Woodturning Basics Sharpening Tools,Wood Chest Of Drawers On Wheels,Woodworking Plans For Home - 2016 Feature

In my last post, I talked about the importance of having sharp tools to be able to turn properly and that a sharpening jig for woodturning tools was one of the most important accessories you could buy. I will explain how to sharpen woodturning tools using a jig, however it’s important to understand that a jig provides control over the angle of the grind but not the shape of the grind. When sharpening a gouge, work the sides of the grind first because that’s where the most material is to be removed, then carefully work on the curved front of the “fingernail.” It is very easy to remove too much metal at that point. Skews can be sharpened with a straight grind by holding the tool flat on the rest with the skewed edge of the tool in line with the axis of the grinder. 6″ grinders are acceptable, however, as soon as the wheel starts to wear, the arc of the concave or hollow grind is too severe, weakening the edge. The long arm is used for supporting the Vari-Grind jig and though it can be used to support some tools directly, I don’t recommend it. Holding the tool perpendicular to the wheel face, rotate the tool from one wing through to the other wing until the full bevel has been ground completely.

Second, and most important, your turning experience will be far more enjoyable using sharp, consistent tools. Also, the heat generated by a 3400 rpm grinder can destroy the hardness of carbon steel tools and damage even high-speed steel tools. White stones are very soft, keeping your tools from burning, however, they wear down very quickly.
Once you’ve turned with those basic shapes, you will develop a preference for finely-tuned shapes through experience.
Any tools that I sharpen other than spindle and some bowl gouges are supported by the flat tool rest while sharpening. This isn’t worth purchasing and will limit the number of shapes that you can apply to those tools to one. It’s OK and sometimes useful to have a very slight angle on the sides of the tool by holding it at a very slight angle to the wheel, but it’s important to keep the tool square to the wheel while grinding the rounded portion.

Grind both sides evenly then hone both edges as described in my post on sharpening woodturning tools. Using a jig is an option, however, one that will pay you back in dividends of enjoyment of turning as well as reduce the cost of your tools over time.
The tool rests on all grinders are inadequate for sharpening woodturning tools, making an after-market sharpening jig a valid consideration. To produce a curved cutting edge, simply place the tool as before but place your thumb on the tool and use it as a center point to rotate the tool in the desired arc. I run an 80 grit wheel for reshaping and grinding scrapers and a 180 grit for all general sharpening.

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