|Review by dsb1829||posted 03-03-2009 09:10 PM||13597 views||0 times favorited||12 comments|
I posted up a couple of reviews of this grinder on youtube shortly after purchase:
I don’t find myself using this tool all that much, but when I need to use it the thing is very handy to have around. Depending on your definition of sharp this could be the only sharpener in your shop. I have taken chisels from the wheel to the strop and been back to work in a couple of minutes. Not as nice as a hand-honed edge, but if you are hacking mortises or rough work it is just fine. So far I have sharpened knives, chisels, and plane irons on this machine. Nothing too hard to setup, but I do find that it takes a bit of fiddling to get the grind square. Once set you are ready to roll though.
Quick, took about 2 minutes to put it together out of the box. You will need a wheel dresser to true up the stone. Initially I used a diamond multi-point dresser free hand and checked the stone for square. Oil the strop and charge it. It comes with an unidentified white honing paste, but I prefer green chromium oxide paste.
- My guide bar was not square. I was able to bend it to 90 degrees and HF also sent me a replacement.
- The stop is pretty wobbly and had a bad joint. I was able to remove some leather at the joint (razor blade, rasp) to stop the thump on every revolution.
- It is a bit messy. I don’t recall the numbers off the cuff, but taking the rpm and wheel size this machine has a wheel sfpm about twice that of a Tormek so it picks up and splashes more water. The water isn’t very well contained. I currently use a tape diverter to route water back into the tray when doing wider blades.
Add-ons / Hopping it up:
- Tormek TT-50, diamond wheel dresser (much more consistent dressing the wheel)
- Tormek SP-650, stone grader (allows you to refine the grinding surface). Taking a guess at equivalent grit effect, coming off the diamond dresser the stone is probably 100-200g, rough grade approx 200-300g, fine grade 400-600g.
Many have discovered that the Jet and Tormek fixtures do work with this grinder as well. I can’t comment on jigs I haven’t tried yet.
I took off a star for some of the issues I had to work with. But for the price it is a good tool. I can’t see anything of great improvement on the other tormek clones that cost 2-4 times as much. I have see this sold as low as $60 on special. I paid about $80 and would do it again. Some knock the plastic case, but I think it is a wise thing to have around all this water.
-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama