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post #1 of 9 Old 10-23-2008, 06:12 AM Thread Starter
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How often?

I get to turn about 3 times per week. On average how often do you need to sharpen your tools?
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-23-2008, 09:53 AM
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How often to sharpen tools

It isn't how many days a week you turn,but what kind of wood do you turn.Some woods,especially green woods,with a good quality tool you can go for hrs on end without having to sharpening them,but with dry woods like walnut and locust and other hard woods,you may have to sharpen your tool many times before you finish one piece.One of the best ways to tell is that when you have those chips and curls coming off the wood your good,but when you see dust coming off the lathe and the tool actualy gets hot then it is time to sharpen.Hope this helps.
Ken
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post #3 of 9 Old 10-23-2008, 10:30 AM
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Like the Woodsman said.....

On kiln dried lumber I sometimes have to sharpen every few minutes.
One way to tell how sharp your gouge is, is to turn off your lathe and place the gouge on the tool rest and against your work as if your were actually cutting. Then slowly rotate the by using the handwheel with your left hand and see if you are making curls.
and....TA DAA!!!!!
On a scraper, its much easier, just move your finger across the top of the tool toward and over the cutting edge. If you cant feel the burr real easy, then you need to sharpen.
Cutting tools cut with a sharp edge, scrapers cut with a burr.
I learned this at one of the wood turning symposiums almost 20 years ago during one of the demo's. Yeah, I got my money's worth.

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Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Denison, Tx

Last edited by Tony B; 10-23-2008 at 10:33 AM.
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post #4 of 9 Old 10-24-2008, 08:25 AM
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when to sharpen

Tony,I forgot about holding the tool on the rest and turning the piece by hand.I have a video by Dick Sing that shows that.Also I thought you ran your finger acros the scraper edge and if it didn't draw blood then it wasn't sharp enough
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-24-2008, 08:37 AM
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Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, the blood thing,

how could I have forgotten that?

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Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Denison, Tx
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post #6 of 9 Old 10-24-2008, 09:18 AM
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I sharpen a lot. It took me a while to learn the difference between a sharp tool and a less than sharp. A really sharp tools takes almost no force to go through the wood. As it gets dull it takes more effort but this is a gradual thing. Usually on bowls I will rough out the outside and then if it doesn't seem to be cutting cleanly I will sharpen. The same is true on the inside. Anytime I'm getting tearout the first thing I will do is sharpen.
If you have one of the sharpening jigs like the Oneway you will lose less metal when sharpening so it's silly not to sharpen often. One of the best things I ever did was to look at my tools as disposable like sandpaper. This made me sharpen more often and actually had the affect of making my tools last longer. The reason they last longer is I sharpened so much I learned how to sharpen by removing the least amount of material. My bowl gouges now last years and I use them a lot.
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post #7 of 9 Old 10-25-2008, 07:58 AM Thread Starter
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should you get " curls" with all types of hardwoos? I am playing with maple...and just got my OLD tools back from a shop that was to sharpen them....and I noticed that all but one was giving me what I call small bits instead of curls. Also I have one that will cut real well, and then it will like jump...is this jumping because it hits a not so sharp section on the tool?

Could it be that the tools are just too old...and I need new ones? Im not sure of the age...I know they were bought from another turner 20 years ago...hard to tell how long he hd them. They have " shop smith" stamped on the handles
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-27-2008, 04:50 PM
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I find it depends greatly on the wood I am turning. There are some out there ( ipe, goncalo alves) that are brutal on tools, then others like cocobolo that I can turn for hours withouta trip the sharpening stand
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post #9 of 9 Old 10-27-2008, 05:09 PM
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There are a few woods that I have turned that simply won't give you shavings. Usually shavings a good sign of a sharp tool but not always. My rule of thumb is if in doubt sharpen. You can usually tell when you get back to the wood if the tool was dull because now it will but like butter.
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