FWW Article on sharpening machines


I have been thinking about upgrading my sharpening capabilities. Consequently, I was excited when I saw that FWW did a review of motorized sharpening systems.
Boy was I disappointed. The author did a minireview of each machine, but used different criteria for each machine, or at least commented on different aspects of each machine. This approach made it pretty much impossible compare and contrast products.
I paid particularly close attention to the Makita 9820-2.The author said that it is great for jointer and planer knives, it is a weak for plane irons because you have to freehand the iron on the tool rest.
I find this odd because Steve Knight has been a proponent of this tool and he uses it primarily for plane irons. On top of that he just invested in a spiral jointer setup (abandoning the ability to in-house-sharpen his knives). It just seems all very counter to the articles assessment.
I specifically want to in-source my jointer and planer knife sharpening. The review of the Makita would have been more helpful if it told me what other systems had knife sharpening capability and if it was any good.
In fairness, knife sharpening was probably outside the scope of the article, but the introduction said that he would test the systems on chisels plane irons and carving tools. I don't recall him commenting on carving tool capability anywhere in the article.
My dad has a Delta 23-700, one of the tools reviewed. Frankly, I think the quality of that unit sucks. The article really did not pan any unit. It just picked a favorite.
Did anyone else think that article left allot to be desired?
-Steve
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I haven't goten to that paticular article yet but...it sure seems to me that any of FWW's reviewers are way too careful about stepping on any toes. Is this a case of biting the hand that feeds you? I also wish that they could be more critical of the tools that they review. At least they finally started using the "Best Value" and "Best Overall" indicators. Before that it was neutral reviews in the EXTREME. At any rate, I still wait by the mail box each time an issue is due to arrive.
Jon

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Yeah - Highland Hardware sells a $14.95 2-in-1 jig that solves this problem. A 15 second google search would have found it (It's listed as #7 - "User's Guide" when searching for "makita" and "9820."
I was not impressed with the review.
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Sucks doesn't even come Close to describing the 23-700! I hate to dump that much metal in the recycling, but that's where it will wind up. The tool rest for the wet wheel is not too bad, and I've scavenged that for another grinder.
DO NOT BUY ONE!!
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The trend of "reviews" seems to be going towards product descriptions and perhaps "features" with little if any mention of how well it works or doesn't work and why - in real world terms. They might as just put this stuff in the New Products Announcement section and save us all the time trying to compare pros and cons before forking over some dough.
Between the bean counters and the lawyers the world is heading towards beige. At some point I'll be happy with mauve.
charlie b
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charlie b wrote:

I don't know if any of you are into audio, but that same happens in those magazines, as this very funny article notes.
http://www.g8wrb.org/useful-stuff/audiophools.pdf
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Read the FWW aricle and concur with your observation.
IMHO most rags understand that their revenue stream is based on adverisers, not subscribers. Not "biting the hand" is, regretfully, symptomatic.
There are avery few magazines that avoid this problem. Two I know (and subscribe to) are Gun Tests and Consumers Report. They both call it like it is because they accept no advertising.
Gun Tests has saved me lots of bucks (or tears) on firearm's stuff that sounds good, comes from "reputable" manufacturers, but fails the real world test.
Wish we woodwookers had an equivalent.
Regards.
Tom
On Tue, 27 Dec 2005 08:06:02 -0500, "Stephen M"

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While that is true and I can understand that balancing act, other advertising magazines to manage to do much better veviews.
The author could have provided a table of list prices capacities and capabilities/jigs for each machine. The author did not even manage to do this in the form of prose because he reviewed each tool differently.
BTW, does anyone in their right mind try to lap tools on the side of a wheel? I've never tried it but it seems to me it would have all the effectiveness of flattening a table table top with a belt sander.
-Steve
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Stephen M wrote: <snip>

Effectiveness is not the problem--using the side of a wheel can be effective--it's safety. Most wheels and grinders are not designed to have sideways force applied, and that method can cause the wheel to shatter. Wheels shattering at that speed demand very good protection devices if you don't want to spend time in the hospital.
H
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Read the instructions to the Tormek and come back. We'll wait.

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OK, I'll bite: wait for what?
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For you to fallow the instructions in the previous post.

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OK, I did. Now what?
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Stephen M wrote:

a belt sander is an appropriate tool for flattening a tabletop if the table top is starting from a flatness of less than what the belt sander can produce. after that you'll prolly want to progress on to something with a bit more finesse.
I have a chisel that I have been working on for a couple of years now. it's about 2-1/2" or 3" wide and weighs 3 or 4 pounds- and spent a bunch of time in the bottom of a bucket of dirty water. I have a plan for it which includes lapping the sole flat. the pits in the sole are something to behold... and I've been working it on the side of a grinding wheel for a while now.
point being, a tool can be applied in more than one way. you could lap tools on the pavement by leaning out the door with them and bearing down on the freeway as you go down the road if that was the grade of work required.....
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Have you ever tried it?
I think you may have missed my point. A tabletop so something which will show a dig-in mercilessly. This is simply beacuse your face gets close to it, often with light reflecting off it at an angle. I know that you *can* flatten a table top with a belt sander, but you had better have quality unit and more importantly a well-finessed touch. I would venture to bet that in most cases beltsander + tabletop = mess.
It's really the wrong tool for the job and is particularly prone to creating more of a problem than it solves.
-Steve
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Did they cover the Lee Valley turntable system? I haven't seen much said about it for some reason.
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Yes, it was a favorite of the review.

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I was in the same space as you are now, wanting to insource my jointer and planer knive sharpening. I went with the makita and never looked back. It is wonderful for that job, and the way I figure the cost of sharpening knives on an outsource basis after five or six sharpenings I'll have the unit paid for, at least that's the way I look at it. Ditto the comment on the Highland hardware aftermarket jig for irons and chisels, for another $15 its worth it.
As far as how the machine works, it took me about 30 minutes to do the first 15" planer knive, the second took 15 minutes, the third 5. There is a learning curve, but the guide rule assembly is excellent. Download the instructions for using the machine that is found at the Highland Hardware site, they are very good and much clearer than the instructions that come with the manual. I picked mine up on a trip to the Grizzly store near Williamsport PA for $250, best $250 I have spent on a sharpening machine; I have the white waterwheel delta and its on a shelf, and has been for quite a while, its garbage.
Mutt
Stephen M wrote:

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