LumberJocks

How sharp for a turning tool?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodturning forum

Forum topic by Bill Berklich posted 05-03-2020 08:16 PM 736 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

1179 posts in 1448 days


05-03-2020 08:16 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Ok … How sharp do you sharpen a turning tool? I’m spinning some American Elm and getting treat out in spots. I assume it’s because I need to sharpen? Also tried some cedar ugh!! But they feel sharp. Not as sharp as my chisels but way sharper than my mower blade ;-) or axe. So how do you know/tell?

-- Bill - Rochester MI


11 replies so far

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

17334 posts in 2198 days


#1 posted 05-03-2020 08:37 PM

What kind of tool Bill? Gouge or skew or something else?

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

2954 posts in 3195 days


#2 posted 05-03-2020 08:37 PM

To keep my gouges sharp takes me few seconds so if see not cutting cleanly or forcing the cut it’s back to the grinder.
Lately been using a diamond card to tough up edges on my skews.

-- Bill

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

1179 posts in 1448 days


#3 posted 05-03-2020 10:54 PM

Yes, all of them. except my roughing gouge. And I am forcing them and not cutting clean – SO… sounds like it’s just that I need to hit the sharpening wheel.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

8522 posts in 3259 days


#4 posted 05-03-2020 10:59 PM

When I stop getting either chips or streamers (depends on the wood) and instead start producing fine dust, it’s time to hit the belt sander. Only takes a second.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

1774 posts in 2790 days


#5 posted 05-03-2020 11:13 PM

When you start a new turning, you tool of choice should be freshly sharpened. When you feel any bounce, resistance, of have to put more effort into your cut, stop and sharpen your tool…......... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

17334 posts in 2198 days


#6 posted 05-03-2020 11:21 PM

What they said Bill. Sounds like you’re not quite sharp enough. Softer woods like Cedar can be really hard to turn cleanly in any case. I usually find I get better results with gouges in soft woods if I grind the bevel a little shallower so my angle presents at more of a shear cut. Only takes a minute to change the angle on the grinder and another minute to grind it back where it started.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2776 posts in 3049 days


#7 posted 05-04-2020 10:59 PM

And then there is what grit do you sharpen with? Hone off the burr with what grit hone? It goes on…put a new edge on the tool before a finish pass, that helps tell you whether its the edge or not. Some wood is difficult to cut clean in some areas. When in doubt freshen the edge. Experience will eventually show you.

View LesB's profile

LesB

2959 posts in 4503 days


#8 posted 05-05-2020 04:31 PM

Another factor in getting clean cuts is the speed of you lathe. As a general rule faster speeds produce cleaner cuts. Factor in the actual surface speed of the wood. For example a 8” turning (approx 25” circumference) at 1500rpm will have a faster surface speed than a 3” blank with 9.5” circumference.
However when sanding slow down so the grit can cut into the wood; higher speed tends to “polish” the surface.

The softer the wood the more difficult it is to get a clean cut and the greater the tear out problem is. Tear outs usually occur on end grain. If you lathe is reversible I find I can clean up and remove most of the tear out by cutting in the reverse direction with a sharp scraper. I just sharpen my tools on a grinder with a 100 grit white stone which leaves a nice burr. If you want a finer burr you can use a fine sharpening stone across the top to flatten it then carefully curl it back with a burnishing tool. Similar to sharpening a cabinet scraper.

-- Les B, Oregon

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

702 posts in 2361 days


#9 posted 05-06-2020 12:29 AM

I haven’t turned much elm but I have cedar and it is always a problem to me. I almost always use a coat of 1/3 shellac and 2/3 DNA before the last few cuts to stiffen the fibers.
You said …” getting treat out in spots.”
Are the tear spot areas end grain? Are you cutting down hill to the grain if you are turning bowls, platters, etc.?

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

1179 posts in 1448 days


#10 posted 05-14-2020 12:17 AM

Ok I was just being lazy and my tools desperately needed sharpening. Now bowl gouge is peeling off beautiful curls and almost no tearout on dry cedar decking. Skew is sliding across Elm.

It took putting together a cart for my grinder and installing a Wolverine jig both of which I’ve had stashed for over a year.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

17334 posts in 2198 days


#11 posted 05-14-2020 12:41 AM

There ya go Bill!

I got a Wolverine (knockoff) jig for Christmas and installed it last month. I don’t feel like such a procrastinator now :-)

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com