Tormek’in it up

First cab off the ranks for Summer is a bit of unlearning, then getting a day of turning instruction from a master turner. So that is going to be quite an experience! I’ve developed many bad habits as it happens.

First things first however – I can’t take many of my turning chisels in their current condition, so have been giving them a decent sharpen, and there is only one way I know to achieve that: the Tormek T7.

The standard wheel is excellent for minor repairs, and resharpens, but some of these tools need a serious reshape. It can be done on the standard wheel, but it takes time and wears the stone (and I don’t have “free stones for life”)

So what is the solution? Two other stones. One I use for HSS is the Blackstone Silicon Tormek wheel. It is the same grit as the standard stone (220 grit), but it cuts HSS fast. The other stone (and no, not the 4000 grit Japanese stone) is your everyday grinder with a Al-Oxide wheel. This can be used to do significant material removal before moving over to the Tormek.

Now you might very well ask what is the point of having a Tormek if you are just going to use a grinder, and especially, how do you ensure what you grind off with the high speed grinder is right, and you don’t find yourself having to do a complete reshape on the Tormek anyway?

The simple answer is to treat the high speed grinder as if it is the Tormek, complete with using the same jigs and the same setup distances and angles. This is achieved by fitting the BGM 100 to your standard grinder. This kit includes a block mount and the standard Tormek arm which your normal collection of Tormek jigs will obviously fit.

After a light shape (given how aggressive the wheels cut, you don’t need more than a light touch), you can then return to the T7 to finish the job, without excessive wear of the wheel. As far a heat buildup from the high speed grinder – you don’t need excessive force, and don’t rush what will work very quickly anyway ensures you don’t burn the steel.

Back on the T7, and the choices are standard wheel, the Blackstone Silicon (at the rear) and the Japanese stone (in the foreground). That is one soft wheel!

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