I was going to wait until my next wood working show here in Portland, but I found this on Amazon and wondered if this is the same deal we've seen at the shows every year. Has anyone purchased this through Amazon? What's in the woodturners kit? Does it include the cover, dressing stone, etc.? Is that the going rate or equal to the show specials? Can't remember what the show prices were.
The current price for the base unit is about $400.
I don't remember if the grading stone is included or not. You will need one! You'll also need a tube of honing compound.
A few of things about the Tormek.
When you are finished with the wet process, remove the water tray and allow the wheel to turn for 2 to 6 hours to dry. (It all depends upon temperature and humidity. In a cold damp basement, you may have to allow the unit to run overnight. If you don't do this the result is an egg shaped grinding wheel. Don't let the wheel sit in water with out turing for much more than 60 seconds at a time.
Buy a few diamond sharpening "Plates" from Harbor Freight. They are usually about $12-13 for three, (Red, yellow and blue) I usually use the blue to face the wheel (Frequently) to remove the steel and the results of the "Stone Grading Process". When you do this, keep the face of the wheel square to the outside face of the wheel. Never use the outside face of the wheel for anything other than a refenence plane for squareness. If you do all of this, you won't need the $60 diamond dressing jig from Tormek.
Flatten the backs of you chisels, etc. before sharpening. This will make all the difference in the world during the sharpening process.
The wood turner's package is a few jigs to allow your to sharpen the various turning tools. If you're a turner, you'll need it.
You'll find that after the initial sharpening process, the hone system will be used much more than the stone. (This is a good thing.) I think that with me it is about a 20 to 1 ratio.
Finally, IMHO, there is not a better sharpening system than the Tormek but it is a pricey system too.
The stones must be different these days...mine's been soaking in water most of the time for nigh on 16 years and it's still concentric...Only if I feared it might freeze would I worry about keeping it dry.
Also you can use the side of the stone if you want to avoid a concave finish...I do this for skew turning chisels where a concave face can lead to a grabby cut.
Check out Jeff Farris over on the Yahoo Tormek users group he is president of Sharptools USA who import the Tormek from Sweden...I also found that he responds to E-mail queries and is helpful...my model is the cheaper 8" wheel version and after all this time it is gonna need a new wheel shortly :(
I have to go along with Limey on the wheel not sagging.
The original Tormek wheel is an aluminum oxide compound suspended in a special ceramic binder (Tormek is the only one having this) that doesn't get soft like a pure stone wheel might.
I drop the tank off mine when not using it mainly to clean it and prevent debris from building up in it, but it has remained submerged for days on end during extended heavy turning sessions.
If youare good with a separate diamond stone truer, you might be able to get it flat. With the Tormek diamond truing jig you can't get it crooked unless you re-adjust it during the cut. As long as the truer last, and as seldom as I need use it, I'll stick with the real deal.
The side of the Tormek wheel is machined intentionally to be used for fattening the back-side of chisels and such. I use it all the time on mine with no problem at all.
I believe Jeff was the one demonstrating the Tormek at our local Woodworking show earlier this year. I watched him for about an hour and was amazed how quickly he brought a chisel back to life after mashing it across a nail.