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Newby review, knife jig question, water trough question

Started by Rhino, January 19, 2010, 08:23:27 PM

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I bought the Tormek to sharpen kitchen knives.  It worked beautifully.  I put a 20 degree grind on each side (40 degrees total) and the knives feel so sharp.  At first they don't feel as sharp because my previous method leaves micro-serations which feels sharper.  So I was very concerned because I spent a lot of money (for me).  But once the knife is used on food, I can really feel the difference and I am glad I paid.

I also reshaped my 12 inch chef's knife to 11.5 inches to remove a big chip I broke off trying to chop a lobster.  It worked all the time except for the last time, when I was chopping a 10 pound lobster.  Yes, I own cleavers, I was just playing - and I plan to buy another 12 inch chef's knife if I ever fancy such an idea.

The leather wheel fits both ways but after some careful analysis, I figured out the correct way.  The new stone mounting nut was confusing because no instructions came with it. I know, of course how to screw it in but the directions talk about washers and not torquing the nut for fear of bending the axle. Instead, I should hammer on the wrench instead.  Of course, with the new nut, I was afraid to torque the stone for fear of bending the axle too.  And I was afraid because there were no washers so I did not know if I was missing a part or two parts.  I don't want to break the machine.  Things could have been more clear.

But I got the email about the upgrades and so all is OK now.

The stone required slight grading the first time for a very minor out of round.  After grinding 20 knives and reshaping a chef's knife, it did not appear to have worn much.

As for the Grizzly and the Jet.  I don't have them and never played with them but I have read the reviews.  I have the resources but not the time to build jigs to fix any and all deficiencies of these machines, tighten up the motors, get new bearings etc.  However, by the time I get the machine, build jigs to correct the defects, align the guides and everything, and test grind some blades, I would have wasted a lot of time and saved not so much money to get a funny looking end product that imitate something I could buy.  And then if I have to bring my grinder to visit a friend and relatives, I have to bring all these jigs.

My time is better spent making stuff you cannot buy.  That's the whole point of having a hobby - at least according to me.  I am not a manufacturer of off the shelf grinders for a little less money.

Question 1:
I do have a few questions, for things like a 12 inch chef's knife and boning knives, where should I clamp the knife jig to get the right angle on the curved part near the tip?  Right in the middle, or a specific number of inches from the curved tip?  I guess there is really no guide for sharpening a curved tip, it is really hand sharpening the curved tip using the jig as a rough guide. 

Also, for small knifes with a sharp point, like a triangular blade, I clamp the knife so that the cutting edge is parallel to the tool.  I figure this is correct because I want to align the cutting edge to the stone.

Any tip would be appreciated - please assume I know nothing.

Question 2.  I got the new water trough with the extension and the quick stone mount.  It seems the instructions state that the water trough can move up and down to adjust the water level?  I can't figure this out.  This is no big deal since I just pour in water and pour out water to adjust the level.  But, if the new trough is able to be moved up and down, please let me know and I will investigate.

Jeff Farris


Good to hear that you're off to a good start with your system.

To your questions.

I clamp the jig approximately centered on the blade, with the front edge of the jig approximately parallel with the straight(est) part of the blade. Close counts in both cases.

Not sure what you've read there on the water trough.  To remove it, you lift it up, move it in a little and then let it down, but it only mounts in on position.
Jeff Farris


I still can't figure out how to sharpen a curved knife.  Now I do it in two parts.  I clamp the holder to be parallel to the point and sharpen the point.  Then I clamp the holder to be parallel to the body and sharpen the body.  That seems to work out.

I'm probably doing something wrong.  When I try to sharpen a kitchen knife with a curved blade, like a French chef's knife, I can usually get the straight part of the blade very sharp but the curved part remains blunt - unless I use the two step method above.  I guess it will all come with experience.  I'll have to buy a cheap blade to practice.

Any insight would be appreciated.  I guess the alternative is to practice practice and practice.

Jeff Farris

Jeff Farris