New Products from Tormek

The new T-7 wet grinder

Overview: I’ve been a huge fan of the Tormek wet grinding sharpening system for years. Recently, the company has come out with some new accessories for their wet grinders that make this superb sharpening solution even better. These include two new sharpening wheels, a jig that allows you to use your jigs on a dry grinder and a replacement stainless steel shaft assembly to upgrade older model grinders to the new stainless steel shaft/washer and bolt assembly.

There are now three grinding
wheels for the wet grinder

One of the things I really appreciate is a company’s dedication to continuous improvement and their willingness to listen to consumer input regarding their products. They have always been responsive to consumer input and has made numerous enhancements to their products over the years. Their dedication to continuous improvement of the wet grinder makes them in my opinion, one of the best and most responsive companies in the industry today. Here are four new accessories from Tormek that deserve a look.

SB-250 (Black Silicon Waterstone)

The new SB 250 black
silicon wet grinding wheel

Tormek has done it again… For those of us who always wanted a slightly faster metal removal rate than the standard SG-250 wheel offered, they now offers a black silicon wheel, the SB-250. This 250mm x 50mm wheel is the same grit as the standard wheel (220 grit), but since the wheel is made with black silicon, it offers faster steel removal rate than the original wheel. It is particularly adept at sharpening tools with large bevel surfaces like a skew chisel, a large Irish ground bowl gouge, or planer blades.

This wheel can also be used to touch up surfaces on tungsten carbide cutters, a very nice feature indeed! The SB-250 is designed to offer higher metal removal rates than the original SG-250 wheel, even with low grinding pressure. This SB-250 black silicon wheel is a superb compliment to their line of wheels, filling the sweet spot between the original SG-250 wheel and the new SJ-250 blue Japanese waterstone. The SB-250 wheel can be maintained with the standard SP-650 stone grader tool.

SJ-250 (Blue Japanese Waterstone)

The new SJ 250 Japanese
waterstone grinding wheel

If you’re into ultimate sharpening, you’ll appreciate the new Japanese waterstone wheel, the SJ-250. This 250mm x 50mm, 4000 grit stone is designed for the absolute minimum amount of metal removal on your tools when sharpening. It will produce a mirror finish on your tools with virtually no visible groves in the surface. This stone will fit the T-7 and 2000 model, as well as the T-3 and 1200 models. This stone is made to sharpen established bevel profiles, where you need an extra fine edge on the tool. It is not intended for shaping new profiles, or removing bulk metal.

The edge produced by this wheel is so fine in fact, that honing is not necessary. As with any stone, the surface must be maintained periodically, however you should only use the fine side of the Tormek stone grader (SP-650). Never use the course side of the stone grader on your Japanese waterstone. This stone is perfect for carving tools, wood chisels, some turning tools, as well as other tools like scissors and plane irons. If you’re looking for the ultimate edge, the SJ-250 is a superb solution.

BGM-100 Dry Grinder Jig

The new BGM-100 dry grinding jig

Most of the Tormek owners I know utilize both wet and dry sharpening solutions in their studios, using their wet grinder for sharpening and the dry grinder when they need to remove bulk metal on a tool, or change a bevel profile design. Using booth a wet grinder and a dry grinder is truly the best of both worlds, as you can use either system as necessary to maintain maximum productivity and keep your tools lasting as long as possible.

The company has now introduced the BGM-100 jig, which allows you to use it on your 6”, 8” or 10” dry grinder! That’s right, you can now setup a dry grinder to use Tormek jigs and use your TTS-100 Turning Tool Setter to move back and forth between the two systems. Sweet!!! Need to turn a flat ground bowl gouge into an Irish grind… No problem, use your BGM-100 on your dry grinder to shape the Irish grind and then use your Tormek to sharpen and maintain the established bevel profile design.

The TTS-100 jig allows you to move back and forth between your wet and dry grinders with ease. Run, don’t walk to your local turning supplier and get your hands on one of these jigs.

Stainless Steel Shaft Upgrade Assembly

If you have an older model,
you can now upgrade to a
stainless steel drive shaft with this kit

If you have an earlier model wet grinder, you can now purchase a stainless steel shaft upgrade assembly that will replace the shaft, steel washers, steel nut and nylon bearings on your current model. This is a great upgrade for older wet grinders and will eliminate any potential for rusting on the shaft, washer, or nut assembly. If you have an older wet grinder, take a look at this upgrade and treat your baby to a new stainless steel shaft assembly.

This jig comes with a superb owner's manual that gives complete instructions on setup and use of the jig on a dry grinder. Like all Tormek manuals, it is clearly written with detailed drawings that explain every aspect of using the jig. I’ve said for years that their instruction manuals are without a doubt, the best tool instruction manuals on the planet. Through, clear and well-illustrated manuals are rare these days, but the folks at Tormek continue to set the ultimate standard that all other manufacturers would do well to emulate.

Long Term Test Now Underway

I’m looking forward to giving these new products from Tormek a go in my studio. A future edition of Lathe Talk will report on my long term testing of the two new wheels, as well as the dry grinder jig. I will also report on upgrading one of my older Tormek’s with the new stainless steel shaft assembly. Look for this special report in the near future.

Safety Note: Always follow all manufacturers safety instructions before working with your lathe, or any of the tools or products you may use. If you are unsure about any operation, obtain competent professional instruction before proceeding. Use and wear all necessary safety devices during turning and observe safe woodturning practices to prevent accident or injury.

Steven D. Russell is a professional studio woodturner, teacher and writer. He has written numerous articles for international woodturning magazines, which have been published in more than 78 countries around the world. Steve has demonstrated in numerous cities across the United States. His studio, Eurowood Werks, specializes in bowls, platters and hollow forms with unique visual and tactile treatments.

Steve is also the current and founding President of the Lone Star Woodturners Association, Inc., an AAW member chapter. The LSWA is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization dedicated to teaching and demonstrating the art and craft of woodturning.

Steve is also a featured writer for the Guild of Master Craftsman's "Woodturning" magazine, published in London England. Woodturning magazine is the world's leading magazine for woodturners. Look for his articles covering technical topics, or project based articles in an upcoming issue.