To everything, turn, turn, turn, there is a season……

You are deep into a sharpening session on your water-cooled sharpener, and the next job would be best done with the wheel turning towards the edge, rather than away from it. What do you do? What DO you do? I know what I do – compromise! I know the T7 (in my case) weights 14kg, plus around 3kg in water (the wheel soaks up about 2kg, and there is an additional in the waterbath). I could pick it up and spin it around, then back again for each job, but I don’t.

And I am not the only one. In fact, it must be rather common as Tormek have come up with the RB-180. A rotating base for their sharpeners.

RB-180 from Tormek

It is specifically designed for the Tormek footprint, and has rubber feet so the complete unit doesn’t start slipping around on the bench. I have found there can be a little movement between the sharpener and the rotating base. I may put down something a bit more anti-slip, but I didn’t notice it causing me a problem during my first sharpening session since putting the new base under my sharpener.

The rotating base has a very low profile – particularly important for those people who have already taken the time to ensure their sharpeners are set at the optimum height.


Looking at the underside for a sec, and you see those rubber feet, and the lock for the rotation. Also the cross reinforcing to provide stiffness.

Fitting Simplicity

Fitting the base is just a bit easy – pick up sharpener, put down the RB-180 (with the lock facing the front), place the sharpener on top. Done deed.

Simple push down on the locking lever, and spin the Tormek around.




So a useful addition, particularly for the 17kg (wet weight) Tormek T7. It has been a while since I’ve seen this side of the sharpener – looks like it is due for some dusting!

I took the splash guard off for this, as where I have the T7 there isn’t a lot of room, and therefore even more reason for the new base. Check out for more information and to find an authorised dealer near you.

A visit to Sea Shepherd

Headed down to Williamstown yesterday to see the MY Steve Irwin.  While there, I was very pleasantly surprised to find the MV Brigitte Bardot was also in port.

Before heading down, I had a check of what they were requiring (there is always a list of needed supplies), and found some woodworking-related items on there, so took them about 4x 10″ saw blades, a couple bottles of yellow PVA glue, some Tung Oil, and two boxes of router bits (1/2″ and 1/4″).

Guess it isn’t a lot, but it all counts.

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Got to tour both ships which bought back lots of memories.  The Steve Irwin was originally built in 1977, around 11 years newer than one of the ships I served on, but still has a similar feel to the decor.  Strangely, it still had speaking tubes installed – a common way to communicate with the lower deck areas (such as the engine room or Captain’s quarters).  Something more usual on ships from WW2 than ones built in the late 70s!

The Brigitte Bardot is an interesting vessel, but sadly it isn’t an Earthrace/Ady Gil.  With a maximum speed of 24 knots, it is nothing compared to the top (short run) capability of 50 knots. (Our tour guide claimed it was 28 knots, but there is no way something that looks like this can only do 28 knots! That’s only 52 kph)


The basic ship tours don’t get you down to my old (equivalent) stomping grounds, (being the engine room/MCR (machinery control room)) but perhaps I might have another chance to do so before they sail on the next campaign.  Have to see if there are any other tools I can take down there.

Tribute to James Krenov

, a YouTube published (and woodworker), is doing a series of video tributes to past woodworkers.  The one shared here (linked across from YouTube) is on James Krenov.  An interesting brief summary of one of the great woodworkers.


Definitely check out some of the other videos has published – there are some really interesting titles and subjects, looking back at early trends and developments.  It is done in a style that looks as vintage as the topic!

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