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New T8 user: should I be reshaping the stone quite this much?

Started by Jof, March 21, 2020, 04:31:47 PM

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I'm absolutely in love with my new T8 and jigs. My only wish is that I could go back a year and tell my past self to just spend the money and not waste my time with WorkSharp, bench stones, diamond plates and so-forth!

One thing I'm finding, however, is that I'm having to re-profile the SG-250 maybe once every 2-3 gouges when reshaping them e.g. due to chips. This is time-consuming and annoying. The material I'm removing isn't a lot - about 0.5-1mm depth along a 10mm bevel - but still I find myself needed to re-profile the stone due to dips in the surface otherwise I can't get a uniform 1000grit with the grader.

I assume this is operator error? Or is re-profiling just something that's a part of everyday life? Being lazy as I am, for this reason I'm tempted again to get one or two diamond stones...


yikes no response to this it seems.
I was wondering the same. I owned the machine for 6 months now and I went through 20mm, the stone needs reshaping every 2-3 edges (planes irons), at this rate, the stone will be all gone in another year I estimate.
with that in mind, I am contemplating just not getting another regular stone but rather investing on Diamond wheels, with that said, I have no experience on diamond wheels and not sure what is a realistic life expectancy of one.
I certainly do not want to waste money.


I'm not a wood turner and have no experience or knowledge of the tools you guys use, other than they can be High Speed Steel (HSS).  My understanding is the SB (blackstone) wheels are better for HSS, but I've read comments that it doesn't always work out that way.  It does seem to me that using the SG wheel to take off that much material would definitely where the SG stone down. 

I've been frustrated with the slow stock removal, even for very dull knives.  A couple (at least) years ago, I got an 8" dia. Norton 3x 84 grit grindstone and adapted it to the 12mm shaft on my T8.  Also made flange washers to serve as spacers as well as flange washers.  Running in the water bath, it works extremely well for heavy material removal, even better than the coarse diamond wheel (DC-250).  I was recently gifted a 10" dia. traditional grindstone that I have similarly mounted on the T8 and it works even better.  Mostly in the sense that I don't have to change the USB height so much. 

If I were in your spot, setting up a traditional grindstone, as one of the above, would be my choice.  I've heard/read that CBN wheels are good for rapid material removal, but I've never use one so do not know first hand. 

I also have a Viel 1x42" belt grinder with variable/reversible DC motor that I've set up for use with the Tormek USB and jigs.  In your spot, I would not go this way, as it took a LOT of work to get it set up for the Tormek stuff.  I use it, but more often opt for the traditional grindstones, followed by either the SB/SG/SJ or the DC/DF/DE/SJ both finished with a rock hard felt wheel w/ 1 micron diamond past.  Not that I use the traditional grindstone before any of the Tormek wheels > on the really dull stuff or when a lot of material has to come off. 

Quality is like buying oats.  If you want nice, clean, fresh oats, you must pay a fair price. However, if you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse, that comes at a lower price.

Ken S

Sorry I missed this post; I must have been asleep at the switch.

Tormek really excels at resharpening. The whole jig system is designed to efficiently match the existing bevel, removing only the minimum of steel to restore sharpness. One component of this efficiency is having a properly trued grinding wheel. Frequent, light truing is essential.

Like brake linings on a vehicle, grinding wheels area long term consumable items. This applies to all grinding wheels, including diamond and CBN. We have a mistaken idea that "diamonds are forever". The online class about turning tools has good information about grinding wheels. The SB-250 blackstone lasts longer than the SG and is designed for harder alloys, such as high speed steel. the real advantages of diamond (and CBN) are the constant diameter and the cutting quality of the harder, sharper grains. The Tormek presenter states that wheel life is comparable with the SB.

The standard SG wheel is not really designed for heavy grinding such as reshaping or sharpening badly damaged tools  quickly. Even something like trying to sharpen a blade which is ground on a wheel of a different diameter can be painfully time intensive in our instant resolution culture.

I'll finish later.




Let us not forget Tormek's solution for the need to remove a lot of metal on turning tools.  Their purpose specific accessory product for the use of bench grinders, the Tormek BGM-100.

"If you need to remove a lot of steel to create a desired shape on a new tool, this Bench Grinder Mounting Set BGM-100 enables you to use the Tormek woodturning jigs also on your bench grinder."

True, to use the BGM-100, one must have a bench grinder, which is another expense.  But it does provide a very effective solution.  If one has to purchase new, would recommend a "medium" speed bench grinder, running at around 1750 rpms rather than the traditional full speed of 3500 rpm.  Rikon offers three versions of what they call "slow speed" grinders.  I have one and use it almost exclusively for heavy grinding, even though I still keep my high speed grinder around. 

I originally got the Rikon and fitted it with two BGMs, one for each wheel, for heavy grinding on knives.  But, I found that even with the slower speed, control of heat at the apex was too difficult, so abandoned it in favor of a variable speed Viel belt grinder.  I reference my experience with the Viel above and still favor the traditional grindstone fitted on the Tormek used in the waterbath. 

Quality is like buying oats.  If you want nice, clean, fresh oats, you must pay a fair price. However, if you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse, that comes at a lower price.


Frequent, light truing is essential. Like brake linings on a vehicle, grinding wheels area long term consumable items. This applies to all grinding wheels, including diamond and CBN. Ken, did you really say that diamond wheels and CBN wheels need truing? It is hard to imagine there is enough meat to true.
You can use less of more but you cannot make more of less.

Ken S

Thanks, Jeff. That was a good catch. I went back and edited my reply. The problem was that I did not clearly delineate between two separate thoughts.

The first thought included the statement that frequent, light truing is essential. I did not mean to include diamond and CBN wheels in this thought.

The second thought is that I believe all grinding wheels, like brake linings, are long term consumablesAll grinding wheels eventually wear out, including diamond and CBN. Some last longer; however, they all wear out eventually.


Ken S

Returning to my earlier post: Turning gouges are hard on grinding wheels. The area actually contacting the grinding wheel at any one time is small. There is a tendency to use heavier pressure. Unlike many tools, it can be difficult to spread the grinding time over the entire width of the grinding wheel. If more than an exact touch up is required, working on gouges can easily become heavy grinding. Modern turning gouges are high speed steel, which stretches the range of the SG.

Avenida, my plane blades are very old Stanleys. Several are from 1909; one is from 1891. These older blades are thinner than today's premium blades. They were designed to be hand sharpened with a minimum of labor. They take very little effort with the Tormek and perform well.
I have had one encounter with a premium modern blade. It was impressive. It was also much thicker and required a lot more sharpening effort. I can see where these blades would cause more wear on your SG, however, your amount of wear seems excessive. When you true your wheel, how much do you remove?



I see there have been a lot of replies.

I am not a wood turner, replace that last bit with worker.
Mostly handplanes.

What stone is recommended for sharpening and rebeveling plane irons?
As already mentioned, i went through 20mm of stone in 6 months, 5 mm was for learning how to use the machine, the other 15 actual sharpening and Re-beveling iron.
Even resharpening takes the iron out of true.

Note for those curious, my sharpening on the tormek, my end result is very good. I am not abusing the stone - in case you were wondering - I have 100 % control of my end result and can achieve a very flat, perfectly repeatable edge in all my irons. Concave, convex, flat. I know the machine well now and how to correct errors. Just mentioning it to get this out of the way.

In a nutshell? What is the best stone for sharpening and rebeveling Plane Irons?

I don't understand the point of using cbn wheels. My mind is telling me that I paid too much for this system if I end up using a 3rd party wheel. There are lots of tormek knockoffs that could be used with a cbn wheel instead of the tormek.

So what am I missing. Lets talk about all of this and that pink elephant too.:)

Ken S


I am puzzled. Our results are different. I can't put my finger on anything wrong. The original SG grinding wheel is designed for carbon steel, the steel of woodworking tools. Until 2009, it was the only, all purpose wheel available.
I have always sharpened my chisels and plane blades with the SG, even though I have both diamond and CBN wheels.
Being flat, they should not cause excessive wear on the  grinding wheel.

Diamond and CBN wheels are designed to cut harder steels like high speed steel used in turning tools.

Most of us really only need the original SG wheel.  I think the argument  against wheel wear is overblown.  Learning how to true the grinding wheel is no big deal..  If the tool was ground to the angle you want previously, using the black marker  will match that bevel.  The Anglemaster  also works fine with chisels and plane blades.   A T7 or T8  comes with everything you need  for chisels and plane blades.  You don't need to purchase anything else.

I am concerned  about  the amount of wear on your grinding wheel.  You should either email support (  or, if you happen to live in the US, you can also contact  Tormek, Inc  in Illinois. Their contact information is on Tormek's  US  website.

Keep us posted.



thanks Ken,
I have contacted support today and I am looking forward to their response.

I have had issues with the truing jig before, at least, that was the part that was suspected to be defective (the stone was hard to get true, or not get completely true after truing) and they replaced it and things seemed to improve, I still however think my stone is wearing at an unusual rate.
Obviously the above was not as simple as asking for a new JIG, lots of videos and communication was exchanged in between myself and support. They saw myself using the machine (no worries there) and it was determined that my jig was faulty.

I am detail oriented person that notices these things, I guess we wood workers are detail oriented, it is comes with the package? my wife might disagree.

All that to say, I just can't see how the stone can last the 'somewhat' promised 'a decade' of use, if at this small rate I am at 20mm short, the stone will be all gone in 1 year from this date.
I truly do not use the machine enough to warrant this and if this is the normal wear of the stone, well... I would be greatly disappointed with the system... IT would translate in $300 yearly on a stone, which is a ridiculous amount of money for the return I would be getting out of the machine i.e. the amount of time I use and the amount of tool I sharp with this.

I have been noticing and paying attention to how mm I lose after a 2 or 3 sharpening sessions (maybe 1 iron or 2 and 1 chisel) and after truing I am easily 1 mm out.

Mind you, I think that I am very good with the machine, and what I mean is I have great control of my results (could not say the same on my first 5mm though but I can now).
I am VERY careful of not abusing the stone and I true it often and making sure I only do the absolute minimum necessary to keep stone wear to the absolute minimum, I obviously don't want to waste it.

So I am curious, and I did sent an email to support today and will be looking forward to their response.

This experience will determine one more time whether I am keeping the machine or not, unfortunately, I cannot return it now... so I am hoping there is a logical answer to this or might be looking at rethinking my sharpening setup and most likely will not include a Tormek and it'd just be ridiculously expensive to maintain --- if this is considered normal wear ---


Ken S


I started this yesterday morning, but have run into "the perfect storm" of annoying constraints. Hopefully this reply will work.

Just so we are on the same page, from what you say, support has sent you a replacement TT-50 and perhaps a replacement SG-250. Is this correct?
Tormek redesigned the TT-50 in 2019, I believe to correct some occasional chatter problems. The new design is made out of zinc, and is shown on the website. Is this the design you are currently using? (I have used both designs. I never had any problems with the earlier design, although the 2019 version does seem more substantial.)

Bench planes and chisels are flat tools. Especially the wider plane blades should spread any wheel wear evenly across the wheel. Assuming you are resharpening them to the existing bevel angles, you should be removing very little steel steel. Also, you seem like a careful worker, likely to resharpen when the blades start to get dull, rather than at deadly dull.

I prefer to true with multiple, very fine cuts. I actually enjoy the process of seeing very small portions of high spots being removed. I like to work in fractions of a microadjust number. Each pass removes a little more of the high spot until the cut is continuous. It reminds me of when a plastic surgeon removed a melanoma using very thin cuts, examining each cut with a microscope. You should keep notes of the starting and ending wheel diameters. Measuring the before and after lengths of your plane blades would be a good idea, also.

You are not experiencing normal wear and tear with your Tormek. I hope you will hang in there until this problem is resolved. When everything is working properly, the Tormek does an excellent job of sharpening chisels and planes. The new SE-77 jig even handles controlled camber with plane blades, a notable advance.

Persevere and keep us posted.



Try using a 1000grit ( under a planer blade in a jig, for 30 secs or so, then test flatness and true. Probably save you some grinding.


I do a lot of sharpening of my woodturning tools on the Tormek (though I don't get to turn as often as I wish  :( ).  I found that the SB stone really made a big difference over the SG stone, especially when resharpening HSS tools.

But for reshaping a tool, I found it to be much faster to use a bench grinder and the BGM-100.

Recently, I was able to get the diamond grinding wheels.  Those make resharpening (and reshaping) the tool easier still (& faster).

Rich Colvin - a reference guide for sharpening

You are born weak & frail, and you die weak & frail.  What you do between those is up to you.


I talked to a man who uses grinding wheels every day. A professional crankshaft grinder.
He says to only way to get every tool the same, start with the wheel in the exact same condition, true every grind.