Choosing a grinder

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After taking hours to grind a small nick out of a chisel on bench stones (320 grit and 120 grit) I've come to the conclusion that I need some sort of power grinder for tasks like this, as well as for grinding back primary bevels, and maybe for shaping tools (like to camber a blade for coarse work).
I don't have a place to set up a grinder permanently, so it is going to have to be something I stow when it's not in use and bring out when I'm using it. Space is a concern. That makes the standard bench grinder seem suboptimal as they are somewhat large and heavy.
I was therefore thinking that the recently introduced WorkSharp 3000 might be a suitable alternative. This device spins sandpaper on a glass plate. I have seen this thing positively reviewed in a few places, and it's comparatively small and light.
Does anybody have any comments on the task of grinding tools and whether this device is a reasonable substitute for a bench grinder?
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I would spend the money on either the Tormek or the Veritas before I would spend it on the Worksharp. The other 2 have more features that will grow with you.
I have a Delta 23-700 and I never use the wet stone. I bought it at a garage sale. The stone isn't true, and when I say that, I mean IT ISN'T TRUE. Its out of round and side to side. The thing acts like an egg. I trued up the round part as best as possible. but can't use it for backs at all.
I do use the fast moving white stone occasionally to reshape. Other than that I have a set of water stones and Arkansas stones.
The veritas system is close to the worksharp, but it looks like it has more smart features.. check carefully.
The Tormek... well what can't you say about the Tormek, except that Jet now makes a similar machine for about 100 less.
snipped-for-privacy@cam.cornell.edu wrote:

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On Jan 4, 11:21 am, tiredofspam <nospam.nospam.com> wrote:

These extra features aren't obvious to me. The Tormek is a big machine which seems like it would be awkward to store and move around. The Veritas seems similar to the worksharp for double the price, and it doesn't have the "see through" feature or the aluminum guide that conducts heat away from the tool edge.
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The Tormek has a handle on top, and stores in a milk crate. But you may have to empty the water tray, and you should not dump it down the drain. And there is the accessories. I think the water tray would be more of a problem (but it does detach).
It doesn't need fastening to the table - however. The speed is slow enough that it doesn't vibrate.
As for the extra features, there are scissors, axes, kitchen knives, turning gouges, scrapers, carving tools, as well as the buffing wheel.
Being able to regrind a turning tool using the exact settings as last time in a minute is real handly.
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Speaking only as to the aluminum guide...
...I grind things for a living and there isn't a "support" made that will take enough heat from a tool being ground to make any difference.
For there to be a heat draw, you need a couple things that a support bar isn't going to provide:
1) constant contact to the heat sink....just resting your chisel on an aluminum bar isn't gonna do it
2) LOTS of contact...if you have a 1/2" diameter bar and a 2" wide plane blade, you will have, at best, a LINE of contact that is 2" long, and there isn't going to be a lot of heat transferred at that rate.
3) proximity... your heatsink needs to be as close to the source of the heat as is possible to prevent the steel that is the rest of the chisel from getting heat the it will hold on to for a long time.
Now, I'm the first to admit that I don't know a lot about the grinders that you are considering, but I DO know a lot about grinding and what it does to steel.
SO...if you are confident in your skills on stones for FINISHING an edge and are just looking for a rough grinder, you might want to consider a 1" belt grinder. They hhave very easy to change belts, so you can use differnent grits to get the edge close to what you want and they often have small disk sanders on the side that can be pretty useful.
I use one...it isn't the ONLY thing I use for grinding edges, but it's one of the first things I go to for rough, down and dirty grinding...everything from axes to turning chisels.
YMMV
Mike
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Are you sure? The support in the Worksharp is an aluminum platform that the entire tool back rests on. It extends right up to the cutting surface. Now it may be the case that even this doesn't make much difference for heavy grinding. I'm not sure.

The Worksharp has an aluminum platform, not a bar.

It's a platform. You have total contact on the back. I guess for Japanese tools with a hollow the contact wouldn't be as good....

I believe the heatsink extends right up to the cutting surface, so it's about as close to the edge as possible.
Now I did see a review in which it was noted that for heavy grinding, the tool got kind of hot. I don't know how much the heatsink helps. Also if you want to do anything other than grind to one of the preset angles, you can't use that heatsink.

Do you use this thing freehand or do you have some jigs? One thing I would like is to be able to grind uniform bevels on tools so that I can tell what my microbevels are doing by the line where they intersect the primary bevel.
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tiredofspam wrote:

Anyone have their 2007 Grizzly catalog? On the back cover is a sharpening machine that (to me, at least) looks like a mirror image of the Tormek/Jet and only costs $170. Does anyone have any hands on experience with this machine??
Wayne
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NoOne N Particular wrote:

Sure looks like the Tormek/Jet... <http://www.grizzly.com/products/10-Wet-Grinder-Kit/T10010>
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On Fri, 04 Jan 2008 15:05:17 -0800, NoOne N Particular

With Tormek experience, I can add some comments:
How is the tool rest height adjusted? There are no threads on the Grizzly post. The post threads are important.
The Tormek and Jet "grinder" are simple, basic machines. The real meat of the machines are the jigs and the manuals. I see no jigs on the Grizzly site. Perhaps the genuine jigs have heavy duty patents on them?
If you add the basic Tormek adjustable post and included parts, the Grizzly isn't a huge deal, and you still wouldn't know the quality of the Grizzly wheel.
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The Tormek manual mentions several of the jigs that are patented. In the grizzley, as noted, there are no dials. This is essential, especially when using the diamond truing attachment.
Also - I don't see the second jig bracket (so you can cut both towards and away from the rotation).
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Maxwell Lol wrote:

OK. So I wonder if the Tormek or Jet attachments would fit and align properly.
And secondly, the Grizzly machine is more like a mirror of the others. Stone on the left side instead of the right (and I assume opposite rotation. The rest comes up and goes left instead of right. Vertical brackets on the front instead of the back. Horizontal brackets on the back instead of the front. So if you look at the picture of the Grizzly machine, it looks like the second jig bracket you are talking about is along the back of the machine instead of the front as in the Tormek/Jet machines. I can see one knob sticking up and if you look closely there is part of a second knob that is just partially visible behind the large wheel. Is that what you are talking about?
Wayne
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They are supposed to be interchangable.

Depends on how you face it. :-)
:The rest comes up and goes left instead of right.

You are right. I can see both locations for the jig to attach. So it can handle both configurations. Thanks for the correction!
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On Sat, 05 Jan 2008 12:35:21 -0800, NoOne N Particular

Turn it around, and it'll look just like the others.
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<<<<<<<<<, snip >>>>>>>>>>>>>

may have a small range of variable speed and that is about it. When you speak of dials, are you perhaps talking about the angle setter?
Wayne
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No. He's talking about the height adjustment on the metal jig holder.
You can see it in this picture
http://www.tormek.com/images/accessories/tt50/tt50_600.jpg
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wrote:
As I'm a bit more on the Neaderthal side than most, but let me recommend a different option. Outside of saws, I've been using handtools for nearly everything lately - the "slippery slope" as it's called...
Certainly grinders can speed up the process - but the investment might be more than you bargined for. Jigs, tool rests, good wheels - and some people don't like the hollow grind. Nor am I a big fan of the sandpaper method of sharpening - it's a good starting place, but for the long term, I needed something with more industrial strength. Continually having to replace the paper can get expensive.
You might consider a DMT Duosharp coarse and xtra-course diamond stone. Removes metal faster than you might realize... I can cut new bevel on a 2" A2 plane blade in less than 10 minutes. Flatten your backs faster - and flatten your waterstones.
If I could borrow a penny, that'd by my 2 cents...
- jbd
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On Jan 4, 11:32 am, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I generally prefer hand tools and would be delighted with a hand tool solution. But having already spent too much money on non-powered things that didn't work---coarse stones and lapping plates with diamond paste---I feel like I'm better off giving up and buying a powered device. I asked for advice from a guy who sells very good hand tools, including diamond stones, and he said "use a grinder".

The Worksharp 3000 can be had for $180. I estimated the cost of a grinder with a high quality wheel, tool rest, and wheel dressing tool at around $180 as well. Now the worksharp requires sand paper so there is that continuing cost, but it includes an integral tool rest. I assume that grinding wheels last a long time, but they are also expensive, so I'm not sure how the operating cost of the grinder compares to that of the sandpaper based Worksharp. It appears that the Worksharp is more versatile since it presents a surface that is guaranteed to be flat.

I have read and read about the DMT diamond stones, both here and elsewhere, and I keep reading that they often have a very short lifespan. People report that they quit cutting after a few hours of use. People sometimes report that they don't cut particularly fast as well. I read that someone killed a DMT stone by trying to flatten a coarse shapton stone on it. I was thinking about getting one (seeing no clear alternative) when I got the advice to get a powered grinder instead.
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On Fri, 4 Jan 2008 12:50:02 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@cam.cornell.edu"
Just a comment on the DMT life. They don't seem to ever wear out from my experience. Maybe they get finer and finer but I still get good service out of my first DMT that I bought at least 15 years ago.
In addition, I used to know the Powells (Andover, MA) who owned DMT (and maybe still do) and Hank's biggest complaint was that they don't wear out thus DMT doesn't have a replacement market to speak of. The only problem is that they are expensive but, as they last so long, the annual cost is minimal!
At least that's my opinion.

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Understood completely - and regardless, it's good to keep your eyes open no matter the path you choose. I'd hate to steer you wrong - but all I can do is give you my opinion, and hope you make a choice that works best for you!
I've used a Tormek - and it's a good tool, just not for me. I've not used the Worksharp, so I can't comment... When I was in your shoes, I was just about to pull the trigger on the Woodcraft grinder, the Veritas deluxe tool rest, a special order Norton stone, and wheel dressing tool (yea, about $200) - and with alternate recommendations, decided the DMT was worth a try. I've been very happy with it....
I've never seen where a DMT wore out after a few hours work... I think that's crazy talk!!
And the DMT works great to flatten my blue 320 Shapton (and yellow 1000, and purple 5000, and green 8000). But, yes, I feel your frustration \ fear. I bought the 320 Shapton SPECIFICALLY to flatten blades and cut a "fast" bevel. pfft - it doesn't do it; and my arms ached trying! I've worn a groove in the coarse Shapton from the elipse guide trying to cut a bevel. Again, the DMT xcoarse (220) rips it faster than 60 grit sandpaper.
Eh, give the Worksharp a try - and let us know!!! I may have to change my methodology!
Good luck! -jbd
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Here are a few quotes from a knife forum: http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-410952.html
"I have been pressing very hard on the x-coarse DMT, done about a dozen sessions of significant use. It isn't as fast as the 200 silicon carbide"
"I used my x-coarse DMT to reprofile one side of a Jess Horn in ZDP-189 to a uniform 12 degrees. It took about a thousand passes on the stone, I was also pressing fairly hard, about 25 lbs (used scale). I then used a 200 grit silicon carbide waterstone to bring the other side flat with the primary grind in about two minutes."
"My experience with the DMT extra coarse stone is that the first one I purchased cut very well for about a half hour, then "broke in" to cut OK for about 6 to 8 hours and then there were no more diamonds left over most of the stone."
"I have been told that normal steel tends to pull out the diamonds and this certainly has been my experience. This presumably is much more of a problem with very coarse grits than with finer grits. Again, this has been my experience in that I have had a couple of those cheap diamond paddles for many years in medium and fine, and they still work. I'm sure they have 50 to 100 hours each on them, at least."
"Also agree that diamond does not cut as fast as good waterstones (especially green carbide ones) with the same grit."
"I still am in love with the D8XX for coarse sharpening work like regrinding an edge. But I just got a few 36 grit ceramic belts for the 1x30 and WOW! They really take off the steel even on full hard steel."
--------------------------------------------------------- That's it for quotes.
Now I have a Silicon Carbide green stone and it's not fast enough for reshaping an edge. I have a Shapton 120 grit and it's not fast enough either. I also don't have a way that I like to flatten either one of these. The guy who suggested a bench grinder said he could grind a nick out of a chisel in a few seconds. So the talk about the diamonds seems to indicate that they aren't particularly fast, and they might wear out rapidly. It does seem like people experience different results.
Can anybody comment on the relative speed of a Norton 3X grinding wheel to a belt sander or disk sander?
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