Hard Wool vs. Paper Buffing Wheel

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Forum topic by woodworksbyjohn posted 12-05-2015 03:52 PM 1585 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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89 posts in 3662 days

12-05-2015 03:52 PM

Topic tags/keywords: carving sharpening hard wool wheel hard felt wheel paper wheel honing

As many other carvers, honing gouges and chisels can be problematic!! I read that using a buffing wheel to hone can cause rounded edges. Just looking for opinions based on your experiences as to which is better—a hard wool or paper wheel. I’ve used paper wheel but wonder if it’s too aggressive? Working on my Christmas wish list so need your advice! Thanks in advance

-- John Visit my Blog:

6 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3941 days

#1 posted 12-05-2015 06:51 PM

I prefer leather.
The rounding of edges is a function of pressure applied to a certain extent.

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1123 posts in 4096 days

#2 posted 12-12-2015 11:22 PM

I have two mind for sharpening… there is for precise joinery and then there is sharp for carving. IF I am doing my paring chisels I use every method I can for flatness, but carving…. all it needs to be is sharp and the shape you need for the task, but then learning how you like to find tune your carving tools is, in MHO, as same learning how to be patient and slow for that nice prefect slice against the woodgrain. I prefer sand paper on glass for flat, on paper on carpet for curved edges… aluminum oxide powder on leather for polishing.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

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89 posts in 3662 days

#3 posted 12-13-2015 12:28 AM

Thanks for both of your replies. Looked at your gallery EP and your projects testify that you know what you’re talking about. I’m getting all sorts of advice and now it’s time to apply it and find what works best for me. A good friend once said that if you ask 12 woodworkers the same exact question you’ll get 13 different answers!

-- John Visit my Blog:

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#4 posted 12-13-2015 05:26 AM

First I’ve heard of using aluminum oxide on leather for stropping. Good to know, thanks EP!

View mpounders's profile


983 posts in 3866 days

#5 posted 12-17-2015 02:37 PM

I use the Burke sharpening system, which has wheels with sandpaper, leather, and a cloth buffing wheel. I use the sandpaper for shaping or repairing an edge and the leather wheel with honing compound for sharpening gouges and knives. The cloth buffing wheel polishes and removes excess compound from knives and the outside of gouges. But it is also used to remove the wire edge formed on the inside of the gouges and V-tools, by holding the tool upside down on the rotating wheel. A lot of professional carvers use this system because it is fast and gives great results. Primarily it is quicker than sharpening by hand, especially if you have a lot of tools to sharpen!

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

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89 posts in 3662 days

#6 posted 12-17-2015 02:44 PM

Thanks for the info Mike. Checked out his website and his lowest priced system is under $300.00—- really not out of line. May be too late to put on my Christmas list but …........ who knows!

-- John Visit my Blog:

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