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Old 07-01-2007, 09:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
winpooh498's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Junction City, Oregon, USA.
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Default Is the Jool Tool worth it?????

Hello Everyone,
We were at the AAW this weekend, and we saw the demo on the Jool Tool. I did a search for some info but didn't really see what I was looking for so if anyone could answer a few questions that would be great.

1) Does it get the tools really sharp?
2) How hard is it to use and not screw up the tools?
3) How long or how many tools can you sharpen with each sheet of paper?
4) Do you tools keep a good edge?
5) If you had it to do all over again would you buy another one?

I think we need to wait a little long and get the Tormek but Shane thinks we could get the Jool Tool. The cost of the Tormek is the biggest downfall for us at this point. Right now we are free handing our sharpening and our gouges are showing it! It is really getting ugly!!

Thanks for any input you may have.

Dawn & Shane
Dawn Dodd
Junction City, Oregon
I'm NOT short........I'm fun sized!!!!
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Old 07-01-2007, 11:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Juneau, Alaska.
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I have looked at them and the demo at the Desert Roundup. I stuck with my slow speed grinder and wolverine jig for the time being. The wood carvers seem to like the Jool Tool as a power honing system.

The wolverine system (and other similar systems) is good for bowl gouges and fingernail grinds on spindle/detail gouges.

Other thoughts -- You can rig honing wheels of 3/4 inch MDF and polish edges with some ease. Alan Lacer has a homemade system displayed in his first video.

AAW sells a sharpening video with 4 of the pros (including Lacer) showing how they do it. The theme is production turning and most production turners go from a grinder to the wood. Lacer is an exception.

A diamond hone costs a lot less than a Jool tool.

Your own style with tell the story
Ken Vaughan
Old Apprentice Machinist - learning a new knee in Tucson
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Old 07-01-2007, 12:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Bonnybridge, SCOTLAND
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I bought one and personally I hate it, threw it under my workbench never to be seen again in favour of my dry grinder.

Edit for spelling mistake
Mark Ligget

The proper way to use a stress ball is to throw it at the last person that annoyed you!
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Old 07-01-2007, 04:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: Stafford, Virginia, USA.
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I have one and have been quite happy with it so far. It does the same as a grinder, but being able to see the surface I'm grinding is a big help to me. The different grits are a snap to change, where a grinder has only one or two wheels. I can't compare it to the full Wolverine system, as I've never had/used one before.

I'm about to get into bowl turning, so I've been starting to gather up the tools needed for that. I have a bowl gouge that I wanted to put a fingernail grind onto, and found that keeping the same angle of the nose difficult as I couldn't get it up to the grinding disc without the handle hitting the body of the tool. It did a beautiful job on the wings, I'm still looking into how best to do the nose, haven't spent a lot of time on it yet, not enough hours in the day.
Stafford, Commonwealth of Virginia
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Old 07-02-2007, 09:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Hi Dawn. AAW was great. Kept looking for names from IAP but didn't find anyone. Went into the vendors yesterday afternoon and got a lot of blanks for .25 cents. The guy selling chestnut gave me some blanks. He said he hadn't got much intrest in the pen blanks.
Back to the question. I tried a friends Jool Tool. I was not impressed with it, especially when he offered to sell it to me for a great price. Bought the Tormek and have been scarry sharp and happy since.
Nampa, Idaho
If you always do what you have always done, You will always be what you have always been.
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Old 07-02-2007, 11:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: North Wales, PA
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I bought a JoolTool and really like it a lot. I have limited shop space, so something like the Tormek is out for me. I have "reground" some of my tools using it, and also use it to sharpen my skew very regularly. More directly to your questions:

1) Does it get the tools really sharp?
In a word, yes. There are some very fine grits available that do an excellent job getting the tool sharp.

2) How hard is it to use and not screw up the tools?
Very easy to use - just mark the surface you're trying to sharpen, and bring the tool up to the sharpening disc. You'll see the marker disappearing and can even see the edge of the tool to be certain you're getting a good edge. It's pretty tough to screw up the tool - the two things you may do is 1) begin grinding a little too far back, or 2) bring the tip up too hard and grind down the nice edge you just put on the tool. In my opinion, the first really isn't a problem (though I'm sure some will disagree). The second is easily remedied by simply regrinding (same as you'd do with a grinder).

3) How long or how many tools can you sharpen with each sheet of paper?
I'm pretty agressive. Once I've shaped the tool the way I want, I only use the 20 micron sheets to polish mine - I find that the tool is sufficiently sharp for my purposes after that. I typically sharpen after each pen because I tend to turn harder woods or other materials (cocobolo, lignum vitae, TruStone, etc.), and I prefer to have a nice sharp tool at the start so I don't have a dull tool messing things up. I probably get 30-50 sharpenings from each paper, and some times more. But again, I'm pretty agressive.

4) Do you tools keep a good edge?
I don't really have anything to compare them against. For new tools or tools that needed to be reworked, I used to use 120 grit PSA backed sand paper attached to a face plate on my lathe to do the basic grinding, then switch to a small, cheap, wet sharpening wheel I picked up from Sears. I'd finally switch to Medium and Fine hand hones (diamond) to put the final edge on the tool. I'd re-hone between pens, and occasionally (30-40 pens) touch up the surface using either of the other grinders. I find that with the JoolTool, the tools seem just as sharp (or sharper) than using this method, and I only have to spend about 15 seconds with the tool to touch up the edge. The tools don't seem to lose their edge any more than they did using my old system.

5) If you had it to do all over again would you buy another one?
- Jim
North Wales, PA (Outside Philly)
\"This is turning into something interesting!\"

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Old 07-02-2007, 11:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I have a full wolverine system with a woodcraft slow speed grinder, a Tormek, and I just bought a Jool tool from a member of this forum so I can speak about all three.

1) Does it get the tools really sharp?

All three systems will get the tool really sharp but I have to honestly say that the Tormek gets my skew's the sharpest of all

2) How hard is it to use and not screw up the tools?

There is a learning curve to all three tools but I found that the Jool Tool sharpens slow enough that it's hard to get yourself into trouble.

3) How long or how many tools can you sharpen with each sheet of paper?

I don't know the answer to that questions as I have not worn out any paper yet (I've only sharpened a half dozen tools to test it out)

4) Do you tools keep a good edge?

I feel that edge retention is more a factor of the quality of the tool steel more than anything else. I have not turned too much lately so I cannot answer this question yet. I did however find little difference in edge retention between tools sharpened with the wolverine and those sharpened on the Tormek so I would guess that I will not see much of a difference in the Jool Tool.

5) If you had it to do all over again would you buy another one?


I bought the Jool Tool mainly because it had a diamond grit pad and would be able to sharpen my carbide lathe tools and it also seemed to me that it would be a whole lot less hassle that setting up the Tormek to sharpen my tools. I started with the Wolverine system and then got the Tormek because I got it at a price I could not pass up. ( I got the complete Tormek system for less than half of retail(hidden gloat))

One thing to think about...... When you Purchase the Jool Tool ans then buy extra ninja disks and extra paper you will find that your running close to the cost of the Jet system that just came out and it's well over the price of the wolverine system.

Old 07-02-2007, 06:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I am in favor of the Tormek. Expensive in the beginning, but well worth the price of the entire set-up. I am able to get some very "scary sharp" edges in short order. Of course having the rig righ at my finger tips and ALWASY sharpening my tools really helps. [:D]
Fred ...

" The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort,
to protect themselves against tyranny in government. -Thomas Jefferson"
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Old 07-06-2007, 06:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have the Jool tool and love the heck out of it.
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Old 07-06-2007, 07:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally posted by ligget
<br />I bought one and personally I hate it, threw it under my workbench never to be seen again in favour of my dry grinder.

Edit for spelling mistake
Guess what!?, on a flying visit to Bonny Scotland, I eventually met up with Mark. His Jool Tool ended up in the back of my car before he got rid of it[:D] [:D][:D]Thanks again Mark. I cant wait to get home next week to try it out.

It was really great meeting another penturner at last, but now that I've seen Mark's workmanship and his set up I realize just how much I have to learn[:(][:D].
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