Sharpening Woodturning Tools

Keeping in mind that a dull tool is not only ineffective but dangerous as well, sharpening is an important part of woodturning. You cannot "send your tools out" to be sharpened... you sharpen/hone as you go. It is not uncommon to re-sharpen (hone) your tools a half-dozen times or more as you work on a project. 

However, these are not carving tools, and do not require a highly polished and honed cutting surface. Remember, we have a motor driving the wood into/along the tool edge, and are not relying on muscle power.

That said, turning tools are best sharpened on either a belt or a wheel. If you use a wheel, remember that the larger the wheel diameter, the better for the tool. 8-inch wheels are good, 6-inch wheels are much less so. So turners sharpen on a belt... this is O.K. Some turners (I call them "old-school") learned to sharpen by hand and are very good at it; this is difficult for the beginning hobbiest turner to master, which is why jigs were developed and are recommend.

woodturning sharpening

There are a number of schools of thought when it comes to the grit (coarseness) of your sharpening wheels, as well as the composition of the matrix (identified by color: gray, blue, white, pink, green). Good results are obtained with 120-grit 8-inch pink or blue wheels. Gray wheels are for lawn mower blades and shovels; green wheels are for carbide tools only.

Remember....

Woodturning is the most fun you can possibly have with your clothes on and not get arrested (usually)!

Capt. Jack Wayne

woodturning classes

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