Sharpening Handbook - Jigs, Fixtures, & Modifications for the Tormek Because sharp enough
... usually is not.

Some really great add-ons have emerged lately for the Tormek, and this section contains a quick reference to those user-designed jigs, fixtures, and modifications.

Index of Known Jigs, Fixtures, & Modifications

Front Vertical Base

Front Vertical Base

The Front Vertical Base, designed by Dr. Vadim Kraichuk of KnifeGrinders, has been instrumental in making the sharpening process more repeatable. And, KnifeGrinders developed tools and software around it's use.

Instructions for use are available from KnifeGrinders.

You can buy one from KnifeGrinders, or make your own.

If you want to make your own, you will need a Tormek XB-100 Horizontal Base and a block of aluminum which is the same dimensions as the XB-100, and 25mm thick. You will also need a 12mm rod, and M12 all-thread rod. Both rods need to be 165mm - 175mm (6½ - 7 inches) long.



The KenJig was one of the first add-on jigs made for the Tormek, and one of the easiest to use.

It is based on the Dutchman's guide for Grinding Angle Adjustment for the Tormek, and named after the Tormek forum's fearless leader, Ken Schroeder.


Jan's Original Design

In December 2015, Jan Svancara posted on the Tormek forum an idea for modifying the Tormek TTS-100 to accommodate the setup of the universal support bar (USB) based on the a few pre-determined knife edge angles. What is truly great about this idea is that it accommodates changes in the grindstone's diameter.

Sheang Han (who goes by Tournevis on the Tormek forum) built a jig for that made of metal. His information was posted on the Tormek forum around February 2016.

This jig is a great story for the sharpener. It shows the progression of ideas :

  • Ken developed the KenJig for fast setup of the USB for sharpening knives.
  • Jan took that idea, and made it more universal to accommodate different angles and varying sizes of the stone.
  • Then Han made it a nice, simple design.
  • The last picture shows 4 HanJigs made by Rick Krung. His testing showed very strong BESS™️ ratings using these.


The generally-accepted opinion is that the sharpener should decide to use the HanJig if sharpening a few knives with a specific angle (e.g., one or two at a time at a farmer's market).

If sharpening quite a few knives with the same angle (i.e., all your wife's kitchen knives), then the platform approach will be faster overall.

Multiple HanJigs

Plans for the 4 HanJigs made by Rick Krung are linked below :

The bigger hole is for the Tormek's USB. It is 12 mm in diameter.

For the bearings, skate board ball bearings probably work acceptably, and are very cost effective (30 for about $12). You will need to drill the other two holes to accommodate a screw for a shaft for them.

These are prone to rusting if they get wet. For this reason, Rick used stainless steel ones. Each HanJig needs the following. If you are making 4, multiply everything by 4.

Laser Goniometer

Laser Goniometer

Jan Svancara's document on building a Laser Goniometer outlines a great way to measure bevel angles with a simple laser device.

This device makes those measurements very precise. And his use of kids toys (Erector Set) to make it lends to a bit of fun.


Goniostat in use
on a Bench Grinder

Sharpening certain tools requires angles to be cut in ways that can be complex. To do this requires a Goniostat. The version I've made for use on a Tormek is shown here. It gets used for :

  • Single point cutting tools for use on a metal lathes : The accuracy of those cuts matters as a variation of only 2 or 3° can make a big difference in the tools effectiveness.

  • Cutters for the Rose Engine lathe

The original goniostat is shown below, and was outlined by Charles Holtzapffel in his 1850 book, Turning and Mechanical Manipulation, Vol. 3 - Abrasive and Other Processes not Accomplished with Cutting Tools. This was designed to work with a flat stone, though now these are used with flat spinning disks, and a newer variation of it is still available.

Figure 1042 in Turning and Mechanical Manipulation Vol. 3
by Charles and John Jacob Holtzapffel

If you'd rather make a newer design of this one, drawings from Mike Fallows are below.
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5

Goniostat - top & bottom views

I made this sled to ride on the SVD-110 Tool Rest. It makes sharpening those tools quite a bit easier.

Pivot Jigs for Tormek SVM Knife Jigs

Collar Pivot Jig

Collar Pivot Jig with the SVM-45 Knife Jig, version 1

The first version of this collar is shown on the right, and was published in 2018 on the Tormek Forum by CB. It makes for easier sharpening of knives as it allows for easier pivoting of the knife jig when sharpening. It is especially useful for keeping a consistent grind on the edge, especially for blades with curves (as most have).

This enhancement is made from four 12mm collars (like 57485K69 from McMaster-Carr).

The two that seem joined are held together by one a M6-1.0 set screw (like 91390A126 from McMaster-Carr), and that is a pivot point.

I use this jig for sharpening pruning shears, and it works well to allow for pivoting the knife jig along the blade's curved edge.

Pin Pivot Collar

Later in 2018, Rick Krung published on the Tormek Forum an improvement to CB's design. This is shown in the 2nd picture on the right.

It is really quite nice, and has received (well-deserved) rave reviews, though it is a bit more involved to make as it requires a bit of machining and welding. I do like the simplicity of this approach, and the excellent work done by a great machinist.

The video below is from Knife Grinders showing the Mounting the Pin Pivot Collar on your Knife Jig.

Wedge Pivot Jig

Pin Pivot Collar with the SVM-45 Knife Jig

Still later in 2018, Gord Cameron published on the Tormek Forum a different approach which had simplicity in fabrication as its governing principle. This is shown in the pictures on the right.

Gord is not a machinist, and stated that he wanted something that could be made by anyone with a hack saw, a file, and a drill press. He also wanted to design something that someone could make out of plastic, either by shaping it or by using a 3D printer, so he designed it to have more reinforcing bulk than the pin pivot collar. (Editor's note: I've not been successful making one of these from plastic as even Delrin was too flexible.)

The one shown is made from a bar of aluminium that is 2” long and 1” square.

The picture at the bottom shows this attached to the knife jig.

Wedge Pivot Jig with the SVM-45 Knife Jig

Platform for Sharpening and Honing

Simple Platform for Honing and Sharpening

Enhanced Platform for Sharpening Knives

Jan Svancara developed this simple jig for easier and more consistent honing and sharpening (first picture on the right), and the even more enhanced jig (2d picture on the right). The 2d picture also shows the laser he uses for alignment. (I love how Jan uses Erector Set toys to build jigs.)

Tony Whitfield (AKA, "Y-Not") posted an additional recommendation regarding the knife sharpening platform, in that he recommended putting a drop of mineral oil on the knife blade and the platform. This was posted in 2018 on the Tormek Forum as a way to reduce scratches on the edge of the blade.

Herman Trivilino's video below shows the use of a platform jig. His looks a little different, as he has affixed a piece of steel to the Tormek SVX-150 Scissors Jig (my variation of this is a piece of very hard plastic attached to the Tormek SVD-110 Tool Rest). In any case, the results are the same.

Note: with the advent of the pin pivot jig, the platform jig is used far less often.

Rotary Knife Jig

Rotary Knife Jig - Drawing

Rotary Knife Jig - Side View

Rotary Knife Jig - Parts Exploded

I made this set of add-on parts for the Tormek SVD-185 / SVD-186 Jig so I could sharpen rotary knives for my wife.

The pieces added are

  1. the hand wheel,
  2. the bolt to hold it in place, and
  3. the fender washers.

The videos below show the modified jig in use. The first video is using the Tormek SG-250 wheel to sharpen the blade, and the second video is using the Tormek SJ-250 wheel to hone it.

Software to Set Grinding Angle

Software Screen Shot

Dr. Vadim Kraichuk at KnifeGrinders has developed an application for Windows, Mac, and Android software to set grinding angles on Tormek T-4, T-7, T-8 and SuperGrind 2000 standard position (grinding into the wheel), other similar brands (Scheppach, Jet, Record etc), using jigs.

The video below is from Knife Grinders showing the Grinding Software in use.

Volume Sharpening Attachment

Volume Sharpening Attachment

Rick Krung and Dr. Vadim Kraichuk (at KnifeGrinders) devised this jig for use on diamond grindstones. It is a great tool for production sharpening shops.

Photos, detailed descriptions, and production drawings are on the KnifeGrinders web site.

The video below is from Knife Grinders showing the Volume Sharpening Attachment in use.

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