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Author Topic: Maintaining lathe tools  (Read 947 times)

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Offline JohnRobert

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Maintaining lathe tools
« on: May 07, 2021, 04:09:12 PM »
Hello everybody, newbie here. Any tips for sharpening lathing tools on your own? Or is it better to let a professional do it?

Offline Dan_Shade

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Re: Maintaining lathe tools
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2021, 04:15:53 PM »
There are a lot of grinder jigs.  Some folks use a belt sander.

I'm a proponent of learning how to do it yourself.

I have a oneway jig, it makes it pretty easy 
Woodmizer LT40HDG25 / Stihl 066 alaskan
lots of dull bands and chains

There's a fine line between turning firewood into beautiful things and beautiful things into firewood.

Offline Dan_Shade

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Woodmizer LT40HDG25 / Stihl 066 alaskan
lots of dull bands and chains

There's a fine line between turning firewood into beautiful things and beautiful things into firewood.

Offline btulloh

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Re: Maintaining lathe tools
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2021, 04:39:26 PM »
X2 what Dan said. I use the Oneway jig also. Best to use it with a half-speed bench grinder and white wheels. Works well. I use a small diamod stone for quick touchups. Sharp tools are a must. They need sharpening and touchups much more often than sending them out would allow. 

My cousin uses the Tormek sytem and gets incredibly good edges. The strop really puts the icing on the cake. 

Pick a system and set it up for convenient access. Turning requires sharpening skills. Make it a primary goal. 



Offline Tom King

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Re: Maintaining lathe tools
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2021, 06:52:40 PM »
I use a 1x42" belt sander, but only because I already had it for other stuff.  If one needs reshaping, I'll use a CBN wheel on a bench grinder, but used to use regular, friable wheels.  

 Lathe tools are some of the least particular woodworking cutting edges.  I get my chisels, and plane irons WAY sharper with a more complicated process.

Offline Larry

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Re: Maintaining lathe tools
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2021, 07:37:41 PM »
I can get my lathe tools sharp enough just by freehand grinding which takes practice.  But I do not sharpen my tools freehand because of two reasons.  I don't get angle the same every time and I waste too much valuable steel from a expensive tool.  With a jig I just barely remove a wisp of metal.

So....for those two reasons I mainly use the Oneway Wolverine with the Vari-Grind for gouges.  There are other jigs as good.

You may be able to learn on your own.  Its a lot faster to get guidance from somebody that knows how, or join a woodturning club.  Taking a class is also a good way to learn.

Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline Dan_Shade

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Re: Maintaining lathe tools
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2021, 08:16:47 PM »
Here's another one:

https://oneway.ca/products-category/sharpening-grinding-jigs/Vari-Grind

I have this one too, but haven't used it much.   I tend to use a roughing gouge and a skew. 
Woodmizer LT40HDG25 / Stihl 066 alaskan
lots of dull bands and chains

There's a fine line between turning firewood into beautiful things and beautiful things into firewood.

Offline Raym

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Re: Maintaining lathe tools
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2021, 04:52:16 AM »
For a majority of my turning I use Batty's 40/40 grind. I use CBN wheels on a slow speed grinder and usually leave the grinder running if turning a large bowl. Depending on the wood being turned, I will sharpen after about 2-3 passes and I can sharpen the gouge in about 10 seconds.

With the platform setup at 40 degrees roughing gouges and traditional grind bowl gouges are sharpened with ease.

Here is a video to watch but you can search out his other videos on sharpening and turning with the 40/40 grind. Enjoy and happy turning...

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Offline aigheadish

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Re: Maintaining lathe tools
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2021, 02:55:32 PM »
I'm also on board with Oneway and Vari-Grind. 
New Holland LB75b, Husqvarna 455 Rancher, Husqvarna GTH52XLS, Hammerhead 250, Honda VTX1300 for now and probably for sale (let me know if you are interested!)

Offline low_48

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Re: Maintaining lathe tools
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2021, 12:21:07 AM »
Late to the game, but wanted to mention that professional sharpening is really not an option. I'll sharpen a bowl gouge about 3 times doing a 12" bowl. Maybe 4 if working tougher wood. You really need a method in the shop to get a good edge.

Offline aigheadish

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Re: Maintaining lathe tools
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2021, 08:20:58 AM »
Agreed with @low_48 

I think it's also safe to say it takes a fair amount of practice to get good at sharpening, take it slow and maybe learn on cheap gouges as it's easy to grind right through them. I've noticed a newly sharpened gouge is much nicer than a dull one but also notice when I've sharpened one really well. 

One good trick I've heard is to Sharpie all over your current bevel then start sharpening very slowly and gently and you'll be able to see where you'd grinded and where you haven't. 
New Holland LB75b, Husqvarna 455 Rancher, Husqvarna GTH52XLS, Hammerhead 250, Honda VTX1300 for now and probably for sale (let me know if you are interested!)

Offline Joe Hillmann

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Re: Maintaining lathe tools
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2021, 05:19:57 PM »
If you do any amount of lathe work you HAVE to be able to sharpen your own tools.  I couldn't imagine not sharpening my own.  Any time mine feel the tiniest bit dull I touch them up.  I am in the process of turning tenons on on both ends of about 480  four inch spindles for porch railings.  So it is common that I sharpen the tools several times a week and touch them up several times in a session.  The more practice you have at both turning and sharpening the easier it becomes.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Maintaining lathe tools
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2021, 08:04:27 AM »
Although I do own a wood lathe I seldom use it .However on metal lathe tools it just takes practice and the correct grinding wheel to sharpen free hand .
In my case regarding metal I have a lot of indexable carbide inserts so it's rather easy to keep a good sharp tool .Grinding carbide tipped is not so easy .Hi speed steel is not a problem ,drill bits etc, but some take a different angles   depending on the metal used on .

Offline Ed_K

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Re: Maintaining lathe tools
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2021, 08:39:49 AM »
 One other thing to think about is to keep your grinding wheel properly clean, and sharpened also.

Offline Dan_Shade

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Re: Maintaining lathe tools
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2021, 11:53:30 AM »
Do any of you guys use a cbn wheel on your grinder? 
Woodmizer LT40HDG25 / Stihl 066 alaskan
lots of dull bands and chains

There's a fine line between turning firewood into beautiful things and beautiful things into firewood.

Offline Larry

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Re: Maintaining lathe tools
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2021, 08:51:56 PM »
I've used cbn a lot at schools, both as a student and a teacher.  You should see the abuse they get in a school but keep on grinding.  It stays the same size so your grind remains the same through out the life of the wheel.  No re-shaping or sharpening as you would need to do on a stone wheel.  Lots of opinions on the best grit.  180 or maybe a little higher seems good to me.

At home I use a Kalmazoo belt grinder similar to the Sorby Proedge.  I've adapted it to use the Oneway jigs.  I like it better than cbn buts its a flat grind and a lot of opinions on that also.

Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Maintaining lathe tools
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2021, 07:03:28 AM »
You have to keep a stone wheel "open " which means not clogged with metal residue .Using a water dip helps somewhat plus keeps the tool from becoming over heated .I have diamond dressing tools for such things plus star wheel dressers .I suppose a piece of solid carbide could do it too in a pinch .
I might add while I'm not a wood turner many of my wood lathe stuff have been made from large files which came with the lathe when I bought it .Hard as a rock, I've never  had to dress them .

Offline aigheadish

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Re: Maintaining lathe tools
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2021, 02:53:33 PM »
I'd like a cbn but haven't forked out the cash yet.
New Holland LB75b, Husqvarna 455 Rancher, Husqvarna GTH52XLS, Hammerhead 250, Honda VTX1300 for now and probably for sale (let me know if you are interested!)

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Maintaining lathe tools
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2021, 09:03:58 AM »
I had an old farmer tell me once ,"son a sharp tool will always make you money, a dull tool will cost you ".You have to remember the geometry involved .Lots of difference between a straight razor and an axe . ;)


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