Many beginning woodturners and also some experienced ones are confused over the question of sharpening their tools, in particular wondering how sharp an instrument needs to be. rotary carving tool This is commonly further confused by the tendency for woodworkers never to restrict themselves to only one kind of woodworking. Quite simply a woodturner may find themselves at the wood lathe one hour and utilizing a hand plane or perhaps a wood chisel the next. Now the question becomes if the lathe tool must be as sharp as the hand tool. The answer may lie in taking into consideration the kind of wood and work each can do.
Hand planes were created for removing wood leaving as smooth as surface as possible. They move across boards which are progressively flatter and flatter and smoother and smoother and can leave a surface only as fine as the edge on their blade. In addition, they’re propelled with the motion of arms and hands and cover a fairly small area in a relatively large segment of time weighed against a wood lathe.
The wood that planes work with is normally fairly clear with few knots and irregularities. It has also been brought to a point of relative flatness and finish prior to the planes start their work. Hand planes are really the finish tools of the modern cabinet maker. As such they need a very fine edge that leaves a finished surface ready for fine sandpaper or perhaps a cabinet scraper.
Woodturning tools alternatively will be the roughing tolls of the woodturner and also the finishing tools. They will attack a rough piece of wood that could include bark filled with grit from felling on the woodland floor, all kinds of knots that add character to the finished piece as well as cross grain and bark inclusions within many burls. An excellent edge can last only seconds rather than minutes in such circumstances.
Furthermore, a wood lathe moves the material so quickly that the fine edge of a wood plane would dull very quickly beneath the friction of the movement. Rather a far more robust, thicker edge is needed. Instead of the edge from water stones and leather strops, the rougher edge from the grinding wheel is enough for the woodturner.
Grinders using eighty grit aluminum oxide wheels will leave an advantage that’s sufficiently strong and sharp enough to remove plenty of wood and last well. The top that is left out is ready for sanding or scraping. In fact, many spindle turners will use a skew chisel to leave a surface that won’t need any sanding or only that of papers higher than 2 hundred grit of finer. Some bowl turners use scrapers with an excellent edge to attain similar results.
The answer to the question of how sharp is sharp enough is really the sharpness that works for the various tools and the work accessible. It will vary for the tool used but the end results speak for themselves.
Darrell Feltmate is a juried wood turner whose site, Round the Woods, contains detailed information regarding wood turning for the novice or experienced turner as well as a collection of turnings for the viewing pleasure. You too can figure out how to turn wood, this is actually the place to start. Wondering what it appears like? There are numerous free videos on the website dealing with from sharpening to creating a bowl.
For full instruction in getting the tools sharp and specifically how to make a very inexpensive sharpening jig, have a look at making and utilizing the sharpening jig. Using only short time, some shop scraps and a couple of dollars you can make a jig that may perform like a hundred dollar tool and easily sharpen your wood lathe tools.