Sharpening Handbook - Getting More Life From Your Grindstones Because sharp enough
... usually is not.

Practical Limits on the larger Tormeks (T-2000, T-7, & T-8):
  • Longer knives = 200 mm
  • Everything else = 180 mm

On the larger Tormeks (T-2000, T-7, & T-8), the traditional grindstone (not the diamond ones) starts out at 250mm diameter, and over time, wears down with use. But the sharpener should remember, grindstones are like wood pencils or brake shoes - consumables meant to be worn down with use. And, when the grindstone gets down to about 190mm, it is basically not usable as it won't reach down into the water any more.

Fortunately, there are things you can do. But please note: experience has shown that there are limits to this endeavour.

Grindstones
Machine Starting Diameter Minimum Diameter Width Useful Life Shaft Diameter
T-2000
250 mm
180 mm
50 mm
4,728 cm3
12 mm
T-7
T-8
T-1200
200 mm
130 mm
40 mm
2,903 cm3
T-3
T-4


Option 1 : Raise the Water Trough

You can adjust the water level on the T-8 using the built-in feature. This is not a feature on the T-7 nor T-2000.

The picture to the right shows the T-2000's water trough sitting on 3/4 inch thick plywood which is screwed to a 2x4. This sets the water trough about 2 1/2 inches (64 mm) above the base, which is about 1/2 inches (14 mm) higher than if the trough were hung normally on the machine's tabs.

Raising the water trough like this, raises the water level, allowing for use of more of the stone. And, as the stone is worn down to a smaller diameter, there is no issue with it rubbing on the bottom of the trough.

It isn't pretty, but it does work well (kinda like me).

Dan @ Exact Blade shows how he did it in the video below.


Key Note : This approach has been questioned by some, noting that the cost of a T-4 is high enough that purchasing a new grindstone may be a better financial option. What is generally agreed is that, if you need a T-4 anyway (e.g., to carry it to a farmers market), then this may be a good option.

Option 2 : Use the Worn Grindstone on a T-3 or T-4

The grindstones from a bigger machine, once worn down to 200mm or less, will fit on a smaller machine. The grindstone is 50 mm wide (vs. the normal stone which is 40 mm wide), but it still fits. And, as noted in the table below, it gets another 51% out of the same stone.

Grindstones
Machine Starting Diameter Minimum Diameter Width Useful Life Shaft Diameter
T-2000
250 mm
180 mm
50 mm
4,728 cm3
12 mm
T-7
T-8
T-1200
200 mm
130 mm
40 mm
2,903 cm3
T-3
T-4
250 mm stone used down to 180 mm, and then moved to a 200 mm machine
180 mm
130 mm
50 mm
2,435 cm3

Dan @ Exact Blade does this, and has provided the pictures below.


The T-3 nut fits over the
wider grindstone without
any modifications

As the grindstone gets used,
the water trough can be raised
to raise the water level

Very little of the stone is
remaining


Used SB-250 on T-4


Notes:

  1. As the grindstone wears down on the smaller machine, you can also raise that trough, further extending the grindstone's life on that machine as well. Dan shows that in the middle picture above.


Personal Anecdote: After many years, my SB-250 stone was down to 180 mm, and I was no longer able to use it on my T-2000. Fortunately though, Curtis (CB on the Tormek forum) was able to make use of this grindstone on his T-4.

The benefits of this are :

  1. Curtis is able to get an SB grindstone for his T-4 (pictures of my old grindstone on his T-4 are to the right), and

  2. The grindstone is not simply collecting dust in my shop ... instead it is providing many more years of proud use to another sharpener.

Tormek is a copyrighted logo of Tormek AB. Its presentation on this site is used to help the user quickly understand when specific Tormek tools, jigs, or setting are being used. For specific information regarding Tormek AB, or its products, please refer to the www.Tormek.com.


About this site
Remember : The goal of sharpening is to produce sharp tools, and these tools can injure you if mishandled. Safety measures should be followed to protect yourself and those in your shop. Be sure to read and follow all instructions from the manufacturer, and and utilize proper safety equipment. Never consume alcohol or anything that could impair your judgement before sharpening tools, or using sharp tools. Comments can be sent via eMail to me at SharpeningHandbook@Gmail.com.