Tormek takes suggestions from its customers very seriously. Based on user feedback, the company has made significant changes to its T-7 water-cooled sharpening system, which uses jigs, a slow-speed grindstone and leather honing wheel to sharpen a wide variety of woodworking tools.
"The primary purpose of using a water-cooled grindstone is to keep the temperature down during the grinding process, so you do not draw the temper out of the steel, which in turn means the edge will stay sharp longer - you don't create friction heat and it is cold running at every stage," says company spokesman Geoff Brown.
The first of the new features is the EzyLock system, which allows for tool-less changing of the grindstone.
"When you want to remove the EzyLock, just hold the honing wheel and the stone and push in the opposite direction and the EzyLock nut washer comes undone," says Brown.
The second improvement is the new Advanced Water Trough, model AWT-250. It addresses customer concerns about water splash while sharpening tools. The standard lip has been enlarged considerably. A water chute, which attaches easily and directs the water back into the trough, is also included for sharpening extra-long tools that drip water well over the edge of the lip.
The new water trough also has an incorporated magnet, which attracts the steel cut from tools and keeps the stone cleaner and more free-cutting. Tormek has also added a pair of tilt shoes, which put the frame on a slight angle so any water that lands on the frame runs back into the water trough.
The third improvement is an electrodeposition coating on the frame that provides corrosion protection and forms the foundation for a powder coat finish.
The improvements include no change to the price of the machine, which sells for $589, according to Brown.
The Advanced Water Trough, tilt shoes and EzyLock stone-changing system are also available as aftermarket upgrades to existing Tormek T-7 and 2000 series sharpening systems.
Affinity Tool Works, 1161 Rankin St., Troy, MI 48083. Tel: 866-588-0395. www.affinitytool.com
This article originally appeared in the February 2010 issue.