Lathe tool sharpener

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Forum topic by Alundrell posted 03-14-2013 06:48 PM 4304 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 1863 days

03-14-2013 06:48 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question lathe chisel turning

Hi everyone, I’m new to lumberjocks and new to the world of wood working, I took a woodworking class in December and fell in love with the lathe. Since then I’ve been piecing together everything I need to start turning bowls, goblets, spindles and the like. The one thing I still need is a sharpening system. I don’t know anything about them, in class the instructor sharpened all the chisels, toy you guys could give me some info about the different brands or at least what you use that would be great, I was looking at the tormek t-3 it looks good but I don’t know enough to make an informed dicesion, and it’s kinda pricy. Thanks for te help!

14 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4945 posts in 2456 days

#1 posted 03-14-2013 07:34 PM

The Tormeks do a nice job, but you can spend a fortune getting one set up…plus they are a little slow. You can buy a good (but not great) slow speed 8” grinder from Woodcraft for $125 (they go on sale regularly) and then get a Wolverine sharpening system (you can also make one). You still have a fair amount of sheckels tied up, but not nearly what the Tormek might cost.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View deparrott's profile


91 posts in 2069 days

#2 posted 03-14-2013 08:20 PM

I purchased a grinder that appears to be exactly like the one that Woodcraft sells on E-Bay last week. With an asking price of $80 I “made an offer” of $50 and it was accepted. Shipping was $40. So far so good for $90 out of pocket with no sales tax. I’m still waiting for my diamond dresser so I can true the wheels. It was packaged in the original box and seemed to be new. No where on the box or literature could I find the word “Woodcraft” but then again I’m not sure the name is is on the one woodcraft sells either. Let the buyer beware…


View jeff's profile


1079 posts in 3427 days

#3 posted 03-14-2013 10:51 PM

New to turning myself…A quick search on LJ’s and on You Tube will yield some options for a sharpening system…I recently purchased Woodcrafts slow speed grinder on sale and a used Wolverine sharpening system/jig…I’m happy with both…I have only sharpened roughing gouges so far but I get repeated sharp edges each time with the Wolverine jig…Can’t wait to try sharpening my other tools…Welcome to LJ’s…

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View Alundrell's profile


10 posts in 1863 days

#4 posted 03-14-2013 11:12 PM

Thanks for the info guys, I priced out a T-3 with the wood turners kit and it was over $600 so that’s way out of my price range! I found This kit For a third the price. Will that be all I need or are there other accessories I should get for the wolverine system

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


4318 posts in 2371 days

#5 posted 03-14-2013 11:42 PM

Grizzly has something similiar to the Tormek and the Tormek jigs have been reported to fit. I looked at the catelog and this was about 200 USD without jigs. To sharpen gouges the jig is 20-35 USD and this handles MOST gouges you would use. I got a good deal years ago on the 1st Tormek and with some practice and set-up blocks to help the process be repeatable it has worked very well. I realize the Tormek is considered the Porsch of sharpeners and everyone has an opinion that goes with the price of that Porsch but deals can be found these days with the economy in the tank. A used one even it it has a bad wheel can be found for 200 USD on the web, sometimes…. (laughing) One thing no one will debate and that is you MUST have SHARP tools to turn, unless you enjoy torturing yourself… slowly…

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View jeff's profile


1079 posts in 3427 days

#6 posted 03-15-2013 01:57 AM

Alundrel—That is the same set-up I have.I saved about $50 total with buying the slow speed grinder on sale and finding a used Wolverine jig…The person who I bought the Wolverine jig from didn’t like it and he went with a Tormek,considerably more expensive but he really likes it…

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2151 days

#7 posted 03-15-2013 02:50 AM

Until you advance to using the skew, all you need is a decent grinder with decent wheels on it. Most grinders come with junk wheels (the grey colored ones) as far as sharpening tooling goes. You want something decent like the white wheels Lee Valley sells.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Alundrell's profile


10 posts in 1863 days

#8 posted 03-15-2013 06:37 AM

Here is another question for you guys, the t3 has a leather honing wheel to hone the edges, what would I use to hone the edges if I got a normal slow speed grinder with the wolverine system?

View Wildwood's profile


2297 posts in 2097 days

#9 posted 03-15-2013 01:10 PM

In a perfect world would have both a dry grinder and wet grinder to sharpen your turning tools. If you are one of those gifted folks that can put a sharp edge on all your turning tools free hand consistently can save money on jigs.

Belt sander, will leave a sharp edge on your turning tool if good at free hand sharpening and might be less expensive than bench grinder or Tormek or clones.

A bench grinder, wheel dresser and sharpening jig least expensive to buy and maintain than a Tormek unless you are buying CBN wheels.

A wet wheel grinder, wheel dresser, and jigs you need much more expensive to buy and maintain.

Nice to have a diamond hone to touch up an edge between trips to either dry or wet grinder.

Depending upon wood species, mineral content of a piece of wood, moisture content may or may not need to re-sharpen your tools a lot. So when in doubt sharpen your tools.

Been using the same 6” 3400 RPM bench grinder, basic Wolverine jig + Vari jig, and credit card diamond hones for twenty years. I do free hand sharpen skews & parting tools.

-- Bill

View murch's profile


1380 posts in 2587 days

#10 posted 03-15-2013 06:09 PM

I’ve only been turning for 2 yrs but I have never bought a sharpening system because there is no need to.
I came up with a way of mounting an abrasive wheel on the head-stock and it works great. After that, all you need is practice.
Of course, buy one if you want to, but you don’t need one.

-- A family man has photos in his wallet where his money used to be.

View Alundrell's profile


10 posts in 1863 days

#11 posted 03-15-2013 06:55 PM

Thank you guys all so much for all the info you really helped me make my decision. I’m going to go with the wolverine system, with the vari jig, and a credit card hone, for a fraction of the price, the grinder I’m going to he getting comes with 2 white aluminum oxide wheels one is 60grit and one is 120 grit, will I need better wheels or will those be good enough?

View Wildwood's profile


2297 posts in 2097 days

#12 posted 03-15-2013 09:43 PM

Those wheels good enough! Just remember medium 60 grit wheel is for changing bevel angle and fine 120 grit wheel is for re-sharpening.

I use a medium 46 grit wheel for changing bevel angle or repair damaged edge. Normally go right to turning from that wheel until need to re-sharpen. Use my fine 100 grit wheel for re-sharpening 99% of the time.

-- Bill

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3547 days

#13 posted 03-15-2013 09:47 PM

You don’t need to spend the big bucks to sharpen woodturning tools a sander or bench grinder will do fine spend maybe abit for two good wheels once you learn to sharpen you will wonder what all the fuss is about have fun and don’t swallow the sales garb you can do it cheaply.I am a man who had the big tormek kit and got rid of it for my two wheel bench grinder and an occasinal touch up on a disc or belt sander works out great get a video.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View TheDane's profile


5399 posts in 3625 days

#14 posted 03-15-2013 09:52 PM

I built a rig (for under $100) that does a better job than my WoodCraft grinder/Wolverine jig …

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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