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bruce.t

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i've just started with woodturing and i wanted to know if anyone has any suggestions for a sharping system on a budget
 

kevinlightfoot

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An 8” grinder and white wheel is all you need .Practise and patience and you won’t need any supposed magic gizmo to be able to sharpen turning tools.
 

kinverkid

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I agree about the 8" white stone. I've been turning most of yesterday and this morning. I come straight from the wheel to the work. It's a bone dry root ball that I've been turning and found I needed to grind little and often. Other other woods and different moisture content may stretch or shorten the period between sharpening. But, what you probably don't want to do is spend more time trying to get the same sharpness as your chisels and plane irons than actually turning the piece.
 

Robbo3

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I disagree. Whilst an 8" grinder has one advantage in that the bevel has a lesser curve, a 6" grinder is more than adequate.
This is what Phil Irons advocates He is one of this country's most renowned turners, & sells top of the range goods.

Skews (flat, round, oval or radiused) & parting tools can be sharpened on a flat platform, or if you feel confident, using your fingers as a platform, bracing them on the tiny rest most grinders come with.
Scrapers just require the flat rest to be set to grind the tool at the angle already on the tool.

The hard tools to sharpen are the spindle & bowl gouges (but not the spindle roughing gouge) which need to be pivoted & rolled at the same time to achieve a side grind (also called swept back/Irish/Ellesworth/O'Neil etc). A gouge sharpening jig will maintain consistancy (which is what we are aiming for) & grind away less metal.
Before you start it's a good idea to know what shape you are trying to achieve. Once you have got the shape, aim for consistancy.

A 2 piece gouge sharpening jig is currently available on Ebay for £35. This is similar to the one that I use & is also used by a professional turner who is a member of this forum.
 

scooby

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I agree with Robbo. 8" grinder is probably preferable but I've been using a Record Power 6" grinder with no issues. I swapped the grey wheel so it has white on both sides. On the narrower wheel, I use a veritas rest that I bought years ago for my bench tools. Its not the sturdiest thing but it does the job ok.

On the wider wheel, I was previously using a home made jig for sharpening fingernail profiles. It was basically a wooden version of the One Way Wolverine sliding arm and a fingernail jig that I copied off Brain Fizz. It worked fine and the cost was hardly anything. I've since purchased a tru grind that I use in the home made arm and its barely any different to use as I always leave the leg in the no.4 setting.:unsure:

For repeatability, I made a few templates (similar to the TTS 100 idea) for a few commonly used angles for the platform. For the tru grind, I made a template that keeps track of the wheel face in relation to the jig arm pocket for 45 and 55 degrees. Both ideas take into account changing wheel diameters. Got these ideas elsewhere, so can't take credit. Not as convenient as a Pro Edge, but it does the job.
 
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OldWood

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One of the problems with wood turning is the learning curve, and related to that what I see as the investment.

I've got a scroll saw that was about £100 and was able to get satisfying work off it almost immediately, but there's no way that my investment in a good old lathe with variable speed and then tools and then wood and then a sharpening system and then sandpapers and finishes would yield something likeable in anything like the same timescale as the scrollsaw. There is a lot to learn about tool work angles, how to mount wood, lathe rpm, wood characteristics and on and on.

And then there is the sharpening of tools which actually is critical to their use - given all the other variables the one thing that you do not want is a tool that will not cut. The problem with the methods suggested above is that they require yet another set of skills to get the angles correct and consistent, to avoid overheating the tool and to know how to sharpen skews, bowl and spindle gouges, scrapers and so on - all of which require a different approach. I would recommend that you do not go down the path indicated above by those I think are experienced turners, and accept that this is one of the cost elements of starting up a new hobby and invest in a propeer sharpening system with appropriate jigs and instructions.

Some new hobbies can be started on a shoe string or minimal investment - some require serious money - those in the middle I've always suggested require about £1000. Turning may be a bit less than this but it will creap up to that.
Rob
 

Fester

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One of the problems with wood turning is the learning curve, and related to that what I see as the investment.

Some new hobbies can be started on a shoe string or minimal investment - some require serious money - those in the middle I've always suggested require about £1000. Turning may be a bit less than this but it will creap up to that.
Rob
Old Wood - Like a breath of fresh air. If someone had told me £1000 and the learning curves associated with turning and grinding I would not have bothered.

Whenever I asked for advice it seemed to be taken for granted that I wanted to strap 10 Kg rootballs to my lathe and had infinite financial resouces to facilitate it.

I made a lathe adequate for what I wanted to make, it has variable speed drive, digital read out and cost under £150.

Tool Rest Added 2.jpg

Sanding Station 4.jpg



The tools I chose were carbide tips, which when they lose there edge are rotated to a new face and eventually will be replaced as and when. To keep the budget down I mounted the carbide tips on handles I made - Do wood turners really buy their own ?

tools.jpg

So I am up and running, lathe and tools for about £200 enough of an investment to establish if I enjoy the process - so far I am delighted. Maybe someday in the distant future I may have a bigger shed and a win on the lottery but in the meantime I will stick with my little lathe - I love it

Bruce - good luck - I hope you enjoy the process as much as I do, it is worth the time and effort and it does not have to be expensive.

Toodlepip

Fester
 
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Democritus

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Fester
Well done, mate, you’ve definitely saved yourself a shed load of cash. Wood turning kit is expensive. I sometimes think that manufacturers and retailers think of a number and then double it. I’m not sure, however, that your solution is open to everyone. Your impressive looking home made lathe, and your carbide tipped tools suggest that you have skills in metal working, and the machines to do it.Similarly, you must have sophisticated electrical skills to produce a variable speed lathe with digital read out. Not everyone has the knowledge, skills, or the equipment to do that.
I’m intrigued by your tools, Given that you turned the handles for them , what did you use to do it?
D
 

Tanglefoot20

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Nice little lathe fester...welcome to the site.
I started off the other year by being given an old tube lathe....seeing as I’m an ex metal turner.....I had a go....got some old decent tools off gummy.....and a few lumps of old wood...by the time I’d messed around I had people wanting to buy my efforts.
I used the old adage.....try before you buy...result!
 

Fester

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Fester
Well done, mate, you’ve definitely saved yourself a shed load of cash. Wood turning kit is expensive. I sometimes think that manufacturers and retailers think of a number and then double it. I’m not sure, however, that your solution is open to everyone. Your impressive looking home made lathe, and your carbide tipped tools suggest that you have skills in metal working, and the machines to do it.Similarly, you must have sophisticated electrical skills to produce a variable speed lathe with digital read out. Not everyone has the knowledge, skills, or the equipment to do that.
I’m intrigued by your tools, Given that you turned the handles for them , what did you use to do it?
D
Thanks for the compliments but not necessary - £8.50 speed controller complete with digital read out from ebay- two wires to power supply two wires to motor.

Carbide tips just screw together.

Handles are rolling pins from the Pound Shop - make a temporary handle then shape the other 4, use one of the completed ones to redo the first one. Coated everything with three coats of shellac.

All very quick and easy, no rocket science involved.
 

Democritus

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Fester,
How did you make the lathe itself? I wouldn’t mind having a go to make a smaller, spare lathe.
D
 

Fester

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I do not think I should hi-jack Bruces thread.

I will get some pics togther and post it somewhere approriate.

Toodlepip

Fester
 

Tuna808

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I think there’s a certain sense of achievement when you get to master the skill of sharpening and these skills help you acquire more skills to add to your library of skills ,which you can tap on whenever you need them and makes you into a better problem solver and practitioner.
understanding the processes in hand ,what happens when you cut and when you scrape will help you visualize and approach your sharpening with a purpose and apply the knowledge to the tool in hand.
Mastering the sharpening of gouges and mastering it well,will improve your dexterity which in turn will make you a better woodturner.
I have sharpening jigs too,but spend years sharpening without them.
You will acquire a sixth sense when sharpening,but i think this happens when you know your metals,very basic knowledge of metallurgy,carbon content,normalizing,annealing,hardening and tempering,spark colour when you sharpen,all add to understanding process of sharpening.
I agree you don’t need to go crazy on sharpening stations but invest wisely.I have set of miniature wood turning tools which I made using masonry nails and disposable razor blade handles.Loads of scrapers made of old metalwork files,properly normalized and then re hardened and tempered.....not difficult to do if you equip yourself with some basic understanding metals.
 

Paul Hannaby

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Isn't it amazing that you ask one question and get answers to six others you didn't know you needed to ask! ;)

If you are on a budget, you don't need to buy any sort of grinder. You could make a sharpening disc with some MDF or any type of wood you have available. Attach it to a faceplate or make a chuck mount on it, affix some abrasive sheet to it and put it on the lathe to sharpen your tools. You could also make a sharpening table (fixed or tilt-able) to use with it that fitted in the banjo.

You can also sharpen any tool by hand if you don't mind it taking a little longer. I sharpen some of my tools with a flat hone. Those are fairly cheap or can be improvised with a piece of wood and some abrasive sheet.
 

DamoF

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I just bought a Record Power 8" grinder with white wheel and one of those jigs off ebay. Cheapest way I could find whilst still being an efficient and repeatable way to sharpen.
 

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