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my SVH-320 experience

Started by ionut, October 15, 2009, 06:48:20 PM

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WARNING! This is a very long email describing my SVH-320 experience and the way I use it. If you are not interested, don't have patience or you do not use the jig, you can safely skip it, there is nothing you'll miss..

Hi Everyone,

Well, I got the jig... I went through lots of thinking about spending the money for this jig, and reading this thread didn't help much either as I've seen lots of frustration accompanying the use of this jig, together with just few successes. I just didn't want to have an expensive jig collecting dust and still going to sharpen my blades somewhere else so I've talked with the dealer and he agreed to return the money if I am not happy with it.
I got the jig almost 2 weeks ago and even though it was late that day, I wasn't able to do anything before testing it on my freshly dulled 6" jointer knives.
I've read the instruction manual a number of times before so I had all the official procedure in my head and even before starting I had few modifications to the process that proved to be very helpful for me.
The setting with patience which is not my forte, took me about 15 minutes following the manual procedure, the only difference at this point was to not use paper or feeler gauges and instead to place the light behind the blade resting on the stone which allowed me to correctly align the jig. I have to admit that this step is a bit tricky. I've set the depth of cut to +0.1 as my knives were in good condition, no nicks and before I started to grind I removed the honing wheel.. The stone was set for 1000.  At one point I've lost the control by applying pressure to close to the blade and towards the end of the blade I almost dug the stone because the blade holder jumped from the support. After that I moved my hands behind the tightening screws and everything got back to normal. I've spent maybe about 10 min grinding and checking frequently to consume the 0.1 depth. At the end the blade looked perfect, a nice burr on its full length and it looked straight. I've started the work on the next blades and after other 15-20 min I was done.
My blades originally had a secondary bevel and not a different steel (laminated) and anyways I do not in principle try anything in "wooding" without a secondary bevel on 4000 -8000, it seems a waste of energy, material and time for me so I jumped on the second machine equipped with a 4000 wheel, applied the usual offset and after 4-5 swipes the secondary bevel was done. Next step was removing the remains of the invisible burr from the back of the blades on the honing wheel. The 4000 and honing wheel took me less than 2 min including changing the blades.
Now I measured the width of the blade and the straightness of the blade on my jointer table, and everything looked ok. At this point I didn't know what was prepared for me next so I've set my knives back in the cutter head and I was hit by the first surprise. It was the first time when I was able to correctly set the knives in a range of +- 0.0003. Before, the ends of the knives were always higher than the center but I never tried to actually measure the width of the blades. During the procedure of setting the blades I started to doubt my height gauge (oneway), but the gauge was working perfect, the blades were really set well.
I've got close by a number of boards that needed work and I started to join them. It is a while since I was so nicely surprised about how well a tool can work. The sound of the knives slapping the wood changed in a slicing sound and at the end the surface of the wood was so silky and shiny like I would have been using a smoothing plane. I could not believe a jointer can get the stock with such a nice prepared surface. My excitement got changed very soon into mad craziness, I was hunting every single piece of wood in my shop and out of my shop to plane it whether it needed or not, and after an hour of mad craziness I could not believe, my machine was improper called wood jointer, it should have been called butter jointer.
In this madness that hit me I forgot to check one fir board before starting to plane it and of course I missed a pretty big staple in it that ruined my whole night in just a fraction of second. I was demoralized, all my blades got a perfect nick almost in the center but after few seconds I recalled I had my new jig, I almost forgot about it so this time I planned to use my method that I was playing in my head with before getting my hands on the jig.
Well,  20 minutes after the blades were removed and I do not exaggerate at all, I was back in the business, my neighbors will probably complain about a crazy caveman using his jointer at 2am but so far nobody knocked on my door to tell me to take it easier. After the second sharpening the blades seemed to be even better than the first session, this time I also tried to dry shave the hair on my left hand and the 40 degrees bevel took the hair off almost like a Japanese chisel.
So far this is the most precise Tormek jig I have, I also sharpened a couple of low angle plane blades with it and all the counting of the passes to keep the corners in the same line with the rest of the blade is gone, the blade ends always straight. My jointer blades have never been so sharp before, new or freshly sharpened by the professional sharpening services, they were NEVER SO SHARP, end of the story.
Now for who is interesting in my SVH-320 method I will outline it below, it worked for me fast and easy, if you are happy with yours you can safely skip it:

1.   Prepare the stone for the desired grit and make sure it is true.
2.   Mount the worse blade in the blade holder. You can measure the narrower blade if you don't have nicks. I mount it in the middle of the blade holder and mark the bevel with a sharpie. I like to apply a drop of mineral oil on the notch that will contact the support, it makes everything move much easier.
3.   Remove the honing wheel.
4.   Replace the universal support with the svh-320 one and set the stoppers to keep the blade on the wheel at all times.
5.   Backup the screw that sets the angle as much as it will give you the liberty to swing the support as much as you want.
6.   Set the blade holder on the support and use two spring clamps on their ends to keep the blade holder fully contacting the support.
7.   First set the grinding angle like for any other hand tool ignoring the parallelism of the jig with the surface of the wheel. Use only one nut as with the universal jig, the left one and make sure the right one is backed up high enough to allow you to set the angle.
8.   Try the angle on the blade by moving the wheel with your hand while the blade contacts the stone and adjust the left nut until you are happy with the angle.
9.   Now press the support down and bring the angle screw until it contacts the back of the support. The angle setting is done, you can forget about it.
10.   For the parallelism move the light on the opposite side on the wheel and adjust ONLY the right nut until all the blade contacts the wheel surface. When you are happy you are ready to sharpen. Don't forget to remove the clamps if you used them.
11.   I start grinding at this "0" setting, I find that most of the time is enough. If it is not then you can adjust in small increments BOTH nuts. I never go over 0.1. In my first try I actually sharpened more than I needed. You have to do this incremental thing ONLY FOR THE FIRST BLADE. For the next ones you keep the final setting you found is making you happy with the first blade.
12.   While grinding I keep my hands behind the tightening screws and I apply moderate pressure. You will feel and hear when for that particular setting there is nothing to remove anymore.
13.   I never felt it during my blades sharpening but if you feel the stone is not cutting grade and clean the wheel any time is needed.
14.   When you are happy with the edge of the blade mount the second one and KEEP the setting unchanged until you are done with all of them.
15.   Honing.
16.   Enjoy the sound of butter jointer/ planer.