Welcome to the Tormek Community. If you previously registered for the discussion board but had not made any posts, your membership may have been purged. Secure your membership in this community by joining in the conversations.

Main Menu

Show posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Show posts Menu

Messages - Ken S

I used my chef's knife to cut up shallots for pasta tonight.  The newly smoothed top of the knife felt comfortable to my pointer finger.  Everything was fine until I flipped the knife over to scrape off a bit of the outer layer of the shallot with the back of the knife.  The knife no longer scrapes well. For future reference, I would only smooth the first couple of inches of the back of the blade (starting with the bolster) and leave the rest sharp.

No problem, Ionut.  Just subtract the tube from your "consultant's fee" for helping me locate the SVH-60 Jig.
Operator inexperience might have figured into the amount of honing compound I used.  It was a good learning experience. I guess the Henckel people aren't kidding with the "dur" part of "friodur" (cold hard).  Maybe I could use my chef's knife to flatten a diamond stone.

The results:

Half a tube of honing compound later, the backs of four of my Henckel knives are no longer sharp.  I wouldn't call the back edges "rounded", however, they are no longer sharp.  They are noticeably more comfortable on my hand.  (I often use the knives with my hand "choked up" for more control of smaller cutting operations.)

Gary's suggestion of the mini diamond hone also has promise.  Mine is an old one purchased with an odd lot of sharpening stones.  I think it doesn't have much useful life left.  I will look into a replacement.

I think an ideal combination might be using the diamond hone to knock off the initial sharpness and finish with the Tormek honing wheel. 

This could be an extra source of revenue for those of you who have knife sharpening businesses.

General Tormek Questions / Re: Free hand sharpening
January 29, 2011, 11:39:50 AM
Try Ionut's suggested three sharpening sessions before you look for a new blade for your hacksaw. 

I took a class in hand cutting dovetails.  As a class project, we each made a shaker candle box.  Our dovetails were less than stellar.  The instructor suggested making fifteen boxes on our own.  By that time, we would have become proficient.

General Tormek Questions / Re: Stone Grader SP-650
January 28, 2011, 07:37:46 PM
Ditto what Steve wrote.

General Tormek Questions / Re: Free hand sharpening
January 28, 2011, 07:36:14 PM
Plan C; an afterthought.

The SVD-110 can be cut in half.  The half section will be just wider than the grinding wheel.  A metal cutting band saw or a hack saw should do the job.  Make sure the cut edge is smooth and deburred. Wet or dry sandpaper on a glass plate should make everything smooth. The half jig can be turned around (long platform facing the grinding wheel).  This will require substituting a standard 6mm thread bolt head for the existing plastic head.  This should be a standard hardware store item.

A minor downside to this arrangement is that the bolt head will require a metric wrench.

A side benefit is that the SVD-110 has a second hole, so the jig can actually be converted into two half jigs.  (nice to share with a Tormeker friend; halvies on the jig.)

Or, the two halves should be able to work together as the original jig.

The top platform surface might work better with very small blades if it is flattened.  Again, this is a sandpaper on glass job.  I'm not versed in finishing aluminum.  Maybe some of you metallurgical types will add comments.

General Tormek Questions / Re: Free hand sharpening
January 28, 2011, 11:31:38 AM
The ideal solution would be to visit your local authorized Tormek dealer and purchase an SVM-15 Small Knife Sharpening Jig.  Unfortunately, that won't work.  Tormek doesn't make such a jig.  So, here's my 'Plan B":

Start with an SVD-110 Tool Rest.  You may already have one. If not, they are inexpensive and versatile.

For clarity, I will refer to the SVD-110 as the "Tormek platform".  The part you make will be the "blade platform".

I suggest you start by making a mock up.  Mine was just three layers of cardboard cut to 2" x 8" and a couple clothespins. Quarter inch plywood or Masonite would be ideal.  Beveling the underside of the mockup piece will let you get closer to the wheel.  I just staggered the cardboard layers.

Set up your Tormek with the universal support bar in the horizontal position (wheel revolving away from the blade).  Install the Tool Rest jig.  Place the mockup (henceforth referred to as the blade platform) on the tormek platform.  For starters, place it lining up with the left edge of the Tormek platform and protruding about two inches beyond (toward the stone).  Secure with the clothespins.  Set with the angle jig to 20 degrees.  Follow the general Tormek safety practice of allowing 2mm (3/32") clearance between the jig and the grinding wheel.

I used my pocket Swiss Army knife with the prototype.  The small blade rests on the blade platform.  DO NOT TURN ON THE POWER.  With the blade resting on the blade platform, swing it to follow the arc of the edge. Notice the two inch dimension matches the width of the grinding stone.  This lets you position both sides of the blade without moving the jig. 

Using the mockup prototype will let you see how much platform protrusion you want. YOu want it short enough to be rigid and long enough to swing the blade arc. Making the mockup requires very little time and no cost.  It will speed the end result.

Once you have decided to proceed, you will probably want to add some shoulders on the bottom side of the blade platform to register against (rest against) the Tormek platform.  This will keep the platform from shifting.  I would consider an ideal final shape to be wide enough to allow shoulders on both sides of the Tormek platform, with the protrusion notched to two inches (to match the width of the wheel).  I would place a shoulder under the front edge for the shortest protrusion you wish.  The back shoulder could either be placed for this position or moved back to allow a longer protrusion when needed.

Vise grip makes a nice small plier type of clamp which allows for the back of the Tormek platform not being parallel.  This clamp can be pre adjusted and popped on and off as needed.  A regular C clamp ("G cramp" for those of you who still speak English) would do fine.

I use Baltic Birch Ply  for lots of stuff.  Unless you use metal, the water from the wheel will create a harsh environment for your jig.  Paint it, or otherwise seal it.  It probably won't last "forever", but should give good service.

This simple jig will not give the ease of use the regular Tormek knife jigs do.  It should give you more control over the angle of the bevel.  You must lay the blade flat on the platform; the jig does not actually hold the knife.

I would suggest starting very gingerly with the stone fully graded fine, or, as mentioned by Gary, on the leather honing wheel if the knife is not very dull.  The coarse stone can be used to rapidly create "nano knives" which may not please your customers.

I hope this helps.

Thanks, guys. 

I'll start with the leather honing wheel this weekend.  Good thought, Gary, about the mini diamond hone; the chef's knife would make quite a gouge in my water stone.

It does seem a shame to ruin such a stalwart scraper just for my hands.

I'll post the results.

General Tormek Questions / kitchen knives too sharp
January 28, 2011, 02:04:01 AM
My faithful old Henckel knives are very sharp.  :) Unfortunately I am talking about the backs of the knives.  :( They have sharp "ninety degree bevels".  I suspect they would make good (but very expensive) hookless scrapers.  Unfortunately, they are also uncomfortable on my hands.

I have thought about softening the edges with a mild radius, much like is often done to turning skews.

Do any of you have any experience with this situation?


Hand Tool Woodworking / mesh sleeving
January 27, 2011, 11:22:37 PM
I like Dan's idea of sharing useful items with the forum.  In that spirit, I will add a favorite, one which many of you might not be familiar with.

The product is called "mesh sleeving".  It is available from Reid Supply (  It is available in eight different diameters, each size being a different color.  it is sold by the foot and is quite reasonably priced.

I first encountered it being used to insulate bonding (grounding) material for telephone cable.  I found the scraps were very useful to protect things like router bits, threaded components and things with sharp edges like chisels.  The weaving allows ventilation, visibility and protection.  I also use it to protect my files.  It just slides on and protects my Nicholsons from the abrasive world whlle in toolboxes.

Three feet of each of the four smaller sizes should set one back less than ten bucks.

Reid is also a useful place for all sorts of jigmaking materials, knobs, wheels, drill bits, etc.

General Tormek Questions / Re: Stone Grader SP-650
January 27, 2011, 11:03:07 PM
Quote from: ionut on January 27, 2011, 02:20:19 AM
Quote from: Steve Brown on January 27, 2011, 01:14:09 AM
I live in Colorado, I don't think I'll be seeing you boys anytime soon. That's funny, I didn't realie they had electricity in Canada.

You are right we don't. I had to take my bike apart and adapt the pedals on the Tormek in order to make it work but now I realized that's also the reason why I always end with the perfect edge on my tools.


Ionut, should you ever decide to become a traveling sharpener on your bicycle and end up un the land just down under (USA) with bicycle trouble, you would find your Tormek would plug into our standard receptacles and work just as well as back home.  Finding a bicycle repairman in this country who both can read the French Canadian of your bicycle repair book and has metric tools might be more difficult.

Actually, both Canada and the US were very early in adopting electrical power standards (60 cycle).  In contrast Great Britain has around twenty different "standards" for electrical power.  Pretty advanced for two frontier countries!


General Tormek Questions / Re: Stone Grader SP-650
January 27, 2011, 10:54:55 PM
As a thirty five year telephone installer/repair technician, I placed thousands of these cable ties.  Might I suggest that if the head of the tie is moved up to the close edge of the jig as shown in the photo that two bends would be eliminated from the tie.  That would make taughtness more controllable.  The end should also be clipped off.  Also, I filed the rough clipped edge on the tie I placed on my jig based on Ionut's idea.


Don't forget the important part you (and all of us) play in the chain.  All the brilliant engineering and precision machining would come to naught if not for the guy with the plastic wallet!

Actually, I have been a Lee Valley customer for many years.  Other than the fact that they don't sell Tormek, they are very nice innovative people to deal with.  Leonard Lee's sharpening dvd is now a little dated, but the good dry humor is as good as ever.  Their small plough plane is a delight to use.

General Tormek Questions / Re: Stone Grader SP-650
January 27, 2011, 02:08:16 AM
I just modified my TT-50 jig following Ionut's suggestion.  The bounce is gone.  Nice improvement, Ionut. 

Keep up the good work.

General Tormek Questions / Re: Stone Grader SP-650
January 27, 2011, 12:32:28 AM

Take a look at the forum stats.  Your post has generated the most replies in the history of the forum.  In fact, more than the next three combined!

Good job!