The biggest problem I have with my Tormec grinding system is keeping the
surface of the stone flat and square. The tool they supply is time
consuming and it leaves grooves in the surface of the wheel. So, I ask this
learned group of woodworkers: will using a T-shaped diamond impregnated
dressing tool (like the one used for regular grinding wheels) give
satisfactory results on a Tormec?
Lake Travis, TX
have you checked out the site run by Jeff Farris at www.sharptoolsusa.com?
That's where I bought my Tormek, and he has some demonstration videos on it
that are very useful. There is also a user forum there. Also, check out
the yahoo discussion group "tormekusers".
At any rate, I'm not sure what you're doing, but it should take you long at
all to use the dressing attachment that is designed for the Tormek. If you
follow the procedure it is really simple and fast. You don't have to do it
in several passes, or go really slow or anything. If you set the depth stop
properly, and apply even and firm pressure on the tool, just start it off of
one edge and move towards the center of the wheel and move at a moderate
The grooves are SUPPOSED to be there after you dress the stone - the manual
even says this, IIRC. That's just how it works - but it does get the stone
true and parallel to the jig arm - which is what you need to do. AFter you
do the dressing, you need to use the coarse side of the stone grader to
remove the grooves. It should take you at most 5 minutes to use the
dressing tool, and maybe another minute with the stone grader. Of course,
if you are using a lot of carving and turning gouges, and not re-truing the
stone often enough, you might get a stone that needs more work. YMMV. But,
generally, it should be a time-consuming and/or difficult process in the
On a side note, if you need to reshape a tool - change the primary bevel for
example - you can use the stone immediately after truing and it will cut
faster than the coarsely graded stone. Obviously you'll need to grade the
stone successively after this, but it does provide a way to use the Tormek
in a slightly faster cutting mode.
It's supposed to leave grooves. The stone grader "brick" takes care
I suppose if a jig could be made to hold the tool you propose to use,
but why bother when Tormek has already done all the work with theirs?
I recently got the Tormek tool and I gotta say it was one of the best
things I could have done for it. I don't what took me so long. That
tool should come with the machine.
I used to take my 220 grit DMT stone to true up the Tormek. I found the
stone to be too soft for my turning tools which had me spending more
time truing the stone more than sharpening. I don't use it any more. I
do a LOT of turning. I may dig the Tormek out some time to redo my
bench chisels, and hand plane blades.
I don't do a LOT of turning, so that probably has something to do with it -
but all you have to do is make sure you regrade the stone frequently enough
to avoid large divots in the stone - the regrading takes 15-20 seconds
normally. After you establish your inital bevel, all you have to do to get
a turning tool back up to speed takes at most 15-20 seconds on the stone
(assuming you don't have a large nick in it or something). If you choose to
polish the edge, that's another 10-15 seconds (at most!). So, let's say you
just finished sharpening your gouge and used it and it needs to be touched
up again. Even if you have to regrade the stone, and repolish it, you're
looking at about 1-2 minutes of time, and then you have a gouge ready to go
again. And, you will easily be able to use this gouge for a LOT longer than
2 minutes before retouching it up again.
There is NO better and faster and easily repeatable way to sharpen turning
tools than a Tormek, IMO. I'm sure there are a lot of ppl that can free
hand sharpen at a grinder, but I can't. So, except for these ppl, I think
the Tormek is perfect. And, moreover, you'll get a much better edge with
the Tormek, too. I never had a clue how sharp a turning tool could be (and
how great a truly sharp tool is) until I got the Tormek.
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