The attachment comprises support (1), blade holder (2) and allen key (3). In this attachment the tool is guided precisely and ground flat along its whole length to a pre-set fixed depth. This is not the case with the other Tormek jigs, where your hand decides where the grinding occurs and the depth of grinding. It is important that the grinding angle is set with great accuracy. If you follow the detailed step by step instructions, you can have great results.
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Q. Can the Long Knife jig be used to sharpen shorter jointer knives? Purchasing the Tormek Planer Blade Attachment may be overkill for these short knives.
A. I don't disagree with you that the Planer Blade Attachment seems a little excessive for shorter knives, especially if you don't use your jointer often. If that is all I had to sharpen with the attachement, I would have a hard time justifying the purchase. I do consider it the best way to sharpen jointer and planer knives with the Tormek. If you have a planer and a jointer, the long term savings can be quite substantial.
Unfortunately, the knife jig (regular or long) rotates on the axis at the point on the back of the jig thus allowing you to sharpen blades that are curved. The knife jigs don't control the depth of cut, the cut is determined by the user tipping the blade toward the stone. The control of rotation and the depth of cut is what the Planer Blade Attachment does quite well as it is locked into place.
Because a jointer is such a precision tool and the knives must be straight across to be effective, freehand operation of the knife jig wouldn't give you the results you desire. If you have any questions, just give us a call.