how to sharpen lathe tools? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 Old 12-07-2010, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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how to sharpen lathe tools?

i am fairly new to turning and have little experience sharpening my tools. i want to learn to sharpen using my 8" delta grinder if i can. surely someone here has covered this. i just have not found the comprehensive thread i am looking for. can someone please help me with a link? or some advice? thanks
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post #2 of 15 Old 12-07-2010, 03:17 PM
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There are some good videos on Youtube on sharpening. The best is a DVD sold by the American Association of Woodturners. It has 3 turners show their methods of sharpening so You get 3 different points of view all of which work. This lets you choose the method that works for you.
http://www.woodturner.org/shop/Produ...em.asp?PID=108
I use an 8" slow speed grinder with the Oneway sharpening system and the Wolverine bowl gouge jig. It is very effective. I learned to sharpen by hand and still do on some tools but the Oneway system lets me repeat a grind exactly with almost no material removed.
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post #3 of 15 Old 12-07-2010, 08:52 PM
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post #4 of 15 Old 12-08-2010, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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that looks too easy. so what kind of wheel do you recommend? and what speed is ideal? my grinder is variable.
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post #5 of 15 Old 12-08-2010, 10:25 AM
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White, Pink or Blue aluminum oxide wheels work great. I think J hardness is recommended. The don't heat up the tools as bad as the gray wheels.
I prefer slower speeds but if you using high speed steel tools it really doesn't matter. Some prefer high, some slow. I'm not sure the metal knows. The reason I prefer slow is simply it removes metal slower so I can concentrate on what I'm doing. None of the jigs will grind things perfectly they simply help. It's up to you to grind away the high points and not grind the low points until you get a continuous edge that is the shape you want.
The other reason I prefer slow is simply safety. If the wheel should blow up (i've only had it happen once in 45 years of grinding) the pieces don't fly as fast or as far. Still incredibly scary.
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post #6 of 15 Old 12-08-2010, 11:33 AM
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I use the Oneway Wolverine jig setup, on a 3600 RPM 8" grinder, white oxide wheels, that use steel bushings between the wheel and arbor shaft to eliminate vibration, and the wheels are trued up using Geiger's dressing and Truing solution. This was an expensive setup, but well worth it. A lot of turners prefer low speed grinders due to heat concerns, but I have found, and Oneway also recommends that the 3600 with the upgraded wheels is fine for HSS tools. I don't mess with turning tools that aren't HSS...

You have your choice between white, blue, and pink aluminum oxide wheels. Well it's a bit confusing, and I HATE to link these guys because of their methods, but Handyman Club of America has a good info on bonded abrasives (grinding wheels and such) on their site. Just scroll down to where they talk about color. It was articles like this, and advice from guys in the local turning club that got me into the white aluminum oxide wheels...
http://www.handymanclub.com/projects...nded-abrasives


On the wheel blowing up issue. YES it does happen. If you are dressed properly and wearing PPE like you should anyway, it is a non issue. Scares the devil out of you though... I had one let go when sharpening a lawn mower blade a few years ago on an old Ace Hardware 6" grinder. Scared me half to death, no harm no foul.

Since your grinder is variable speed, try your hand at sharpening and various speeds and see what works best for you. I did try low speed, and high speed. I have a pretty light touch anyway, so high speed works well for me. If you tend to go kind of hamfisted, then low speed might be a better option for you...

I do HIGHLY recommend a jig though. I did go freehand for a while, but the jig makes a HUGE difference in accuracy. It's not perfect, but it is WAY better than I could pull off by hand...

Interested in my woodworking, workshop and whatnot? See http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com, want to see my other interests such as hunting, fishing, off roading, and camping? See http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com

Last edited by dbhost; 12-08-2010 at 11:42 AM.
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post #7 of 15 Old 12-08-2010, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gus View Post
i am fairly new to turning and have little experience sharpening my tools. i want to learn to sharpen using my 8" delta grinder if i can. surely someone here has covered this. i just have not found the comprehensive thread i am looking for. can someone please help me with a link? or some advice? thanks
For what its worth, I have tried almost any type of jig available, hi speed, lo speed, different wheels etc and in the end, I sharpen my tools by hand. Hi speed, med-fine wheel, light touch are the at the core of sharpening any lathe tool I own. This is the end point of 40+ years experience. I do think that there is nothing wrong with experimenting with various wheels, speeds, jigs, and sharpening machines, if for nothing more than you might find something different that works for you.

You will find that hand sharpening does change the shape of your tools.....for example, I always end up with a slight radius on my skews. This radius works better that the norman straight edge.

Good luck
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post #8 of 15 Old 12-08-2010, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john lucas View Post
Here is a good video of a homemade sharpening system.
YouTube - sharpening wood turning tools: aroundthewoods.com

I sharpen by hand/eye, if you have to use a jig, making one like this is excellent.

If you want to get good at hand sharpening, grind/sharpen up some dull and broke drill bits. Once your brain sees those angles...you'll do all your sharps by hand.

Harrison, at your service!
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post #9 of 15 Old 12-08-2010, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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so what's with the $500 tormek and jet sharpening systems? do they make things that much easier?
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post #10 of 15 Old 12-08-2010, 06:07 PM
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Not really easier, but they sure are prettier.

Harrison, at your service!
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post #11 of 15 Old 12-08-2010, 09:27 PM
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I made one like the one in Lucas's video and it work good.Most of the turning tools are hi speed steel which doesnt really lose temper on a hi speed grinder if ya just dont go crazy.just keep dippin yur tool in some water to keep it reasonably cool.

***For the record*** Ive made hundreds of guitar bodies,never put one together and cant play a note.
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post #12 of 15 Old 12-08-2010, 10:21 PM
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I made and use the "around the woods" jig. It works great. Took me away to grind away all of my screwed up free hand sharpening before the jig.

Tim
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post #13 of 15 Old 12-08-2010, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gus View Post
so what's with the $500 tormek and jet sharpening systems? do they make things that much easier?
Yeah, what H.A.S. said. They are uniform and look pretty. Problem is frequency of sharpening. I don't think that jig sharpened tools stay sharp any longer that eye/hand sharpened tools.

A good rule of thumb for me has always been......If your tool cuts nicely and you've done the best you can to sharpen it, its all good. The one caveat is if it stays sharp, you've not only done a good job, but you have done it right
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post #14 of 15 Old 12-09-2010, 04:35 PM
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One reason I couldn't justify the $4-500.00 cost is that it's hardly ever necessary to do a complete re-beveling.

You can do just as good as the jig John posted by hand. Think about it like this, those sharpeners grind the whole bevel; which would be fine if you're burying that tool into complete depth.

Normally, you only cut with the first few thousandths of an edge, planer, jointer, or lathe gouge.

You can touch up the tip of the gouge and go right back to haulin ass with your gouge, skew.

As your cutting angle wears away, you will want to make a complete re-beveling grind. That is what those machines are good at.

Harrison, at your service!
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post #15 of 15 Old 12-09-2010, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H. A. S. View Post
One reason I couldn't justify the $4-500.00 cost is that it's hardly ever necessary to do a complete re-beveling.

You can do just as good as the jig John posted by hand. Think about it like this, those sharpeners grind the whole bevel; which would be fine if you're burying that tool into complete depth.

Normally, you only cut with the first few thousandths of an edge, planer, jointer, or lathe gouge.

You can touch up the tip of the gouge and go right back to haulin ass with your gouge, skew.

As your cutting angle wears away, you will want to make a complete re-beveling grind. That is what those machines are good at.
that makes allot of sense. thanks for the info.
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