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Thread: Skew sharpening

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Shikyo

    Default Skew sharpening

    I want to power sharp or strop skew chisels.
    I can free hand grind their curved blades good enough with a continuous single bevel to shave my arm hairs, however,
    I want to give them perfect edges. I don't think I can sharp them on wet stones to give them single beveled curved edges.
    My birthday is coming soon, so I think this could be my chance to upgrade my power tool
    collections. I put a Tormek T-7 in my list, however, I am thinking that spending $700 for a leather stropping wheel isn't clever move. I have a Makita horizontal wet grinder, however, I haven't used that much because of too much of hassle.
    What do you use or do you use skews directly from grinders?

  2. #2
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    Feb 2006
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    Bill

    Default Re: Skew sharpening

    Diamond hone similar to: http://www.busybeetools.com/products...E-4PC-SET.html

    Lee Valley and others have them too. Works nicely with a tools sharpened on a grinder because it creates a hollow ground surface so you are not having to file away the material in the centre of the grind. Also handy for touching up gouges as well.

    billh

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Freelton, ON
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    721

    Default Re: Skew sharpening

    I like to sharpen my skews using an ordinary portable belt sander with a 120 belt. I mount it updside down in a B&D workmate on about a 45degree angle and put a slighly convex grind on them. Makes them far less aggressive and easier to control. I then hand hone on some 400 paper glued to a smaple piece of granite I got from a kitchen counter shop when we were putting in a new kitchen. I only sharpen on a belt rarely and hone often.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default

    Grinder -> stones
    If a man speaks in the forest, and there's no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Default Re: Skew sharpening

    I am picking up a Veritas MK 11 at LV this week......I looked at all machines available and decided on this one...hope to get my money's worth out of it.....Took all my Christmas, birthday and fathers day gift cards!!!!!!!! J
    Don't do anything that you're not prepared to explain to a paramedic

  6. #6
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    Shikyo

    Default Re: Skew sharpening

    Thank you.
    As billh said, I got a diamond thing from LV yesterday. I am wondering if I should have got one from BB, since BB's ones are much cheaper. The double sided one I got was $38 and is a US made, however I am not sure it is 10 times better than one from BB. Since I also found two 4" hard felt wheels in things came with the Nova 3000 which I bought the last year, I also bought a green compound from LV.
    I now have two things to try this weekend.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Skew sharpening

    I just sharpen on the grinder and take it straight from the grinder to the lathe. Sometimes I'll use a diamond hone for a quick touch up if the grinder is not set up to sharpen the skew but that's about it. It works well enough and I'd rather spend time turning then fine tuning an edge that's only going to get dulled quickly anyway.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Skew sharpening

    For my budget that is pretty pricey. I do hone but not for $700.
    If you can pickup a used grinder or even a decent low end one (like the WoodCraft one that runs about $100) and make your own hone.
    Glue up good quality MDF and turn to diameter on the lathe. I would use a section of old leather belt to glue to the edge but it is not necessary. Charge with your preference of material, I use jewelers rogue. I also have a cotton wheel charged with rogue.

    The grinder must turn in reverse or you have to work from the backside.
    On my grinding table I also have a Cratex wheel and have been using the same wheel since the 1980ís with very little wear. They can be over $100 themselves but to me they are worth it. The diameter should match your grinding wheel. Pull up a wire edge with the Cratex, hone it off with the jewelers rogue, and you are ready to shave.

    There are lots of plans on the net for building an mdf hone so you could have a Cratex on one end and an mdf hone on the other. They both must turn in reverse.

    http://www.abrasivestore.com/products/cratex/large_wheels.php
    Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Skew sharpening

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    I just sharpen on the grinder and take it straight from the grinder to the lathe. Sometimes I'll use a diamond hone for a quick touch up if the grinder is not set up to sharpen the skew but that's about it. It works well enough and I'd rather spend time turning then fine tuning an edge that's only going to get dulled quickly anyway.
    It is interesting that a lot of us will preach that honing a bowl gouge is a waste of time because the ultra-sharp component of the edge is worn away in a few revolutions yet we are happy to hone skews.

    billh

  10. #10
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    Shikyo

    Default Re: Skew sharpening

    Thank you, Chris
    Do you use the Cratex wheel for grinding gouges?

  11. #11
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    Default

    I have a slow speed 8" grinder. I use an 80 grit grey wheel on one side and have a 120 grit blue wheel on the other side. Pretty much all of my lathe tools get sharpened on the blue wheel unless I'm changing the grind or doing something else that requires the more agressive wheel.

    Sent from my HTC Vision using Tapatalk 2

  12. #12

    Default Re: Skew sharpening

    Concerning the Cratex wheel. I purchased it when I was only doing flat work and all tools were honed. It is a rubberized wheel and must be run in reverse but it can not be used for grinding. I do grind my gouges but since the same jig fits with the Cratex I also hone. I do not grind and then hone, I grind once and when dull I hone because it is just as quick. I may hone 20-30 times or more before I go back to the grinding wheel.
    I really donít think honing the gouges help but then again it doesnít hurt and no more time is expended.
    I do hone the skew because I am using it for the very best finish or clean cut.
    I do have a smaller (about 3Ē I think) with an arbor (1/4Ē bolt) that I chuck in the drill press. The skew can be honed there by laying it on the outside rather than the edge.
    Except for the smaller one, I would not suggest one except just for a skew. I brought it up instead of making a honing wheel which has to be charged.
    Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Skew sharpening

    Thank you, NCPaladin
    Which grid of the Cratex wheel do you use?
    I tried the diamond file from LV. It works very well. I also tried the green compound from LV and found it also works.
    I don't know which grid of wheel I have on my grinder, however, I think it will take too long to hone grinder sharpened skews with the compound alone. It could be the 4" felt wheel is too small for the the turning speed of my lathe. I have the belt at the middle position on the Oneway 2436.
    If the setup becomes too troublesome, I know I won't use my honing devices. I want to keep them very simple.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Skew sharpening

    [QUOTE=billh;414997]It is interesting that a lot of us will preach that honing a bowl gouge is a waste of time because the ultra-sharp component of the edge is worn away in a few revolutions yet we are happy to hone skews.

    I think it has something to do with the difficulty of sharpening a skew and the fact that the skew is not used by most of us except for a short time in most projects. The type of cut is quite different and the raw edge off a grinder can be very catchy and aggressive with a skew. I would say some of the difficulty of learning to use the skew is related to the results of grinding. Try a convex grind on a skew and you will find quite a difference. A disk with 120 paper on it mounted on the lathe can be used to achieve that grind. If you are doing a finishing cut with a gouge, whether bowl or spindle, a honed edge can be quite usefull and a couple of quick swipes with a diamond hone is faster than going to the grinder and setting up a jig etc. The same is true for the skew. I have gone months between grinds on my 1/2" oval skew. When hogging wood with a gouge, honing is a waste of time.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Skew sharpening

    Sorry for the confusion, I mixed woodworking terms with woodturning terms.
    After 3-4 years I have begun referring to stropping as honing as most how-to guides for turners call the stropping wheels honers.

    For honing I use the Cratex or a diamond plate (fine grit). For stropping I use a wheel charged with jewelers rouge.

    Shikyo, you are correct that you canít really go from the grinder to the stropper. Sorry I misstated the terminology. The diamond plate you use should work just fine for honing. I have one in my shirt pocket for a quick freshen up at the lathe. I am not familiar with the green compound but I assume it is close to the rouge I use for stropping.

    Mike B.ís comments about the difficulty of honing a skew are why I just stay with a straight edge (not radius) and flat steel (not oval). I havenít tried the convex and compared to a concave grind.
    Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.

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