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Lathe tool sharpening on the lathe?

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Forum topic by Micah Muzny posted 09-10-2013 02:57 AM 1139 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Micah Muzny

183 posts in 476 days


09-10-2013 02:57 AM

Is it possible to get a sharpening stone and fix some sort of sharpening jig that attaches to your lathe? Like the drill chuck attachment to hold the sharpening wheel somehow? Then fix a jig for angle that attaches to it like where the tool rest and tail stock attach? Anyone seen it done or think it would work?


18 replies so far

View lew's profile

lew

10151 posts in 2499 days


#1 posted 09-10-2013 03:55 AM

Not sure about a grinding stone but I made a leather covered wheel (strop) and mounted it on the outboard side of the headstock. Added some buffing compound and then could hone the tools without unmounting the turning.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Drengineer's profile

Drengineer

2 posts in 581 days


#2 posted 09-10-2013 05:33 AM

If you can imagine it , it can be done. If it can be done, it will be done and if it has been done , you can do it too.
D

View hairy's profile

hairy

2108 posts in 2276 days


#3 posted 09-10-2013 11:30 AM

This one has an add on attachment.

-- in the confusion, I mighta grabbed the gold ...

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1232 posts in 878 days


#4 posted 09-10-2013 11:41 AM

At one time several venders sold an MT-1 or 2 thingy that could mount a grinding wheel and install in headstock for about $12- $15. Subject came up on another message board couple of years ago and found a place selling MT2 thingy for $42.

Back in 1990’s fellow from NC, wrote an article in AAW magazine on sharpening on the lathe with one of those thingys and using his tool rest.

Pros, have the ultimate slow speed grinder for less than $50-$60 if able to free hand sharpen.
Cons, besides safety issues, have to install/uninstall every time tool needs sharpening. Add time, materials cost to building a jig, you peeing in the wind.

Oh, wait forgot about using a second lathe just to sharpen tools!

Feel same way about faceplate, waste block, sanding disk systems.
Think Penn State sells such a set-up.

-- Bill

View moke's profile

moke

553 posts in 1520 days


#5 posted 09-10-2013 05:28 PM

http://www.pennstateind.com/store/LCMPLUS.html?concept=1

I have never seen one, but it looks tricky to use….

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3972 posts in 2407 days


#6 posted 09-10-2013 06:27 PM

moke—Yeah, I wonder how people who turn left-handed (like me!) would manage this!

Actually, it would only be in my way half of the time … one of the traits I inherited from my dad was ambidextrousness, and I have found that to be a great advantage at the lathe.

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

View Underdog's profile

Underdog

556 posts in 779 days


#7 posted 09-10-2013 06:54 PM

I would just get a grinder and a wolverine jig and have done.

The key to turning is sharp tools and good technique. You don’t get good at turning by fiddling with a makeshift sharpening setup. I’ve been there and done that.

However… if you’re determined to use your lathe with abrasives on steel (which doesn’t bode well for your headstock bearings), then you can always glue some sandpaper to a disc of MDF, fasten it to your faceplate, and sharpen away.

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TheDane

3972 posts in 2407 days


#8 posted 09-10-2013 09:42 PM

Actually, there is a lot of wisdom in Underdog’s advice. You can buy a decent V/S grinder for under $120, and for another $50 you can pick up one of Eddie Castelin’s Blackhawk sharpening rigs … a OneWay Wolverine would set you back about $90. I know it may sound like a lot of money, but how much grief are you willing to put up with?

FWIW, I bought one of Eddie’s rigs and was happy with it, however the guys at work bought me a Wolverine system as a retirement gift. I recently sold the Blackhawk rig to another turner.

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

View moke's profile

moke

553 posts in 1520 days


#9 posted 09-11-2013 04:45 PM

Gerry…
What’s a little skin on a knuckle or two over a great pen or bowl. Skin is over rated!!!
Mike

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3972 posts in 2407 days


#10 posted 09-11-2013 04:48 PM

Mike … My Dad taught me the first rule of woodworking is “Don’t get blood on the wood!”. I always try to follow Pop’s advice.

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

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

1777 posts in 464 days


#11 posted 09-11-2013 04:55 PM

I would also worry a little about contaminating the turning area with metal dust, aside from the mess and potential for getting metal in a project (or in the working parts of the lathe) there is also a fire risk. The shop I worked in while in college didn’t have the best dust collection and someone got the bright idea of sharpening a knife on the 12” disc sander that had a cabinet half full of dust. The sparks ignited the wood dust and we hadn’t acted quickly would have traveled up the plastic collector ducting! This is why I keep my metal working, except for using a wet stone in a dedicated area, separate from my woodworking.

View Underdog's profile

Underdog

556 posts in 779 days


#12 posted 09-11-2013 05:01 PM

Reason I say what I said, was that I had a lathe a long time before I got a good sharpening system. I fiddled around with several DIY systems for years… I never got done assembling that stuff.

One day when I actually had some money in my pocket the Woodworking Show in Atlanta rolled around, and I just bit the bullet and got the Wolverine Jig. I never looked back, and never regretted it. Now I just step over a couple of steps, sharpen, and go back to turning.

I do regret all those years wasted trying to get something else working.

I’m not saying you can’t set up your own system, I’m just saying I just didn’t get the gumption to finally put it all together. I finally saw that it was much more cost effective to spend the money for a system that was working right out of the box, than to spend years procrastinating….

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1232 posts in 878 days


#13 posted 09-11-2013 08:02 PM

Gee, Underdog only took me eight months to figure needed a grinder and Wolverine system. I started sharpening my tool on a belt sander clamped to my workbench. Of course made couple homemade jigs too. No internet in those days library books and tool catalogs enlighten me!

-- Bill

View moke's profile

moke

553 posts in 1520 days


#14 posted 09-12-2013 06:01 PM

I have several sharpening systems too, I started sharpening on stones, and while it was a little time consuming, and you had to do it more often, it really gave me a nice edge. Now days I have two systems, a Grizzly ten-inch slow speed, which is ok….. and a wolveine set-up on a VS delta. I also use a HF 3450 rpm buffer, with a 1.5 inch homemade MDF 4” wheel….on the back side as a hone. Honing is as imporant as sharpening, IMHO.
On another site I had an engineer figure out what size wheels in MDF to make to run slower than the standard 8”. I took two 3/4 mdf semi-round wheels and glued them together and turned them down to 4” using a rigged up jacobs chuck and bolt. I turned the buffer around so the switch is on the backside and have it mounted next to my woverine jig set up. It is supposedly running 1700rpm. The rule is to sharpen…then hone….turn…then hone again….turn some more then go for the reshapen. I have to say it works very well for very sharp tools.

As far as a Grizzly system, I have the ten inch and it is mediocre at best. I bought it thought the wheel was poor and bought a 60.00 wheel, and it was not the issue. It has a hone to, IMO is going too slow and is worthless…..It is a Tormek wanna-be…..and ain’t….don’t waste your money. I have to say though, a friend has the 8” grizzly which gets terrible reviews, even worse than the 10” and he loves it and makes it work fine….it’s all in what you get used to.

I would have to agree that sharpening on the lathe is going to have a number of issues at best….Could you wait, save your $ and start getting the better stuff? Maybe use an oil or water stone for gouges and adhesive sandpaper on glass or granite for skews while you are saving? You might be money ahead on the long run.
Just my .02
Mike….

Gerry….My pop always said it wasn’t an offical project until you bleed!!!! I cleaned out his workshop after he passed away, and there must have been 10 half used boxes of band-aids….I guess he really did believe that!

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SCOTSMAN

5578 posts in 2329 days


#15 posted 09-12-2013 06:59 PM

It is a bad idea to grind anything on the lathe the sharp dust can get into the bearings and cause havoc.
I can tell you this argument rages in the engineering websites and usually it is regarded as a big no no to do such a thing.
I would also advise you not to spend copious amounts of money on jigs which you will soon grow out of after a few months hand sharpening is best unless your tool is seriously out of shape which it should never be it is just a quick touch up that’s needed (so before you all laugh at me ) I gave away my tormek and all it’s jigs to an elderly friend who assures me he hardly uses it because it is too slow.Who has half a day to go through all your tools every now and then to get them into shape.I said before you laugh well what I do is flick on the 12 inch disc sander and lightly but carefully touch up the tips of my tools.It’s straight back to turning in less than ten seconds with no overheating and expensive jiggery used at all and a perfect edge often but light is the motto.Just as you would be foolish to save a few pennies to labour away with an old sanding disc when changing is what is required for best results ,if you touch up often and lightly you will never lose shape and always be razor sharp. Once you get the hang of what sharpening is about you will soon disregard the jigs entirely IMHO Alistair

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

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