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shane h
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Discussion Starter #1
I am needing to purchase a gouge sharpening system and am looking for any help or suggestions on what to purchase. I would also like to know if a water sharpening system is better than a bench grinder. I have a 12" X 46" woodtek lathe and thought that might be imortant so you know what size my gouges, skews, and such are.
Thanks for any help
 

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Easy,
I have both systems, so I'll give you my .02 on each of them.
A bench grinder used along with a jig is the least expensive way to start. If you go this route, look for a slow speed grinder, 1725rpm. Places like Woodcraft will run them on sale from time to time for around $89.00. The vari-grind jig or a reasonable copy are not that expensive and do a nice job for being able to repeat a grind time after time. Again, watch for the sales on the jigs and save some $.
I have a tormek grinder that I like. They are a lot more money. There are some copies out now that are a little less expensive, but still by the time you get done buying the various jig attachments, it is easy to spend $5-600.00 or more. The wet grinders remove metal much more slowly, so it does helpto extend tool life. They also leave a smoother finish which you can hone to just about razor sharp. But they do take longer if you are reshaping a tool and trying to remove a lot of metal.
So, both setups will do the job. It boils down to how much you want to spend and how much of a hurry you are in. That's how I ended up with both. Sometimes I will take a couple of hours and sharpen all my tools on the tormek. While I am in the midst of turning something, I will often go to the bench grinder because it is so quick.
Hope this helps,
Mike Hawkins;)
 

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There is one more option now.
A transition to wet Tormek.
http://www.tormek.com/en/accessories/bgm100/index.php
Get the Tormek grinding jig instead of Varigrind now with a dry grinder.
I like the Tormek manual and the TTS-100 set up jig, http://www.tormek.com/en/handbook/pdf/hb10en_072-091_svd185.pdf
Instead of doing your own experiment at the expense of your tool steel, Tormek tells you what you can expect from the various setting, what shape you should look for.
With the TTS-100 jig, the set up is quick and accurate. It is faster than setting up the sliding arm of Varigrind. (I have both Wolverine and Varigrind.)
You can expand to the wet grinder unit when you think you have a need for it.
 

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Check out the "Grizzly" slow speed wet grinder. I think they are around 99.95 bucks and they look just like the Tormek brand. It's a 8" unit.Compare the two and see what you come up with.The model # is T10097 and is on the back page of the 2010 Grizzly Catalog. www.grizzly.com
Donny
 

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Using a jig like the Wolverine with the ONeway varigrind you remove so little metal that I don't think the cost difference between the grinder and the Tormek would be worth it. At least not for me. I've tried sandpaper sharpening using belt sanders and disc sander. I have a Sheppac wet grinder now which is like a Tormek. I have use a makita wet grinder.
I like a slow speed grinder with white wheels or the newer Norton wheels. It takes seconds to grind any tool. With the wet wheel grinders you have to wait for them to soak unless you keep water in there all the time.
That's just my thoughts of course.
 

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shane h
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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all very much for the fast response. I was refered to this site from a friend (Walnut Nut) and it has lived up to his praise. Again thank you.
 
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