grinding wheel grit question

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Forum topic by sully909 posted 07-13-2016 02:20 AM 901 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12 posts in 1997 days

07-13-2016 02:20 AM

Hey gang, When it comes to my hand chisels and plane blades the sharper the better. There for the higher the stone grit the better. Why then do most woodturning websites only offer up to about 80 maybe 100 at best when most guys like 180 or better. I would think the cbn wheels would be on every website. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not looking to cheap out but at what point are you picking the proverbial fly poop out of the pepper

5 replies so far

View JAAune's profile


1845 posts in 2486 days

#1 posted 07-13-2016 04:04 AM

High grit stones increase the heat of sharpening. You want low grit stones to minimize heat – especially if you’re not sharpening high-speed steel turning tools. For chisels and handplane irons, the actual cutting edge is generally completed on a fine oil stone or water stone.

-- See my work at and

View Wildwood's profile


2447 posts in 2304 days

#2 posted 07-13-2016 10:41 AM

You can find CBN wheel at most wood turning sites today. If watch D-Way CBN videos Dave tells you he cannot tell much difference in wood surface whether he sharpens his tools on his 80 or 120 grit wheels. Well today you can find higher grit CBN wheels online and some turners love them.

Biggest advantages of CBN wheels no longer have to true up the wheels & no grinding wheel dust or wheel vibration.

Before CBN wheels the best you could buy were Norton SG wheels and most turning vendors only carry the 80 grit fine wheel.

Turners need friable grinding wheels made from aluminum oxide as previous poster address heat but also less steel build up on the wheel and more efficient sharpening. Nice to know info here;

You will find turners that swear by 120 & 150 grit super fine AL grinding wheels which can find at various sites online. I use a 80 fine k-hardness wheel for resharpening & 46 medium k-hardness grit wheel for edge repair and changing bevel angles. Not sure will find a consensus on what wheel combination is best.

Before CBN wheels if wanted a polished edge for lack of more technical term needed to sharpen on a wet grinder, or belt sander with finer grit papers.

Again every method used to sharpen turning tools has pluses & minuses! At the end of the day not sure it matters as long as your happy with results.

-- Bill

View Bmezz's profile


45 posts in 1553 days

#3 posted 07-13-2016 07:26 PM

I have a 220 CBN wheel. Very nice. White wheel on other side. Works for me.

-- Member Valley Woodturners Ottawa. Member AAW

View sully909's profile


12 posts in 1997 days

#4 posted 07-14-2016 01:56 AM

Thanks for all the replies. I guess what it comes down to, like most things. I need to find what works for me and my budget as this is a hobby/addiction and not a business. You guys gave me a good starting point to base my future decisions on.

View Nubsnstubs's profile (online now)


1414 posts in 1900 days

#5 posted 07-14-2016 01:29 PM

Sully, I think the answer to your question why turners use courser grinding is the burr produced is what makes cutting easier. When the burr disappears, you’ll notice a difference in how much effort is needed to get the same cut you got when the burr was present. It doesn’t matter if it’s CBN or stone or composite. It doesn’t matter too much on the grit either. It’s all subjective. .............. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

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