LumberJocks

Grinder vs Tormek

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Richard H posted 04-19-2016 03:03 PM 725 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1147 days


04-19-2016 03:03 PM

I have finally convinced myself I need a better option for rough shaping my tools and would like to start hollow grinding my chisels, planes and turning tools to make sharpening by hand faster. I was all ready to buy a grinder, two new wheels and the Tormek grinder attachment but when I added up the prices I am getting into the range of considering the Tormek T-4 instead. I have some of the Tormek jigs for turning tools that I use with my worksharp but setting those up takes so long I almost never use them. These days I mostly use the Worksharp for flattening the backs of things and even than I find the amount of hand work to really polish the back makes it not worth it except in the worst cases.

So my question to the community would be if you could only have one between a grinder and a Tormek which would it be? I don’t really work with metal that often and the wheels I would put on it would be pretty much for hand tools only anyways so I consider this purchase for shaping of hand tools only plus maybe some rough work on household blades.

Thanks,

Richard


20 replies so far

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

805 posts in 2228 days


#1 posted 04-19-2016 03:13 PM

You might want to consider this:

http://www.harborfreight.com/8-inch-wet-6-inch-dry-grinder-35098.html

I bought one of these and rigged up some Tormek type sharpening jigs for the wet grinder and made a much larger tool rest for the high speed grinder. Works well. I really should take some photos of my rig and post them.

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115206 posts in 3044 days


#2 posted 04-19-2016 03:14 PM

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

692 posts in 1265 days


#3 posted 04-19-2016 03:46 PM

I have both a grinder and a Tormek.I like a use both.The wheel on the Tormek is rusted tight on the shaft forgot to empty the water.The first wheel didn’t rust on but I heard they make a stainless shaft to prevent the wheel rust problem.
I recommend the Tormek if you can afford it.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7179 posts in 2044 days


#4 posted 04-19-2016 04:04 PM

Around 200.00 from Grizzly and I’d like to think it produces a sharp edge like the more expensive tormek.

Grizzly offers an 8” around 90.00 USD.

View teejk02's profile

teejk02

424 posts in 592 days


#5 posted 04-19-2016 08:33 PM

Think the grinder operates MUCH faster than the Tormek and lacks the water bath leading to overheat (bad). Noted above is one of many outfits that sell the same basic idea at a much lower price. I got a pretty much new Tormek machine off of E-Bay years ago (with a pile of accessories) and can say that the techniques/tools are hardly “precision” instruments so I’m guessing the Grizz et al will work the same at a much lower price…Like many tools I think Tormek got fame because they got featured on Norm’s show (he got his for free).

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1147 days


#6 posted 04-19-2016 10:29 PM

Thank you all for the suggestions and input.

I guess I should have left the make of the slow wet grinder out of the discussion and just focused it on comparing a grinder to a slow speed wet grinder with a bar that accepts Tormek jigs. The cheaper alternatives make the traditional grinder plus new wheels plus new base a even harder sell over a wet grinder that is purpose built for the role.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

692 posts in 1265 days


#7 posted 04-19-2016 10:40 PM

I have never used the Grizzly version of the Tormek.If it doesn’t have the micro adjusters on the bars that hold the jigs that a problem.Things are already slow enough and the micro adjuster on the Tormek is a must.
The wheel of the Tormek also travels with very little side to side and up and down.
I remember when the Jet came out with one.And I thought the reviews were not good.Too flimsy.

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

879 posts in 2284 days


#8 posted 04-20-2016 12:02 AM

Nothing against wet slow grinders, but as long as you’re careful you can grind tool steel on a regular high speed grinder with no problems, even with the regular wheels that come with it. Especially if you’re interested in hollow grinds – just stop the grinding very slightly before you get to the edge and then go to your stones. Dress the wheel often, use a light touch, dunk frequently in water. You’ll need an aftermarket tool rest (I have and like the Veritas).

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

700 posts in 854 days


#9 posted 04-20-2016 02:26 PM

You didn’t mention belt sanders. I built a 6×48 belt sander just so that I could make guides for sharpening my turning tools. I found it a lot easier than using the grinder and I like not having hollow grinds on my tools. You can see my sander and guides on my blog. One thing I like about the belt sander is that it is a multi purpose tool—more bang for the buck and shop space. If you already have a belt sander just make some sharpening guides for it and buy some belts for metal.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1114 posts in 2411 days


#10 posted 04-20-2016 03:53 PM

Another route to consider is, pillow blocks and a 3/4 horse DC motor. They come with controllers, are reversible and only run a hundred bucks. I just installed one in place of my 240 volt motor on my four wheel grinder and can now drop the thing to about three hundred RPM, or take it up to twenty-five hundred.

The foregoing aside, I use my one by forty-two inch belt for all my lathe knife sharpening. I’ve been running 220 grit belts and it just takes a second to touch up a knife.

I bought some six hundred grit belts, thinking they would take less material off, but they require more time with the knife on the belt, so heat more than the two twenties did.

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1646 posts in 1784 days


#11 posted 04-21-2016 04:58 AM

I prefer a high-speed, 6” grinder with coarse, white, aluminum oxide wheels. With practice and a light touch the tools don’t overheat. It’s also much faster to use than a wet grinder.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2198 posts in 948 days


#12 posted 04-21-2016 12:16 PM

I’ve always used a 6” bench grinder + hand honing.
Couple years ago I got a variable speed like it a lot.

I use a Veritas jig for chisels and irons.
Wolverine or homemade jigs for turning tool.

With the right wheels and like the previous poster ^^ said, you will be fine.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1147 days


#13 posted 04-21-2016 01:16 PM

JAAune and rwe2156,

Do either of you ever use that grinder for anything other than sharpening? My dilemma is that by the time I buy the grinder, better wheels and new tool rest I might as well buy a wet grinder and get a tool custom designed for the task. I don’t do much in the way of metal working and even if I did I’m not sure I would use those softer wheels designed for sharpening anyways.

Thanks,

Richard

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

700 posts in 854 days


#14 posted 04-21-2016 01:42 PM


JAAune and rwe2156,

Do either of you ever use that grinder for anything other than sharpening? My dilemma is that by the time I buy the grinder, better wheels and new tool rest I might as well buy a wet grinder and get a tool custom designed for the task. I don t do much in the way of metal working and even if I did I m not sure I would use those softer wheels designed for sharpening anyways.

Thanks,

Richard

- Richard H

I know you didn’t pose this question me but don’t forget that, depending upon which Tormek package you buy, some of the sharpening jigs are extras and are not cheap. So make sure you look at the total cost. I like the way the Sorby Pro-Edge system worked and sharpening on a flat surface using a belt rather than a curved stone makes sense to me. Your concern about using the tool for other things is exactly why I chose to use a belt sander for sharpening. I use the belt sander almost every day I am in my shop for one thing or another. My 2 cents.

Checkout Dutchy’s blog for an example of an inexpensive DIY pro-edge sharpening system:
http://lumberjocks.com/Dutchy/blog/81458
You’ll find a bunch of Youtube video on how the Sorby Pro-edge works. I found it much easier to use (learn?) than the standard bench grinder approach.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1114 posts in 2411 days


#15 posted 04-21-2016 02:56 PM

Often, it’s difficult to believe life is wholly random.

Civilization is about an hour away. I had a single errand to do, so I made a list of other things to do, while there. Among the errands was, hit several cabinet shops and grovel for some scrap MDF from which I could make wheels, to experiment with for edge polishing projects.

As I was walking to my truck, from just being told they never use the stuff, and only deal in real wood, I noted a few items leaned against their dumpster. It was a 18” by 60” sheet of half inch MDF.

As mentioned, I swapped my 120/240 volt motor on my four wheel grinder for a 3/4 horse, variable speed, DC motor. The unit, a garage sale win, came with the controller and allows me to run from around 300 RPM up to 2,500 RPM, and to even reverse direction.

When using the polishing features, the option of reversing the wheel direction will be invaluable.

Though not applicable to the whole grinder thing, it was part of the same day, so I’ll share the details of the last part of the day too.

The next town over, and the way back home, I was coming upon a Ranch and Home store. I, immediately, added one more thing to the list – trying to pick up more pine pitch. Horsey places carry it to treat wounds, since it’s a natural antibiotic, and keeps the air and flies off wounds.

I’d just bought and used up a pint of it, which cost $19.99, in a mix with turpentine and boiled linseed oil, to treat garden tool handles and a few out door items. It repels water well, so I wanted more. As it turned out, they did have it, in the tack section, and it was $10.31 a quart, so nearly have the price for twice as much.

showing 1 through 15 of 20 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com