Input for Future Tool Sharpening System Vote

I have been looking at Tool sharpening options for Hive13 so that we can sharpen things like planer and jointer blades, chisels, hand plane knives, Lathe tools, etc. on site without having to order replacements or sending things out to sharpening shops.

The system I have been leaning toward is a low speed benchtop wet grinder and polisher similar to the Tormek system. WEN sells a copycat of the Tormek T8 at a small fraction of the price ($120 vs. $720), with the only significant difference being that the WEN does not have the micro-adjust feature on the tool rest.

These low speed wet grinders can provide vastly superior edges on tools when compared to using the typical high speed grinders like what we currently have, and are far less likely to overheat the tools and ruin the temper of the steel. Sharp tools are safer tools.

The WEN is also compatible with all the Tormek accessories, and to get maximum usage at Hive13, I’d suggest getting these accessories:

  1. Turning Gouge Jig and Micro Adjust tool rest set ($205):

  2. Knife/Scissor/Axe/Carving Gouge Jig set ($225):

  3. Planer/Jointer Blade Jig ($200):

I wanted to put this up for discussion prior to making a vote thread, because I know some people have very strong opinions on tool sharpening methods. If you have convincing arguments for another system, please post it and we will discuss. The Tormek accessories are pricey, but by all accounts make sharpening reliable and easy. The total of what I listed above would be ~$750, though the accessories could potentially purchased on seperate votes at separate times if the total is objectionable as a one-time buy.

I’d like to put up a vote thread for whatever we settle on next week to be voted on at the following week’s meeting. We currently have several tools in the wood shop in desperate need of sharpening (planer, hand planes, chisels).



My first reply disappeared… Neat.

I am conceptually open to this, but here are the reasons that I’m currently not interested in spending money on this:

  1. Turning Gouge Jig - You get a perfect edge on your gouge but it is SLOW. You can get 95% as good, for 5% of the time with a standard grinder. When I’m turning something on the lathe I want to be turning on the lathe. Time spent sharpening the tool is time not cutting on the lathe, so extending the time spent sharpening for minimal added results is not worth it.

  2. Knife/Scissor/Axe - These seem to happen very rarely, so spending more time using the jig setup on this doesn’t seem like as big of a deal when compared to turning tools. But is also seems like a low volume use case.

  3. Planer/Jointer Blade Jig - This seems logical since those are much harder to do by hand, and require much higher precision. At the same time, someone said the planer blades are $10 each. If that is the case, $750 buys A LOT of planer blades.

Those are the reasons I’d say No, but you might have information that could change my opinion*.

*On everything but the lathe tool accessory.

my $0.02:

Getting a slow speed grinder doesn’t prevent someone who can use the high speed grinder from using it.

Having a low speed grinder would allow more people (or at least wardens ; ) ) to sharpen tools with less likelihood of burning the edges, so making sharp tools more likely available.

Also, imho, a slow speed grinder would be easier to teach the use of so as to enlarge our sharpening cadre.

I would support the grinder, the turning gouge tool rest & the planer/jointer jig.