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Truing Tool Advancer
Perfect truing made easy
Text & photos by Tom Hintz
A fact of life with stone wheels is that the process of sharpening makes them go out of round. As soon as a dip begins, each time the tool being sharpened reaches its bottom, the tip makes the dip a little worse.
The Tormek ADV-50D diamond truing jig is capable of producing a flat, perfectly round stone, providing your fingers apply just the right amount of pressure and maintain that consistently throughout the process. The problem occurs when the truing tool enters a groove or nick and jumps to a new position because of the pressure of the operator’s fingers. That usually results in an irregularity in the stone surface.
The Truing Tool Advancer, from TallowTree Mfg. (Valentine, NE) is a simple but ingenious jig designed to move the ADV-50D across the stone consistently using a threaded rod and knob. The results are dramatic.
Simple and Well Made
The idea of using the consistency of a threaded push rod to move the diamond tool across the stone may not be earth shaking, but how Tallow Tree executes it is close. The Truing Tool Advancer looks simple but would be extremely difficult to duplicate in our shops.
The materials and machining used to manufacture the Truing Tool Advancer are first rate, making this an investment that will last forever. Plus, it is made in Nebraska.
Installation & Setup
The Truing Tool Advancer is so easy – and fast - to install and set up because of how well thought out the design is. Even the size of the weld (and the normal variances in that size) on the Tormek guide bar has been considered and allowed for. All that remains for the user is to slide the Truing Tool Advancer body onto the guide arm so it engages the support post (see photos) and tighten the locking screw/knob. Thread the Truing Tool Advancer feed screw through the body and you are nearly ready to begin truing the wheel.
Note: The Tormek ADV-50D is still required, installed and set up normally.
In the Shop
Following the simple instructions, I installed the Truing Tool Advancer, literally in seconds. The machined recess in the Truing Tool Advancer body fit the guide bar and supporting post perfectly. After installing the Tormek ADV-50D and adjusting the cut depth, the Truing Tool Advancer feed screw was advanced just enough to contact the truing tool with its cutting edge just off the edge of the wheel.
After allowing the wheel to become fully saturated with water, I held a light pressure on the end of the diamond cutting tool to keep it engaged with the wheel surface and slowly turned the Truing Tool Advancer feed screw. Establishing the feed rate is simple, in part because it is so consistent due to the threads on the feed screw.
With a ¼” of the wheel surface cut, it became apparent that leaving grooves in the wheel surface would have to be intentional with the Truing Tool Advancer. The surface created by turning the feed screw slowly was dead flat with no sign of gouges, ridges or even irregular scratching.
On the first pass with the Truing Tool Advancer I noticed very fine lines in the surface of the wheel. That turned out to be caused by the tip of my truing tool being worn and cutting only off its center. I gave the diamond insert ¼ turn and the cut made with the Truing Tool Advancer was dead smooth.
With a retail price of $62.25 (7-15-2006) the Truing Tool Advancer certainly is not free. However, if you appreciate well-made tools that perform as advertised, this is a good investment. I personally think the Truing Tool Advancer works better than TallowTree claims and has improved the quality of my Tormek wheel surface noticeably.
One of the hidden benefits of the Truing Tool Advancer is that it brings so much control to the truing process that I can take very light cuts without creating accidental ridges in the surface when the tool slips as frequently happens when moving it with finger pressure. That means I can keep my wheel flat and true with less material loss, extending its life substantially. With replacement stone wheels costing $130, it doesn’t take long to begin saving money!
Visit the TallowTree Mfg. Web site – www.tallowtree.com
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