|Review by PurpLev||posted 07-24-2009 04:41 AM||7355 views||0 times favorited||11 comments|
I got this used a couple of days ago. the price was right and I had wanted something that I could speed sharpening up, and get a hollow grind for freehand honing/touchups.
before getting it, I tried to gather as much information about this, as I haven’t seen too many reviews on the unit except for KnotScott’s review here, and some other reviews on Amazon (which I always take with a grain of salt). it seemed like all the reviews were raving about how good the machine is, which made me feel a little more comfortable buying it even as a used machine.
From some reviews It seemed that Grizzly is selling the same unit under their own name, but in terms of operations and all, they are identical, and so I checked on Grizzlys website, and found some references as to how to test the machine, and how to make sure the parts are in good condition. on top of that, the previous owner was kind enough to email me the user manual for the actual unit which was a big help. I also noticed that teenagewoodworker has the same unit as well, and after a PM he verified that he was pleased with it. so I set out to check the machine. when I saw it it was definitely in a “used” condition, but in an acceptable way. the wheel however seemed like it lost it’s roundness, although it had a flat face which was good. I was a bit nervous about that, especially since I never used nor seen any of these machines, but decided to take the chance, and buy it anyways. good decision!
I only had a chance to inspect the unit more thoroughly a day later. I used a dial indicator, and checked for runout. the shaft itself had a ~0.003” runout which I thought was somewhat insignificant, but the wheel had a runout of ~0.030”. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s not centered on the shaft, or because the wheel got out of round. I think I’ll have to get a diamond dressing stone to try and bring it back to normal (I’ll have to get that accessory anyways for the long run), and if not – I found that Rikon is the distributer for Scheppach in the states, and they are located a few blocks from my house… so convenient.
OK, so this review is about performance… lets get to it. But let me start by a little introduction:
I am not afraid or have anything against sharpening. until today I was using the “Scary Sharp” method religiously with out a hitch and was very fond of it – it is simple, effective, and very affordable. the only “high price” item I had was the Veritas MK-II honing Jig which is terrific. I used to grind my blades on 100 grit paper, and later on started using Diamond stones (got a set on sale at rockler at one time), and then once I had achieved the desired angle, I would flip the jig to the microbevel position, and hone that on the higher grit diamond stone (600) and the 1000 and 2000 grit wet papers to get a mirror finish on the tip. of course I also lapped the back to the same mirror finish.
I was always happy with the results, and proud of my edges.
So this is what I had as a set standard to compare against.
After deciding that I’ll try out the scheppach 2000 even with the lumpy wheel, I filled the bath with water, and spun the wheel to soak some up… it soaked so much, that the water left in the bath wouldn’t reach the wheel anymore, and I had to fill the bath again. I used the plastic angle setter accessory to set a worn chisel in the straight-edge holder, and turned on the machine.
I didn’t know if this would start splashing water all around, so I was standing to the side of the machine. to my pleasant surprise, the wheel spins at a comfortable speed that water is not being splashed all around, but stays in the bath. wonderful.
I used the dresser stone to make sure the wheel was set to the lower 250 grit which took a mere couple of seconds, and started grinding the chisel against the direction of the wheel to get a more aggressive cut. after a minute or 2 I had a completely new hollow grind on the chisel, something that would have taken me a good amount of time using sand papers (to set a completely new grind on a bevel). so far, I’m pleased, impressed, but not too excited as this is what the machine is supposed to do – just glad to see it does it well.
I then used the dresser stone to set the wheel to 1000 grit (another couple of seconds) and put the chisel back against the wheel. it took several seconds to clear all the marks from the previous grind, and I could see a finer finish on the bevel, still a bit rough though but better than before.
I then swapped the support arm to the honing leather wheel side (this time positioning it to hone WITH the direction of the turning wheel as to now dig into the leather), and since the chisel is still in the straight edge holder, it is still set for the same angle – cool. I failed to apply machine oil to the leather as the instruction suggest because I didn’t have any at hand, and figured for testing only, I’ll skip it, but for future use, I will indeed condition the leather. I applied the honing paste to the wheel with a piece of wood, and turned on the machine, with circular motions using the wooden piece I spread the paste evenly across the leather strop. I then started gently and evenly pressing the tool against the leather wheel, and within about half a minute I was presented with a nice clear finished hollow bevel on the chisel.
I really enjoyed the simplicity of the entire process, it’s easy, fast, and effortless – all favored by me after a long time of really working to get good edges. however this new hollow bevel looked a bit less shiny then my scary sharp method edges. without a second thought, I put the edge to the back of my arm, and “shaved” – didn’t really see anyhing happening – in all fairness, I never really got a good shave out of my scary sharp chisels either – although they were really really sharp. I put the chisel on the table, and brushed the back of my arm with my other hand …. holy cr@p …. I’m missing some hair…. WOW.
I’m Impressed and excited. no. I don’t think I’ve ever had anything THAT sharp – and I HAVE sharp edges on all my blades. I just stood there with a smile….
now I need to explain to people at work what is this patch of hairless skin on my arm…
And this is just straight out of the machine. I’m sure the edges can be touched up even more if I so choose to. time and experiences will tell. the new honed blade cuts nicely into end grain and leaves a nice mirror finish on those as well. I cannot stress how pleased and happy I am with this purchase! touche Scheppach… why did you stop selling though? if anyone is interested – Rikon still has some, and Grizzly sells the same model and a bigger 10” version as well which is from the same manufacturer.
and the cherry on top is that since the edge is a hollow grind- touching up an edge is a simple matter, and requires no jigs since it can be done freehand – that alone is worth gold.
Thanks for reading,
-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.