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Tool sharpening Novice

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Andy777

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Hi all, first post on here.
Just started wood turning and want an opinion on the best machine for sharpening tools.

Needs to be simple to set up!

Andy
 

Londoner100

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I bought a cheap grinder and finally settled on a Tormak T7, expensive but so easy to set up every time and its amazing how much easier it is to turn with sharp tools, there are cheaper alternatives like the Dakota and Tiger but cant comment on theses as I have not used them.

Ian
 

Andy777

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Thanks Ian, What sort of price are these "all in" with jigs needed,

Don`t know how many jigs needed for lathe tools but I have only the basic tools at the moment.

Andy
 

CHJ

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Andy777":24hssjbw said:
Hi all, first post on here.
Just started wood turning and want an opinion on the best machine for sharpening tools.

Needs to be simple to set up!

Andy
Basically you have two options:
Rotating grinding wheel: Anything from budget from someone like axminster to expensive like Tormek.
Sanding belt: Specifically the Sorby unit with Tormek jigs.

A lot depends upon your bank balance and inclination to spend it.
No amount of expenditure will give you instant, perfect tool profiles, and the luxury of the finest cutting edge may well be wasted unless you have the skills and the wood quality to make use of them.
Whatever system you obtain be prepared to spend some weeks getting to grips with which angles and profiles suit your personal turning methods.

If you are after a low cost system that can get you sorted for say £50 or so then a reasonable budget Grinder fitted with a decent Balanced Wheel will do the necessary.

I've been turning for some years now and have not felt the urge to spend any more money on this aspect of turning, and that after having tried several systems including the Tormek which I had in for review.

If money was no object I would probably say go for the Sorby System, the Belts + supplied Tormek Jigs I think are the easiest to adjust and use for reshaping tools and finish sharpening.

If you are on a tight budget then you may like to try making your own rests and jigs to go with a simple grinder.

lowpress.jpg

Link to Construction Details
DSCN3109.JPG

Shot of my Main Grinder, with at the back a basic Tool Rest for scrapers and skews based on that shown in the Keith Rowley Turning Book and in the front my support frame which takes the Tormek Jig and a couple of home made variants.
 

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Andy777

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Hmmmmm thanks people, it`s a tough choice.
Possible have 300 when I sell rotivator!

I have an old bench grinder but don`t know how I would adapt it,
Guess I don`t know enough about sharpening to know how good I would be.

Just done a 2 day course of turning in kent but at £100/day I have got to be careful....!

Any non london clubs around? gatwick area or south of!
 

Andy777

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Googled my head off but just read a comparison between jet & Tormek and looked at work sharp3000.

Not sure what the prices are on all 3 for UK (If anyone knows).
As with many things in life, some things are cheap and some seem a rip off depending on demand.

ie £800 for new rotivator 5.5hp engine or nearly the same for a sharpener of "small lathe"! which is basically a wee motor and a bit of metal!
Or a comfy 2nd hand car with ****loads in it!

So with that in mind, I really am in a pickle as to what to choose! Heeelp!
 

CHJ

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When, and until you understand how to sharpen and obtain the profile on the tools I suggest you keep your money in your pocket and start with a basic system.
Sharpening your tools and understanding the hows and whys involved is an art as important as using the tools and for some folks almost if not equally difficult.
Please before you waste any more time looking at exotics try and locate a club or an experienced turner who can go through the basics with you.

A wet grinder can indeed put a fine sharp edge on a HSS turning tool BUT, and I honestly believe there is a genuine need for the Big But. Most standard wet wheel stones are very soft and the small profile of a turning gouge WILL rapidly wear the stone surface, not too much of a problem if you only sharpen bowl or spindle gouges but becomes problematical after a very short time for flat tools such as scrapers and skews.
This can be overcome by dressing the wheel but they are not cheap and can prove costly as more wheel is lost through dressing than sharpening.
Since the soft wheels are designed with fine grit primarily for putting a keen edge on a tool/knife they are far from ideal for re-shaping a tool cutting edge and it is often more sensible to have a standard grinder for this task.
 

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I use a Rutlands grinder with a standard carbide wheel on one side and a wide softer wheel on the other, with care a new edge can be ground using the carbide stone, with very frequent quenching in water to keep the tool cool, I count to five whilst grinding then rest the tool in water fro 30seconds to a minute. Then I use the softer wheel to fine tune the tool and to re sharpen the edge after that.
I have never felt the need to use jigs on the wheels, quite simply the flat tops of scrapers and the cutting edges of skews I sharpen flat against the side of the grinder wheel being careful. And gouges I sharpen on the face of the wheel by hand, as a simple rule when doing this, if the sparks are coming off the top of the tool, upwards even then you are sharpening the cutting edge of the tool, if they are going down, off the back of the tool you see sharpening the heel of the bevel. When the sparks are evenly coming off the back and the top edge you gave the tool in the correct position to sharpen the bevel properly. Once you find this position it's a case of slowly rolling the tool from left to right with one hand from the handle, whilst the other hand holds the shaft down onto the grinders built in rest, and maintaining the angle of grind.
What you are trying to achieve is a single facet around the bevel.
Ignore all the sharpening advice which advises to use a slip to remove the wire edge formed on the inside of the cutting edge, this will come off by itself within seconds of you touching it to your work. Also don't bother with micro bevels, not necessary for turning tools.

The only tool I find tricky using this method is fingernail ground tools. these are possible with a little practice.
 

CHJ

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That is for the jig, 90% of which is achievable with the home made one I linked to (same principle for the bowl gouges) and the other 10% can be done on the standard rest. A search of this forum or the web as a whole will turn up numerous home made versions on the same theme, all easy to make and costing pence from the scrap box.
 

Aled Dafis

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If you have the money going spare I'd definitely reccomend the Sorby Proedge, I fought with sharpening my tools for years before buying one, and it was a revelation, I've never had my tools so sharp and it it's so repeatable. Sharpening my swept back bowl gouges now literally takes a minute and I know that they'll be sharp every time!

The naysayers will describe the Proedge as a glorified belt sander, and to be honest they'd be quite right, but it's so well made it makes using it so easy that you'll find yourself touching up your edges more often, and therefore your turnings will benefit no end.

Cheers
Aled
 

Jacob

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Aled Dafis":15ymwtfl said:
If you have the money going spare I'd definitely reccomend the Sorby Proedge, I fought with sharpening my tools for years before buying one, and it was a revelation, I've never had my tools so sharp and it it's so repeatable. Sharpening my swept back bowl gouges now literally takes a minute and I know that they'll be sharp every time!

The naysayers will describe the Proedge as a glorified belt sander, and to be honest they'd be quite right, but it's so well made it makes using it so easy that you'll find yourself touching up your edges more often, and therefore your turnings will benefit no end.

Cheers
Aled
Yes they are good.
I used to use a belt sander but there was serious risk of spontaneous combustion due to sparks hitting wood dust and plastic, inside the casing.
Good for all normal edges but particularly handy for turners, even freehand without the accessories.

But use a belt sander (with care) if you have one. First blast out the dust with a blower. Don't leave it for a few minutes after you have switched off, in case something is smouldering inside. :shock:
 

Andy777

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So many belts and grits! Has there been many cases of fire!??
 

RogerP

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On a bench belt sander there's a small area between the rollers and the main flat bed which I've found excellent for outcanel gouges as it conforms quite nicely to the curved shape - even fancy turning gouges.
 

James C

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Andy777":ylvhlvkx said:
So many belts and grits! Has there been many cases of fire!??
Not with the Pro Edge as far as I'm aware it seems like Jacob is referring to not leaving a Belt Sander rather than a Pro Edge. If you use the machine for just sharpening tools it is quite safe but the danger comes in when you use the same belt sander for tools and wood.

We always had a separate bandsaw for metal at school with separate extraction for the same fire risk reason.
 

Jacob

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James C":2f7e597k said:
Andy777":2f7e597k said:
So many belts and grits! Has there been many cases of fire!??
Not with the Pro Edge as far as I'm aware it seems like Jacob is referring to not leaving a Belt Sander rather than a Pro Edge. If you use the machine for just sharpening tools it is quite safe but the danger comes in when you use the same belt sander for tools and wood.

We always had a separate bandsaw for metal at school with separate extraction for the same fire risk reason.
Sorry yes - Proedge is safe (er), in that it is open with no concealed corners for fires to start. But I recently managed to set fire to a screwed up little bundle of wire wool which happened to be in line with the sparks. Went off like a firework!
 

James C

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Our school techie always used to say that steel or aluminium particles when mixed in a cyclone on wood particles would cause a perfect storm for combustion due to static electricity or something. I know that any small place saturated with wood dust as well as aluminium flecks can't be very safe but I've never heard of this happening.

Speaking of sparks does the Pro Edge cause the tips of tools to heat up, i wouldn't want to re-temper the blade.
 

Jacob

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James C":2sryyvlb said:
Our school techie always used to say that steel or aluminium particles when mixed in a cyclone on wood particles would cause a perfect storm for combustion due to static electricity or something. I know that any small place saturated with wood dust as well as aluminium flecks can't be very safe but I've never heard of this happening.
Fireworks use various metal powders, so you've often seen iron and aluminium burning.
Speaking of sparks does the Pro Edge cause the tips of tools to heat up, i wouldn't want to re-temper the blade.
Not on coarse grits nor if used carefully on fine ones. It runs a lot cooler than my 6" grindwheel.
 
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