tool sharpening quest.

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Forum topic by Mark posted 02-19-2014 10:47 PM 956 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mark's profile


919 posts in 2001 days

02-19-2014 10:47 PM

If you were turning a 10”D x 6” bowl blank. Green (less than 5 month in the shed) Cherry. and you were using a MaxWood or similar (not that great) 1/2” bowl gouge. How often would you expect to re sharpen your gouge? I ‘m using a DIY jig kinda like “The Captain” uses. I guess it’s not the greatest steel going, but I seem to be at the grinder every 10 min. Does this sound about right? Thanks.

-- Mark

5 replies so far

View TerryDowning's profile


1077 posts in 2144 days

#1 posted 02-19-2014 11:42 PM

I’m not familiar with the MaxWood tools if it’s a HSS tool I would expect to three or four sharpenings.

First before doing the outside of the bowl
Second touch up before doing the inside of the bowl
third touch up the edge before final cuts
Possibly a fourth touch up (inside and outside during final cuts)

Cherry is prone to tear out and your tools need to be very sharp for the final cuts. Take light shearing cuts for the final cuts as well.

My touch ups usually just involve going over the edge with a small diamond file or credit card size diamond sharpener. I try to resist power sharpening of my lathe tools unless I really need to put a new bevel on the tool.

-- - Terry

View JollyGreen67's profile


1676 posts in 2789 days

#2 posted 02-20-2014 01:49 AM

Who, or what, is MaxWood?

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected !

View TheDane's profile


5441 posts in 3689 days

#3 posted 02-20-2014 04:27 AM

Mark—I assume you are using a jig like Eddie Castelin’s. If you followed his plan, the jig should be just fine. I had one of his systems for a year or so, and was very happy with the results.

I assume the ‘Maxwood’ tools are those sold by KMS?

As for how often you should have to sharpen … that is largely determined by the wood you are cutting, the sharpness you start with, and the way you use the tool. Terry is spot on … light, shearing cuts will get you the best results in cherry.

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

View mpax356's profile


72 posts in 2518 days

#4 posted 02-21-2014 03:41 AM

You don’t wait until the tool is dull to sharpen but sharpen so you get the best cut possible. I would think with green wood, sharpening before you do the outside and again before you do the inside would be plenty.

-- MPax, Atlanta

View moke's profile


1182 posts in 2802 days

#5 posted 02-21-2014 01:50 PM

Very often I use a small diamond sharpener and “hone” the edge….an older accomplished turner told me he had always followed the rule of sharpen once…hone twice. I do not know if that is always true, especially if you let the tool get too dull. But I often stop, hone the edge and go back at it. Honing itself is an art, but certainly easier than sharpening is.

-- Mike

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