Jeff's Blog - News from SharpTools USA!
Continuing the series started in the last blog, I am going to follow the development history of the Universal Support. While there was a single post version of the Universal Support, it was way before my involvement with the company, and was never sold in the United States. So, this deals only with the two post versions.
The Universal Support is such a simple concept, yet no one before Torgny came up with the idea to use a round rod as the basis for mounting attachments to a grinder. In its first version, both rods that fit into the machine were smooth. All adjustments were made by pushing or pulling on the bar. The first change was the introduction of the Universal Support with Micro-Adjustment -- one leg was threaded, with a flat milled on the side where the clamp came against it. This allowed the operator to make very fine adjustments to the height of the Universal Support with the control of a lead screw.
But, when the dual lock Horizontal Base came out and people starting using the Universal Support for both grinding and honing, the milled flat was no longer an adequate protection against thread damage. The third generation Universal Support used a fully round rod, cut with a special thread where the top of the thread is flat, completely resisting damage from even heavy-handed knob tighteners.
In the most recent version, the end of the bar over the grindstone is drilled and tapped to receive the safety lock that prevents the SE-76 Square Edge Jig from coming off the bar.
Those of you with an original smooth design should consider an upgrade to the micro-adjustable model. There are situations where the fine adjustment feature really makes life simpler. Also, the micro-adjustable unit is necessary to use the newer TT-50 Truing Tool. Whether to upgrade from the original micro-adjust model to the Acme-thread model is a less clear-cut decision. With a dual lock horizontal base, it is a really good idea, or else someday you'll end up with a ding in the threads that will seize up the adjuster next time it is threaded past. A Tormek owned by a wood turner really should have the cast and machined horizontal base and the newest model Universal Support. If you sharpen bench tools and household tools, it is much less of an issue.
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