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Sharpening system

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paul johnson 215/01/2011 19:31:11
197 forum posts
100 photos
It's time for me to invest in a sharpening system Iv'e been looking on the net at all the diffrent model's out thier and still aint got a clue, please could you share your thought's and advice many thanks.
Derek Lane15/01/2011 21:39:32
3219 forum posts
1004 photos
Paul it all depends on what sharpening you want to do as there are many set ups for different things. Some use a standard bench grinder and buy or make lots of jigs. And there is also the expensive options like slow running grinders
BillW16/01/2011 13:59:46
711 forum posts
21 photos
Paul I hope one day to be as good as you with my turning.
I have been experimenting with different methods of sharpening and talking with others it is a very personal  thing, I don't like convex or concave skew chisels, I like them dead flat.
I have a cheap 6" bench grinder that I have made a tool rest for and adapted a 20mm fine pink wheel to it, too small a diameter and to high an RPM but I find this just acceptable for spindle gouges, I do a quick left right, dip in water right left dip in water.
I have tried using a belt sander, because of the joint on the belt you get a convex finish, maybe the well known one has no joint .
To quote a previous thread regarding wet grinders "which make watching grass grow look like an exciting spectator sport by comparison" I suppose once you have ground all your chisels, all you need to do is give them a quick lick.
I have turned a 6" piece of block board and stuck some 320 grit wet and dry to it, this I hold in a cordless drill at slow speed, held in a vice then 400 grit on a flat surface, I got the idea from Worksharp but at £200 on special offer, now my preferred method for skews, I'm still running a lot of thoughts round in my head to make something permanent and repeatable.
I have seen a "slow" grinder advertised at a lot of money, 1440 RPM, that's not slow and either 6" or 8" wheels, if it was 720 RPM with 10" wheels that would make sense.
For me it is going to have to be two methods one for skews and one for gouges.
Hope I have given you food for thought as I prepare to be shot down.
Delwood16/01/2011 15:44:00
10 forum posts
5 photos
For what it's worth I use a variety of systems.  For turning tools I use a 6inch dry grinder with a blue micro crystal wheel (from Peter Childs) at each end.  These run cooler than most other grindstones but if you are too heavy handed they will still overheat thesteel. 
On one wheel I have a home made jig that Chris Child devised.  It is a fixed plywood platform about 9 inches by 12 set at and angle of about 15o.  The different tool angles are obtained by placing differnt height small blocks of wood immediately in front of the grindstone,held by a low framework to fit the blocks snugly, and resting the blade on the block and the handle on the platfrom.  Each tool angle has it's own block.  You always get the same bevel angle.  It works very well for roughing gouges, bowl and spindle gouges, parting tools and scrapers. You can do a finger nail grind but this is a bit less predictable. On the other wheel I have a Tru-Grind jig which makes finger nail and other grinds very easy and saves a lot of wasted steel. For skew chisels I use a wet grinder.
I like the Chris Child jig a lot as it is so easy and quick to touch up the edge without inserting the tool in holder.
I use a Jet  (Tormek look alike) wet grinder for plane blades and chisels and other sharpening jobs.

Edited By Delwood on 16/01/2011 15:45:33

BillW16/01/2011 16:27:26
711 forum posts
21 photos
I'd say it's worth a lot Derek, pooling of ideas always helps.
You've obviously put a lot of thought into your setup.
It's not as though I couldn't afford  any of the grinding systems on the market more that I think some are grossly over priced and over stated.
I think we both agree that  more than one system is needed for turning tools.
paul johnson 216/01/2011 18:24:09
197 forum posts
100 photos
Thanks for your reply's youv'e giving me some interesting reading and advice, I think I will go down the road of a 6'' grinder which I already got and change the wheel's and make some sought of jig. When Iv'e made it all I will give you some feedback many thank's.
BillW16/01/2011 18:40:22
711 forum posts
21 photos
Photo's of the disk I made Paul.
I am thinking of making something with either a pulley reduction or if I could find a motor with a right angle drive of about 4 to 1 reduction that would be better.

Ron Davis16/01/2011 20:18:57
1619 forum posts
201 photos
Hi BillW, it nice to be quoted on the site! I had the wetgrinder for Christmas and I am still trying to get the best from it. I found that trying to reshape skews the the long process i mentioned, I wont live long enough to do them all!
BUT I have found it great for sharpenining plane blades and chisels, once I get a means of getting consistant angles - not the bit of plastic supplied - I will be able to keep the Hock blade I spent a lot of money on, in good shape.
I never intended to sharpen gouges on it, A quick touch up on the Record bench grinder is enough, and as on some jobs this can be every few minutes the wet grinder will be too slow any way.
I am building a jig for the Record, to hold the oval skew I prefer. I found it difficult to keep them consistant on the wheel and got some interesting shapes!
Proprly done, a convex grind will save a lot of time and tool steel. Grind the skew to the shape you want on the grinder, and the put an edge on with a diamond stone, place the bevel on the stone, press it down with you finger and sharpen away, You will get two flat areas one on the edge and on on the rear. These will gradually meet as you touch up the skew and when they do, re grind.
When I get the jig sorted I will post some pix, Any one of which will be worth a thousand words I believe
paul johnson 216/01/2011 20:27:48
197 forum posts
100 photos
Thank's for the photo's Bill I think I will copy this Idea at least it will get me started on the skew's. When you  start wood turning buying the lathe is just the beginning you dont think of all the other bits and pieces you need to go with it but I will get their in the end.Iv'e been messing around with wood for over 20 years and turning is a new hobby so it's a case of back to basics which im really enjoying.
BillW16/01/2011 21:36:42
711 forum posts
21 photos
Paul I had better add the disk was turned, faced, drilled 10.2mm and tapped M12 all at the same time.
The mandrel I made many years ago  by the same method so it all runs true.
Only use it with the face running away from the sharp edge or it could dig in and be very messy.
Eventually I intend to use self adhesive disks, not velcro.
Ron, glad you don't mind me quoting you, I was tempted to use your name but didn't know how you would take it.
Delwood17/01/2011 10:33:34
10 forum posts
5 photos
HI Bill  Thanks for the kind words.
Paul  If you are in your early stages with woodturning I strongly recommend joining a woodturning club.  I joined my local club, Cheamwoodturners, two years ago and my understanding and enjoyment has increased no end.  Members are always keen to discuss problems and the way they overcame them. The demonstrations by professional turners give lots of food for thought.  Also seeing what other club members produce gives you a benchmark.  Another useful aspect, in our club at least, is there is often timber available, either free or at a very reasonable price and the Club shop sells abraisives and other consumables much cheaper than you can buy elswhere.

Edited By Delwood on 17/01/2011 10:35:26

Julian17/01/2011 11:13:12
553 forum posts
28 photos
Hi Paul
  I will go along with what Derek says about joining a club, there will probably be one around you somewhere. The AWGB site is at and there is a find a club near you to help. I have visited my local club a few times and found them very helpful. You will have to pay a joining fee for the club and an additional £16 for the AWGB but I am sure you will find that it's money very well spent. The club where I live has 6 lathes a Big Band Saw, a sharpening centre and a class room, more importantly it has members that are good to talk to. I too have difficulty with sharpening my turning tools at home as I have only had the lathe for a few weeks and don't realy know what I am doing.
Have fun and enjoy the hobby.
paul johnson 217/01/2011 16:48:32
197 forum posts
100 photos
Thanks for your reply's Iv'e took the advice of joining a club from forum members and joined pembrokeshire wood turners last week and they meet once a month. On my first club meet they had a demonstration on thin walled turning which was realy good and next month is a members night with all the lathes out and members can have a go so roll on next month.
timothy evans17/01/2011 21:15:59
1 forum posts
I saw the thread about sharpening system and the different types people use & thought I would add/mention one to the pool of thought.
I bought one recently that does make sharpening simple. I had to buy one after I saw the chap demonstrating it. But it's only for square edge chisels & plane blades. As I don't wood turn (yet) I don't know if there are any you would be able to sharpen. It's similar to the Trend one but does more angles & it's wider. It came complete with all the diamond stones I needed & even some micro finishing foils to polish the edge & back of the tools. Their web site is 
Not sure if this helps anyone, It's the first time I've joined in one of these conversations.
My old teacher told me "Keep your wood as long as you can as long as you can"
BillW17/01/2011 23:27:24
711 forum posts
21 photos
Hello Timothy and welcome,
Thank you for your input, I hope you join us some more.
I run a forum in my other life and participate on a couple of others some can be very unforgiving this one is very friendly.
The product you mention could also be useful for hand held electric planers blades, someone was asking about sharpening  them recently, I don't think it would be very good for turning chisels but the input is appreciated.
My teachers motto was, in a Welch accent, "Always keep you finger behind the cutting edge Boy" I have never forgotten it.

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