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Honing Woodturning Tools

I do a lot of turning with my gouges right from the grinding wheel, but there are times when I need to hone them to a more refined edge, especially my O1 tools specifically for my pole lathe. The treadle lathe works at a much higher speed and I use a lot of my high speed steel tools from my electric lathe here. Even then at 800-1000 rpm, the treadle lathe can benefit from a more refine edge.

I am careful to say “more refined” because I believe that a tool straight from the grinding wheel is sharp enough to use, it just won’t last as long as a gouge or chisel that has been honed and stropped to a mirror polish. Essentially the slightly frayed edge that the grinder creates is lessened and a more uniform edge is created at the zero radius point.

The great part about turning tools is that the longer handles actually make them easier to freehand hone. Because you can lock the handle back under your forearm and elbow you can brace the handle against your body and lock it in place so a file or diamond paddle can easily match the angle. That is what I show in the video below and I hope you find it helpful.

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