SVD-110, an SVD-70 and an SVD-45.  (wow!)

still plugging along.....


I really like the Norton 3X 46 grit wheel on my dry grinder.  Before I added it, I was using a Norton white wheel with 80 grit.  It was quite an improvement over the regular gray wheels.  It has not been used since I added the Tormek.

When I have heavy grinding to do, the Norton 3X does the job.  How does it hold up?  I have not noticed a problem with it, but that's very unscientific.  I hold up better with it because it cuts so well.  I would not use it instead of the cooler wet wheel Tormek.  For removing decades of mushrooming on a couple splitting wedges, it was a trooper.

If you are in a hurry shaping turning tools and use a dry grinder, that's the wheel I would use.  (I have not tried it for that.)

If I was using it for any edges where I was concerned about overheating, I would dress the edge crowned, to narrow the actual cutting area.  (Joel Moskowitz' suggestion).

Well done, Herman.  You get the Yankee Ingenuity award!

Very good post, Elden.  Not only is the information quite good, it indicates awareness of a problem with keeping edges square.

I agree, Herman. It makes sense to me to become proficient with the most simple of edged tools, and then build on that proficiency.

If someone should happen to create a masterpiece which ends up as part of an unhelpful mess, maybe the "masterpiece" should be deleted.  I say this as someone who has contributed several ideas for this project.  I am fully aware that presenting them to the forum for review and revision should help the good ideas develop and the less than good ideas will hopefully be constructively criticized and fade away.

I would think the entire project should fit onto one page.  (two at most depending on how much in included.)  Links to more detailed posts would be helpful.

Here is a thought for our stickie file:

I believe the beginning Tormek user should start with a Sharpie marker and a chisel.  I state this recommendation for all new Tormek users, not just woodworkers.

Specifically, I would recommend an Irwin 3/4" Blue Chip chisel.  These are readily available and not expensive (presently $8.51 at Amazon).  Blue Chips, formerly made by Joseph Marples of England (now part of Irwin) have been a solid chisel for many years.  The steel is well made carbon, ideal for the Tormek SG wheel.  They are a good working length, not excessively long, but with plenty of sharpening area.

The sides are ground square to the back with no rounding over to interfere with flattening.  These are an excellent learning tool as well as a very good user.

I recommend learning to sharpen a chisel first because it is the simplest edge tool.  It is ground square.  There is no camber to grind like with a plane blade.  Only one bevel is ground, unlike a knife blade.  The chisel fits easily in the basis SE-76 jig.

General chisel sharpening uses the coarse wheel setting, fine wheel setting, and leather honing.  It requires learning to be able to set a bevel and work square.

I believe when a new user can consistently sharpen a chisel well, he will be ready to move on to whatever tools he requires.

The use of the Sharpie marker for setting the bevel angle is well covered in both the handbook and Jeff's videos.  A dedicated sharpie should be kept with the Tormek.

Do not be hesitant to sharpen the Blue Chip chisel many times as part of the initial learning process.


Your small knife jig was a very good idea when you posted it, and it still is.  It remains one of the best examples I have seen of the potential to go beyond the basic Tormek use.  I'm glad you reposted it.

General Tormek Questions / Re: cold chisels
March 08, 2013, 01:11:41 AM
Doesn't everyone use a cold chisel for dovetails?  They can be a problem with the skinny empire dovetails fashionable across the pond. :)

I started in my garage.  After moving, I now use my basement shop.  A towel is a good idea, as are the magnetic bumpers to raise the side opposite the wheel.  At first not having a level horizon offended my sense of order.  Once I finally broke down and tried the risers, I don't notice the disharmony.  Being not so thrifty, I upgraded to the new water trough, which catches more of the mess.  I recommend the upgrade. 

You guys who set up in the kitchen are either single or very nervy!

Good point, Herman. Grepper and Ron, I had the same problem with my favorite (Henckel) paring knife.  As Ron Hock might say, it failed the green onion test.  (flat edge instead of a slight curve to allow rocking). 

"Not the best knife"--fine.  However, it should be a knife which you will regularly use on your cutting board. We need the use feedback.


General Tormek Questions / Re: initial dressing
March 08, 2013, 12:56:41 AM
I found using a bandsaw frustrating until I studied with Mark Duginske.  Following his teachings, I now go through a quick setup routine each time I use the saw.  With the blade tracking properly, the guides and back bearings properly set, the saw is a joy to use.  Mark's good training has removed the hit and miss element for me.

As much as I would like to simplify using the Tormek for beginners, dressing the wheel is a necessary skill.  We all need to do it, if not at first, eventually.  Why not provide encouragement and guidance for the newbies to learn it right? Just like my bandsaw routine, it is part of good setup practice.  I would not want to be in the middle of sharpening a tool and have to true the wheel for the first time.

When I bought my first photographic enlarger many years ago, I debated about whether to spend the extra fifty dollars to get the stabilized voltage model.  In the end, I opted to get it.  It eliminated one possible problem.  Learning how to properly dress the grinding wheel at the start would eliminate nagging problems from an out of true wheel.

Ionut's marking is also called "witness marks", and used in machine trades to make sure an assembly is properly reassembled.  It seems like a good idea to me.  Probable gain and no downside risk.

Realizing that wheels wear down, I would be surprised if many of us actually need to replace one.  If a lot of work is done with high speed steel (drill bits, turning tools, planer/jointer blades), obtaining a SB wheel as a second wheel seems I wise plan.  (I have one.)

I like having different opinions on the forum.  Variety of thought makes the forum both more interesting and more educational.

General Tormek Questions / Re: initial dressing
March 07, 2013, 09:33:31 PM
I would expect a new Tormek owner who happened to have a solid background as a machinist or as a grinder to follow Ionut's advice in truing his machine.  I don't think this person would be the typical new owner who experienced trouble learning to use his Tormek.

My gut feeling is that the majority of those who experience initial difficulty probably do not have that extensive background.  If we can help them over the initial hurdles, I believe eventually they will become proficient.  Maybe the question of dressing the wheel should be in the "less frequently asked folder".