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Showing posts from 2010

If you can't afford a Tormek Sharpener just yet

It took a lot of late nights doing work on the side to pay for the Tormek and all the wonderful goodies that came packed with it. What surprises me is that the thing I really like most about it is the leather honing wheel .

This is basically a friction drive rubber wheel which has been fitted with a raw leather belt on the outside. To condition it you first give it an application of light machine oil to help the honing compound bind better with the leather. Then you fire it up and even at the very slow speed that the Tormek runs at, the fine scratches left by the grindstone disappear to leave a mirror finish.

Unlike buffers which run at startling speeds and as such are extremely dangerous should projectile motion be achieved (ie Highspeed + Chisel = bad), the Tormek just happily chugs along letting you safely hone your edges to a razor finish if desired. The biggest problem I've had so far is carelessly nicking the handle of a knife on the grind stone whilst using the honing whee…

The Tormek Sharpening System ... sweet as!

Between posts, I've been working on fitting out a corner of back shed to do a little bit of meditative wood turning. Rather than jumping right in and actually turning something, I thought it wise to invest some extra time and cash in getting some sharpening gear together.

Enter the Tormek T7.

The Tormek system is to a bench grinder what a surgeon's scalpal is to a meat-axe. Even the packaging is nice. It must be the first tool or machine I've ever owned that came with its own instructional DVD and hardcover instruction manual. Even one of the optional jig sets came with another complete instruction manual, along with a high density foam packing case that can be screwed to the wall as a storage unit.

Yes, it's a bit expensive but...

The Tormek system has a stepped down electric motor (90 RPM) and a water trough to continuously bath the grindstone. There is even a little magnet under the trough to collect any iron-based filings that come of the stone. The stone is so smo…

Why are Spear and Jackson Compressors so popular?

Following an earlier post about our new little spear and jackson oil free compressor, this blog has been hit with a continual stream of visitors google searching this exact topic.
Our new Spear and Jackson compressor
I think there is something about this unit that appeals to the compressed air new-comer. The plastic body has that look of low maintenance and user friendliness - the same hallmarks perhaps that would turn a veteran towards a more industrial looking machine.

In hindsight, the spear and jackson is still meeting expectations. It never boasted about having any sort of serious capacity but its great for small short bursts of air - cleaning down tools witha spray from the air wand, inflating tyres, driving a small brad nailer, it all works. As compressors tend to be, its still a pretty noisy thing when its running and I guess it never promised not to be.

Stored Ebonizing Solution goes cloudy again

Recently I found a bottle of homemade wood ebonizer that had been stored for a few months. What was once a brialliantly clear solution had turned itself into a murky mess with a hard crystalline crust on the top and a fine powdery sediment on the bottom. The crust was so hard I had to shake the bottle to get the liquid out thus stirring up all the sediment and making the solution far less attractive and I suspect likely to cause unwanted rust stains.

See recipe for homemade wood ebonizer

I am gussing I've used too much rust and too little vinegar here. Next experiment will be to take a small quantity of this solution and dissolve it into a bottle of vinegar, then checking if the end result is still potent when applied to the timber we want to turn black.