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amilford

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Looking to get a wet-stone grinder for sharpening chisels etc.

Have seen the thread on the Rexon grinder
How does it keep stone we though when it lays flat?
Does it work as well as others which mount stone vertically and run in water bath?
Anyone any comparative experience of something like the Rexon and the much more expensive systems like Tormek 1206 or Scheppach Tiger 2000?

I hate spending £90 (Rexon at Screfix) for a tool and then finding it doesn't do half the job, or do the job properly of one costing £170 + (Tormek at Rutlands) and then I end up having to ditch the cheaper tool and buy the more expensive one a little later.
 

SimonA

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I think Tonys plane blade with a mirror finsh says it all really. I'll be getting one as I already use a 6000grit stone to do my sharpening on any how!

SimonA
 

Alf

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Welcome to the forum, amilford.

To be honest the stone doesn't really need that much water and the tiny trickle the Rexon has is more than enough. Centrifugal force gets it to the edge of the stone and Robert's your mother's brother. Very simple but very effective. The advantage of the horizontal stone is you can do the backs; not something the Tormek can manage, whatever the claims. As you may have guessed, Tony's enthusiasm got another sale here (you should have organised some commission, Tony :roll: ) and I'm favourably impressed for the cost. Still looking for the Tuit to get round to sharpening the planer blades on it though, which was the clinching argument for getting it as far as I'm concerned.

Cheers, Alf
 

SimonA

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Does this mean to say that you've actually bought one then Alf?

SimonA
 

Alf

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Yup. Big pile of old chisels to sharpen + glowing review of machine that'll do the backs = $ker-ching$ :wink:
 

Aragorn

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Alf":ra9ba4wz said:
The advantage of the horizontal stone is you can do the backs; not something the Tormek can manage, whatever the claims.
:?: :?: :?:
On the Tormek, I do the backs on the side of the stone as per the instructions. I have no trouble getting a mirror finish like this.
What claims are you referring too?
 

Alf

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Aragorn,

Good for you. An awful lot of people seem to find it difficult bordering on impossible as far as I can make out. I personally have lots of reservations about using the side of any vertical grinding wheel anyway, making the Tormek a non-starter as far as I'm concerned.

Cheers, Alf
 
A

Anonymous

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On the Tormek, I do the backs on the side of the stone as per the instructions. I have no trouble getting a mirror finish like this.
Same here!
 
A

Anonymous

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Hi all

The mirror finish came from the 6000 grit, the 1000 that came with the grinder will not produce a mirror but does flatten very nicely thank you :wink:

I use the Rexon to flatten and a grind primary bevel. I did grind a secondary bevel on one chisel with the Rexon but found no advantage as grinding a secondary on my trusty old 6000 grit waterstone is much quicker to set up and takes 30 seconds
 

Aragorn

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Alf":2hx8v6xd said:
Good for you. An awful lot of people seem to find it difficult bordering on impossible as far as I can make out.
Naa - I must be missing a trick. I don't do anything clever or skilful. Just grade the side of the stone finely and hold the last 1" or so of the chisel/plane blade there for a few moments - hone to a mirror finish on the leather honing wheel.
Couldn't be easier. This is probably a case of different standards/not knowing what's right. It may be a mirror finish - but maybe it's not flat???
Chisels seem to cut well though for about 1 minute... must get some good chisels. :cry:
 

amilford

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Interesting responses.

So you Tormek users:
Why did you buy Tormek instead of the cheaper Rexon?
Would you still do so?
 

Aragorn

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I used to own the Rexon - found it to be a useless pile of poo.

Was seduced by the Tormek ease of use, variety of jigs and quality results. Never looked back.

The only problem I've had with it has been planer blades, but now that I've got that all worked out it's fine. I have swapped the standard grey stone for a pink Peter Child's stone and now it's a treat to use.

I'm not a Tormek junkie - I'm sure there are various quality equivalents, but I would not consider the Rexon again if my Tormek committed suicide. That's just my prejudice - I could have been using the thing wrong! It's not like the instructions are very inclusive!
 

Alf

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Aragorn":3pqkwfmw said:
hone to a mirror finish on the leather honing wheel.
Not the back...? :?

Okay, I absolutely don't want to hold myself up as a paragon of sharpening, 'cos I'm definitely not, but I do seem to see a trend in Tormek ownership as I read the various woodworking fora. Exhibit A, the newly sharpening-aware woodworker is not happy with his/her edges. It takes too long, it's not accurate enough, it's not shiny enough etc etc. The lure of the Tormek demos finally gets to them. After all, doesn't everyone say how important a sharp edge is? Money well spent then, dear... And look, for only twice the cost of the machine itself I can get jigs to do all this. :roll: They have the Tormek, they love the Tormek. The edge is wonderous to behold, and look, I don't need to use these old bench stones any more... Time passes. Exhibit A learns some more, lots more, begins to realise the importance of the back of the blade, tackles some more difficult woods/joints etc. Suddenly he/she's thinking "I wonder where those old stones are?" 'cos that edge isn't quite as good as they used to think it was. Perhaps they find they want to touch up the edge as they go along more frequently, and frankly the Tormek is more effort than having a simple stone on the bench. Suddenly they're reading DC's books and reaching for a steel rule. After a while; could be years, Exhibit A is asked about their Tormek. "That? Yeah <embarassed laugh> well it was a bit of a luxury really. One of these days I'm going to take up carving/turning and then it'll be worth setting it up more often. The missus likes me to do the kitchen scissors on it occasionally but I don't use it as often as I thought I would."

Don't get me wrong, the Tormek is very good at what it does, I'm just not a believer that it's the miracle cure for all your sharpening woes. If you rely on your Tormek for all your sharpening, including honing, then yep, it's probably worth it. But then I would no more go directly from grinder, any grinder, to the workpiece than sever my own arm. Call it personal prejudice if you like... :wink: If you're a carver or turner it's probably worth it too. For chisels and plane blades I'm just not convinced it's worth the money. But money may not be an issue, in which case why not get both... :lol: I dunno, perhaps the stabiliser analogy works here? Stabilisers on your bike will get you to the finish eventually, but when you realise you want to win the Tour de France, you're going to have to take them off, so is it worth putting them on in the first place? (Mmm, maybe it doesn't... :lol: )

Anyway, the Rexon. Would I have bought the Rexon if it was my only form of grinder? Not likely. It's slow, a bother to set up and not a patch on my hand-cranked set-up for doing the bevels. But it'll do things my existing set up took longer the achieve and gives me a wet-stone option should I need it for a bearable amount of money. And I wouldn't buy a Tormek as my only form of grinder either, fwiw.

Going back to the original question, I have a question that I should have asked at the beginning if I'd been thinking: Why d'you want a wet stone grinder? Do you have a grinder of any sort at the moment? Any sharpening kit? Is this an Exhibit A situation? Or Exhibit B, the complete sharpening novice? 'cos although we're answering your question, maybe you unknowingly asked the wrong one... :?

Cheers, Alf

P.S. I've gone on rather, haven't I? Sorry. :oops:
 

amilford

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Hm, sounds like this may become a contentious issue :)

I am a sharpening novice.
Currently I have no grinder.
I have a few oilstones of dubious quality and a Stanely jig which is supposed to hold the chisel at the right angle but seems a fiddle to get the chisel to sit perpendicular to the end.

I just want to sharpen chisels and plane blades (at the moment, but with future in view of lathe tools later) in an efficient manner. I have read of people using wet-and-dry paper on glass but that sounds awfully messy and a fiddle of having to work down through the grades of paper.

I appreciate the comments of various contributors.
 

gidon

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Amilford - as you've already seen sharpening is a minefield!

For my money the absolute best thing a complete beginner at sharpening can do is try the Scary Sharp system. It costs virtually nothing to try - scrap of glass (ar another flat surface) varying grits of sandpaper and a honing jig which you already have. It will grind, flatten backs, and make a mirror finish edge. You need nothing else. Try this and get one of your chisels perfect. When you've done this you can decide whether this is too much faff and which part of the process you'd like to improve on in speed or otherwise. But it is the quickest, cheapest sure fire way to your first perfect edge in my opinion.

I personally have settled for now on a combination of a large DMT combination Extra Coarse / Fine diamond stone for grinding, flattening backs and flattening waterstones. And some fine grit waterstones. (And still sometimes some sandpaper/glass). This PW article is a great introduction to sharpening I think:

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/features/sharpening.pdf

If you are looking for a machine to handle the whole sharpening process, the only thing that seems to come close is the Veritas sharpening system - reviewed a few months back in PW if you're interested.

Cheers

Gidon
 

woodshavings

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The Tormek is expensive but if you plan to include wood turning before too long, then I think its well worth it. As a complete beginner 3 years ago, I welcomed its jig system so I could be sure of getting consistent angles on plane irons, chisels etc, and for me, most importantly profiling woodturning gouge chisels.

I am still a beginner but now continuously use the leather honing wheel to keep the edges keen, touch up the edges on the wheel as needed without using the jigs, and then every few weeks, have a sharpening session using the jigs, to make sure I haven't wondered off course.

I have had no difficulty in flattening the back of chisels and plane irons, using the side of the wheel as Tormek recommend. You only need to do this once and then keep them polished with honing wheel.

I also have various stones that I occasionally use but the "standard" is the Tormek.

HTH

John
 

mudman

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I started using Scary Sharp (TM) and honing guides. I then went onto using waterstones. I thought about buying a Tormek but the price for the unit and then all the jigs is really quite excessive in my opinion.

For planes and chisels I use the waterstones with an Axminster honing guide setting the bevel from the Veritas bevel gauge thingy. I don't use the Veritas honing guide much as I found it really irritating in its habit of moving the blade as it was clamped up.

When I started woodturning, I considered the Tormek again but settled on an 8" slow grinder from Axminster and learnt to sharpen free hand. I can't see myself bothering to set up the Tormek every time I wanted to touch up a gouge. Actually, I'm still learning to freehand but am getting better with practice. Skews I sharpen on my wetstones as I reckon I can get a better edge.

I actually like using stones to sharpen. It's quiet, relaxing and gives a bit of time for thought. Some nice relaxing music on and it can be much more pleasant than some tailed demon screaming at you. :wink:

Been itching to try the Akansas Black I picked up for a quid. Been sitting on the bench for a month whilst SWMBO dragged me around the country. :(
 

Alf

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Evidently my impression that flattening the backs on the Tormek was difficult was a mistaken one; must be that just the people who can't do it ever mention it or something. :wink: Sorry about that.

I'd agree with Joh; if you're going to go in for turning then the Tormek might probably be worth it. None of the jigs for grinding gouges are cheap :( so there's no advantage to a standard bench grinder there.

Regarding the honing guide, I have the Stanley too, and while it's great for short blades like spokeshaves it's a PITA for general use. It'd be worth investing in one of the Eclipse knock-off type as well. It improved my fledgling sharpening skills hand over fist. If you did decide to go with a Tormek, a fine stone, either water or oil, would provide that extra edge. Possibly a waterstone would be better, to avoid contamination. I find ScarySharp messy too, and expensive in the long term.

Cheers, Alf
 

mudman

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Alf":1kj5w5fx said:
Regarding the honing guide, I have the Stanley too, and while it's great for short blades like spokeshaves it's a PITA for general use. It'd be worth investing in one of the Eclipse knock-off type as well. It improved my fledgling sharpening skills hand over fist. If you did decide to go with a Tormek, a fine stone, either water or oil, would provide that extra edge. Possibly a waterstone would be better, to avoid contamination. I find ScarySharp messy too, and expensive in the long term.

Cheers, Alf
I haven't tried the Stanley but have an Eclipse that I use to put a camber on plane blades. My choice though is the Axminster as the clamp and the broad roller give a great deal of control.
 

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