Triton Wet and Dry Sharpener

Triton Wet and Dry Sharpener

Another tool from the Triton stables that has just hit the market is the Wet & Dry Sharpener. I have been eagerly anticipating it’s arrival, but not as much as my tools have been – poor blunt and abused things that they are… well ok, not that bad, but I have really needed something better than a normal grinder, even with an aluminium oxide wheel I manage to burn the tips of the tools.

With the wetstone grinder, the stone runs in a constant waterbath at very slow speed allowing excellent control over the tool, and little to no risk of overheating the grinding surface.

Had a small drama with the video – the audio died just near the end of the day (well it was late at night), so the video ends a little more abruptly than you’d expect! The only thing I missed showing was applying oil, then honing paste to the leather wheel, and a quick honing of the chisel, so not too much loss. Remember that with a leather wheel, the wheel must be turning AWAY from the tool, otherwise the tool will just dig in and cut up the leather.

If you have any further questions about this tool, feel free to contact me.


Will Tormek jigs fit the Triton Sharpener?

Yes – both the Tormek and Scheppach jigs will fit, which makes for a very wide range of jigs available to suit all sorts of applications, from sharpening knives, scissors and axes, through to planer blades, wood turning chisels and handcarving chisels. Also, the diamond dressing tool and (I believe) the profiled leather honing wheel which fits to the side of the standard leather wheel for honing different profiles.

I’ve had a look at both the Tormek and Scheppach diamond dressers, and I’m not overly impressed with the Scheppach. It is pretty much the same price as the (cheaper) Tormek, but its folded metal construction for what needs to be a precise tool leave me a bit cold. It would have been fine if it worked, but it’s 2 registration points (1 being the holes for the support arm, the other being the back of the tool which the cutter itself rests upon) did not seem to be parallel. This would result in the wheel no being dressed parallel to the support arm, which is unacceptable (and renders the tool unusable for accurate grinding). The Tormek on the other hand is cast, so will be inherently more accurate. I haven’t had a chance yet to use it in anger, but it looks a better jig.

Do I need a dressing tool for the Triton Sharpener?

Without question, yes. Out of the box, it is unlikely that the wheel and the support arm will be parallel, and unless you are only sharpening an axe, or something freehand, then you want the tool set up accurately.

At this stage, there isn’t a Triton dressing tool – I’m hoping that will be rectified ASAP. I am working on the concept of a home-made jig to do the dressing – I have some ideas…… However, until then, there are not many options other than the Tormek or Schppach dressers, both around $A100.

Episode 08 Triton Wet and Dry Sharpener

Episode 08 Triton Wet and Dry Sharpener

Welcome to Fans of WoodTalkOnline!

For those that don’t know, Marc (The Wood Whisperer) (and Nicole) and Matt (Matt’s Basement Workshop) have been collaborating on an audio Podcast available through iTunes, called WoodTalkOnline.  There is an associated website where they post their show notes and is rapidly expanding with other articles, so are definitely worth checking out.

To the fans of their respective (and collaborative) shows, who have found their way down under to Stu’s Shed, welcome indeed.  Hope you enjoy your stay, have a gander around and feel free to drop back anytime!  I’d offer refreshments, but this is still only Web 2.0 – we will be waiting a while yet for Web 7.9!

Comments, questions, feedback, requests etc all welcome 🙂

Burl Clock

Clocks are a remarkably easy project, and make great gifts. Total cost – about $A40, including the burl slice, and the clock mechanism (from Jonathon Knowles Clocks)

This one I didn’t give away, and is on the wall of my office.

Planed, then sanded to 1200 grit using a Triton Random Orbital Sander, followed with an application of Ubeaut Shellawax Cream then buffed with a swansdown mop. Ubeaut EEE Ultrashine was used to produce a satin finish.


Amazing what you can find in firewood

It has always bothered me – the amount of good wood that goes into the fireplace. So I threw a lump onto the lathe, and discovered a very useful wooden mallet hiding inside. It has lasted me very well so far – with a significant head it punches quite a wallop, but is still wooden, with that little bit of extra give, and has less of a tendency to mark the wood of the project. Wood is Australian Red Gum.

malletwood.jpg mallet.jpg

Hearing Protection in the Woodworking Workshop

First things first. There is a HUGE range of hearing protection out there. (BTW, I don’t say ear muffs, as we had a definite opinion about what ear muffs were in the navy, and it wasn’t hearing protection, and it never got cold enough to actually wear “ear muffs”) The question has to be asked however- does the choice really matter? After all, wouldn’t wearing hearing protectors, irrespective of type leave you better off than you are without any?

Unfortunately, the answer is definitely no. It is imperative that you choose hearing protection designed for the type of noise that you are expected to encounter. To give an example, hearing protection for firearms is useless in a workshop environment. It is specifically designed for a momentary peak noise, not long hours of high frequency, loud noise. To wear the wrong type leaves you thinking you are protected, with normal frequency sounds blocked, while the damaging high frequency sounds, such as made by a router goes about its ‘job’ of wrecking your hearing.

So what are we looking for in hearing protection for the woodworking workshop environment?

  • Comfort. after all we will be wearing them for moderately long periods of time.
  • Compatibility with other safety equipment. Because of the material we work with, eye protection & lung protection is mandatory, so all three must go together without compromising comfort or protection.
  • High frequency protection- such as made by a circular saw or router.
  • Moderate volume protection. The circular saw is pretty loud at close range, and will cause hearing loss, but isn’t as loud as some other work environments.
  • Communication potential. The best situation is protection from the sounds that will damage hearing, yet still allow you to hear the person next to you talking. These are not mutually exclusive, as good hearing protection blocks damaging frequencies, while still allowing the sound frequencies associated with speech to pass relatively unaffected through the ear defenders. This would allow us to leave our hearing protection on the whole time we are in the workshop, and not have to continually remove and replace our hearing protection every time someone speaks. There are some with a built-in microphone and speaker, which transmits noise from outside the ear defenders when the noise level is acceptable, and cuts the circuit when the volume exceeds a given point.

One brand that is ideal ones for our environment are Peltor H7 or H9. Peltor H7 is the higher rated of the 2, and only costs $3 more. They are more expensive than the stock ones available from Bunnings, however it is, as always, a case of “you get what you pay for”.

With respect to headband types, the choice is yours, as reputable brands offer their ear defenders with a range of headband. There is the normal headband, the neckband, a collapsible headband, or the hardhat attachment.

So what level of protection do we need?

The following graph demonstrates the amount of exposure time allowed plotted against volume. As you can see from this, you can listen to 85dB for 8 hours, or 100dB for 15 minutes.


So how does this relate to ear defenders / muffs?

Ear defenders are rated by how much noise they block. You can buy a 10dB ear defender, 22dB, even a 31dB.

Because of the large range in noise levels that can be detected by the ear, the decibel scale is not a normal scale. Instead, a 3 dB increase in noise level, though barely perceptible, corresponds to a doubling of sound energy. A 10 dB increase, indicating 10 times the energy, seems twice as loud.

The amount of damage caused by noise depends on the total amount of energy received over a period of time, the louder the noise the faster it causes damage. A noise 3 dB greater has twice the energy output and causes the same damage in half the time.

So from this, you can see that an ear defender that blocks 28dB is excellent.

Another way of looking at this is taking the actual noise level of the equipment, and subtracting how much protection the ear defender is providing.


Hours of Protection


From this, you can see that all this equipment should be used with hearing protection. Damage is cumulative, so even if you only use the saw for 2 minutes, then do another cut that takes 3, the use the router for 5 minutes, and finally the belt sander for 4 minutes, you have suffered a degree of permanent hearing loss. The amount of damage you do next time adds on to this, and so on.

Recommended for our work is ear defenders in the range of 28-31dB

You can buy some cheap ones from Bunnings, such as Protector, which will cost between $15 and $25.

However, my highly recommended brand is Peltor, which will cost $60 for the H9, and $65 for the H7. The cost is the same irrespective of the headband type you choose.

For excellent all-round protection in the workshop, it is hard to go past the Triton Powered Respirator, released onto the market mid 2003. It provides excellent full-face protection, hearing protection and respiratory protection via a positive pressure, open circuit air supply system. Even so, I don’t wear it all the time – horses for courses, and for many jobs it is definitely overkill. On the other hand, on days that I do decide to don the rig, I have a much better sleep that night with my lungs thanking me, in addition to having my eyes safe, and my hearing protected.


For your convenience, I have also priced the hearing aid below:


Cost: $600 – $1000 per ear.

One final word about using your equipment.

High frequency sounds are substantially more damaging than loud low frequency. So beware both your router and circular saw which both generate high frequency sound. The router operating in the 10- 15000 RPM range is very damaging.

Secondly, how you use your equipment has a marked effect. If you push the work through, you can increase the volume of noise you produce by 3dB easily. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but remember that 3dB represents a DOUBLING of the sound energy, and therefore means you will damage your hearing in half the time. (eg 15 minutes when going gently, compared to 7.5 minutes if you force the work.)

So keep safe, and don’t get complacent about your hearing. Thus ends the lecture!

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