I recently bought a Tormek T4 and a set of jigs for sharpening hand planes and chisels etc.
From this, a few uncertainties arise which I need help answering;
1. Rob cossman finishes his sharpening with a 16 000 grit stone, Tormek claims their replacement stone is 5 000. How big a difference does the extra grit make from 5 000 to 16 000?
2. Sharpening the steel manyally seems like an efficient and easy task as compared to setting the steel up in a tormek jig. However, there will be less accuracy, does anyone have an oppinion of which is best? will "free hand" sharpening on the tormek give accurate enough results when resharpening a blade if i buy the replacement stone?
3. short answer, what would you buy if you were me?
4. If money wasn't an issue, is there a point in buying both a hand sharpening kit as well as a tormek stone?
I hope there are a lot of oppinions about this as I can't seem to make my mind.
1) grits from different sharpening devices cannot be compared directly. I believe itís Lee Valley who has a comparison chart in their catalog ordering grits from various sharpening devices.
2) I use a Tormek on my hand plane blades and chisels because of its ability to hollow grind the bevel. After hollow grinding the bevels itís far easier and faster using a water stone, or sandpaper, or diamond stone, or oil stone to refresh your edge since when you sharpen, you donít sharpen the entire bevel, only the front and rear edge.
When Iím planing or doing chisel work I need to refresh the edge on a regular basis, itís faster and easier free handing it. I only go back to the Tormek when the hollow ground bevel is almost gone.
3) the Tormek with the leather stropping wheel provides a quality working edge. If you feel the need to make it shine the Tormek Japanese water stone will make the edge shine, but I donít find the extra time spent to be worth it.
The Japanese water stone will not shape or sharpen your edge, only polish it. You need to sharpen on your regular stone, unmount it and mount the Japanese stone for polishing. Because the stones wear at a different rate, you need to adjust the Tormek to meet the curvature of the new stone. Is it worth it? I donít think so.
In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.