Tormek vs. Veritas Honing Guide Horrors...Need some advice!

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Forum topic by groland posted 04-07-2018 04:07 PM 1248 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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230 posts in 4294 days

04-07-2018 04:07 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tormek vs veritas honing guides

I am trying to get a proper bevel on a Lie-Nielsen Large Shoulder plane. I have used the plane a bit, but am trying to fine tune the blade now. I have flattened and polished the back of the blade and am pleased with that.

So, I set the blade up in the Tormek to get an even 25 degree bevel. Then, I put the blade in a Veritas Honing Guide, setting the guide up for a 25 degree bevel. When I began honing the bevel on a well-flattened 1000 grit water stone, only that portion of the bevel on the far side of the edge was getting ground. Of course, the Tormek is going to hollow-grind the bevel and the stone will try to flatten it.

Anyway, this precipitated a series of experiments. I would lengthen the distance from the guide to the tip of the bevel on the Tormek—same thing—stone ground only the back edge. Tried shortening the amount of the blade exposed and got the same result. When switching to the Veritas jig, only the portion of the bevel opposite the edge was ground.

Clearly these guide and jigs, at least as I am setting them, are not producing the same bevel, and even fairly large changes on the Tormek grind seem to make no difference to the performance with the Veritas guide.

At this point I’m stumped both as to why this is happening and, more importantly, how to fix it?

Any thoughts?

5 replies so far

View Lazyman's profile (online now)


5860 posts in 2269 days

#1 posted 04-07-2018 04:19 PM

I am not familiar with the setup for the Tormek but for some sharpening jigs designed for round grinding wheels, to set the right angle, you have to account for the thickness of the iron you are sharpening. Another way to look at it is that because of the round wheel. the angle on one side of the iron is slightly different than it is to the other side so you sort of have to adjust to the middle of the thickness. If the thickness is not accounted for, moving from the hollow grind to a flat stone, you may see a slight difference.

My theory anyway.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View builtinbkyn's profile


3011 posts in 1822 days

#2 posted 04-07-2018 04:43 PM

Why use both methods? The Tormek has a means to hone as well as sharpen. I’d stick with one method. Use a strop on a piece of hardwood to finish the blade.

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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3414 posts in 2680 days

#3 posted 04-07-2018 04:55 PM

I also used the Tormek for hollow grinding blades. No jigs are needed after the tormek go directly to your finest polishing stone. You can quickly learn how to balance the edge because of the hollow grind. I use the side sharping technique. Harrelson Stanley showed me this way. Derek also has a good write up on his site.
Give it a try. Put that jig away its a waste of time.

-- Aj

View Rich's profile (online now)


5974 posts in 1471 days

#4 posted 04-07-2018 05:51 PM

You don’t mention which Veritas guide you’re using, but if it’s the MKII, the blade angle will be far more precise than on the Tormek. You’re just eyeballing the angle on the Tormek, where on the MKII you’re using a stop.

Like Aj said, generally when you have a hollow grind and want to touch up the edge on a stone, you can just do it by feel. Because of the hollow grind, you can feel exactly when the blade is touching the stone at the front and back of the bevel. It also allows you to get the edge back in fewer strokes because so little metal is actually touching the stone.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View groland's profile


230 posts in 4294 days

#5 posted 04-08-2018 05:10 AM

Thanks to all responders. Lazyman, I had not considered the blade thickness issue you raised, so I reset the Tormek so the grind was in the exact center of the bevel. Just as you surmised, the hollow-grind of the Tormek wheel left the edge and back edge of the bevel lower than the bevel’s center, so, when I went to the Veritas guide, sure enough, metal was honed on both ends of the bevel.

I was able to get a very satisfactory edge.

I will definitely try the freehand techniques mentioned by others since that would be more direct and simple than using the Veritas jig.


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