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worksharp vs. wet grinder

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Forum topic by AGolden posted 06-26-2021 07:56 PM 859 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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AGolden

140 posts in 573 days


06-26-2021 07:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sharpening grinder worksharp grinding

Hey All,

I am looking for a new sharpening solution. I have waterstones so I am primarily looking for a tool to help me re-grind the primary bevels on my planes and chisels.

I am currently torn between a wet grinding system and a worksharp 3000. I can get either in the ~$200 range which is what I am about willing to spend. Does anyone have any comments on what you see as a preferred solution? what kind of system do you use for grinding or is this just a classic example of over analysis. Any thoughts on what you prefer, what your setup is, what kind of versatility you see in each, and anything you would do differently would be really helpful. Thank you very much!

I have to say I am gravitating a little towards the worksharp because it reminds me of the grinding and polishing wheels I used to use in the metallurgy lab but that is mostly sentimental :)


26 replies so far

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

6748 posts in 3548 days


#1 posted 06-26-2021 08:05 PM

WorkSharp works great. I quit using it because it eats sandpaper like crazy.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

2869 posts in 840 days


#2 posted 06-26-2021 08:08 PM

My chisel sharpening was becoming a distraction and was always procrastinating doing it. Mud and slop from stones, difficulty correcting or re-establishing a bevel using PSA on float glass etc. I l bought the work sharp and have been happy. I can quickly correct a bevel and get to a sharp edge quickly. This is my path of least resistance to get back to working with the wood.

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AGolden

140 posts in 573 days


#3 posted 06-26-2021 08:16 PM



WorkSharp works great. I quit using it because it eats sandpaper like crazy.

- AlaskaGuy

Haha, good to hear, I thought that might be the downside. But I am glad to hear people like it and that it really does work well.

View RClark's profile

RClark

163 posts in 3424 days


#4 posted 06-26-2021 08:34 PM

I have the Jet 10” Wet Grinder. I bought it in 2006. Back then, it was considered a viable/less expensive alternative to the Tormek. However, the machine did have issues, and I don’t know if it’s still in production.

Occasionally, I get the itch to replace it with something like the Worksharp. But then I’ll read a number of different things about the Worksharp and decide that I’m trading one set of issues for another.

Here are some things to consider if you’re looking at a “Tormek-like” sharpening solution. I present them based on my experience.

- Round wheels give hollow grinds. Sometimes this is a good thing, other times maybe not so much. For example, while I like hollow grinds on my bench chisels and plane irons, I’m not crazy about them on my carving gouges. The smaller the wheel diameter, the more pronounced the hollowing of the grind.

- I can sharpen my 6” jointer blades on my Jet. I’m not certain that can be done on a Worksharp. Maybe somebody else will chime in and tell us different.

- I can flatten the backs of my chisels and plane irons on the side of my grinding wheel. I don’t know if that’s practical on the Worksharp. It takes a bit of practice to do well, but I can do it. There was a discussion on one of the boards I frequent, maybe even here, but I don’t remember what folks said about flattening backs on the Worksharp.

- Wet grinders can be a little bit messy; water will drip off the machine. On the plus side, there’s no way to overheat a blade on the wet grinder.

- Regrinding a bevel on the Jet can be done, but it’s not near as fast as on a bench grinder.

- I found the stropping wheel on the Jet to be useless. The seam on the leather band was always rough, and it eventually separated from the plastic wheel. You’re gonna need to keep your traditional strop handy.

- Whichever way you go, I think you’ll need to keep your stones. After grinding, my blades always go to the stones for final honing and then stropping.

- I sharpen my lathe tools on the Jet. I do have a jig for them, but I typically do it freehand.

- If you choose a wet grinder make sure you can stand the cost of a replacement grind stone. I’m still on my original, but a replacement would cost a fortune. As soon as this wheel is done, I’ll have to consider another wheel like a CBN, or a different solution altogether.

I don’t have experience with the Worksharp; I’ve only read some stuff that seemed both good and bad. Perhaps somebody will come along with those. Like my Jet wet grinder, I don’t think they’re all “rainbows and lollipops.”

Good luck.

-- Ray

View bbc557ci's profile

bbc557ci

637 posts in 3312 days


#5 posted 06-26-2021 10:07 PM

I have a similar wet grinder to what RClark describes but mine is an old Delta with a 9 inch wheel. I’ve roughed in and or reshaped planer blades and chisels on the wet wheel, then go to my diamond stones for the finish edge/angle. Works well for me. I’ve thought about a Worksharp but don’t see that I need it. Plus I like the cool aka not hot feature of the wet wheel.

-- Bill, central NY...no where near the "big apple"

View Kudzupatch's profile

Kudzupatch

297 posts in 2447 days


#6 posted 06-26-2021 10:38 PM

Have not priced them in a while but I am a big fan of the Makita wet sharpener. You can find them used fairly easy. Not sure what they are bringing now so may not be in your price range?

I have all 3 stones, including a very course green wheel. Not sure but probably 60-80 grit. Great for reshaping the bevel.

I can sharpen everything from an 1/8” chisel to my 12” planer and joiner blades. A little messy but I love mine.

-- Jeff Horton * Kudzu Craft skin boats* www.kudzucraft.com

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

5383 posts in 3227 days


#7 posted 06-26-2021 11:53 PM

I use a Worksharp with diamond disks I got on eBay.

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

1517 posts in 4780 days


#8 posted 06-27-2021 12:34 AM

I use a WorkSharp. Got it as a gift several years ago and use it on a regular basis. My go to sharping solutions now.

-- Bruce Free Plans & Calculators https://traditionalwoodworking.org

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corelz125

3711 posts in 2215 days


#9 posted 06-27-2021 01:28 AM

I have the worksharp. I got it when I first started sharpening since its fool proof. It does go through sandpaper pretty quick but I ordered the diamond plates from amazon haven’t tried them yet. To establish a bevel on an old beat up iron I go down to 60 grit.

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

2281 posts in 2888 days


#10 posted 06-27-2021 09:36 AM

For flat blades:
I have a Worksharp, Makita, and have had several others. I had a clone like the Rikon you show above and found it to be useless. Too flexible. Maybe a CBN wheel would have helped as I never got the wheel round.
I found:

I do far the best doing back side original flatening on a glass plate with paper. To 3000
I do far best on the original bevel using an M-Power jig.
If I have to grind, then I use my Wolverine on a Rikon low speed grinder.
I go from the M-power ( 1200 max) right to strop by hand. Only a few strokes gives me a fine micro-bevel edge. Only a hair wide, but that is all you need.

Not given up on the Worksharp, but I just can’t get it to remain square within the stage adjustment. I intend some modifications and am planning on a large platform so I can make a jig to do a scrub plane. I bought a 2000 grit diamond disk but it loads up instantly. Using the expensive Workshop paper seems to work better.

I think the Tormak with CBN wheels is still the best. Maybe someday.

I do use the worksharp for free-hand of my carving tools. I need to play more with the different grades of stropping paste and leather textures. I put a Lux and Byrd head in my planer and jointer, so I no longer fool with my Makita for long knives. For the old steel jointer knives, I found the best was the little aluminum block you hold two bladed in on paper. The Worksharp is far less messy than the Makita for our kitchen knives.

I have spoent enough on differetn machines I could have bought a Tormac to start with.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

6748 posts in 3548 days


#11 posted 06-27-2021 05:58 PM

Well tvrgeek, I have a Tormek and I find it painfully slow and don’t use it often. Mostly now I use diamond stones. Lol, for me sharpening is painful no matter the method.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View gtrgeo's profile

gtrgeo

191 posts in 1669 days


#12 posted 06-28-2021 03:45 PM

I got frustrated with the mess of water stones which had me sharpening less than I should. I picked up the Worksharp and was able to get things sharp in a relatively short time. As The Worksharp comes I found it works well for chisels and small block plane blades using the port. I was able to purchase the wide blade attachment before it was discontinued and have found this to work quite well for plane blades once I was able to get it fine tuned. The one place I struggle with on the worksharp is flattening backs. While I can do ok with smaller chisels, the wider the blade is the more difficult I find the process. I will likely turn to sandpaper on glass or granite or possibly splurge for some diamond stones to flatten backs.

Overall, I find I am keeping my edges in better shape instead of struggling through because I do not want to sharpen. I can touch up a chisel in minutes on the Worksharp. Cleanup is quick with a vacuum.

I believe there is no perfect method for sharpening. It is finding what method fits the work you do. I have a small shop space and the Worksharp allows me to pull it out of it’s storage space use it, and store again without much fuss. If I had a dedicated space for sharpening, I may have stuck with the water stones.

George

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

2637 posts in 4032 days


#13 posted 06-28-2021 08:52 PM

Sounds like worksharp made a brilliant move by discontinuing the wide attachment. That put them below the bottom of my list for future purchases.

View gtrgeo's profile

gtrgeo

191 posts in 1669 days


#14 posted 06-28-2021 11:50 PM



Sounds like worksharp made a brilliant move by discontinuing the wide attachment. That put them below the bottom of my list for future purchases.

- ibewjon

They really did. The platform adds a new dimension to the tool’s usefulness. There are some DIY options out their but I like the compactness and time-saving of the purchased unit. Their honing guide which came in the package is actually very good. They used to have an attachment which mimicked the steel arm of the Tormek as well. You could use Tormek jigs on the Worksharp or use it as a steady when free-hand sharpening. Unfortunately I did not pick up one of those before it was discontinued.

George

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

2281 posts in 2888 days


#15 posted 06-29-2021 12:01 AM

There is a video on Stumpy Nubs to make the large stage for the WS.

I agree there is no perfect system. The best is what works for you. Can’t say I have found mine yet.

I am looking to see if I can make a block for my M-Power so I can put some 2000 and 3000 paper on it. Then it might be the best system. It does stay totally square which I have not achieved with any other system.

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