Sharpening jointer knives with Tormek

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Forum topic by Jonwilliam posted 05-21-2011 12:03 AM 4539 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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29 posts in 2611 days

05-21-2011 12:03 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tormek sharpen jointer knives knife sharpening delta dj-20

I bought a used Delta DJ-20 8” jointer from a cabinetmaker recently and after some hard use with q-sawn white oak its time to sharpen. I set the knives up on the Tormek per instructions and for the life of me cannot get it to sharpen them. The tormek sharpens chisels and plane irons beautifully but not these jointer knives.

Does HSS sharpen that difficultly or do I have solide carbide knives? If so I thought carbide knives were only tipped with carbide, not solid…I cannot see any difference in the metal…it looks like the same material all the way through. Is there any way to tell if they are carbide or HSS? I don’t want to have them sent in to get sharpened if I don’t have to.


-- -Redwood Falls MN

6 replies so far

View fishbone's profile


25 posts in 2832 days

#1 posted 05-21-2011 02:00 PM

I have sharpened the original blades from my Delta 6” jointer successfully on my Tormex. It went as well as knives and chisels.

-- Sleep every morning till I'm done. Life is good. Habanero Hog Competion BBQ

View Florida_Jim's profile


83 posts in 2873 days

#2 posted 05-21-2011 02:13 PM

I sharpen HSS blades for my jointer on my Tormek with no problems. Have you dressed your stone?
I use the diamond trueing jig every time prior to doing jointer blades.

View Jonwilliam's profile


29 posts in 2611 days

#3 posted 05-21-2011 04:00 PM

I did everything as directed per the instructions with the Tormek. I’m going to give it another try…maybe I missed something. I tried one by hand with my DMT diamond stone and it worked wonderfully but I’d be sharpening all day on one knife trying to get rid of a spot that has some nicks in it. Maybe it just takes a long time to do it on a Tormek, this is my first time trying the jointer/planer jig and I’m expecting the same quick results as with a plane iron/chisel.

-- -Redwood Falls MN

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83 posts in 2873 days

#4 posted 05-21-2011 04:12 PM

Dress the wheel to 220 grit to grind chips out, then dress to 1000. The Tormek is very slow!!. But then I”m retired, and have all week!!

View mcase's profile


446 posts in 3125 days

#5 posted 05-24-2011 07:00 AM

I’ve been sharpening My jointer and Planer blades for years on my Tormek. It works great, but there is one thing I had to learn the hard way. The directions are flawed. If you look in the Tormek book you will see that it indicates tat the planer/jointer jig clamp that hold the blades rides on a rail and the final depth of grind is determined by the set screw underneath. The directions claim that clamp will sort of lift off the rail plate while the jig rest on the set screw. When enough of the blade is ground off the blade will then rest on the rail plate. This is NOT how it really works. The clamp tends to stay flat on the rail plate and the jig rides above the set screw until the blade is ground down. Its a little hard to explain without being able to show you, but if you check the space between the plate and the clamp the way the directions say to you will not see any space which according to the directions means your done. But your not done because the blade rests on the plate from the get go. The point is you think you have completed the grind as the directions would have you think, but you have not really ground off much if any steel. The trick is to check underneath.
Here you see the jig has not come to rest on the set screw. This is how it really works – the blade clamp stays flat on the rail plate. When the plate comes rest on the set screw and you see that both the clamp is flat on the rail plate AND the rail plate is resting on the set screw you have no actually ground away the amount of steel you aimed to.

View Kickback's profile


127 posts in 2631 days

#6 posted 04-15-2012 04:49 AM

MCase, I replied to you in my other thread but found this one and your description here now makes more sense to me about the “set screw”. That makes more sense as when I used the planer jig the first and only time I was pretty frustrated with the directions and something didn’t seem to be right. This is exactly what I was seeing as being not right. I will have to pull my knives and sharpen them again and see if I have understood your directions completely. Again thanks for your advice.

-- "I work so I can fish"!

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