Turning Tool Sharpening Setup

Turning Tool Sharpening Setup

Post by John » Mon, 06 Jan 2003 06:33:18



I have done some searches on the topic of sharpening turning tools. It seems
to be an endless topic - so instead of asking "what's the best way?..." I'd
like to describe what I'm putting together and then perhaps someone could
tell me if there is something wrong with the way I'm heading. I do have some
experience sharpeninh - by hand - my carving tools, my Stanley hand planes
(yes, I actually use them) amd my chisels. All are sharpened, honed and
razor sharp.

From what I have read, turning tools are sharpened quite often, and since I
have plenty of parts in the shop, I'm going to put together a:

1/4 Hp TENV (Totally Enclosed Non-Ventilated) motor turning a 3/4" double
ended mandrel such that rotation is away from me at the top of the wheel
(oposite of the standard bench grinder), and rotating at 690 RPM on bronze
bushings.

On one side a White, Open Structure, Aluminum Oxide Grinding wheel - 6"
Diameter, 1" across. 5/8 hole size, 120 Grit
On the other side, a round leather strop for honing the sharpened tool.

Up front, a jig  - home made version of the Oneway Wolverine.

In case someone says the grit needs to be coarser to do faster, more intense
grinding, I have two other bench grinders that can take care of that
problem. My main concern is to keep the heat down. The tools will be HSS.

Your advice is appreciated.

John

 
 
 

Turning Tool Sharpening Setup

Post by The Davenport » Mon, 06 Jan 2003 07:37:44


Quote:
> In case someone says the grit needs to be coarser to do faster, more
intense
> grinding, I have two other bench grinders that can take care of that
> problem. My main concern is to keep the heat down. The tools will be HSS.

Even if you do you're "hard" grinding on another grinder, a 46 grit or even
a 60 will still run cooler than a 120 grit.

So I'd still go with a courser wheel.

Other than that, sounds like a good plan to me.

Mike

 
 
 

Turning Tool Sharpening Setup

Post by Darrell Feltmat » Mon, 06 Jan 2003 07:51:34


John

I hesitate to answer regarding the question of sharpening turning tools
because I am the odd man out here. Most say I am the odd man everywhere
:-) I rarely use gouges, mostly Oland tools and skews, but they are
sharpened in the same way as gouges. I do use a roughing gouge and
parting tool. Unlike many of the turners here I do a lot of spindle
turning, bowl turning seems to be the trend of the hobbiest/artist
turner.

For sharpening I have a standard 3450 rpm 6" grinder with a 60 grit
aluminum oxide wheel on one side and a fine carborundum on the other.
Mostly I grind HSS on the AO wheel and regular steel on the other. I can
free hand grind but I love jigs. Why I have a tool rest on my lathe and
a fence on my table saw. They are just a set of jigs to get good cuts,
so why not use a jig to sharpen? A gouge jig is simply a pivoting tool
holder, simple to make and use. A table to support your hand and you
have a skew jig. Repeatable and quick solutions. I think a 120 grit is
overkill but for the first second of cutting, the tool sure is sharp.
After that it is as if you have just planed for an hour. 60 grit, grind
and go.

God bless and safe turning
Darrell Feltmate
Truro, NS, Canada

 
 
 

Turning Tool Sharpening Setup

Post by John » Mon, 06 Jan 2003 08:07:09


I can understand how a coarser grit gets you "on" and "off" the wheel
faster - therefore less heat generated, but wouldn't a finer grit give me a
smoother, therefore sharper edge that can then be honed to an even sharper
edge? This is why I reduced the speed, lower friction, less heat, and yes,
more time to sharpen (can't win them all <g>) - this would allow a finer
grit, less honing, sharper edge.

I guess I'm falling back on sharpening my carving tools, plane blades and
chisels - end up at 1200 girt, hand or power hone till it looks like a
mirror and slice through the wood like butter. Perhaps turning tools don't
need to be this precise or sharp? Maybe I'm looking at overkill?

John


Quote:
> > In case someone says the grit needs to be coarser to do faster, more
> intense
> > grinding, I have two other bench grinders that can take care of that
> > problem. My main concern is to keep the heat down. The tools will be
HSS.

> Even if you do you're "hard" grinding on another grinder, a 46 grit or
even
> a 60 will still run cooler than a 120 grit.

> So I'd still go with a courser wheel.

> Other than that, sounds like a good plan to me.

> Mike

 
 
 

Turning Tool Sharpening Setup

Post by John » Mon, 06 Jan 2003 08:12:06


I appreciate your opinion. I think sharpening is one of those "there is no
right answer" types of topics. I've been sharpening my tools for a long
time - just not turning tools since they are new to me. My other tools are
sharpened sufficiently to warrant a microscope, but I sense that turning
tools don't need to be as precise since it sounds like they lose their edge
pretty quick anyways.

Maybe it's time to dump HSS and go for solid carbide?<just kidding>

John


Quote:
> John

> I hesitate to answer regarding the question of sharpening turning tools
> because I am the odd man out here. Most say I am the odd man everywhere
> :-) I rarely use gouges, mostly Oland tools and skews, but they are
> sharpened in the same way as gouges. I do use a roughing gouge and
> parting tool. Unlike many of the turners here I do a lot of spindle
> turning, bowl turning seems to be the trend of the hobbiest/artist
> turner.

> For sharpening I have a standard 3450 rpm 6" grinder with a 60 grit
> aluminum oxide wheel on one side and a fine carborundum on the other.
> Mostly I grind HSS on the AO wheel and regular steel on the other. I can
> free hand grind but I love jigs. Why I have a tool rest on my lathe and
> a fence on my table saw. They are just a set of jigs to get good cuts,
> so why not use a jig to sharpen? A gouge jig is simply a pivoting tool
> holder, simple to make and use. A table to support your hand and you
> have a skew jig. Repeatable and quick solutions. I think a 120 grit is
> overkill but for the first second of cutting, the tool sure is sharp.
> After that it is as if you have just planed for an hour. 60 grit, grind
> and go.

> God bless and safe turning
> Darrell Feltmate
> Truro, NS, Canada

 
 
 

Turning Tool Sharpening Setup

Post by jim swan » Mon, 06 Jan 2003 10:15:08


John -

It's somewhat of a trade-off, coarser grit for faster, finer for better
edge.  I use a coarse wheel only for shaping the tool.  I use 120 grit
for sharpening.  The chief advantage to the finer grit is not just a
sharper edge initially, but a smaller burr on that edge.  I believe this
makes the edge hold a bit longer, others may well disagree.

I doubt the leather strop will be of benefit though, with the possible
exception of finishing cuts on very thin work.

I'm still somewhat of a newbie myself - turning less than a year,
although I've been a carver a very long time like you.

Jim

Quote:

>I have done some searches on the topic of sharpening turning tools. It seems
>to be an endless topic - so instead of asking "what's the best way?..." I'd
>like to describe what I'm putting together and then perhaps someone could
>tell me if there is something wrong with the way I'm heading. I do have some
>experience sharpeninh - by hand - my carving tools, my Stanley hand planes
>(yes, I actually use them) amd my chisels. All are sharpened, honed and
>razor sharp.

>From what I have read, turning tools are sharpened quite often, and since I
>have plenty of parts in the shop, I'm going to put together a:

>1/4 Hp TENV (Totally Enclosed Non-Ventilated) motor turning a 3/4" double
>ended mandrel such that rotation is away from me at the top of the wheel
>(oposite of the standard bench grinder), and rotating at 690 RPM on bronze
>bushings.

>On one side a White, Open Structure, Aluminum Oxide Grinding wheel - 6"
>Diameter, 1" across. 5/8 hole size, 120 Grit
>On the other side, a round leather strop for honing the sharpened tool.

>Up front, a jig  - home made version of the Oneway Wolverine.

>In case someone says the grit needs to be coarser to do faster, more intense
>grinding, I have two other bench grinders that can take care of that
>problem. My main concern is to keep the heat down. The tools will be HSS.

>Your advice is appreciated.

>John

 
 
 

Turning Tool Sharpening Setup

Post by David A. Frant » Mon, 06 Jan 2003 12:56:18


At this point I've done very little turning of wood so keep that in
perspective.    Most of my hand tools (chisels and gouges) I hand
sharpen, when roughing is required I will resort to a bench grinder.

I also seem to gather that alot of sharpening of lathe tools is going on.
  I liked to suggest that this may be partially due to the tools not
being sharpened well in the first place.   First, even if your using HSS
or better tools it is still possible to impact heat treatment if you get
the tool to hot.   Sure you have to get the tool hotter and you may not
impact as large as an area but it still none the less impacts the tool.
Second a guality edge on a tool will last longer than a rough grind
straight off a bench grinder.   Lastly a quality edge also implies the
correct geometry.

Granted most of my experience has been with HSS and carbide tooling at
work turning metal, but I believe the concepts are the same.   If simple
grinding were the answer to sharp tooling then I'd like someone to
explain to me why a machinist would bother to hand hone lathe tooling.

Personally I think that a cupped grinding wheel that would allow for flat
grinds would be a better choice than another "bench grinder".   In other
words a wheel that is designed to be used from the side.

To comment directly on yuour proposal, I think it could work well.   The
speed of the wheel should not be an issue for dressing up the edge.   The
only thing that may be a concern is the bronze bushings, and the small
motor.   It may be better to reduce the friction buy going to ball
bearings or step up a size motor wise.

Dave

Quote:

> I have done some searches on the topic of sharpening turning tools. It
> seems to be an endless topic - so instead of asking "what's the best
> way?..." I'd like to describe what I'm putting together and then perhaps
> someone could tell me if there is something wrong with the way I'm
> heading. I do have some experience sharpeninh - by hand - my carving
> tools, my Stanley hand planes (yes, I actually use them) amd my chisels.
> All are sharpened, honed and razor sharp.

> From what I have read, turning tools are sharpened quite often, and
> since I have plenty of parts in the shop, I'm going to put together a:

> 1/4 Hp TENV (Totally Enclosed Non-Ventilated) motor turning a 3/4"
> double ended mandrel such that rotation is away from me at the top of
> the wheel (oposite of the standard bench grinder), and rotating at 690
> RPM on bronze bushings.

> On one side a White, Open Structure, Aluminum Oxide Grinding wheel - 6"
> Diameter, 1" across. 5/8 hole size, 120 Grit On the other side, a round
> leather strop for honing the sharpened tool.

> Up front, a jig  - home made version of the Oneway Wolverine.

> In case someone says the grit needs to be coarser to do faster, more
> intense grinding, I have two other bench grinders that can take care of
> that problem. My main concern is to keep the heat down. The tools will
> be HSS.

> Your advice is appreciated.

> John

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Turning Tool Sharpening Setup

Post by Kurt Tap » Mon, 06 Jan 2003 14:56:32


Here's my take on sharpening based on recent experience and from some
(second-hand) Ellsworth tutelage:

The standard 3450 RPM grinder is too fast--it will burn the steel.
Your plan for 650 RPM sounds very good.  I recently shopped for a
slower grinder such as you plan to use and only backed off after
seeing the prices.  As a result, I have to power-cycle my 3450 RPM
grinder; I spin it up, then shut it off, and grind as it slows down.
This only lets me perform one good pass of the tool before having to
spin it up again.  But as my sharpening technique has improved,
usually I can get away with just one or two passes.  (This also helps
extend the lifespan of the gouge.)

At your lower speed, the finer 120 grit wheel will not get nearly as
hot.  As a result, you can opt for it over coarser wheels and get
yourself a finer edge (burr) on your tools.  A gouge sharpened with
120 vs. one with 60 should make for a nicer cut and require a bit less
sanding.

Once grit and speed are determined, the trick is getting the proper
shape on your gouge.  It's quite tricky, and this is the reason there
are so many jigs out there.  As you can guess from my name dropping
above, I use the David Ellsworth jig
(http://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/cgi-bin/shopper?preadd=action&key=0...),
which fits into the OneWay System you're planning to use.  Use
whichever system gets you the shape you need on your gouge.

The only item in your post that seemed foreign was the leather honing
strop. I wonder if this would create an unnecessarily fine edge on the
tool; one that will disappear the moment the tool contacts wood.
Remember: you're not slicing flesh here, but hard walnut (etc.)
Experiment to see if it makes a difference, but I suspect such honing
will be time wasted away from your lathe.

Good luck,
-Kurt

 
 
 

Turning Tool Sharpening Setup

Post by DJ Delori » Mon, 06 Jan 2003 15:10:57


Quote:

> The standard 3450 RPM grinder is too fast--it will burn the steel.

Mine never did.  Of course, I had to learn a very light touch.  Used a
120 grit pink wheel on it, too.
 
 
 

Turning Tool Sharpening Setup

Post by Owen Low » Mon, 06 Jan 2003 18:13:39



Quote:

> My other tools are
> sharpened sufficiently to warrant a microscope, but I sense that turning
> tools don't need to be as precise since it sounds like they lose their edge
> pretty quick anyways.

Consider that a 4" diameter turning has a circumfrence of ~12.5". At
1800 rpm thats 22,500 surface inches per min (or 1,875'; or over 1/3
mile/min). Do you think you could run your plane irons, carving tools or
bench chisels over that much distance without sharpening many times
over? My point being that the edge of a turning tool is subjected to
incredible wear over very short periods of time - to maintain a finely
sharpened edge to the same level as your other tools would take so much
time you'd spend more time sharpening than turning.

A bench grinder puts an acceptably sharp (I've easily cut fingers on
gouges) but not too finnicky edge in a few seconds. After a couple miles
of wood surface has gone by it'll need touched up again and the grinder
does this quickly. Some will finely hone an edge for a  delicate final
sweep over the surface - I don't, but I'm able to begin sanding at about
150 or 180 in many cases.

_____
Member AAW Chapters:
Cascade Woodturners Assoc., Portland, Oregon
Northwest Woodturners, Tigard, Oregon
_____

 
 
 

Turning Tool Sharpening Setup

Post by Darrell Feltmat » Mon, 06 Jan 2003 21:22:41


I carve, do general woodwork, some instrument repair, and hove been
turning for six or eight years. Different tools need different
treatments for different work. When a carving tool or plane blade gets
dinged, it needs a grinding then the usual sharpening stones or other
methods of sharpening to a fine, honed edge. In wood turning, the
grinder is seldom used to shape a tool, it is instead the accepted tool
sharpener. We go to the grinder to sharpen, not to grind. A light touch,
a gentle pass, check the edge and turn. It is rare that a tool gets so
dull it will not cut, but a quick pass makes it cut better. The rough
wood and types of wood we cut make a honed edge a foolish notion that
does not last although some use it effectively for the first bit of the
final cut before sanding. The final question is, "what works for you?"

God bless and safe turning
Darrell Feltmate
Truro, NS, Canada

 
 
 

Turning Tool Sharpening Setup

Post by John » Mon, 06 Jan 2003 21:38:47


Your perspective on the distance traveled never even occurred to me. You are
quite right - my other tools never travel that distance and consequently,
would not have to be sharpened that often. I am also learning that the
"maintenance" sharpening is only a quick, light touch and not a complete
grind of the tool.

Thanks for your viewpoint.

John


Quote:


> > My other tools are
> > sharpened sufficiently to warrant a microscope, but I sense that turning
> > tools don't need to be as precise since it sounds like they lose their
edge
> > pretty quick anyways.

> Consider that a 4" diameter turning has a circumfrence of ~12.5". At
> 1800 rpm thats 22,500 surface inches per min (or 1,875'; or over 1/3
> mile/min). Do you think you could run your plane irons, carving tools or
> bench chisels over that much distance without sharpening many times
> over? My point being that the edge of a turning tool is subjected to
> incredible wear over very short periods of time - to maintain a finely
> sharpened edge to the same level as your other tools would take so much
> time you'd spend more time sharpening than turning.

> A bench grinder puts an acceptably sharp (I've easily cut fingers on
> gouges) but not too finnicky edge in a few seconds. After a couple miles
> of wood surface has gone by it'll need touched up again and the grinder
> does this quickly. Some will finely hone an edge for a  delicate final
> sweep over the surface - I don't, but I'm able to begin sanding at about
> 150 or 180 in many cases.

> _____
> Member AAW Chapters:
> Cascade Woodturners Assoc., Portland, Oregon
> Northwest Woodturners, Tigard, Oregon
> _____

 
 
 

Turning Tool Sharpening Setup

Post by Derek Andre » Mon, 06 Jan 2003 23:13:08



Quote:
>......  I recently shopped for a
>slower grinder such as you plan to use and only backed off after
>seeing the prices.  

Have you checked out the General low speed grinder. Stephen Zwerling
has them at $99 CDN (6") and $150 CDN (8").
http://www.zwerling.ns.ca/General%20Mfg.html

Derek Andrews, woodturner
http://www.sunrisewoodcrafts.ns.ca

 
 
 

Turning Tool Sharpening Setup

Post by CA SAV » Tue, 07 Jan 2003 01:43:21


Kirt;

Woodcraft 1-800-225-1153 carries a Slow Speed grinder 8" 3/4hp 1725RPM
$94.99
part #140839.
I build sharpening systems using this grinder and the ONEWAY wolverine
and vari/grind mounted on a platform. I have used this model grinder
for the past 2 years on 30 or so systems and have not had one
complaint. They are great grinders, especially for the price.

CA


Quote:
> Here's my take on sharpening based on recent experience and from some
> (second-hand) Ellsworth tutelage:

> The standard 3450 RPM grinder is too fast--it will burn the steel.
> Your plan for 650 RPM sounds very good.  I recently shopped for a
> slower grinder such as you plan to use and only backed off after
> seeing the prices.  As a result, I have to power-cycle my 3450 RPM
> grinder; I spin it up, then shut it off, and grind as it slows down.
> This only lets me perform one good pass of the tool before having to
> spin it up again.  But as my sharpening technique has improved,
> usually I can get away with just one or two passes.  (This also helps
> extend the lifespan of the gouge.)

> At your lower speed, the finer 120 grit wheel will not get nearly as
> hot.  As a result, you can opt for it over coarser wheels and get
> yourself a finer edge (burr) on your tools.  A gouge sharpened with
> 120 vs. one with 60 should make for a nicer cut and require a bit less
> sanding.

> Once grit and speed are determined, the trick is getting the proper
> shape on your gouge.  It's quite tricky, and this is the reason there
> are so many jigs out there.  As you can guess from my name dropping
> above, I use the David Ellsworth jig
> (http://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/cgi-bin/shopper?preadd=action&key=0...),
> which fits into the OneWay System you're planning to use.  Use
> whichever system gets you the shape you need on your gouge.

> The only item in your post that seemed foreign was the leather honing
> strop. I wonder if this would create an unnecessarily fine edge on the
> tool; one that will disappear the moment the tool contacts wood.
> Remember: you're not slicing flesh here, but hard walnut (etc.)
> Experiment to see if it makes a difference, but I suspect such honing
> will be time wasted away from your lathe.

> Good luck,
> -Kurt

 
 
 

Turning Tool Sharpening Setup

Post by Arc » Tue, 07 Jan 2003 02:23:14


Hi Owen,  There are some things that are hard to believe, but I know
must be true. That Reno is west of L.A. and that my skew cuts miles of
wood before it rests are cases in point. I wish I could argue something
about circular motion, sine curves, and tangential skews that stop to
rest at points from time to time during the wood's rotational marathon,
but I can't. Nevermind, your point is well taken, my math is pograde,
and so I concede and believe.  However I am a practicing COC with
nitpick cluster, and Kevin demands that I question something of
excessive unimportance. Drats, the best I can do is to ask you to define
terms so that we all are on the same page.....Is an adjustable platform
for the tool or my hand considered to be a sharpening jig?  Also, does
freehand imply no hand rest at all?   What, nobody gives a damn?   Arch

                   Fortiter,