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Worth restoring this old model?

Started by Curval, December 15, 2020, 10:08:26 AM

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I've inherited an old Tormek grinder and a load of jigs. It belonged to a relative and perhaps 25 years ago it did a wonderful job on my knives, however it's sat unused in a shed for probably a decade. The motor is fine, but as you'll see from the pictures linked below, the stone looks a bit off - it's not true and I don't know if truing is all that it'd require. Also the honing wheel is totally hardened. I wondered what would be rescuable from this state and what would need to be replaced? Looking at prices for bits I wasn't sure if it'd just be cheaper to buy a new model, or if it's the sort of thing where just buying the truing kit would sort it out.

Any opinions would be appreciated.

Ken S

Welcome to the forum, Curval.

My first recommendation would be to email the photos to Tormek support ( for advice. Mats in support has lots of experience working with older Tormeks.

The "honing wheel" in the photo is actually the EC-240 deburring wheel. It was an optional accessory that Tormek sold for a while years ago. The plastic locking knob, now standard on the T8, was introduced then as the "Quick Connect", designed to make changing between the honing and deburring wheels quicker. It was a rubber material containing abrasive. A similar accessory, the CW-230 composite wheel, was recently introduced.

If you look among the jigs, you may locate the original leather honing wheel. If the leather is sound, I would try working in a leather cleaner/ softener. Allow it plenty of time to work. You have nothing to lose if it doesn't work, and most of a hundred US dollars to save if it does.

Go to and register your Tormek. There is no remaining warranty; however, online registration allows you to access and download the latest version of the handbook. I loaded it into the books program of my ipad.

Loosening the quick connect will allow you to remove the shaft with the grinding wheel. This is something to discuss with support. Allowing penetrating oil several days to work in may allow you loosen and remove the grinding wheel from the shaft. If it remains frozen, you may have to decide between using it as is orrisk breaking the grinding wheel.
As a practical matter, I would lean toward using it as is , at least for a while. Hopefully veteran members Herman and Elden will post. They have direct experience with this.

You probably have the old model truing tool among the jigs. You will eventually want a new (2019 version) TT-50 truing tool. Member, Rich Colvin, has a Tormek of your vintage. Over the years he has used both truing tools. Rich gave me his old truing tool for my "Tormek Museum", a thoughtful gesture indicating his preference.)

For regular use, the newer version of the US-105 universal support bar is threaded for the microadjust, a major improvement. If you choose the restoral path, a TT-50 and a new US-105 should be high on the want list.

You would defiinitely have some sweat equity in restoring your Tormek. While a lot of work, this can also be psychologiccally rewarding. Do check with support and keep us posted.



Thanks very much, I've contacted support and applied some penetrating oil so I'll see how I get on.


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As noted by Ken, I have an older Tormek, much like this one.  I've had it since 2003 and it is still delivering great results.

I am one who values older tools and am willing to spend time keeping them in top shape.  I've also inherited some tools and have had to put some loving care into them too.  But that is something I enjoy doing. 

The Tormek is a machine that is definitely worth the investment of such time, and a few $.  Here are my recommendations:

1.  As Herman did in the item referred by CB, I would take the machine apart to it's base and clean it up. 

I would definitely remove all the rust.  Electrolysis is one option, Naval Jelly is another, and there are many still.  Check out the YouTube channel for the old high school shop teacher who goes by TubalCain.  His YouTube id is MrPete222.  He has a good series of videos about rust removal (and other cool stuff).

Hermann painted his black and someone else recommended red.  I would probably go with a green close to the Tormek original one or a blue or maybe Powermatic yellow (about the same as Caterpillar machinery).

2. Get an XB-100 for your machine.  Adding that will enable you to sharpen with the grindstone turning away from you.  Useful for many options.

3. Consider if some pieces need / should be replaced.

     a. The drive shaft on such an old machine is probably highly rusted and should probably be replaced.  There is a kit to do this, the MSK-250.  It gives you a stainless steel shaft and new bushings.  The best advantage to this is the  EzyLock nut which makes swapping out the grindstone so much easier.

    b. The Universal Support Bar shown in the pictures is in bad shape.  It could be de-rusted also, or you could replace it with the US-105 or the US-430 support bar.  The -430 is a bigger one and gives some nice options.  Don't know the price difference though.

    c. Inspect the drive wheel.  If it is cracked, you can replace the older, plastic one with one that is metal.  May be worth it as this will also give new rubber for the motor to drive against, reducing the chance of slippage.  Depending on where you live, your local Tormek dealer can provide you the part (in the USA, Sharpening Supplies sells them as p/n TOR-TOR23)

    d. As Ken noted, you can get a new leather honing wheel (LA-220) to replace the one you have.  But, if you are sharpening more than high end knives, consider getting the CW-220 composite honing wheel to replace it. 

4. Consider if some of the jigs should be replaced.  My recommendations are    a. If you have the older ADV-50 Honing tool, find some way to get it as far away from you as possible.  If there is no museum, toss it very far into a lake.  Replace it with the FAR SUPERIOR TT-50.    b. If you are a wood turner, consider replacing the SVD-185 with the SVD-186 or -186R.  Great improvements in usability.

So those are my thoughts.  Best of luck in your endeavors.
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.


By way of an update, I've begun to take it apart so I can start dealing with rust and see what state the internals are in and it's gone well so far with just two sticking points:

I managed to get the stone off using WD40 and a couple of days of waiting, but I'm left with this part (looks like a washer) exposed and I don't know if it's meant to be attached to the shaft or not: - in my case it has either rusted solidly to the shaft, or it was meant to be that way. I did watch this video - - which shows how to replace the shaft but I have not been able to slide mine out the side the stone was on. I removed the plastic bushing that was on the drive side, but there appears to be a white one on the inside of the stone side of the frame: - my question is how do I get the shaft out now?

Secondly, how does the motor come out? I saw a couple of nuts on in, one of which I removed, but the other one I can't get to - and in either case I'm not sure they'd release it.

Ken S


The part which looks like a spacer washer is a spacer washer. It is included with the EZYlock stainless shaft assembly, as are the EZYlock nut and new nylon bushings. You are fortunate that your grinding wheel did not break. I would order a new EZYlock kit.

Check with support about the motor.



Those sell used on ebay for 200-300 in good condition with accessories, might be less going that way.

Ken S

I have followed ebay for several years. 200-300 in good condition with accessories seems low to me. Anyone contemplating purchasing a SuperGrind should check carefully.



Quote from: Ken S on December 23, 2020, 01:28:03 AM
I have followed eBay for several years. 200-300 in good condition with accessories seems low to me. Anyone contemplating purchasing a SuperGrind should check carefully.


Me too, since 1996.

Ken S

If someone could purchase Tormeks in good condition with accessories at $200US, I believe with some cleaning up, regreasing the bushings, and truing the grinding wheel, one could resell them at a profit.



Go to eBay search on the model interested in, then go to advanced search and search on sold listings.
Go to search tempest, search all of craigslist and look for Tomek. In my experience, if no phone number, pass on the ad.

If one can make more money repairing selling used machines than in their occupation, go for it.

I did it with IBM Correcting Selectrics.

Then I got a real job........paying a little more.

UMD MS CMSC helped.


Here's where it's up to:

What I did:
- Removed the rust from the casing and most fittings (I'll likely replace the toolrest, so only used the wire brush and no chemicals)
- Painted
- Replaced the drive shaft
- Replaced the drive wheel
- Added the horizontal toolrest mount
- Replaced the water tray

What I may yet do:
- Replace the toolrest
- Get a leather honing wheel (the old composite one I have does not fit properly with the new drive wheel)
- Actually use the truing tool I bought
- Replace the grinding wheel - the existing one is worn down such that it'll barely dip in the water, probably makes more sense than trying to true it

It's been great to have this to keep going back to over the christmas break and as a result I have learned a lot about how it all fits together and feel better equipped to keep it going for years to come.


Looking great, Curval.  If by the "toolrest", you mean the Universal Support Bar (USB), I recommend that you do replace it.  The one you have is servicible, for sure, but the new type is threaded and has the micro-adjust nut which makes setting the height much easier than without. 

For starting out, I think it is important to have a honing wheel.  Which one is another matter.  In addition to the leather wheel, Tormek now offers a new composite honing wheel.  No paste to use, which is nice.  I have one, but have not had a chance to evaluate it against the leather wheel. 

Without question, I think you should use the new truing tool on your existing grinding wheel to 1) true the wheel  ::) and give yourself a nice fresh grinding surface, assuming of course that there is still enough wheel there to do this effectively.  Without that, you could be frustrated and disheartened with the process and results. 

I scanned the thread to see if you mentioned the diameter of your grinding wheel but didn't find it, just mention that barely dips in the water.  I have never seen in person anything but the current T8, but think I've read that some of the older models don't have the mechanism to raise the water trough.  If that is true, perhaps yours is one and therefore, you may need to lift it with supports to get the water level in the trough up to the stone.  I could be way on this about the lack of the lifting mechanism, but at the very least, I have no problem filling the trough enough and raising it to fully wet an 8" traditional grinding wheel, so I suspect you should be able to with your stone, if it has enough material.  If not, replacing it is a must, not a maybe, IMHO.

Best of luck and keep on keeping us posted.

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

Bravo, Curval!!!

I converted my first T7 to the EZYlock. I learned a lot about how a Tormek ticks; it was a satisfying experience. (Some unknown burglar now has or had a nice Tormek.) Your restoration project has gone leagues beyond that. I am excited for you!