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Wetstone grinders

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Hi
I am thinking of the Axminster vertical wetstone grinder (http://www.axminster.co.uk/recno/7/product-Axminster-Universal-Vertical-Wetstone-Grinder-21264.htm) as it is cheaper than the Tormek or Scheppach Tiger grinders.

Is it (or the similar looking Delta 23-700) any good? The stone is 220 grit: how well will this cut at a slow speed? Will I be taking ages to sharpen anything?

Are there any others that I should be considering? I wanted to avoid the real cheapies like to Perform one. Are the Tormek/Scheppach ones that much better to warrant the price?

Cheers
Richard
 

paulm

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Hi Richard,

Before I splashed out on my Tormek I had bought one of the Record versions with a wide slow running wheel in a water bath (think they are also available as Scan Tool or something similar) thinking that they seemed a lot better value.

Having had it for a while I very quickly discovered the limitations and it got consigned to a dusty corner of the workshop.

The problems were things like having to fill the waterbath from a bottle of water as the water bath wasn't detachable but was integral to the machine, and conversley you had to tip up the whole machine to empty/clean it or else leave the wheel permanently standing in water which is very bad for it.

Also never managed to get the wheel to run true despite doing all the right things to it with a diamond cutter. It seemed that the rest or the spindle or something was just flexing and it always continued to run unevenly.

The Axminster may be better, it is certainly a different design, but I guess my point is that there is always a reason why some stuff is cheaper/more expensive than others, and would just say that if you get a Tormek you won't be dissapointed and it is unlikely to be left unused in the corner !

But if you are just a casual/occasional user who is not too demanding then the Axminster may be fine for what you need, and to be fair I haven't tried that particular machine.

Rgds
 
A

Anonymous

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Richard, I have the even cheaper Rexon which was well under £100 and recently made a new rest for it.

It works fine now that the rest is replaced and I use it to regrind chisels (done 4 since making the rest) but have not tried a plane iron on it's new support yet.

Mine has a drain plug in the bottom to allow water to drain out and the stone has always run perfectly true.

Whilst I am sure the Tormek is better, I cannot see how they are worth the price.

I only use the grinder for grinding, not sharpening which I carry out on waterstones
 

woodborg

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Richard

I brought the real cheapie proform wet grinder from axminster. I did have to true up the wet wheel with a diamond cutter and it does have a bit of side ways movement about 2mm but this works in my favour. :)
I also brought the axminster adjustable rest and mounted this on a couple of blocks in front of the wet stone. This setup works fine for all my turning tools and all for under £55. It all depends if your a hobbist or need it for a professional workshop setup.
The tormek does have all the jigs etc for profiling your tools, but with a quick look through these forums will tell you that grinding the angles by hand is just another skill to learn and will save you a money in the long run

Mark
 
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Thanks for your comments.
I have asked some questions of APTC and I thought that you might be interested to see their response

1. Can the water bath be removed or drained via a hole & plug? Or would I have to tip the machine?
This machine has a drain plug, so this makes life easier for removing the water.

2. Can the wetstone be re-graded like to Tormek stones? If so, using the Tormek regrading stone?
This stone cannot be regraded, as they are quite a bit softer, and have a different make up than that of the Tormek Stone.

3. What are the stones' widths & bores?
The stone is 2" wide

4. Would the wetstone be compatible with a Tormek stone?
It may be possible to get a Tormek stone to fit (It would have to be the 10" Tormek Stone) but is not something we would have tried, as you would be putting a £107 stone onto a £125 machine.

5. How does this differ from the Tormek in terms of build quality & performance?
This machine differs greatly in performance to the Tormek. The Tormek has a large array of attachments and jigs available, the wheels are of a much higher quality, and the whole machine is designed for longer, heavier use. It will give you a far superior finish as well.

6. Is it continuously rated?
This machine is continuously rated

7. Is there a risk of frost damage to the stone in an unheated workshop if the water bath is empty but the stone is still damp?
Leaving the stone in this environment would definitely leave it open to frost damage. The water would expand if frozen, and crack the wheel.

Regards
Richard
 

Shady

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Richard: the APTC responses are all fair enough - but I'd worry about that 'stone cannot be re-graded' line... If so, It'll be useless after working about 3 tools on it... I'm not sure I believe it either: surely any stone can be re-trued - just hold a diamond dresser to it. I'd ask exactly what they mean by that line. Sounds odd to me.

I have a ten year old, rough running German sold far eastern knock off, that looks like an early version of the Perform variant. Very happy with the cost/benefit equation. That said, I don't sharpen on it - I just grind, before moving onto stones. The extra money on things like Tormeks is a 'nice to have' rather than a necessity, IMHO.
 

paulm

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Hi Shady,

By re-grading they mean using the stone against the wheel to open up or close down the grit on the wheel changing it from a fine cut to a less fine cut, which is what you can do on the Tormek stone.

This isn't the same as truing up the stone which of course you can do with any stone.

Cheers
 

pooka

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Richard,
I'm not sure whether this will be of any use to you, but I noticed on the Fine Woodworking website that the January edition of the magazine will be reviewing a number of "sharpening machines", including the Tormek and the Scheppach Tiger. Here is the article preview. Even if you aren't directly interested in any of the products reviewed, it might provide some useful general information.
 

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