TORMEK or ULTIMATE

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jim1950

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Thinking of selling my Tormek T-7 and jigs to get a Ax Ultimate edge trade which I think will suit me better, but I've never used the belt type sharpeners.
Pro's and con's please, for general woodworking tools but mainly turning
 

scooby

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The main pro : Ultimate (with coarse belt) will reprofile (or repair) tools much quicker than the Tormek.
Con: The cost of replacing belts compared to the life of the Tormek wheel. That'd depend on how much use it gets. I've had the same ceramic 120 belt on my pro edge for about 2.5 months so far (with a lot of use). Stationary, it feels a bit worn but still cuts very well.

The only thing I don't like about my pro edge, compared to a bench grinder, it chucks dust/fillings everywhere. A few strategically placed magnets or up stands can remedy that though.
 

jim1950

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The main pro : Ultimate (with coarse belt) will reprofile (or repair) tools much quicker than the Tormek.
Con: The cost of replacing belts compared to the life of the Tormek wheel. That'd depend on how much use it gets. I've had the same ceramic 120 belt on my pro edge for about 2.5 months so far (with a lot of use). Stationary, it feels a bit worn but still cuts very well.

The only thing I don't like about my pro edge, compared to a bench grinder, it chucks dust/fillings everywhere. A few strategically placed magnets or up stands can remedy that though.
Ed Oliver of olivers woodturning did demo me the diamond belt sometime ago and I was impressed with that but pricey
 

scooby

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I recall watching Martin Saban Smith reviewing the pro edge. He said he'd had a diamond belt on for a few years (might have been 5) and it was still going strong, but the initial outlay is painful. I think the diamond belt is somewhere around 160-180 grit, great for sharpening.

I've done a lot of re profiling with a 60 grit on my pro edge, speed wise it feels the same as high speed bench grinder but the heat generation is a lot slower with a belt.
 

Robbo3

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Using a belt will give you a flat bevel rather than the concave bevel obtained from a wheel. Not normally a problem unless you are used to honing the bevel with a stone.
 

Flippsie

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I’ve just purchased an Ultimate Edge. It was either that or get diamond wheels for my Tormek. I had the T4, so would have wanted to upgrade to the T8 as well and the cost is just eye watering. I have to say I prefer UE to the T4.

The only thing I’ve found, is that with the graphite low friction sheet fitted, if you press too hard, you can end up with a convex grind. So if you’re moving from a Tormek that can’t have too much pressure, to the UE, be gentle.

Does everyone for the graphite pad?
 

TRITON

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Using a belt will give you a flat bevel rather than the concave bevel obtained from a wheel. Not normally a problem unless you are used to honing the bevel with a stone.
I sometimes wonder over the flat versus concave. To my mind the concave isnt as strong an edge as a flat bevel.
I like the look of the Ax ultimate though, and I reckon any of the wheeled sharpeners, RP, AX hobby etc are pretty much the same thing but considerably cheaper.
We had a Tormek in college, though it was as old as the hills, so i suppose could be compared to the cheaper wheeled sharpeners if i was to do that option.
I've a sharpenset, along with the attachment for doing planer blades (up to 12") Its an old bit of kit but they retail at over a grand.
 

Nic Rhodes

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I have been through a similar process recently and eventually went Robert Sorby Pro edge for my (low) use it was hard to justify a Tormek especially with the diamond wheel. No one had a bad word about the RS, but I did winch when I looked at the diamond belt. I fully get for a pro this may be brilliant and that Diamonds are expensive (I am ex Diamond miner) but for touching up the odd Tungsten Carbide tool, I will use hand Diamond plate or buy new cutters! I went RS over Axminster as I can get local support.
 

johnnyb

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I prefer my tormek copy( jet) over the Ue its not quite the dream machine in my applications ( planes and chisels)
the extra precision of the tormek trumps it. for woodturning probably the reverse is true. also the belt are fairly shortlived. I may even swap you!
 

TRITON

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Diamonds are expensive (I am ex Diamond miner)
It is estimated there are over a quadrillion tons of diamonds in the earths crust. Most however are further down than current mining technology allows.
Estimated at between 50-150 miles down. Deepest mines are only 2.5 miles.

Most diamonds used in industry are synthetic diamonds. But in general as far as im aware the diamond industry is a cartel who artificially inflate the cost of their product.
 

Inspector

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It is estimated there are over a quadrillion tons of diamonds in the earths crust. Most however are further down than current mining technology allows.
Estimated at between 50-150 miles down. Deepest mines are only 2.5 miles.

Most diamonds used in industry are synthetic diamonds. But in general as far as im aware the diamond industry is a cartel who artificially inflate the cost of their product.

The cartel is loosing out to the lab grown diamonds which look as good and are a lot cheaper so the cost of the "wild" diamonds is coming down to compete. I have a friend that salvages gold jewelry and while the gold is worth a lot the money he gets for diamonds has dropped a lot.

Pete
 

Nic Rhodes

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I was always in favour of cartels, they sponsored my university career! We used to get 7gms of diamond for every 100 tonnes of Rock at The Cullinan based Diamond mine! Not much but often much bigger than the industrial diamonds we use routinely.

I have been thinking about this one again over the weekend (and watched a great video by a Dutch gentleman reviewing four machines, pro and cons). These are both great solutions, all great machines, and you will be happy with either. The linishers replicate how manufacturers use machines when they make our tools. They will grind and sharpen. The Tormek is primarily a sharpener (VERY SLOW at grinding) so they do slightly different things.
 

Jacob

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Using a belt will give you a flat bevel rather than the concave bevel obtained from a wheel. Not normally a problem unless you are used to honing the bevel with a stone.
Not a problem if you are used to honing the bevel with a stone. You grind the bevel at slightly lower angle than your honing angle. Rule of thumb says 25/30º
I sold my Pro edge when I discovered how effective is a flat disc with sandpaper attached. 12" ali disc on my lathe, paper various grit sizes velcro attached. Does everything from coarse metal fast removal to fine finishing e.g. flattening plane soles. Saves paper if you do very rough stuff with an angle grinder to start with - the disc is for precision finishing.
Worth buying an old wreck of a lathe and just using the head plus a disc, for all sharpening.
PS Never considered a Tormek - it seems to be universally condemned as slow. What's the point of a slow machine? If slow I'd rather do it freehand on a stone
PPS Just checked Ebay for "wood lathe headstock". There's dozens of them cheap but nearly all from USA. Mystery - what do they do with the rest of the lathe? :unsure:
 
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Noho12C

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I’ve just purchased an Ultimate Edge. It was either that or get diamond wheels for my Tormek. I had the T4, so would have wanted to upgrade to the T8 as well and the cost is just eye watering. I have to say I prefer UE to the T4.

The only thing I’ve found, is that with the graphite low friction sheet fitted, if you press too hard, you can end up with a convex grind. So if you’re moving from a Tormek that can’t have too much pressure, to the UE, be gentle.

Does everyone for the graphite pad?
you can buy a metal plate that goes on top of the graphite sheet and prevents this issue. Axminster sells it (very cheap) and solves the issue.

I've had a T4 a long time ago, didnt like it as very slow. Very pleased with my UE. You can buy belts elsewhere and get them cheaper if you buy a pack of 10 or 20. Havent done it yet but might in the near future.
 
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