RE: Tormek sharpening system

Anyone have experience/opinions about the Tormek Sharpening System. Expensive, is it worth it?
TIA
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LoboMike

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My opinion is that after seeing it demonstrated at the past woodworking show, it looks pretty awesome. However, at $400 for starters, you'd better have a LOT of sharpening to do, IMHO.
todd
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I have virtually every accessory for the Tormek. I also have other grinding wheels with tool rests, 1"x42" belt sander, waterstones to 8000 grit and diamond stones to 1200 grit (green DMT). I use them all when sharpening depending on what I am sharpening and what mood I am in. I love to hone chisels and plane irons on waterstones because of the sound of the metal on the waterstones and the peacefulness of the work. I use the belt sander for knives, using a 15 micron silicon carbide belt and leather belt with .5 micron honing compound. I also use it to touch up chisels. I use other grinding stones for very short chisels. The Tormek, I can use for virtually everything. I think that where it shines is with carving chisels, such as gouges. Although I have used it for regular chisels, plane irons, knives, scissors, etc. If you can afford it, it is a nice tool to have around. If not, there other far cheaper ways to accomplish the same thing.
Would I buy it again if I lost this one? Probably.
Preston

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LoboMike wrote:

everything that I've sharpened with it; however, I don't use it to sharpen the blades on my Lie-Nielsen planes. For those two planes, I use four grades of waterstones and finish with a leather strop. The Tormek gave a good to great finish on the plane blades, but the waterstones gave an even better finish. The waterstones produced a finish that produced a thinner shaving and reduced effort when pushing the plane. If it were necessary to replace the Tormek, I'd buy another in a heartbeat.
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this is the key the tormek is a grinder above all else. the same with the makita it will do the bulk of the work but if you want a really sharp edge you need to finish on a stone or SS or whatever. buffing will not replace final grits. not all tools need this but planes and chisels do.
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I too have a Tormek w/all the jigs. And now you can buy a Japanese waterstone created just to fit the Tormek...hey! It's only money....!
Philski
Richards wrote:

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LoboMike wrote:

There's a Yahoo Tormek group you might want to look into. You can read posts without joining.
The unit with the standard jig works well on most bench chisels and plane irons. Doesn't work with short chisels like butt chisels or short carving chivels. Most of those can be done with another jig - at an extra cost of course.
The leather strop wheel I got took a bit of work to get even close to flat and round - still have a high spot I can't seem to get rid of.
Tormek says you can flatten the backs of chisels and plane irons on the sides of the wheel but it's not easy to come down on the side of the spinning wheel perectly flat. Just a touch on an edge and you have more work to do. It's also hard to lift the flat back off the side of the stone with out tilting it. Again a problem. So, even with the Tormek you'll still need some stones or scary sharp set up for flattening the backs of bench chisels and plane irons.
Even when you use their "special grading stone" and go from coarse to fine mode the wheel still leaves scratches that the strop, with their special polishing paste, doesn't take out. The polishing paste is actually abrassive and will round over a chisel's corners so if you're not careful you can screw up all the sharpening you've done.
There is a special (available at an additional cost ) leather strop for craving chisels but it doesn't go down small enough for detail V chisels etc..
If you want to spend some bigger bucks, there's a flat plate lap with different plates that is smaller, quieter doesn't require sloshing water and seems to get things sharper quicker from an outfit called WoodArt. "Only" $695 US.
If I've got a lot of sharpening to do I'll get out the Tormek and do all my edge tools that could use either a sharpening or some touch up. Otherwise I just use japanese water stones for just a tool or two. Even using the Tormek, I'll finish sharpening on the water stones where things happen at human speed.
Would I buy this unit again? Sure, but 'm a tool freak and am sans SWMBO.
charlie b
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I find touching the final edges up with a Hard Arkansas or my 8000 grit (gold) waterstone puts a superb finish on most of my tools.
Philski
charlie b wrote:

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LoboMike,
We looked over the market and decided to splurge on the Tormek. We love it.
Sometimes it pays to go for the best.
Andy

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well if you want the best you better open your wallet far more (G)
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And one other point that I overlooked - the Tormek WILL NOT burn an edge. It keeps the tool very cool while grinding. I have toasted my share of tools on my slow-speed (1725 RPM) grinder and when I sharpen my gouges, it does a great job without bluing the tool.
Philski
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but because of that you have less speed. for real steel removal nothing beats a good belt grinder with zirconia belts.
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Can you sharpen jointer and planer blades without having something like a Tormek?
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I use the Delta sharpening system to sharpen y 12 1/2" and 6" planer and jointer blades and have for a couple of years when it first come out. Did need all of the \ accessories that the Tormek offered. Quite pleased with results. Ken

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A simple holding jig and a sanding disk is all I use to sharpen my planer and jointer blades on my Shopsmith. I assume it would work the same on any tablesaw equiped with a sanding disk. Plans are in Decristoforo's Power Tool Woodworking For Everyone, although I bought the commercial jig from Shopsmith.
Dave Hall
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