Sharpening

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Bowl gouges are possibly easier freehand, it's spindle gouges that are easier and better with a jig as the sides are often far more swept back.
I set the bevel angle on the pro edge and then do the rest by hand so I guess it's half a jig. :) The fingernail spindle gouges are just a case of muscle memory once you've done it a few times
 
Chisel and plane irons I can cope with freehand, although I probably do better with a honing guide. When it comes to turning tools, as a total novice,I reckon I could probably learn to sharpen a skew or a roughing gouge or a parting tool by hand, but I think I'd struggle to sharpen a bowl gouge without some sort of jig.
I find that all the shallow angle chisels and gouges are easy, accurate and fast free-hand on oil stones, but the steep angles of scrapers and bowl gouges much less so. But I'm working on it! Can't show it yet as my workshop is all over the place due to house move, but will do a.s.a.p.
 
I suppose much depends on how often you need to sharpen your wood turning tools. I don’t do a lot of turning so I don’t need to sharpen them very often. For a professional, they probably get good at sharpening by hand so it’s maybe quicker and easier for them? I picked up a used scraper cheaply the other day. Not sure what shape it’s going to end up but from experience I know it’s not going to take me very long to reprofile it on a belt grinder.
 
I would disagree that sharpening all turning tools by hand is either the easiest or fastest way. I used to sharpen my gouges by hand (on a bench grinder) but eventually invested in a jig. The results were superior and the tools lasted three times as long. Using a bench grinder or other machine is also much faster than sharpening on a flat stone by hand. I do sharpen some of my scrapers and skew chisels by hand using a credit card diamond hone but I wouldn't do that on a gouge.
 
Jacob said:

Cheaper and utterly superior is freehand with 2 or 3 oilstones. Less than £50 will see you kitted out for life.
Sharpening got rewritten by maniacs, sometime in the 80s, with the boom in DIY and hack magazine writers. Almost all traces of the simple trad system have been written out of the record


Both of you are giving advice to an absolute beginner who is presumably working on his own with no supervision. Are you going to take responsibility if he gives up because he took your extreme advice?
For most, wood turning is a hobby & supposed to be fun. As we progress we should improve but the speed at which we progress is different for each person depending on their knowledge, ability & equipment.
Well said
 
Jacob said:

Cheaper and utterly superior is freehand with 2 or 3 oilstones. Less than £50 will see you kitted out for life.
Sharpening got rewritten by maniacs, sometime in the 80s, with the boom in DIY and hack magazine writers. Almost all traces of the simple trad system have been written out of the record


Both of you are giving advice to an absolute beginner who is presumably working on his own with no supervision. Are you going to take responsibility if he gives up because he took your extreme advice?
It's not "extreme" advice. In fact exactly the opposite.
Extreme advice is to follow modern sharpening practice and spend many hundreds of pounds on jigs, gadgets, machines, diamond encrusted plates, CDs and videos, courses, and then to argue the toss about angles, bevels, flattening, ad infinitum.
Get back to basics, keep it simple and easy. 30º freehand.
 
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I have a Sorby pro edge I use for grinding, but once ground I‘m definitely not going back to it until I really have to. Its oilstones, freehand.

Tbh I think that now I’ve learnt a bit more about grinding turning tools, at some point I’ll move to grinding freehand, but my bench grinder is rubbish, and in the early days the pro edge (or at least a jig) was pretty much a must for fingernail grinds.

I only wish I did more turning to get more practice.
 
It's not "extreme" advice. In fact exactly the opposite.
Extreme advice is to follow modern sharpening practice and spend many hundreds of pounds on jigs, gadgets, machines, diamond encrusted plates, CDs and videos, courses, and then to argue the toss about angles, bevels, flattening, ad infinitum.
Get back to basics, keep it simple and easy. 30º freehand.
I think that in the modern world it’s almost a rite of passage to go through the silly sharpening journey before you and up with a few stones.

But the traditional way of grinding a new bevel on a gouge wasn't to use a stone, it was a hand crank grinder, removing a lot of metal on a stone takes all day, beginners will indeed give up quickly if they try.
 
I think that in the modern world it’s almost a rite of passage to go through the silly sharpening journey before you and up with a few stones.

But the traditional way of grinding a new bevel on a gouge wasn't to use a stone, it was a hand crank grinder, removing a lot of metal on a stone takes all day, beginners will indeed give up quickly if they try.
Except chisels and plane blades generally arrive with a bevel already ground and all a user has to do is maintain it, which is not at all difficult freehand on a coarse oilstone, even with a great thick old fashioned plane blade.

Just a thought - it's normal with kitchen knives to give them a few swipes with a steel very often. In fact a good idea to do it every time you get one out of the drawer. Only takes a few seconds. Then they never need any further treatment unless neglected.
You can hone woodwork tools in a similar way - a little and often so you hardly notice you are doing it
 
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Except chisels and plane blades generally arrive with a bevel already ground and all a user has to do is maintain it, which is not at all difficult freehand on a coarse oilstone, even with a great thick old fashioned plane blade.

Just a thought - it's normal with kitchen knives to give them a few swipes with a steel very often. In fact a good idea to do it every time you get one out of the drawer. Only takes a few seconds. Then they never need any further treatment unless neglected.
You can hone woodwork tools in a similar way - a little and often so you hardly notice you are doing it

When I got into turning I bought a set of Vevor turning chisels, as many do who want to give it a try without expending too much cash to see if they get on with it. Mistake maybe. But reality. They came with a completely incorrect grind - especially on the fingernails.

Now, me being me, and having metalworking facilities, did a load of research and ended up making a few jigs to help sharpen them (having a rubbish bench grinder and failed at doing it freehand).

But I expect most people would simply give up.

(but now having sorted out the Vevor chisels, they are acceptable for basic turning purposes).

But generally speaking Jacob, you are absolutely correct in what you say. I just think that green hobbyists with no training need to find their way and it will probably involve a few silly jigs before they realise that doing it the trad way is better, and frankly much quicker.

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It's always interesting to see the same old arguments regurgitated every time someone dares to open another thread on sharpening! ;) Also amusing to see those suggesting we sharpen everything by hand on flat oilstones when there are so many more effective, efficient and faster ways to sharpen the more complex edges often used in woodturning!
I have yet to find a single turner who has ground all their tools to 30°. To suggest this really makes me wonder if you have understood the problem! :rolleyes:

Two things I have learnt in the years I have been turning wood - there is no single best method for sharpening all tools and you don't necessarily have to spend a fortune to get good results.
 
Also amusing to see those suggesting we sharpen everything by hand on flat oilstones when there are so many more effective, efficient and faster ways to sharpen the more complex edges often used in woodturning!
Not to mention that methods perfectly acceptable for carbon steel aren't necessarily ideal for more advanced steels.
 
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I have yet to find a single turner who has ground all their tools to 30°. To suggest this really makes me wonder if you have understood the problem! :rolleyes:
I didn't suggest that, but it is where you start.
 
It’s actually an interesting topic.

When I’m turning (and I am very much a novice turner, it’s an add-on to all the other things I do rather than the focus of my hobby) I grind my tools on the pro edge and then hone/touch up my skew and roughing gouges on a flat stone next to my lathe. For my fingernail-ground gouges, I head back to the pro edge (far corner of the workshop) and touch that up with a fine grit.

I can’t imagine how one hones a fingernail grind on a flat stone? I can see how it would be done with a slip stone, though.

What’s the best way of doing it?
 
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I can’t imagine how one hones a fingernail grind on a flat stone?
Well no, but then the finger nail grind follows the use of a grindstone. If you don't have one you don't do fingernail grinds but you still get your turning done by other means
 
I have to admit that coming from a engineering background I naturally progressed towards Carbide tipped tools that I use on my home Lathe and for what I do I have had no issues in turning wood with them. I am not in the league as a lot of people on here but I do enjoy using them and find the fact I can just switch the tip when it finally goes blunt a godsend and I have not had the need to purchase an expensive grinder with the CBN wheels that need to go with them.

I think long term replacing tips will probably cost more but I dont make a living from bowl or woodturning, its a nice hobby for me.
 
Sorry, but what's a fingernail grind in easy terms?
Literally a grind that produces a gouge shaped like a finger with a rounded end & cutting edges on the sides rather than a square end (often call a conventional grind). Lots of names for the same thing eg. swept back, Irish, Ellsworth etc. Mainly for bowl gouges but sometimes for spindle gouges especially if they are made from a round bar.
 
I have to admit that coming from a engineering background I naturally progressed towards Carbide tipped tools that I use on my home Lathe and for what I do I have had no issues in turning wood with them. I am not in the league as a lot of people on here but I do enjoy using them and find the fact I can just switch the tip when it finally goes blunt a godsend and I have not had the need to purchase an expensive grinder with the CBN wheels that need to go with them.

I think long term replacing tips will probably cost more but I dont make a living from bowl or woodturning, its a nice hobby for me.
Carbide tips can be honed with a diamond stone, normally across the top face but I see no reason why the sides can't be honed too.
 
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