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L Town Graphics 05-04-2014 07:16 AM

Routing hardwoods?
5 Attachment(s)
Hey guys! I was wondering how many of you do any routing with hardwoods? I have recently started making turkey call pots on my lathe and noticed some of the harder woods (purpleheart, maple, and oak specifically) take forever to turn the inside of the pot. I'm sure some of this problem is due to my gouges not maintaining a sharpe edge (my set was purchased from harbor freight). Any opinions would be appreciated. I'm more or less trying to determine which way is more time efficient. Attached is a pot made of cherry wood, glass over aluminum with my logo.

Cherryville Chuck 05-04-2014 10:33 AM

Higher quality tools should hold an edge longer. The harder the wood the slower it will machine as the resistance to the tool will increase with the added density. That is a fact of life.

What do you use to sharpen with? Maybe there are some improvements to made there too.

L Town Graphics 05-04-2014 12:34 PM

5 Attachment(s)
A hand file, I don't own a grinder :-(

Cherryville Chuck 05-04-2014 01:00 PM

Even if you had a grinder you should use a special soft bond stone on it. A file won't give you that good of an edge. The final edge a grinder will give you isn't good enough either. I suggest you go to Lee Valley's website and look at the sharpening tools they have and especially read the descriptions of what they are meant to accomplish. A lot can be learned that way. Here are some of their products worth looking at.
Veritas® Honing Compound - Lee Valley Tools I use this with 2 felt wheels I have to hone to a final edge. One wheel is on a grinder, the other is on a drill mandrel. I think that one only cost me about $4.
Water Cones - Lee Valley Tools These are the traditional way of removing sharpening burrs on the inside of gouges, however, as you can see they are expensive. You can accomplish the same thing with the next link wrapped around a short length of hardware store doweling.
3M Micro-Abrasives for Sharpening - Lee Valley Tools These can take the place of diamond stones and honing compound on felt wheels.
Diamond Lapping Film - Lee Valley Tools One more option. The diamonds will last longer than silicon carbide and sharpen faster. The description and pictures are also helpful in learning what constitutes good sharpening practices.

In practice, you should only need to sharpen the main bevel occasionally. You would only need to hone the bevel in between. The file you are using will drastically shorten the life of the chisels you have which I guess is okay on a cheap set but you should look at replacing those with better ones, preferably after you have learned how to properly sharpen them. You don't necessarily need a full set of expensive chisels, one or two that you will use a lot may do it.

JOAT 05-04-2014 10:29 PM


Originally Posted by L Town Graphics (Post 381371)
A hand file, I don't own a grinder :-(

Don' need no steenkin' grinder. I had a set of the cheapest HF lathe tools for years. No problems with them at all. I sharpened them using a tip I got from the way I believe it was Maloof did his, or some big-time pro. I used a bench top belt sander to sharpen them. The theory is, the lathe chisels are continually changing angles, not like as plane blade. So, just sharpen them as close to factory angle as you can - which worked very well for me, even including turning some oak. The HF chisels didn't stay sharp for long periods of time, but it only took a few seconds to resharpen them on the belt sander. If I get another lathe, I will be sharpening the lathe chisels the exact same way.

DaninVan 05-05-2014 01:34 AM

Theo, +1
My sander is a Bosch that has a completely flat you can flip it on its back for using exactly as you describe. I don't even have the accessories shown; don't need 'em.
Bosch 1608030024, Sanding Stand for 1274DVS Belt Sander - 1608030024 BlackRock Tools

DaninVan 05-05-2014 01:37 AM

Oops! And that's a big 'oops'.
I make sure the dust bag is off, and all the fine sawdust is clear from the sander before I 'sand' metal. Not worried about explosions so much as a smouldering fire in the guts of the sander.

swarfmaker 05-05-2014 03:10 PM

Theo and Dan, what grit belt do you use for sharpening?

DaninVan 05-05-2014 05:05 PM

Ronald; for basic shaping, 100 or 120, then I switch to pretty much whatever my local auto parts guy has sitting on his shelf that'll fit my belt sander.
He carries a huge selection for the autobody guys, but not much in the 3X21 or 3x24 belt sizes... :(
I should actually give my jitterbug pneumatic sander a try...he's got wet/dry sheets in ultra fine grits. Worth a try?

DaninVan 05-05-2014 05:08 PM

Ronald; I should also have added that I use the belt sander regularly for taking the burrs off the ends of threaded rod after I've cut them to length (5" portable grinder with cut-off discs).

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