Late Night Antics

It’s late, I’m tired, but cannot sleep because it is just too hot.  Which is ironic seeing as I’m about to head over  to a country where the night temp is not 30+C, but -10C

Being late, I didn’t want to disturb the neighbours, so it was a chance to try out the new Tormek T7 that arrived yesterday from Carroll’s Woodcraft Supplies.  If all else fails, sharpen!

I was also really, really curious to get to know just how the Tormek (at $1100) would compare to the Triton/Scheppach ($200), especially given the wheel on the Tormek alone is $300!

Tormek for some Sharpening

Even at this early stage, after dressing the wheel (and having the machine) and sharpening a couple of chisels, the machine excels.  It is hard to pin down just what it is that is making the difference.  The tool holder (for chisels) doesn’t skew the chisel off at an angle if you get the pressure uneven.  It is cast and machined, not folded metal.  There are stops on the arm so your tool doesn’t fall off the wheel.  There is a micro-adjuster on the arm, that really does make a difference.

The honing wheel isn’t oscillating widely from side to side (there is a little, but not as disturbing).

The large waterbath doesn’t pour water everywhere (there is a decent capture area.  And on and on – all little differences in themselves that add up to a massive difference at the tip of the chisel.

I was able to get (with care) a decent edge on the old watercooled grinder.  The degree of sharpness off the Tormek takes that to another level.

Chisel

Hard to see,  but the first chisel now has a stunning mirror finish, front and back.  The handplane blade that I did (HSS) just before this one is scary-sharp (and no, I don’t mean the technique of using lots of grades of sandpaper).

The wheel is wide, and can be changed from 220 grit to 1000 grit with the provided stone grader.  The wheel can also be machined true with the provided dressing tool – this does need to be done with the wheel before first using it out of the box, but at least you have everything in the box that you need to get the grinder up and running.

I’ll be talking a lot more about this grinder/sharpener, including the upgrades to the T7 that have occurred, but my first impression of the T7 comes back to that old adage “you get what you pay for”.  In spades.

2 Responses

  1. Haven’t used a Tormek, but my experience with the Scheppach (2000) wasn’t all that different. Your comments seem to be suggesting that the Scheppach has a wobbly honing wheel, splashes water all over the shed, etc.; didn’t happen to me. (Nearly, but not quite – I wondered at first why I should have the grinder turning before putting water in the tub. Then I realised that a stationary wheel would soak up water in the submerged area and finish up seriously off balance.)

    One thing that did – and still does – nark me is that not only was there no wheel dresser in the Scheppach box; I couldn’t even buy one. I finished up buying a Tormek dresser, so the price difference immediately reduced by about $140.

    – Michael

    • I normally found at the end of a turning session that there was a large amount of water under and around the Triton, but it depended as much on the type of tool being turned. A wide blade had the ability to carry water over the edge of the bath, which is not anywhere near as likely with the Tormek – it has a very large lip on the bath (about 2″ wide!) to help capture any water trying to escape that way.

      Definitely agree with filling the bath with the grinder running – it is impressive how much water the wheels soak up, and you don’t want that water soaking into the lower 1/3rd of the wheel only!

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