Shop Made honing Machine

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Project by Andrew posted 11-01-2009 05:30 PM 4699 views 5 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was communicating in a project from dbhost about this honing machine so I thought I would share it here. I got this motor (1/2 hp 1750rpm) from Metal Mike, a nieghbor, same guy who traded a working drll press for a broken band saw. I took 2 peices of MDF and glued them together, roughed a circle, about 10” diameter, then mounted it on my lathe. I turned it into a perfect circle, lathes are good at that. I then purchased a work arbor from woodcraft, I think $14. Mounted the MDF circle to the arbor and then charged it with white buffing compound. The wheel turns up and away from me, which is opposite from a grinder, but this is good for honing. I don’t have a tool rest so I have to freehand the tools, seems to work pretty good anyway. I am showing a menards Tool Shop chisel in the picture. I simply turn it on and hold the edge up to it so that the back of the edge is also against the wheel. I usually use 2 hands but, I needed to take a picture with one hand. When the “black mud” starts to roll over the top of the edge, it is sharp, very sharp and has a mirror finish. I use this to hone my Chefs Knives ( I can drop a tomato on it and have 2 peices) turning tools, chisels, planes irons, you name it. In the 4th picture I was trying to show the mirror finish and the prerequisite shaved arm hair, but you will need to take my word for it. I got this idea from an Alan Lacer video, Thanks Alan.

-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns

7 comments so far

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4614 days

#1 posted 11-01-2009 07:08 PM

That looks real good Andrew. I don’t have a reversible lathe, but it does have a swivel headstock. That means I could mount a wheel like yours on my lathe, swing it 180 degrees and then I would have it spinning away from me like yours. I will probably give it a try. Thanks for sharing this great idea.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Dusty56's profile


11866 posts in 4968 days

#2 posted 11-01-2009 08:00 PM

Nice thing about the MDF is that you can make different wheels to match the shape of your gouges , etc..I believe that Karson uses the MDF wheels as well.
I think that I have that same motor on my Jointer…it’s an OLD Rockwell Delta 6” jointer that the former owner mounted on a homemade stand.My motor isn’t from Delta however.
Thanks for posting this handy device.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Julian's profile


884 posts in 4805 days

#3 posted 11-01-2009 08:27 PM

I do the same thing using myl grinder. I just drilled a hole the size of the arbor and that was all I had to do. They work excellent at keeping a sharp edge without having to resort to resharpening.

-- Julian, Homewood, IL

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 4744 days

#4 posted 11-01-2009 10:42 PM

Does anyone have any problems with overheating? I went to softer grinder wheels but this looks like a real solution.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View RICH GRABLE's profile


35 posts in 4783 days

#5 posted 11-01-2009 10:54 PM

Hi great idea, I have several buffing machines, have tried some lathe tools on them and had bad results. Seems like it rounds them off to much. Please tell me what MDF is. THANKS


View LesB's profile


3134 posts in 4723 days

#6 posted 11-02-2009 01:24 AM

Thanks for the post.
It gave me a good idea. I could just cut a recess in the MDF to fit my lathe chuck. Then I could mount it on the lathe when ever I need it. The lathe already has a tool rest and with the variable speed would make it ideal for honing.
Also, How about using adhesive to stick some extra fine (600 to 1200) sandpaper on the sides? Then you could to a light touch up and hone in the same operation.
Also I’m running out of room for any more dedicated bench top tools like this one.

-- Les B, Oregon

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

557 posts in 4796 days

#7 posted 11-02-2009 04:23 AM

MDF stands for medium density fiberboard. Lowes and HD both carry it. In fact, I probably have enough scrap that you can make one of those out of.

-- jstegall

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