Bench Grinder/Sharpening wood turning chisles

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Established Member
23 May 2016
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I am a complete beginner to the world of wood working, I'm in the process of kitting out a workshop and learning and I have had sound advice with regard to my bandsawing questions on this site, so here I go seeking some more enlightenment

I bought the Record Power midi lathe as an intro to wood turning. I have managed to buy some Marples and Nooitgedagt wood turning chisels on ebay, so now need to know how to grind and sharpen these instruments.

Having spent some time Googling it appears that I need a reasonable bench grinder, not necessarily an expensive one, as it seems that the wheels are the more important consideration. So, having read through the reviews on several grinders, I kept coming back to the Axminster hobby series ... der-505194 as a good starting point, and only £42. I understand once the bevels are ground, it is just a case of touching the edges up.

So,I called Axminster, explained my situation and was put through to one of their specialist advisors. I explained my situation and I was immediately steered towards their Creusen grinder ... eed-510061 at £265. I said this sounded like a heavy duty grinder (to which he agreed) and explained that it appeared to be more than I needed just to sharpen wood turning tools.

He explained to me that the hobby model was OK for the weekend turner who might sharpen his tools once every few weeks, but it wasn't really suitable for much more than this. And, if it was used for more than this it may result in the motor burning out and in that event may not be covered by their warranty.

After the research I had done, I found myself selling this guy his own product whilst he appeared to be still sceptical of the hobby model, however, realising that I had considered the pros and cons, he accepted that the hobby model might be worth a try for a user like me.

Anybody out there got any comments?
I have a Record 6" grinder with a white wheel for sharpening and a coarser grey wheel for grinding. Together with a Sorby jig for the more complex graids on gouges it seems entirely adequate.

Total cost approx £150 for the set up - even with an admittedly higher quality grinder you will still need to add the jigs.

For hobby use the set up will probably outlast me!!

Once every few weeks is a serious understatement. Once every few minutes is more reasonable.

If you're turning and you realise that your gouge or scraper or whatever needs sharpening, that probably means you should have sharpened it a couple of minutes ago.

I have a Titan grinder from Screwfix. It's rubbish and I'm saving for a Sorby Pro Edge. Get the best you can reasonably afford. I know it's an old platitude that a bad craftsman blames his tools, but it's also true that buying bad tools can qualify you as a bad craftsman. Sharpening is a pain in the backside so it's in your best interest to find a method that causes you the least grief.
If you played a lot of snooker or pool you probably heard people say - you can tell the amateurs, they chalk their cue after they miss the shot. Sharpening turning tools is a bit like that - you don't wait until a dig or a tear before you grind.
i have used one of these on a woodwork course and seemed to work well (only listed this as the first search, so may not be the cheapest or best), also it was the larger one that costs more. ... 3IgIBKulMg

you just put your tool in the jig at the right length and sharpen, and it isnt as quick as a bench grinder it is easier to get a good edge.

with grinders i am lead to believe that if you get it wrong (and can happen fast by heating up the tool if you leave it too long) you can ruin the tool and need it re-working in full.
Not necessarily - most tools now are HSS, the heat won't hurt them and they shouldn't be quenched. Older Carbon steel tools will burn, however, and benefit from regular quenching otherwise you blue them and that part will be soft - usually that little bit is just ground off.
Conrad, I'm sure the cheap Axminster one is of acceptable quality as a grinder for occasional or light use. Mine is even cheaper than that (Aldi) and while it's definitely underpowered it works fine for what I need it to do. But I'm not sharpening any turning tools.

I suppose the question you should ask yourself is how much turning you expect to be doing and with what woods, as that'll determine how much grinding you can realistically expect to need. If you'll be turning infrequently, especially softwoods or softer hardwoods, then a lighter-duty grinder I'm sure would be perfectly fine. But if you're going to be doing a lot of turning and in harder hardwoods then you'll be grinding frequently, multiple times every time you turn on some occasions, so it might be wise to buy a better grinder right from the start. Unless you invest in carbide-tipped turning tools (or make some).