I have just bought a lathe.
I have some new wood turning tools also, and need to sharpen them before use.
Can anyone point me at a good resource for sharpening the tools?
I have a bowl gouge, skew, parting tool, roughing gouge and round nose scraper.
I don’t have anything specific but there is a ton of stuff on Youtube. Sharpening some of these turning tools is more of a art, especially for bowl gouges as there are several “styles”. For those, I would highly recommend the Wolverine jig. Not cheap but consistent.
The Wolverine jig is awesome, I use one myself. However if you go online you’ll be able to find some shop made alternatives.
On scrapers, I hone the edge and then turn a burr with a tool I got from Lee Valley:
Veritas® Scraper Burnisher for Turners
The burr lasts much longer that the burr off of the grinding wheel and is much more refined. You’ll get shavings rather than dust and get a much smoother surface with very little tearout.
As for sources, I’d recommend “Woodturning – A Foundation Course” by Keith Rowley and/or “Turning Wood” by Richard Raffan. Both are very good introductions to turning, including tool sharpening.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLL_KlogKd1xedPescidxqHOeFX_8Ht6nl especially video #8
Understand the difference between faceplate turning and spindle turning. Put your spindle turning tools someplace else when doing faceplate turning. I’ve just started learning turning from Ernie Conover via his week long class and think his books are very good. You’ll see the vari-grind that Peter mentioned in it as well as some alternatives. With the vari-grind / wolverine, you’ll setup to get the angle at the nose and then sweep around. Bowl gouges go to work directly from the grinder, but spindle gouges need further refinement and polishing.
People don’t always pass on safety and many of the videos on youtube are not good examples, so since I’m a new turner too, I’ll pass it on: No gloves. No long sleeves. No jewelry, including rings. Hair up, if its long. If you sand, use a small square of paper, never cloth paper, and never sand like shining shoes. If you use a cloth to apply finish, just use a small square less than a couple inches, but be aware that if there is a projection from the work, like a splinter, it can catch a thread, pull the thread out, wrap you with it, and bind you in. That’s why the safety advice is to stay away from cloth and, if you do choose to use it, e.g.., for finish, keep it small and hold it by just your fingertips. Paper towel would be better. You can catch cloth on chucks and centers too. Set up your work area so that you do not need to reach over and across the lathe for tools, lights, etc. Stay out of the “line of fire.” Never take your hand off a chuck key other than to put it away…never leave it in the chuck, not even for a second. These admonitions are stricter than many use, but you might as well hear them once before you choose. Sorry to go off topic.
Getting back on topic, I’d say find a class that goes over sharpening and attend, even if its just for a day. It’s worth it. If you are doing furniture work, that’s usually spindle work and you’ll want a spindle gouge, around 1/2″ and ground with a fingernail.
@tomangle do you have a link that show’s what Curtis Buchanan’s jig looks like? I was just getting ready to cook up my own, and it would be helpful to see his.
By the way, it is possible to sharpen freehand, but apparently most teachers don’t find their classes have the patience to learn or perhaps there isn’t enough time to become proficient in a few-day or one-week class when people also need to do exercises at the lathe.
At this point in the video.
You can also google wood turning sharpening jig and look at the images.
You can also as mentioned above sharpen them by hand. I do this with the diamond plates. I do know that people mention that turning tools do not need to be as sharp as carving tools. I am not sure if that his true. I also just got a lathe running and have no idea what I am doing yet.
I use a very cheap whetstone grinder which used to be sold by Axminster but they don’t seem to sell it now. A quick look on eBay though and it seems to be available under various other names although mine has a bar for jigs like the Tormek does. I then bought the Tormek gouge jig and I get good, repeatable, results. It’s an outlay but much cheaper than some systems and will last a long time (I’m four years in). I pretty much only do faceplate turning for bowls etc and this has served my needs well with the scrapers being sharpened on the dry wheel.
Ed has already given you some great safety advice so I won’t repeat that but if you’re completely new to turning and don’t want to join a club (I didn’t) then I can recommend Richard Raffan’s “Turning Bowls” DVD. I found this extremely helpful to learn the different types of cut etc.
So be safe but have fun learning and I look forward to seeing what you make.
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