Outboard Honing Wheel

by Allen Neighbors

hand/honing wheel on the Oneway

I started with two 8½" disks of ¾" MDF, screwed/glued together. I then bored a 1¼" hole through center, and threaded it onto the outboard spindle. The spindle made its own threads…not deep, but deep enough to hold it while turning and honing.

profile detail

The outside disk is turned down to fit the “U” flute on my Thompson ½" bowl gouge. The inside disk is turned to fit the “U” flute on my 58" Thompson. Just turn it…and when you first get it close (you want it taller than the depth of the flute), stop the rotation and try the gouge on it sitting still.

The gouge shoulders should mark it for you, then cut it down slightly again. Turn it down until you can just rock the flute side to side on the bead slightly. Once I got it to fit the flute in that manner, I melted the rouge on it.

When I hone it, I put flute on the bead with the cutting edge out a bit from the bead, then, while rocking the tool shaft, ease the tool back just til the rouge begins to curl over the edge…you're done. Walk away. Too much, and you'll dull it instead of hone it.

You should be able to make a sleeve that would fit over your handwheel. Maybe making the inboard side of the sleeve some sort of rabbet, and using a slight bead of silicone caulk on the inboard edge, just so it will sort of “pop” on and off. I would think it would need to be at least an inch or more thick, to give you plenty of room to turn the beads and still have a little beef to it. Go for it!

I charged the wheel with black emery rouge, and melted it in with a torch. Now all I do is re-charge it once in a while, and it works well honing the inside of the cutting edge. The Thompson gouges are so hard, they don't dull very quick, so I don't have to hone very much!

And the Subsequent Discussion…

John Lucas: That's really cool Allen. Unfortunately I use my handwheel a lot so I would miss it terribly if I added the honing attachmnent.

Jennifer Shirley: Me too John. I love the idea but it would be more a nuisance for me I think. I've been wanting to make one that fits on a face plate for my carving gouges. Jen

Jorge Castaneda: That is the way to go Jen, I could not turn without my handwheel. The local high school shop teacher here has used one for years, and charges it with rouge. He has several to fit different profiles, both convex and concave For honing he uses an old lathe that does not get used for turning anymore. If you have a mini, it could reside there while you are engaged with the General.

Bob Fawcett: Thanks for posting the pic, Allen. I think this is a really cool idea. Did you have any secret for shaping the hones to match the groove of your gouges? I wonder if I could make one that fits over my existing hand wheel with just a friction fit that could be easily removed when I want to use the hand wheel. Hmmmmm.

Doug Thompson near Cleveland : Allen might have a different way to do it but rough turn the MDF to a close shape then hold the tool with both hands under the wheel and push the flute into the wheel. The MDF will form to the flute shape then add compound to the wheel. Do this for each flute shape including spindle/detail gouges. It's ok if the steel gets warm but don't burn your hands.

Allen Neighbors: Right you are Doug…we're doing close to the same thing.

Bob Fawcett: Thanks Allen and Doug After I posted the question I was thinking about how I might do this and came up with almost the same thing. Hadn't thought about using it, but now that I do, I realize that the wheel will be turning toward me if put the gouge on the top of the wheel, so easing into would be required. Or I suppose you could put the gouge under the wheel.

Allen Neighbors: Bob, I reverse the lathe to hone. Don't you have a PM3520?

Bob Fawcett: Yes, And of course I could reverse it as well. Duhhhh.

Doug Thompson near Cleveland : I would hone under the wheel because you can see what's happening. The steel is amazing for one reason…no shortcuts.

. . . Allen Neighbors

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