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thomaskennedy

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hi all,
is there any way to sharpen tools, like gouges and round nose scrapers without a tormek?!!! :p

i don't have the money to spend on a tormek AND all the accesories !!!

so is there any shaped stones or anything because i dont want to wreck my new tools :lol:

Thanks

Tom
 

Ian Dalziel

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Thomas,
There are a number of different sharpening methods, when I walked round a woodwork show recently I never saw a Tormek being used to sharpen turning tools by any of the turners on the stands, they mostly had 8” grinders, some freehanded some had the O’Donnell jigs, mixed between white and pink stones and some had weird looking contraptions that I think were home built.
I use a Creusen slow speed grinder with white stones but they deteriorate quite quickly coupled with my home made jigs, I had to raise it to give me an 8” height though, I made these jigs which were in GWW 144 - 146 I cant quite remember what issue off the top of my head.
There are a range of other grinders available the record 8” caught my eye @ £50 but you are then back to the problem of supporting the tool at the correct angle whilst grinding, years of grinding experience might allow for this but when like me you don’t do lots of turning, a holding device then becomes a necessity to achieve this.
For gouges, there are a number of jigs available, oneway, axminster, poolewood all do good ones, but again at a price.
The tormek is a great sharpening tool but at a price, it is also pretty useless if you don’t have the correct jig again at a price no matter what we want to do it costs
If I had to start from scratch again, it would be Records 8” grinder with my own home made jigs, I can get good results from these.
Remember though if using a high speed grinder to sharpen, try and not burn the tip it will render your chisel almost useless, take off light cuts at a time
Whatever you decide best of luck
Ian
 

thomaskennedy

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thanks Ian,
i was also looking at some cheap griinders and trying to work out a jig that i could make for the tools, have you got any pictures of yours so as i can get an idea of what i need to make? 8)

Thanks

Tom
 

Cutting Crew

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Hi Thomas,

It's good your thinking about sharpening tools, it may sound stupid but working with correctly sharpened tools makes woodturning so much easier and in turn much safer as well.

I think Ian has covered most points, and although my main grinder and jigs are from the Tormek stable you can get excellent results from much cheaper grinders and homemade jigs. Sharpening with the Tormek I find the tools have a finer edge and this helps me get a better finish from the tools, leaving less sanding.

At demonstrations and for re-grinding tool shapes I use one of the relatively cheap 8" grinders from Clarkes (Machine Mart), these cost about £34.00. I do change the wheels on this grinder for the pink ones from Peter Child The pink wheels cut cleaner and run cooler. In connection with the 8" grinder I use one of Woodcuts TruGrind jigs, these hold a variety of tools without having to keep changing jigs. The constant changing is one of the main reasons I do not take the the Tormek to demonstrations.

The TruGrind is now available at a few places in the UK, Phil Irons, Peter Child's and I think Axminster may stock them, Peter Childs also have an excellent little book they call the "Woodturners Sharpening Manual" this gives lots of tips not only on the tool shapes to aim for but on setting up the grinder.

On a recent visit to the US I was surprised to find that many turners over there prefer hand made jigs to help with their sharpening so if you can find the article in GWW that Ian mentions I'm sure you will get good results going down this route as well.

I currently have on test the Wolverine sharpening system from the Oneway company in Canada, this is really simple to use and is a very good product. The system starts off with a balancing kit for the grinders wheels and has a wheel dressing attachment and two other jigs to cover the whole range of tools that a woodturner uses.

CC
 

thomaskennedy

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Thanks for the help CC,
i was thinking of buying a cheaper grider and a better wheel myself :p

Thanks to both of you and i will let you know how it goes when i get the grinder i want!


Tom
ps. does a whetstone grinder work better than a normal?
 

Cutting Crew

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Hi Thomas,

I can't speak for anyone else, but for me the Tormek most definitely gives a sharper edge and removes less steel in the process, which in turn, hopefully, makes the tool last longer.

There are some cheaper whetstone grinders on the market, but look into them before you buy, some tend to throw water all over the place.

Keeping tools sharp on the Tormek does take longer, but I'm not a production turner so a short break every now and again gives me the chance to take a step back and look at what I'm doing.

Hope this helps.

CC
 

NormanKing

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I have a Tormek with most of the jigs but I now use it almost exclusively for my scew chisels (and normal chisels).
I now use a Creusen Slow Speed grinder and Sorby Jig for everything else because I find it very quick to setup and easy to use.
However, I still prefer the Tormek for my chisels, it definitely gives a better finish, although it is a little slow.
 

johnjin

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Hi Tom

Sorry I don't know anything worth talking about, about turning or grinding turning tools in particular. But I can tell you that for grinding tools of any type that require a cutting edge, you will need a very slow running grindwheel. These become even better with water cooling. The reason for this is the heat that the grinding process generates. The hotter a tool becomes, the softer the steel it is made of becomes, and it will not harden again as it cools down. basically this means that you will ruin any cutting edge on any tool if it gets hot. To give you some example, a piece of tool steel will need to be heated to around 750C and then quenched in oil until cold.
This is now very hard somewhere around 65 Rockwell. It will quite lightly break if dropped onto the floor as it will now be very brittle as well. This is now reheated to around 150C to temper it. This will now be left in the oven for an hour or so then removed and left to cool. This will have reduced the hardness down to about 58 Rockwell but it will have removed the brittleness from the metal. This means that in use or regrinding if the tool reaches temperatures approaching about 130C the the cutting edge will start to soften permanently. If this happens you can remove a couple of m/m from the edge and regrind again but never allowing the tool to get hot. A normal grinder will run at around 4000 rpm and any steel placed on it will reach higher temperatures than this almost instantly. On a slow running water cooled grinder it will run at around 80-200 rpm and the water will stay on the wheel and you can safely put your finger on the wheel without burning it. The makeup of the wheel itself will make a difference to the heat generated but only by a small percentage in comparison to the speed and water. In other words do not believe when you read of a grinder with an rpm in the high hundreds or more being any good for putting a cutting edge on tools. As far as cheap watercooled grinders are concerned I have just bought one from Axminster for 30 quid. The Perform Whetstone Grinder stock code is CCWSG. The grinder itself is excellent. Quiet and very slow running, about 120 rpm I think. This is just a basic grinder and you would need to make or buy any jigs that you need. The grinder does in my opinion exactly what a tool grinder must do, and that is run smoothly and slowly and everything else is an an extra. If you have the ingenuity and the skill and want to save a lot of money this is a challenge. but if not you can always buy a Tormek.
I hope you will find this helpful Tom and best of luck in whatever you decide to do.

All the best

John
 
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