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Need advice on a better sharpening system (Read 347 times)
 
Jeff OQuinn
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Need advice on a better sharpening system
Feb 18th, 2018 at 7:32pm
 
I found the 8” HF grinder with the lamp for about $50 a month ago and gave it a shot.  I can manage to put a reasonable edge on roughing gouges, skew chisel, parting tool, but I am not having luck with the bowl gouge I have.  That grind is a problem and I just keep screwing it up worse and end up with an uneven edge and discolored metal.

It’s good to have a high speed grinder and I think I’ll keep it, it certainly does what it is supposed to do, just that I am trying to do something that is better served by using a different grinder.  Will probably get a buffing wheel for one side.

So I have read about 8” slow speed type and found the Rikon model is on sale for $99.  That seems a good price, what is everyone’s opinion on this one?  Anybody use it?

Opinions on the Wolverine Grinding jig system?  I like the Irish grind on my bowl gouge, will the Oneway VariGrind system be a good choice?

Any other systems to look into?

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Don Stephan
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Re: Need advice on a better sharpening system
Reply #1 - Feb 18th, 2018 at 8:35pm
 
A different grinder is capable of producing the same results, and the sharpening jig you mentioned will work I would think equally well with either grinder.

Join a local woodturning group and you'll find people happy to share information on all aspects of turning, including sharpening.  Some groups even offer workshops and/or classes on sharpening.
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Daniel Hayes
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Re: Need advice on a better sharpening system
Reply #2 - Feb 18th, 2018 at 10:01pm
 
Jeff, I am also a beginner here but will give you my thoughts.  I bought the Power Tech slow speed grinder which I believe is the exact same unit as the Rikon. I am pretty sure these are all made in the the same Chinese factory and they just put different name plates on them.  I also bought the Wolverine set up.  So now when I sharpen I get uneven edges and discolored metal........ I don't believe it is your equipment.  Sharpening is much harder than turning.  I am going to request a lesson from my woodturning club because no matter how many times you look at a youtube video, hands on training is better.  You do probably need one of the systems.  PSI has one similar to Wolverine for a bit cheaper.  I will probably end up with at least one CBN wheel but I will need to feel a bit more comfortable that I know what I am doing since results are technique oriented and not equipment/
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Jeff OQuinn
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Re: Need advice on a better sharpening system
Reply #3 - Feb 19th, 2018 at 12:06am
 
Thanks for the feedback, guys. 

I did go ahead and look for a local club.  I remember the one near me, Magnolia Woodturners, but thought it was sort of far away, but I was wrong, it’s only 45 minutes from me where they meet once a month.  I’m going to hit it in March.  Will ping them and see whats available to learn and talk of dues and such.

And thanks for the grinder info, to be honest, I was kinda liking the idea of making a buffer/polisher out of the one I have, but maybe it would be more prudent to see how it does with a jig first. 

Daniel, did you get the VariGrind system, or just the base Wolverine jig setup?
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Bill Moschler
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Re: Need advice on a better sharpening system
Reply #4 - Feb 19th, 2018 at 10:01am
 
I do not know what is the "best" but I do know that the slow speed grinder and the one way jig will produce good results on most tools.  I also think that if you are going to run the very hardest steel tolls that some of the small sellers are making now you will want a can wheel.  I so far have chosen to just put the one tool I bought that I cannot sharpen well away.  Eventually I will upgrade the wheels.
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« Last Edit: Feb 19th, 2018 at 10:06am by Bill Moschler »  
 
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Daniel Hayes
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Re: Need advice on a better sharpening system
Reply #5 - Feb 19th, 2018 at 10:11am
 
Jeff, I bought the Varigrind attachment also.  I can sharpen scrapers, roughing gouges, and parting tools just fine, it's the bowl gouges I have problems with.  I probably need to buy some really cheap tools and practice, practice, practice.
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robo_hippy
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Re: Need advice on a better sharpening system
Reply #6 - Feb 19th, 2018 at 10:26am
 
Most of us use the slow speed grinders, but high speed works. Biggest difference is that you need a very gentle touch with the high speed grinders or you loose a lot of metal without it going dull first. Burning can come from a dirty wheel, and/or too much pressure, and too long of time on the wheel. Even when I used gouge jigs, I would get uneven wings and nose shapes, and still do some what. I do all of my sharpening on a platform rather than the gouge jigs, so not much help there other than the Wolverine system is by far the most popular system out there.

That Rikon grinder is a fairly good deal, but for my tastes, it is a bit under powered, especially if you are using the steel CBN wheels. It is adequate for the aluminum wheels, but I prefer tools like this to be overbuilt. The 1 hp Rikon has plenty of power, and is an excellent deal for the money.

If you check with the club, odds are that they have members in your town or area, which might help with car pooling and mentoring.

I have several videos up on sharpening. There are links in the video section here, or type in robo hippy on You Tube.

robo hippy
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Ed Weber
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Re: Need advice on a better sharpening system
Reply #7 - Feb 19th, 2018 at 10:59am
 
For many, the slow speed grinder and a Wolverine setup is the "standard".
I've had one for years without issue. i have replaced my wheels with CBN but this isn't necessary, just better IMO.
The Slow speed is all you need, you have taken a "grinder" and turned it into a sharpening system. You are not removing great amount of metal, only regrinding the same basic shapes over and over.
The Wolverine system is simple and built pretty well, it will last many, many years. The ability to accurately repeat  your grinds  `using a jig based system is the main appeal. Being able to place your gouges in a jig and get identical results each time you use it is invaluable.
The vari-grind attachments are designed to be use for bowl and spindle gouges. You can change most all aspects of the grind easily.
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Don Stephan
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Re: Need advice on a better sharpening system
Reply #8 - Feb 19th, 2018 at 8:15pm
 
The gray wheels that come standard with most grinders are wrong for lathe tools, and are prone to cause overheating.  I can't quote the specifications for the proper grinding wheel but they are offered by Craft USA, Packard, and I expect other reputable woodturning catalogs.  As mentioned, the other option for grinding wheels is CBN, which it is reported will last a lifetime if not used on the wrong metals.  Second, composite (?) grinding wheels have to be cleaned regularly - buildup will cause them to run hot and burn tools.  Finally, too much pressure on the grinding wheel will cause them to run hot and burn tools.

A local woodturning group can help with all of this.  I also have a library of the Richard Raffan book/video combinations where this information can be found.
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