• US Office
    808 Proctor Avenue Ogdensburg, NY 13669-2205
  • Canadian Office / Engineering
    2353 Ridgecrest Place, Ottawa Ontario, K1H 7V4

Why Tradesman DC Brief history Questions and Answers

In the beginning:
We needed a reversing variable speed motor for a new tool grinder.
Jeff , was going to redesign the venerable old CUTTERMASTER The world had changed since 1972 and it needed some help.  In 2010 the Cuttermaster Professional was born using a Bodine Motor and control.

We bought one of every motor we could find and arrived at DC being the only thing that would work because of its smooth quiet yet powerful variable speed characteristics.

The control: We designed our own board, but landed correctly on KB electronics KBw16 and KBws25

The Wheels:  This is a good story we landed a contract to sharpen 100000 plus tools for Boeing Canada.  in 2007 (this started the Tolgrinder design project,I bought 2 Darex M5 drill sharpeners and soon was wearing out super abrasive wheels, so we designed our own in 2008 we now have 50 or so wheels that have been designed to be better than the ancient designs that were available.

Question and answers;
Lets start with this comment from one of our customers:
If an experienced woodturner had a choice of a variable speed lathe or a one-speed lathe, what would he or she choose?
1. What does DC give me, precisely?
a DC motor develops 5 times the torque of an AC motor.  In order to be useful through a range of speeds the motor needed to be DC.
2. What does variable speed give me in a grinder, concrete examples?
Higher torque means more material removal at lower speeds preventing excessive heat
3. How, in examples, does the Tradesman’s level of variable speed affect safety?
From a safety perspective having a super quiet controlled spin means you can tell exactly when the tool is in contact with the wheel and how much pressure is involved, The Tradesman spins Tradesman wheels so accurately that the wheel contact is uniform through the full revolution.
4. Who’s behind this grinder? Who’s the inventor? Why did he make what he made the way he made it?
 Jeff  Invented the Tradesman Grinder using the same DC motor he developed for the Cuttermaster Professional Tool and Cutter grinder, while on a trip to Florida with his friend Marty Rogers who wanted a better grinder for sharpening his Farm mower blades
5. What’s Tradesman’s level of support, coming from the mouths of those who have experienced it?
If your Tradesman ever needs work Our support is the best in the business 
6. Whom can I call who has a Tradesman DC Grinder, to get so-called straight talk from someone who isn’t selling them?
We are always happy to provide names of Happy Tradesman Fans we have a bunch.
7.  Super Abrasive wheels the facts
      CBN and Diamond Super abrasive wheels that are plated bond, have a layer of .002 to .008 depending on the grit bonded to the grinding surface Meaning the wheel need to run true or it will be destroyed, the flip side of that is when they do run true, at variable speed the grinding process is unrivaled.
8. The grinder is DC does it plug into an ac outlet.
Inside every Tradesman is a 130 Volt DC motor specifically built for out machines, it has a rather expensive Pulsewidth modulated board that converts 120 -240 volts to DC output. The PWM board is much quieter and produces cleaner power than the more common SCR type boards.
Our unique electronics combined with a great deal of engineering care and careful bearing selection is what makes our Tradesman the quietest grinder on the planet and a joy to use.
One of our customers suggested we say this (so we will) 🙂
The Tradesman reeks of “quality” and concern for excellence” and giving the user NEEDED CHOICES in speed.
Tradesman Grinders are uniquely designed to mount Plated bond CBN wheels  Inside every Tradesman there is a motor that was cheery picked from a batch of motors specifically for shaft straightness.  A 130 Volt DC motor specifically built for our machines.
Inside the Tradesman, a Pulse Width Modulated board converts the AC to DC and filters the noise out of AC current producing clean DC power.
Plated bond wheels are produced to a very tight tolerance because the shape cannot be adjusted once they are mounted. Shaft error and speed control are essential for long wheel life and good finish performance.
Our unique electronics combined with a great deal of engineering care and workmanship makes our Tradesman the quietest most unique grinder on the planet and a joy to use.
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Tradesman Edge 12 Digital – Radius Rail – A Variable Speed Reversing Sharpening (Killer deburing)



Nothing but net!



Ground Round Leather radial  hone wheel exactly the same diameter as the grinding wheels
  Quick-release wheels     

Angle positioning  and repeatability within arc seconds (free software on or off line)


Reversing, Variable speed 15 to 400 RPM

Mounts Tormek Waterbath wheels, reversing with digital Micro Adjust Rail

Magnetic Digital linear Scales each arm Rail on wheel center,

The blade is down in front of the operator.

*Accommodates a greater range of knife widths (paring knives to large cleavers) than any other grinder

*The only grinder that directly measures the clearance between rail and wheel, which is the most accurate and consistent way of setting knife bevels and eliminates numerous variables

*The only grinder that guarantees that the rail is precisely parallel to the wheel spindle (uniquely adjustable in this dimension, confirmable by dual DROs)

*Micro-adjustable to guarantee that the rail stays at precisely the same elevation as the wheel spindle (to ensure true radial adjustment)

Simplify the math  ,     Here is       Spreadsheet for Rail location calculation

Thank you, Patrick   Good thinking!


5.45 to 1 Timed Belt reduction 92MM 1800 RPM 130V DC
Toycen (Stump Puller) Motor

Link to Spreadsheet


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Tradesman Edge Mitre Jig (Micro feed rest) and Tormek Mount Leave both in place

Note: the existing Tormek rails have long legs this length is not really needed on the Edge

The edge has been designed to be fairly versatile

Regarding the Veritas miter rest,   This is a no brainer
It is marginally useful if you cant adjust the feed while leaving the tool clamped.
Toycen solution: we added a feed mechanism no need to unclamp the tool and lose your angle to take another pass.

Here you can see our standard Feed rest and Tormek bracket mounted at the same time
no need to unmount our feed rests to use the standard work rest

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Static Electricity

With our smart platen, there is a 1/8 inch  layer of 30 durometer closed-cell foam.

This isolates the belt from the machine ground, using our 3M belts static electricity builds up.

This will discharge thru your fingers for a little wake-up jolt if your the ground.


Either you can spray some laundry static guard on the back of the belt

Or you can use Aluminum Tape which is a good replaceable wear surface.


works well



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Tradesman EDGE work station Belt Over Wheel Twin Feed rest New : Rear Tormek Mount



Jeff designed the Belt-Over-Wheel attachment originally for the 8″ Tradesman.  The main benefits being that you can change grits (from wheel to belts) without breaking setups, and also save the life of your CBN or diamond grinding wheel. We recently had a customer ask for this set up on the Tradesman Machinist.

Here the BOW attachment is shown on the Tradesman edge  10 inch wheel one end 8 inch other end

Notice the Tormek Bracket on the back of the machine leaving the two from workrests in place

We like this set-up for knife grinding and works great with the Tormek attachments on the belt or wheel.

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Tradesman Edge Common Start up questions

1) Is there a way to adjust the belt tracking? I am finding that the right side belt is running off centre. In general I would run the belt on centre 95% of the time, but there would be 5% of the time where I would actually run the belt off the platen in order to soften a plunge line near a knife bolster (green box in photo). I tried to loosen and retighten the drive wheel but it didn’t help. I haven’t put an indicator on it but it seems true to me.

The belt tensioner at the top is both tension and tracking, all belts track a little differently, there is a set screw above the spring cup it uses the 5/32 Allen key (provided) that is used everywhere on the machine 

2) I am not sure the black support arm for the single side Tormek jig was included. I looked through the boxes twice but I can’t seem to find it. I will have one more look in the morning.

The Mitre rest is only supported from either side, it can be used on either side 

3) Could you please outline the installation and use of the dual-ended tormek jig? What about the holder in red? Or do I remove the machine screws on either end to use it in between both arms when horizontal?

The Edge Tormek mount is a long 3/4 x 1-inch bar that has 4, 12mm holes and 2, 1/2 inch holes located on 6 inch centers are for the edge long twin rail     the 12mm holes are for Tormek US105 bars to be used left or right

4) How do I use and install the mitre jig?

Thats a good question on an edge belt    The Edge Mitre feed great works at the moment only with  8 or 10-inch wheels.

5) The steel piece (Aluminum) on the end of each arm. A safety guard addition? If I wanted to remove it, take off the belt tensioning knob and then unscrew? Right side guard is a little loose. Tighten using same procedure?

 Take off the belt loosen the Tracking tensioning mounting screws until you can get at the Phillips head screw then remove the angle, re-install/tighten the Tracking tensioning mounting screws and make sure they are tight. reinstall the belt and adjust the tracking.
The aluminum angle belly guard is a safety item, should be left in place,  if you’re using the belts in the vertical they are not needed if being used on the horizontal they prevent you from getting your clothing caught n the belts

6) The plattens can be reversed and run on either side, correct? The tape that is on there is not meant to be removed either, right?

The Layer of Neoprene with Teflon is the smart platen surface it is intended to give the belt surface some character like a strop —-  use it if you don’t want it ill trade you for some plain platens with the returned other parts

7) Can you outline exactly what you are doing in your video to deburr? Are you using the foam-backed platten? Just applying a little more pressure, edge trailing so the burr sinks into the foam and gets knocked off by the cupping of the belt?

Good description  yes

8) Lastly, the bracket on the body of the machine in red. What is this for and what is the adjustment screw for? Any benefit to using the mitre adjustment screw vs the hex screw aside from being able to turn a knob vs use a hex key?

 In picture number one that is a regular tormek bracket I was experimanting with fixturing locations, as you can also.        The Edge workstation has mounting holes at strategic locations to facilitate a wide selection of wheel / belt approaches.

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