Sharpening carbide turning tools

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Forum topic by Porchfish posted 10-24-2017 02:14 PM 654 views 1 time favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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862 posts in 3306 days

10-24-2017 02:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sharpening carbide polishing quartz beryl topaz garnet etc etc lathe

Hello friends,
I may have mentioned before that I enjoy adding gemstones and minerals to my turnings to add color and interest and fill bad cracks and accentuate natural wood defects. What I have failed to mention is that I have been using diamond hook & loop polishing discs to level off and polish minerals and gem stones . The most reliable source I have found for the 1 1/2” discs is MSC Industrial Supply. The discs are available from 60 grit through 400 grit (diamond equivalencies seem to be finer cutting action and are not exactly equivalent to traditional sanding mediums). Now what I also failed to mention is that these marvelous little discs polish and sharpen carbide cutters used in several brand named carbide insert turning tools. I find the 200 grit perfect for my liking. You simply attach to your hook & loop holder, apply extremely lightly to the top surface of the cutting insert (while it is still in the tool) till it is clean and shiny. loosen the screw and “CAREFULLY” rotate the carbide cutting head 180 degrees and repeat. If you insist on running your finger along the edge to test for sharpness, have your band-aid out and ready for application. I have been using my diamond discs on my carbide tool inserts for 2 years now…saved some $$$ and lots of time rotating and replacing cutting inserts….just remember….light touch with the diamond disc….goodon’ya

Don S. Havana Fl (PorchFish Studio)

-- The pig caught under the fence is always the one doing all the squealing !

1 reply so far

View recycle1943's profile


4493 posts in 2396 days

#1 posted 10-24-2017 03:04 PM

I’ve been using DMT Diamond folding sharpers on the tool steel cutters on my RM sine I got the RM. Hard to believe but according to the factory rep I wore one out and he gave me a new one, said he never saw one wear out before. I told him I had made a couple hundred bowls on the RM and I had used a lot of plywood in some of them. Plywood WILL eat the edge on the cutter after just one bowl, consequently I was sharpening evey bowl and sometimes in between rings.
Regarding the carbide bit on my lathe tool – (notice the singular ?) I use it for cutting glue squeeze out on the inside bottom of the bowls. That takes 3 or 4 seconds so the bit should last quite a while, it has for 2 years so far anyway. I have notice that it doesn’t seem to have the same effect as new so I’ll probably ‘rub’ it a little on my folding sharpener and see what happens.
just to be sure, I rub the flat top surface and not the beveled edge ?

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

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