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The Society of American Period Furniture Makers  |  Tools and Techniques  |  Power Tools and Shop Safety  |  Topic: Tormek sharpening machine « previous next »
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David Conley
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« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2011, 11:36:35 AM »

ttalma,

Great tip !!   I checked out the site you referenced.  This is not a PSA sandpaper, and the "soft cloth like material" worries me a little bit.  How do you attach the paper to the disk?  PSA adhesive spray, water, ??

Also, I have a 3 inch thick granite stone from Grizzle.  It is really heavy.  If I had it to do all over again, I would go for the 2 inch thick stone purely for weight reduction.

Dennis, you are making a living at this.  So, your time is money.  The Veritas system is the quickest system to get you back at woodworking that I know of.  I agree with ttalma that once you set your blade in the jig, you can sharpen it in 30 second including a change of grits.  I have also added an on/off foot pedal to my system so I can have both hands on the blade when turning the unit on and off.  That is especially nice for flattening the backs which is a hand operation.

Cheers,
David
« Last Edit: March 07, 2011, 07:17:09 PM by David Conley » Logged
ttalma
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« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2011, 09:19:08 AM »

Dennis, Scarry Sharp is the name given to sandpaper sharpening. Basically using wet/dry sandpaper designed for automotive finishing.

You use a flat surface, a piece of float glass, a 12" marble or granite tile, or in my case a granite surface plate. You mount the paper to the surface, and with a honing jig just sharpen like you are using a stone. I do a 10 count, and then go to the next higher grit of paper.

Woodcraft sells a power version of this method, I can't remeber the makers name, but I have only heard good things about it.

I tend to sharpen on an as needed basis so the paper on granite works for me.

I have grizzly's 3" stone and it has lips on it, so I can clamp the paper in place. In the past I have used a little water, and the peper holds well with surface tension, But you have to let the paper dry before restacking or you can get rust on the sheet below from the swarf. Now I've found a little blue tape holds it in place. But with chisels I just use 1 hand on the jig, and the other to hold the paper.

I use the polishing paper on the granite and treat it like regular paper. Like I mentioned in my last post, anything beyond 2000 is not the norm for me. But even though I can't see the difference, I can tell the performance difference on difficult grain, such as crotch. On normal grain I don't notice any difference between the 2000 and 8000.
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Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd.
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« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2011, 10:06:43 AM »

Dave - yes I am still doing this for a living.

Woodcraft and Rockler sell the clone, Wood Sharp and it has all good reviews.  I'm going to look at it today.  I use my hand plane every day.  The iron is good steel but not as hard as a L-N iron, therefore, I must sharpen it quite often.  Many times it takes quite a while to get an (almost) razor sharp edge.  Too much time is wasted doing this.  "Time is money".

What grits of paper do you recommend I use for touch-up sharpening?

Thanks,
Dennis Bork
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Professional period furniture maker since 1985.  Received a B.S. degree in physics then apprenticed and worked as a wood patternmaker for 12 years.
Adam Cherubini
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« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2011, 12:12:13 PM »

Dennis, are you talking about the worksharp?  It's a clone of a better Lee Valley machine that is essentially a rotating platten on which you mount sand paper.

I have a WorkSHarp 2000 and really don't care for it and wouldn't recommend it.  The problem I think it has is that the speed of the abrasive varies greatly between the center of the disk and the outer edge.  As a result, it's fairly easy to wreck just about anything you put on it.

For speed of sharpening, I think David Charlesworth has it right, although he's about 300 years late.  Flat backs are not required to make tools sharp.  I believe this notion came from some former machinist author, or shop teacher who was thinking about repeatability of surfaces.

To make a tool sharp we only need polished surfaces (not flat surfaces) meeting at an appropriate angle.  Therefore, however you (Dennis) hone your carving tools is how I think:

a) you should hone everything else
b) how guys honed their tools 300 years ago (and earlier). 

I think they knife edged their tools a little.  I think it has only positive results and it's quicker and easier to do.

BTW, I didn't like the 3X stones.  I thought they were too soft.  I never overheated my tools before them (or at least not lately).  Keeping the wheel clean and the pressure low is just a matter of experience.  The 3X stones threw grit all over my shop. I wouldn't touch a tool to one of those stones without full face protection (which was a first for me. I found them too messy.  If your grinder is separated sufficiently from the shop, the 3X may be just fine.  They are good stones, but I simply found the mess not worth the trouble.

Adam
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David Conley
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« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2011, 07:56:41 PM »

Dennis,

In my opinion, there is a big, big difference in sharpening results (and cost) between the Veritas (8 inch diameter) and the Worksharp (6 inch diameter). 

I think the Worksharp is inexpensive and does a pretty good job for the average woodworker. 

However at a local woodworking club, we had a sharpening demonstrations night.  One of the guys handed me a chisel that came off of the worksharp.  For the typical garage woodworker, it was pretty good for the investment.  But, I was not impressed.  I then took the chisel and ran the final two grits on it and handed it back to him.  He was impressed.  The edge was equilivent to about a Japanese 6000 grit which is "almost" razor sharp.

If you get a chance, you need to see a demo of the veritas.

One tip with these systems, they can generate a fair amount of heat.  So, keep some water or a finger on the blade when it is grinding.  When the water evaporates off the blade or your finger gets hot, dip it in a jar of water.  I have never overheated a blade by doing this.

When buying equipment, my dad always told me to buy the good stuff the first time.  So, you only have to buy it once.


Cheers,
David
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Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd.
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« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2011, 01:03:14 PM »

David,

I ended up buying the WorkSharp 3000.  I could buy it local and it is made in the USA.  I've used it several times and I find it works great.  I have not tried the Veritas so I can not compare the two.  I believe the Veritas is only sold at Lee Valley (mail order).  I was able to sharpen my C&W 2?" plane iron extremely fast and to a "scarry sharp" edge.  A big time saver for me (time is money).

Your father is probably right when he says you only have to buy the good stuff once.  However, we all buy clones (Grizzly, Jet, Powermatic, DeWalt, etc.) of the industrial machines like Yates, Bridgeport, Oliver, etc. and they all work fine and are afforable.

Thanks for your suggestions.
Dennis Bork
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Professional period furniture maker since 1985.  Received a B.S. degree in physics then apprenticed and worked as a wood patternmaker for 12 years.
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