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No nonsense sharpening machine

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Review by ThorinOakenshield posted 04-02-2014 04:48 AM 3714 views 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
No nonsense sharpening machine No nonsense sharpening machine No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

So, this machine is a glorified belt sander. Said glorification is however, not unmerited. I’ve been turning for less than a year, I purchased all my turning tools used, none of them had a consistent profile on them… until I purchased the ProEdge. I found myself hunting for other tools to sharpen.

Cost: This unit is expensive and if I hadn’t had a gift card to knock a nice chunk of the cost down, I probably wouldn’t have bought it. The cheapest I've seen it is here. They even take off an extra $5 for signing up on the site.

Performance: The machine has a good motor that does not bog down. The presets are very strait forward and can be modified rapidly. The deluxe model came with 3 belts (60, 120, and 240 grit). I also purchase the 3 Trizact belts (600, 1200, and 3000 grit). The 60 grit zirconium belt really remove material fast and still looks new after all my tools (8-10) being re-profiled. The 120 and 240 aluminum oxide belts do a great job of putting an acceptable edge on the tools but show some wear. The 3 Trizact belt are very durable and are not used long to get a near mirror finish on my tools. While not entirely necessary for turning tools the polish makes for a better cut, especially on my oval skew. Here’s a quick photo:

Tweaking: Out of the box the standard gouge jig was not square to the belt. It was easy to square it up quick. The tracking was slightly off… also very easy to adjust. The skew and gouge jigs didn’t slide easy but that was fixed by running on the ProEdge and applying a little paste wax.

I also re-profiled some old plane and chisel blades I had. For serious use I would still need to hone them on a stone or higher grit sand paper.
I’ve run my pocket knife over the 1200 and 3000 Trizact free hand which put a nice edge on it really quick.

Cons: Nothing major enough to dock it a star, but here they are.
1. The side guard needs to be rethought. Twisting the two hand nuts is the slowest part of this whole machine. How about a hinge and a quick latch Mr. Sorby? My guard mostly stays off.
2. The motor on the left can sometimes get in the way a tad with larger handled tools that have a low angled grind, minor annoyance.
3. The finish on tool support is a bit rough for this price range. Hand to use the ProEdge to flatten out and clean up the skew and standard gouge guides so they would slide better. At least I had the tool to do it right ;)
4. Cost.

Pros: 1. Belt width is a nice 2 inches wide. Way better than my old grinding wheel.
2. Quick belt changes with side guard off.
3. Quick setting of angles and jigs.
4. Cutting edge of my tools has never been better.
5. Relatively quiet.
6. On-board instructions: see 2nd photo at top.
7. Don’t have to think hard about sharpening and spend more time turning.
8. Adjusting the angle of the belt makes working at any angle convenient.

Would I recommend it? Yes… buy cheaper chisels and get this sharpener. Using it is a pleasure.

-- -Thorin Oakenshield, King Under the Mountain




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ThorinOakenshield

97 posts in 852 days



15 comments so far

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RogerBean

1299 posts in 1707 days


#1 posted 04-02-2014 12:42 PM

Thorin,
Great review. I think this would be a great and viable alternative to the old Wilton square wheel grinder I bought back when I was making some knives years ago. At $500 it’s much more realistic than the Wilton (which has apparently been bought by Jet and the same tool is now $2800). These belt machines are much more controllable than a regular stone wheel grinder and once you’ve used them, it’s hard not to like ‘em.
Roger

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

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ThorinOakenshield

97 posts in 852 days


#2 posted 04-02-2014 01:05 PM

I’m not sure if I’ve seen the jet/wilton sharpener. Is it the one that is like Tormek? I considered Tormek but he price ($500-$800 with jigs) is way up there. I also liked the idea of the flat grind/cut instead of the slight concave cut you get with a wheel.

The work sharp 3000 seems like a good machine, but kind of cumbersome when watching someone trying to profile fingernail gouges.

-- -Thorin Oakenshield, King Under the Mountain

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RogerBean

1299 posts in 1707 days


#3 posted 04-02-2014 01:17 PM

Thorin,

Here’s a picture of the Jet machine. New color, but identical to the old Wilton.

I see that a variable speed model is now available, but price goes up to $4000. It’s really more of a knife making grinder (optional size wheels, etc) than just a sharpening tool, but sharpens fine. Uses a 2” x 42” belt. Originally designed for industrial de burring operations etc. I think. Been around for many years.

My main point is just that I think your machine is by far the better buy these days.
Roger

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

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helluvawreck

16043 posts in 1620 days


#4 posted 04-02-2014 01:21 PM

Your view is very much appreciated. It looks like a real nice practical piece of equipment.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View dean2336's profile

dean2336

213 posts in 1663 days


#5 posted 04-02-2014 01:29 PM

I purchased this machine about four months ago.At $500 that might seem a little pricey but it is a bargin once you use it.The tools are always sharpened at the same porfile and scarry sharp.You can also use it free hand for the special tools.

-- dean2336,nebr.

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ThorinOakenshield

97 posts in 852 days


#6 posted 04-02-2014 01:30 PM

Roger- Oh wow… $4000! I agree, ProEdge wins. FYI- The ProEdge belts are 2×41’’ I think.

-- -Thorin Oakenshield, King Under the Mountain

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Mainiac Matt

4490 posts in 1082 days


#7 posted 04-02-2014 06:22 PM

Looks like a very nice system…

Nice job reviewing it.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4509 posts in 1134 days


#8 posted 04-04-2014 03:05 AM

Good review and Sorby has a nice video too but at $530 it’s outside my woodworking budget.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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oldnovice

3872 posts in 2121 days


#9 posted 04-04-2014 05:46 PM

+1 on what Rick M. said!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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bglenden

8 posts in 1349 days


#10 posted 04-06-2014 06:00 AM

Could one flatten a chisel back with it?

Cheers,
Brian

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ThorinOakenshield

97 posts in 852 days


#11 posted 04-06-2014 12:23 PM

Flatten a chisel back? You’d have to take off the accessories. It could certainly do it. Youd just have to make sure the support behind the belt is perfectly flat. Maybe I’ll try it with one of my unflattened chisels and get back to you.

-- -Thorin Oakenshield, King Under the Mountain

View hairy's profile

hairy

2109 posts in 2286 days


#12 posted 06-30-2014 03:04 PM

Has your opinion changed after 3 months? I’ve been eyeballing this for a while, it looks very promising. I wonder if they nickel and dime you to death buying accessories to make it useful, or is it fairly complete? From what I have seen, it is ready for woodturning right out of the box, but jigs for hand tools, knives and plane irons need to purchased separately.I may be wrong about this.Have you had to buy any add ons?

As far as cost, it appears to be a bargain when you consider a grinder, wolverine jig and CBN wheels will cost more, and can only do woodturning tools. This is advertised as able to sharpen almost anything.

I’ve watched the videos, have not seen one in person. I have some of their turning tools. They make high quality tools. I like hearing what folks have to say when they are NOT trying to sell it to me.

-- in the confusion, I mighta grabbed the gold ...

View ThorinOakenshield's profile

ThorinOakenshield

97 posts in 852 days


#13 posted 06-30-2014 03:32 PM

Hairy – I’ve really enjoyed having it. I find it is pretty complete. I bought the deluxe (PED01) so it came with the fingernail jig and 3 belts and everything I needed to sharpen bench chisels, planes, and all my turning tools. You can buy a square guide but just use the edge of the bowl gouge jig (long V looking thing) to square my chisel to the abrasive.

The things I have done since I purchased it was:
1 – sold my bench grinder.

2 – buying the 3 trizact belts like I mentioed above which are wonderful for bench chisels and planes. I also use them on the turning tools still. I don’t find that I need to hone the plane blades past 3,000 grit I get with the trizact belt.

3- created a little rack (picture a block of wood, a square dowel sticking up out of it with another square dowel crossing it at the top like a T). Then I have little pegs in the T Rack to hang my belts on. In the wooden blocks I have a dado and some holes to hold the fingernail profiler and the other accessories and tools.

4 – Created my own version of the “proset” http://www.robert-sorby.co.uk/proset.htm out of ply wood. In their older videos they say that a 2 inch over hang on the fingernail profile give you a 45 degree angle so I just added or subtracted 1/2 inch or so and set my stops.

I am still excited to find a dull tool in the house. I’ve thought about making the Long Grind Jib out of a dowel. But haven’t needed a long grind yet.

-- -Thorin Oakenshield, King Under the Mountain

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hairy

2109 posts in 2286 days


#14 posted 07-01-2014 03:03 PM

Thanks! Where did you buy it? The link you put in is dead.

Woodcraft and Craft Supplies have it, but they put their own part # on it, so I’m not sure which version you get. Sorby’s webpage sells different versions. I’ve also read about the US versions have a different tool rest than the UK type. UL got involved.

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2081591/31170/Sorby-ProEdge-Plus-Sharpening-System.aspx

http://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/p/93/4220/Robert-Sorby-Pro-Edge%E2%84%A2-Sharpening-System-6-Piece-Set?term=pro%20edge

Thebestthings also has it.https://www.thebestthings.com/newtools/sorby_proedge.htm

It looks to me like they are all selling the same thing, just the price is different.

That proset gauge is what I’m talking about. $22 seems kinda steep for that.

If I get one, it won’t be soon. This is real tempting. Thanks!!!

-- in the confusion, I mighta grabbed the gold ...

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ThorinOakenshield

97 posts in 852 days


#15 posted 07-01-2014 03:42 PM

Yeah… $22 for a small piece of sheet metal… that’s why I made my own.
Got mine at http://www.chefwarekits.com I looked it up and the price has gone up significantly.
thebestthings has the best price.

-- -Thorin Oakenshield, King Under the Mountain

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