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The Multi Jig is very useful for sharpening a wide range of tools from roughing gouges to skews and more.
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Tormek Multi Jig, SVS-50

Fast sharpening for often-used tools

Text & photos by Tom Hintz

Roughing and skew chisels are some of the most commonly used chisels in woodturning. That popularity also means frequent sharpening to keep them cutting cleanly. The Tormek SVS-50 Multi Jig is specifically designed to make sharpening these turning tools (not fingernail-style profiles) a fast and highly accurate task. Add the included Closed Seat attachment to refine the edge of skew chisels as well. The SVS-50 also works with many carving tools.
   The SVS-50 has two basic modes: Open Seat and Closed Seat. The Open Seat configuration uses a v-shaped block that properly locates the gouge within the SVS-50 housing, secured by a finger-tightened screw. Most gouges and parting tools can be sharpened with the SVS-50 in the Open Seat mode.
   The Closed Seat fixture is installed for sharpening skew chisels and accommodates all common edge angles. Both straight and curved-edge skew chisels can be sharpened with the SVS-50 with detailed instructions for each type included in the Tormek manual.
   The angle at which the SVS-50 Multi Jig presents the tools to the stone wheel is fully adjustable by the depth of the tool in the jig and the adjustment of the Universal Support bar.        

With the Multi Jig, the wheel turns away from the tool. This makes for smoother grinding and no water running down the chisel handle!
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   In both operating modes, the SVS-50 is positioned so the stone wheel turns away from the tool, eliminating the aggravation of the cooling water migrating down the chisel. This stone rotation also prevents vibrations in the tool, excessive burrs and aggressive wear of the stone associated with the stone turning towards the edge being sharpened.
   The design of the SVS-50 Multi Jig allow you to match the existing angle of the chisel's cutting edge or accurately change it to your own specifications. Recording the setup makes returning to that angle fast. The Tormek instruction manual provides detailed instructions covering setup and use of both operating modes.

Open Seat   

You can go right to the honing wheel with the Multi Jig and only change the Universal Support bar position.
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The V-shaped block used in the Open Seat mode automatically centers the tool and aligns it with the centerline of the SVS-50 housing. The Tormek instruction manual provides specific information for the various tools to simplify and reduce setup time.
   The housing of the SVS-50 is placed against the operator side of the Universal Support Bar allowing the rotation of the stone wheel to exert a pull on the SVS-50 that helps maintain proper alignment.
   When sharpening gouges, the SVS-50 insures a consistent bevel at the cutting edge, a feature that is critical to the tool's performance. After establishing the correct setup on gouges, using the Instant Replication method allows you to return to that specific setup for touching up the edge in seconds.
   After grinding, the tools can remain in the SVS-50 and be moved to the honing wheel for finishing. Only the Universal Support bar need be adjusted to align the bevel with the honing wheel surface.

Changing modes is fast and tool-less.
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Changing Modes

   Making the switch from one mode to the other is fast and tool-free. Both the Open Seat block and the Closed Seat fixture are installed with finger-tightened knobs and easily indexed.

Closed Seat

   The Closed Seat fixture allows the accurate sharpening of tools such as skew chisels with angled cutting edges. The Closed Seat fixture can be set to any angle within a generous range that more than covers available skewed tools. This feature is especially handy when matching an existing angle. The Tormek instruction manual describes a simple but effective method for setting the Closed Seat fixture to precisely replicate the angle of the tool.

The Closed Seat Fixture is calibrated for setting specific skew angles. Or, you can match an existing angle.
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   The Closed Seat fixture also has graduations that allow precise settings for when you know the angle your chisel should have or an angle you want to try. Set the angle once and both sides of the chisel can be sharpened by simply flipping the whole jig over on the Universal Support bar.
   The Tormek manual includes full instructions on the use of the SVS-50 Multi Jig, including using it to sharpen angle edges with a radius.
   The Closed Seat fixture can also be used at the honing wheel to refine skewed edges by adjusting the Universal Support to present the bevel to the honing wheel properly.

Carving Chisels

   Though this review concentrates on turning tools, many similarly shaped carving tools can also be sharpened using the SVS-50 Multi Jig with equal precision.
   Using the SVS-50 Multi Jig is easy and fast. Whether you use the Instant Replication method or record the appropriate settings for future use, freshening the edge on a wide range of cutting tools can be accomplished quickly and with minimal loss of metal from the edge. That means your tools not only work better, they last longer.

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