Which sharpener should I buy? Advice Needed. - Router Forums
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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old 05-28-2016, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Default Which sharpener should I buy? Advice Needed.

Hello again, my sawdusty friends.

Sharpening tools by hand has always been vexing to me. There's so many methods, stones, grits, pastes, grinders, jigs, "sharpening systems," etc. Pressure here or there, this angle or that, micro bevel or no, etc.

Yesterday it took me over an hour just to replace the blunt factory angle on a chisel with something more aggressive... so I'm now in the market for some power equipment to replace my hand sharpening.

Currently, I only sharpen blades for hand planes and flat edged chisels - no curved edges. I'll probably never attempt to sharpen my own saw blades (too complex). I might want to sharpen kitchen knives from time to time, but not very important to me.

So here's my questions:
1) What features should I be looking for, and why? (brand, RPMs, size, water cooling, blade holders, jigs, etc.)
2) Are Tormek systems really that much better than standard bench grinders, or are they just price gouging because of their reputation?
3) Are there any smart ways to minimize cost - i.e. refurbished, ebay, online deals, etc.?

As always, thank you for your collective wisdom.
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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 05-28-2016, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by creative View Post

So here's my questions:
1) What features should I be looking for, and why? (brand, RPMs, size, water cooling, blade holders, jigs, etc.)
2) Are Tormek systems really that much better than standard bench grinders, or are they just price gouging because of their reputation?
3) Are there any smart ways to minimize cost - i.e. refurbished, ebay, online deals, etc.?

As always, thank you for your collective wisdom.
in short I have the Veritas Mk II and Tormek 7...
between the two there's just about isn't anything I can't sharpen...
The Tormek isn't hype and is so far removed from a bench grinder there is no comparison...
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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 05-28-2016, 01:54 PM
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the bench grinder will overheat the steel causing the hardening to weaken. DONT use it to sharpen important tools.

I have the jet version of the tormek, The stone rotates slowly and the steel is in a water bath the whole time, keeping the temp on the steel very low. Theres also a leather strop wheel.

It only takes a minute or two to get a perfect edge, rather than the endless faffing about by hand.
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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 05-28-2016, 02:02 PM
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The WorkSharp 3000 will do what ever you want even lathe tools. It is very easy to master,and is fast. It does a fist rate job, and you can get back to making sawdust in minutes.
If you have ever used a Drill Doctor, the 3000 works the same way, only on chisels and plane blades.. A great simple way to sharpen tools. It will do everything you have listed.

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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 05-28-2016, 04:23 PM
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For hand work I use the DMT diamond stones the 6 x 2 or 8 x2 seem to b the best all around size (the are pricey) For power I find a 1 or 2 " belt sander is useful . If using a grinder use the white of pink stones.
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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 05-28-2016, 04:59 PM
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If you will be sharpening all day every day then a Tormek style is the right choice for you. If you will be sharpening as needed then a Worksharp is a much lower priced solution. I have noticed nothing being said about the fact that some Tormek accessories can also be used with the Worksharp.

Anyone who has used the "Scary sharp" method of glass and sandpaper sharpening will see the benefit of having a powered version. There is no issue of wheel dressing; PSA sanding disks change quick and easy plus a much wider range of grits are available. You can polish and strop on a Worksharp too.

One thing bothers me about the Tormek style systems: steel + water = rust!

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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old 05-28-2016, 05:10 PM
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Worksharp 3000 really makes this easy. You MUST start by flattening the back of the plane. Once done you won't do it again. You can't necessarily get a sharp edge if the back is not flat.

You can change the sharpening angle on the WS3000 if you wish. It is fast. However, I also use a set of diamond sharpening devices for touchups, which is fast and easy--4-6 swipes and you have a razor edge again. Wide plane irons may not fit in the WS3000, and for these, you will need another method. But I really like the WS3000 a lot more than fiddling with glass and sandpaper.

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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 05-28-2016, 05:27 PM
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Worksharp 3000 really makes this easy. You MUST start by flattening the back of the plane. Once done you won't do it again. You can't necessarily get a sharp edge if the back is not flat.

You can change the sharpening angle on the WS3000 if you wish. It is fast. However, I also use a set of diamond sharpening devices for touchups, which is fast and easy--4-6 swipes and you have a razor edge again. Wide plane irons may not fit in the WS3000, and for these, you will need another method. But I really like the WS3000 a lot more than fiddling with glass and sandpaper.
a workshop 3000 costs how much in tangible and intangible dollars plus for the accessories/platens/paper (etc) to cover 80% or better of sharpening needs w/o just getting by......
what is plan ''B'' for wide irons....

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 05-28-2016, 07:10 PM
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I don't sharpen plane blades, but if I did I'd opt for Scary Sharp, with a jig, or guide, to get the same angle each time. A plane blade always stays the same, always cuts on the same angle each time, so unless you're very, very, good at sharpening plane blades, I would recommend a jig or guide of some sort, doesn't need to be fancy, just work, and work right.

For lathe tools and chisels, belt sander. My theory on this is, close enough is good enough. That's because the angle constantly changes while you are using them, so you don't actually need a 100% precise angle on them. Quick resharpening, no overpriced gadgets to buy, nothing to dig out when you want to resharpen something, and no adjustments to make. That's the theory anyway. And in practice, works for me exactly the same as the theory.

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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old 05-28-2016, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
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a workshop 3000 costs how much in tangible and intangible dollars plus for the accessories/platens/paper (etc) to cover 80% or better of sharpening needs w/o just getting by......
what is plan ''B'' for wide irons....
The wide irons are sharpened on top of the disc when mounted into a regular holder like sharpening on a stone. Worksharp sells a extension table to mount on the top of the machine. to give a table surface to use when sharpening plane irons. I bought one but wasn't happy with it as is hard to keep level. But DesertRat Tom and Bill Snieder made a stand with a step up top level with the top of the disc that looks to be the way to go for a flat surface to work off for plane irons.

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