How to Sharpen Wood Turning Tools How to Sharpen Wood Turning Tools

What You'll Need
Grinding bench
Leather strap
Protective gloves
Piece of scrap paper

In the event that you are keen on carpentry work, you are likely to have a large number of wood turning tools to help with the process. You will find that use of the tools will cause them to become dull over time, making it necessary to use the correct process to sharpen them.

Step 1 – Examination

The method necessary for sharpening wood turning tools will vary according to the type and size of the tool. Accordingly, you must begin by examining the tool to determine how best to sharpen it. In addition to its size, you should take into account the use of it and how dull it has become. Test the blade against a scrap piece of paper to test how easily it cuts. If any of the tools comprise any protective borders that will hinder the sharpening process, these will need to be removed. In the event that the tool has only a single beveled edge, ensure that you know which is the correct side.

Step 2 – Clean    

Debris on the blades of wood turning tools can cause scratches if they are left in place while it is being sharpened. To prevent this from occurring, it is necessary to clean the tools before undertaking any work. Carefully wipe the blade with a cloth that has been dampened with a little water and ensure it is dry once it has been cleaned.

Step 3 – Whetstone

For small wood turning tools or those that are not completely dull, a whetstone will be sufficient for use to sharpen them. This porous stone should be placed in a secure position before being soaked with water. It then becomes ready to use, which is done by pressing the beveled edge of the tool to the surface. Wearing protective gloves, keep your hands to the top surface of the tool and move it in a circular motion over the whetstone. Ensure that you move the tool to cover the entire blade and flip it over to do the same on the other side, if necessary.     

Step 4 – Bench

When using a grinding bench to sharpen wood turning tools, prepare by putting on overalls, gloves and goggles to protect yourself while working. If it is not already in place, carefully fit the sharpening wheel into place. Allow the wheel to reach its full speed before beginning. Hold the tool firmly before pressing the beveled edge against the wheel. Ensure that it is at the correct angle to sharpen it effectively and slowly move the blade to ensure it is all covered. Periodically check it on a piece of paper as a guide to your progress.

Step 5 – Finish

The process of sharpening tools may result in a rough edge even though it is sharp. This can be rectified with the use of a leather strap as running the tool back and forth along the strap will smooth out any roughness.

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