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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
<<<<<<<<<< snippage >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
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??
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
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.
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).
OK. So I wonder if the Tormek or Jet attachments would fit and align
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?
Dials??? I don't see any dials on the Tormek. The Jet looks like it
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?
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
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...
On Jan 4, 11:32 am, email@example.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
On Fri, 4 Jan 2008 12:50:02 -0800 (PST), " firstname.lastname@example.org"
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.
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
Here are a few quotes from a knife forum:
"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
"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
Can anybody comment on the relative speed of a Norton 3X grinding
wheel to a belt sander or disk sander?
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