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Honing carving tools

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Forum topic by bbrown posted 08-01-2017 08:12 PM 475 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bbrown

202 posts in 3392 days


08-01-2017 08:12 PM

I want to acquire/make/purchase some honing wheels for a small bench grinder. My need is for something to quickly hone the inside bevels of V-tools and gouges. I have been using hand held dowels wrapped in leather and other contoured bench top honing platforms with honing compound, but find this laborious and slow.

There are felt and leather wheels that are contoured for carving tools available for sale, but they are quite expensive and seem designed to fit proprietary makes (Tormek, etc.). I can also find MDF and paper wheels for sale that are more reasonable, but are not shaped to fit carving tools.

If I make my own, which material is best? I am leaning toward using MDF. Is it pretty easy to shape a profile to a “V” or a rounded convex shape with an MDF wheel? How about a leather, paper, or felt wheel?

To confuse things, I read in my research that some carvers use a loose buffing wheel for the inside of carving tools. Apparently, this does not round the edge too much, as one might expect.

Thanks in advance from any carvers or others with experience in this area.

—Wm Brown Camden, Maine

www.LineAndBerry.com


Addendum: This looks promising…..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDKaFB5kX0M

-- Forest, Virginia ; Micah 6:8


10 replies so far

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1178 posts in 1637 days


#1 posted 08-01-2017 09:45 PM

You are right on track pretty much anything wood like that will hold its shape with compound on it works.
I’ve also been looking at a high speed buffer.I am patient and expect to find something on CL eventually.
I mostly use my Tormek but have several shapes when I’m inside the house.
Good luck

-- Aj

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bbrown

202 posts in 3392 days


#2 posted 08-02-2017 12:08 AM

Thank you Aj.

I did just find a buffer on CL for $25. It has fairly long arbours that project from each side, so should be easy to mount any wheels that I find or make. I think I will buy some or make some MDF wheels (can purchase for $18 for two on Ebay) and then try to form the “V” on one to hone my V-tools and round the other one to hone the inside of my carving gouges. not sure how this will go, but I suppose sandpaper or a file might do the trick ??

Power honing just seems so much faster than honing on a bench strop.

I already have an old 1 inch Delta upright belt sander I got a garage sale. I bought a leather belt for it and use a green honing compound which I made following Bill Schenher’s great YouTube carving site. This takes care of honing the outer bevels.

Honing is 95% of my sharpening. It’s very rare that I have to go to a grinder or even a stone. As long as you hone frequently, the edge can last for months or even years. So, it’s worth the effort, IMO, to devise a really user-friendly system of honing.

-- Forest, Virginia ; Micah 6:8

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bbrown

202 posts in 3392 days


#3 posted 08-02-2017 12:23 AM

I just found this….http://www.ebay.com/itm/Leather-Power-Strop/272749848118?_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIM.MBE%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D41376%26meid%3De3524c6c7ac2462e95f740d56f7ace66%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D5%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D311896010029&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851

Looks like it might work, but not sure if it would fit on my 1/2 inch buffer arbor. This is made for a drill at 600-800 rpm, so not sure what would happen at 3000+ rpm.

-- Forest, Virginia ; Micah 6:8

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bbrown

202 posts in 3392 days


#4 posted 08-02-2017 12:33 AM

Apologies, it looks like I am having a conversation with myself :)
Looks like MDF turns well on the lathe, so I should be able to make a “V” profiled edge for honing V-tools and a rounded edge for honing gouges. This looks promising…..

—bb

-- Forest, Virginia ; Micah 6:8

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bbasiaga

1011 posts in 1835 days


#5 posted 08-02-2017 01:15 AM

I think I have seen some get the bevel of their gouges or carving tools as sharp as they can using a stone on the outside of the bevel, then use the tool itself to cut a block of wood (or in your case a disk) to exactly match the shape. Then you can hone the inside and get that super sharp edge.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1821 posts in 2784 days


#6 posted 08-02-2017 01:51 AM

I have six or eight MDF wheels I rough cut then turned for this very purpose.

I don’t know about using them on the average buffer, since they run at such high speed. It might be a couple pillow blocks, some 1/2” rods and some clamps for the rods would be the way to go. You could go for a pulley size that would slow it down to, say, 300 RPM’s.

I went a different route. I pulled the 220 VAC, 1,700 RPM motor off my set up and installed an industrial sewing machine motor and controller. Now I can run the wheels forward or in reverse and vary the speed from 0 to about 1,500 RPM.

You could set up a similar unit with spacers between wheels that would handle every shape you come across. A little chromium oxide [or whatever] later and you should have nice edges without a lot of metal loss.

I run the grinder-polisher at about 300, give or take a few hundred RPM, about 99% of the time. Touching up my lathe knives doesn’t eat a lot of metal.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8036 posts in 2416 days


#7 posted 08-02-2017 04:13 AM

View bbrown's profile

bbrown

202 posts in 3392 days


#8 posted 08-02-2017 02:42 PM

Thanks Kelly. i am impressed with your set-up. Looks like a bit of work to make one of these.

waho6o9, Thanks for the link. This looks about my speed: simple and cheap. My craigslist buffer is 3000+ rpm, so I might need a slower grinder or motor. I have never seen this idea of a leather wheel where only the center is glued, leaving the outer part loose in order to hone any size gouge. That’s intriguing and seems like a great solution.

This also looks pretty easy to make….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDKaFB5kX0M

-- Forest, Virginia ; Micah 6:8

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Kelly

1821 posts in 2784 days


#9 posted 08-02-2017 03:38 PM

I have what is called an Air Handler for some strange reason (craigslist score for $100.00 bucks (gloat) replaced the one I gave my buddy and which I bought for $5.00 (second gloat)). This strangely named buffer and dust collection system runs buff wheels at two different speeds.

I have one sorely neglected buff wheel on the Redwing Air Handler system that his pretty hard in the center where it has been somewhat deeply penetrated with the red buff compound. It actually makes a pretty good semi-hard buff wheel for putting edges back on things.

In other words, you could pick up a cheap Harbor Freight buff wheel and use that too. You want the one that is sewn up the side, then just start using it. After a while, even running a rake on the wheel, to knock off the build up, still leaves a pretty solid center ideal for taking edges a bit farther, without removing a lot of metal.

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bbrown

202 posts in 3392 days


#10 posted 08-02-2017 11:27 PM

Appreciate the advice Kelly. I like Harbour Freight!

-- Forest, Virginia ; Micah 6:8

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