Turning Archive 2007

What sharpening system to choose...

Stephen Gehres
>I've read what I could find about sharpening systems in the archives, but they were a bit dated and there are some new machines out now... So here's that $64,000 question again.

Currently I only have a 6" bench grinder with the cheap grey wheels. It looks like this will be of no use for turning tools. So, I guess I need to start from scratch on something that will work. It looks like my options are to get a complete Tormek or Jet slow water-cooled system, or a slow or VS 8" bench grinder along with a system of jigs such as the Wolverine. Which route will make the most sense over the long haul?

Here's a few items that I've been looking at:

- Until the end of this month, Hartville Tool has the complete Wolverine system (basic sys + vari-grind jig, skew jig, and dressing jig) for $199, INCLUDING three $20 DVDs for free (Turning Wood, Turning Boxes, & Turning Projects).

- PSI has a clone of the Wolverine complete system for $114, but it doesn't offer a dressing attachment.

- CSUSA offers the WoodCut and Kelton systems, but the Kelton doesn't offer a dressing attachment, and the Woodcut's doesn't look as precise as the Wolverine's.

- If I go the slow water route, the Jet system is $100 cheaper than the Tormek, and another $50 cheaper for the turning accessories. Are these two systems comparable?

- Rockler has the "Work Sharp Wood Tool Sharpener" (http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=17398) that is a flat platter type system for $200. It is 'air-cooled', not 'wet'. It doesn't say anything on their website about turning tools, but it is mentioned on Hartville's and the manufacturer's sites. Not to any detail though. Anyone know anything about this puppy?

- Rockler also has the "Delta Industrial Model 23-710 Sharpening Center" for $160 (http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=10087) which has a horizontal wet, and a vertical dry wheel. It DOES mention lathe tools, but doesn't say much about them. Comments?

- Woodcraft has the "WOODCRAFT Horizontal Wet Stone Grinder" for $95 (http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?FamilyID=4866&cs=4605). Again, it doesn't say anything about turning tools. Anyone?

- PSI has the "Slow Speed Wet/Dry Grinder w/ Accu-sharp grinding jig" for $200. It has both 10" wet, and 5" dry wheels. Again, nothing about turning tools. Comments?

- As for bench grinders. Would I prefer a VS or slow 1725 rpm unit? Or will the standard 3450 rpm unit do just as well.

Also, I've got the Beall 3-on buffing system (for the lathe) so I won't need the bench grinder to do double duty. Unless I use it for honing.

Oh, my pen turning tools have carbide tips (about 1" at end of each tool) so what do I do about them? There was no documentation with them (Benjamin's Best from PSI).



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