Sharpening and honing hand skills often begins with the proper care and maintenance of the tools necessary to do the work.  To this end, the Conservation Lab recently acquired a Tormek T-7 grinding system for sharpening edge tools.  With an assortment of jigs at our disposal, we are now equipped to sharpen an array of edge tools, from lifting knives to scissors to spokeshave blades.

Next to the Tormek T-7 in the photo, you can also see our new litho stone for leather paring.The stone grinding wheel (on the right) can be graded to 220 grit for fast grinding, or to 1000 grit for finer sharpening.  The leather honing wheel (on the left) hones and polishes the blade.  The Tormek T-7’s water-cooled grinding wheel is a good fit for our lab space, because the water eliminates the danger of sparks and flying debris.

As you can see, some of the lab’s knives are in serious need of some TLC.  The Tormek T-7 was originally designed for sharpening woodworking tools, but it is the nature of the heritage conservation field to borrow tools and equipment designed for other purposes, and adapt them to our needs. For more information about Tormek, click on the photo below.