Sharpening Wood Lathe Tools

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Sharpening wood lathe tools only requires a slow-speed wet grinder and a jig to support the tools during sharpening, and each tool is sharpened according to its shape. learn to keep tools clean and sharp with information from a woodworking craftsman in this free video on wood crafts.

Part of the Video Series: Wood Lathe Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dave Trull with the Trull Gallery, a custom furniture shop in St. Petersburg, Florida. I'm going to talk to you today about sharpening lathe tools. The setup I have here is pretty basic. I use a slow speed grinder. It runs cooler than a standard bench grinder, and it's better for your tools. I have a jig that allows me to support my tools while sharpening them. And, really, that's about the only preparation there is. And it's a very simple thing to set up my jig. I bring my tool into the jig, bring it up against the stone. Make sure I'm maintaining the same angle that it had on the factory, so the length is correct. And then it's just a simple matter of turning the grinder on and cleaning up my edge. This machine is also not just a slow speed, but it's a wet grinder, which also helps in keeping the tool nice and cool. So all's I'm going to do in this case, because I've got a gouge, which is a rounded tool, is I'm going to bring it in to the stone, and just slowly rock it from side to side. Now you don't need to spend a lot of time sharpening your tools. You don't want them razor sharp like you do your bench chisels, because they get that very brittle edge, which on a lathe would dull very quickly. So you just want a nice, crisp edge on your tools. And sometimes, as you're sharpening, you'll get a slight burr on the inside, which is not uncommon. You can either clean that up with a slip stone, or if you don't have a slip stone, something as simple as a matching diameter. In this case I frequently use my chisels, and wrap it with some six hundred grit sandpaper, and just a couple of swipes on the back or in the groove will knock that burr off, and now we're ready to go. Okay, so that's the basics of sharpening turning tools for your wood lathe. I'm Dave Trull with the Trull Gallery, the fine art of furniture making.


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