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more uses for the universal support bars

Started by Ken S, September 15, 2019, 12:09:24 AM

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Ken S

I have found several uses for the universal support bars not directly mentioned in the handbook. My support bars are not limited to the standard issue US-105 (T7/8) or US-103(T3/4, 10mm shorter than the US-105).

Having a second support bar facing toward the leather honing wheel is well known. It is especially convenient when doing multiple tools set with the same Projection. This allows both Distances to be preset, requiring no fiddling between tools.

Before the coarse diamond wheels, it was (and still is) convenient to have a second support bar setup with the TT-50 truing tool for heavy grinding such as reshaping.

For turners, having multiple support bars allow each to be dedicated to the jig of a particular tool.

I have found it convenient to reshape Lacer grind skews doing the original reshaping to the combination straight and radius grind by using just a support bar placed very close to the grinding wheel. The coarse diamond wheels work well with this. I hold the tool to grind at a right angle (square on with no bevel). I like the paced control this gives me.

We also have several specialty support bars. Robin Bailey of the UK was an early pioneer in this with his extended support bar. This very useful accessory features both more length for long knives and more height for cleavers. Some members complained that it lacks threads for the microadjust. I never found this to be a problem. I find the microadjust only essential for use with the TT-50 truing tool. I use the standard support bar for truing.
Tormek briefly reintroduced the US-400, a longer support bar designed for the out of production longer T-4000, the predecessor of the T2. This is a useful tool, however, it has been eclipsed by the US-430, which has the same long length and threaded microadjust, but also adds 50mm of added height, making it suitable for jig sharpening of cleavers.
Also noteworthy is the FVB Front Vertical Base by Knife Grinders. This allows great accuracy when used with the Knife Grinders applet and versatility of the horizontal standards, including adding enough height for cleavers.

I have accumulated seven support bars over the years. I believe two would suffice for most Tormekers. (one standard, the second preferably the US-430 and a FVB)
I'm sure there are additional support bar uses unknown to me.



Quote from: Ken S on September 15, 2019, 12:09:24 AM
..........I have accumulated seven support bars over the years. I believe two would suffice for most Tormekers. (one standard, the second preferably the US-430 and a VFB)
I'm sure there are additional support bar uses unknown to me.


Hi Ken - Typo may confuse some; should it be FVB?
Sharpen the knife blade
Hone edge until perfection
Cut with joy and ease

Ken S

Oops....Thanks, John. I will correct it.


Ken, Thank you for the many useful posts. I have been a professional finish carpenter and cabinetmaker for almost fifty years, but I am totally new to Tormek system. I just received my T8 and will use it for the first time this weekend, having studied many online videos and this community forum in preparation. My primary use for T8 will be sharpening chisels and plane irons. After my preliminary research, it appears to me that adding a second US would be completely sensible for me, as I would leave one set up vertically for the stone and the other horizontally for the honing wheel. Given the similar grinding angles needed for most of my edge tools, my understanding is that I could just make a setup block to make it simple to replicate the blade edge projection from SE-77 and then be able to set matching angles for both grinding and honing by setting the micro adjuster to each US appropriately to the diameter of the respective wheels. (I will be using SG-250 and CW-220.) I understand that from time to time, as SG-250 wears down, I will need to adjust my settings and possibly the setup block, but that the settings can remain coordinated at any time so that there need be no resetting of micro-adjusters or wasted time other than at relatively infrequent intervals. Does it sound like I've come to the correct conclusions about how to proceed efficiently? Finally, if you agree with my plan to add a second US, it seems that investing in US-430 would be the most economical move in the long run, as I am sure that I will enlarge my scope of jigs and uses as I become more familiar with the T8. Other than the few extra dollars of the initial purchase, is there any downside whatsoever to buying US-430 as a second support rather than a second US-105? Thanks. I'm looking forward to becoming proficient and getting the most from my new Tormek.
Right effort is to get rid of what is extra...


I'd say : go for the US-430.

I think the US-105 is suitable for people who don't do knives. I have sharpened many knives over 280mm who really benefit from the added length.

If you want to be able to really play on the position of the jig to allow for precise sharpening of the tip area, then even medium-to-long knives can be a pain with the US-105. My .02 : the T-8 should come with a US-430 instead of US-105.

3D Anvil

Another vote for the US-430.  The only downside that I can think of is that it's longer, so you might bump into it if you aren't watching where you're going.   ;)

Sir Amwell

Yes agree. US 430. I had to file off some welding that was proud where the legs joined the bar so check that if you get one.