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Topics - RichColvin

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General Tormek Questions / SVM knife jigs with paper wheels
« on: October 03, 2018, 12:57:58 am »
So I’d like to use the SVM knife jigs with Steve Bottorff’s paper wheels.  Rather than trying to rig up something crazy, I’m thinking of a modified USB.  Here are my first thoughts.  Interested in feedback.

Kind regards,

Scissors Sharpening / Nice reference on why we do what we do
« on: September 05, 2018, 10:17:30 pm »
This is a very high scale, bespoke suit maker :

Knife Sharpening / Raspberry Pi ... and Ask of Wootz
« on: July 01, 2018, 11:54:39 pm »
A few months ago, I added a web browsing computer to my sharpening station.  I find it great to be able to quickly look things up and have the information right there where I'm sharpening.  I especially like being able to easily pull up the user manual from the Tormek site.

What makes this very affordable for anyone who wants to do so also is the Raspberry Pi.  You can see it in the picture below.  It's the little black box on the bottom right of the picture (to give you a concept of the size, that is a 17 inch display).  The Raspberry Pi is in a case which takes it up to a whopping 4.3 in x 2.9 in x 1.3 in.

The cost :
  • Raspberry Pi Kit - $75
  • Monitor adapter (HDMI to VGA) - $20
  • Used monitor - free
  • Used keyboard & mouse - free

So, now the ask of Wootz :  I like your idea of a sharpening method, and it would be great to run the program you developed on a Raspberry Pi.  The Raspberry Pi runs a version of Linux which is a derive of Debian.  Please let me know when I can buy it !

Kind regards,

Wood Turning / Thank you Stig
« on: May 15, 2018, 02:43:59 am »
About a year ago, Stig told me that I should not just sharpen my lathe tools on the SB / SG stone, but I should also hone them on the leather wheel.  He said that a number of professional turners do this and it speeds up the resharpening.

Well, that took a while to sink in, but it finally did :  in a different way though.

Yesterday, I turned a wooden vase from ash, and performed an experiment.  All my tools are already shaped correctly, so I sharpened them using only the SJ wheel.  This worked far better than I'd expected it would. 

The tools I sharpened are all high speed steel, and include :
  • Spindle Roughing Gouge
  • Skew
  • Bowl Gouges (multiple)
  • Scraper Blade

I am really happy with how it turned out, and my wife loves it.  So Stig, thank you.

With kind regards,

General Tormek Questions / Rust inhibitors discussion
« on: May 07, 2018, 04:26:06 am »
Really good discussion about rust inhibitors (e.g., Honerite) on this AAW forum thread :

Kind regards,

For those who want to read the wisdom from our elders, this book :

Turning and Mechanical Manipulation, Vol. III
Abrasive and Other Processes not Accomplished with Cutting Tools


Charles Holtzapffel

was published in 1850, and then updated by Charles' son, John Jacob Holtzapffel, in 1894.

Recently, it was digitized by Microsoft, and is available at :

There is some really good information about abrasives used in sharpening and honing that many might find interesting.  If nothing else, there are some really cool pictures like these :

  • Volumes 1 through 4 are available at that same site (to access them, change the volume number at the end of the web link above).
  • Volume 5 is considered the bible for ornamental turners, and it is not available via a digitized copy (though you can buy a Kindle copy). 
    • The Holtzappfels' contributions to that craft were so critical, that a whole host of information is published about that book alone.  Some really good information is at
    • They made beautiful machinery, and one is no longer considered the owner of the lathes they built :  merely the current care-taker.  That is assuming you can find one for sale, and can also afford it.  (The last one sold was in 2012 for $228,000 - ).
  • The Holtzappfels never finished Volume 6, but it was published in 2011 using gathered data by John Edwards, a British ornamental turner.

Just some fun for your day !

I'm just happy my Tormek doesn't have a treadle to drive the wheel !

Kind regards,

Knife Sharpening / What causes scratches when using the platform jig ?
« on: April 23, 2018, 04:35:12 pm »
I made a 2d platform jig using a plastic cutting board, and the knives I sharpened on it also get scratches half way up the side.  I’ve read how others have the same problem.  Anyone know what causes this, and how to prevent it ?


Knife Sharpening / SJ grindstone vs paper wheel
« on: April 14, 2018, 03:03:05 pm »
I’ve read thru Steve Bottorff’s information about using paper wheels, and I get it about the speed advantage.  But I am limited in bench space and am wondering about the effectiveness of that method vs. using the Japanese stone.  Do both achieve the same level of sharpness, just in different time requirements?


General Tormek Questions / Sharpening Metal Lathe Cutting Tools
« on: April 10, 2018, 03:20:38 am »
For a while now, I've wanted to have a way to sharpen my metal lathe cutting tools.  As I noted in my Sharpening Handbook (, these are not easy to sharpen in a normal manner.  In particular, the angles must be precise for best cutting action.

Shown below is what I've put together to achieve the level of accuracy desired.  It is a "sled" which rides atop the SVD-110 Tool Rest, mounted on a BGM-100.  I currently use it on a high speed grinder as even the black wheel (SB-250) is too slow for grinding the carbide tip.  But, with the new diamond wheels coming, it seems like I can move back to the Tormek.

This is the front (left) and the back (right)

The brown piece on the back is a piece of wood which rides across the SVD-110.  The black bar at the top rides on the SVD-110, opposite the wheel, along the back of the SVD-110.

The picture below shows it in use, sharpening a single point, cemented carbide tool on the high speed grinder.  You can also see the SVD-110 in the background (through the curved slot).

I still need to make an indicator of some sort for the hole over the protractor, and I don't have a milling machine, so it is a little rough looking.  But, I can tell you it works wonderfully !


Drill Bit Sharpening / DBS-22 & Japanese Grindstone
« on: March 25, 2018, 01:35:47 pm »
I had to sharpen a ¼ inch bit yesterday that I was using on a piece of ash, and the piece has no tolerance for tear out.  I sharpened the bit on the SB grindstone as usual, then finished the primary facets on the SJ grindstone.  (I didn’t worry about finishing the secondary facets as these are for chip evacuation, not cutting.)

This worked greatly !  Anyone else have similar experiences?  Has anyone seen differences with finishing the secondary facets also ?


By the way, this whole process took less than 5 mins !

General Tormek Questions / Diamond wheels vs grind stones
« on: March 06, 2018, 03:59:43 am »
I see the value for the DWC wheel immediately, especially for harder metals like HSS, & especially carbide. 
Questions for those wiser than I :   
  • What will be your criteria for choosing the DWF & DWE wheels ?
  • And how do you see the SJ stone fitting into that ?

And, what do you see as the process you will use ?
  • DWC for shaping & really hard metals ?
  • DWC -> DWF -> DWE ... -> SJ ?
  • DWC -> DWE -> SJ ?

Wood Turning / SVD-18x as a platform
« on: November 29, 2017, 12:57:37 pm »
I started this thread as a response to Ken's comments about the SVD-185/6 (#11 in, and also to trigger some discussion.   I think this jig has a huge number of untapped usages.

You may remember that I made a piece for the SVD-18x to sharpen fly cutter bits for my Rose Engine lathe (

In thinking about the SVD-18x jig recently, I think either the carbide blade sharpener or a custom insert could also be used to sharpen rotary cutter blades (as asked by AirplaneDoc in

Knife Sharpening / Someone slap me for being so dim witted
« on: November 23, 2017, 11:28:38 pm »
Today, I had to sharpen a few dozen knives in preparation for our Thanksgiving meal.  I was not looking to the myriad setups using the SVM jig, my Kenjig (I am a lucky owner of an original made by Ken himself), & and a ruler.  Especially as I sharpen on an SB stone and then add a micro bevel using an SJ stone.

So, I took a lesson from Jan's design ( and made a wooden piece for my SVD-110 Tool Rest.  It is a simple affair where the wood is simply screwed down to the Tool Rest.

After using this approach, I now realize that this is significantly easier than using the SVM jig-based approach.  Jan, I am sold on your approach.  I have only one question regarding your reply #137 :  how do you sharpen with the stone turning away from the blade?   When I tried this, the stone seemed to grab the blades and pull away from the rest.

With recognition of Jan's greater knowledge,

Wood Turning / Jig for Sharpening Rose Engine Fly Cutter
« on: October 16, 2017, 01:54:40 am »
I built a Rose Engine lathe for ornamental turning.  I am currently using it to make some shaving brushes.  A prototype of the shaving brush's handle is shown below :

The Rose Engine I've built uses a fly cutter.  These are made from 3/16" diameter rod, and are short.  Two of my cutters are shown below :

The fly cutter is mounted in a cutting frame (yes, I had to make that too).  The cutting frame and fly cutter are shown below :

I've been trying to think of a way to sharpen these.  To date, I've held them in a hand-held drill, and sharpened them by using the drill to rotate the cutter whilst running along the grindstone.  This leaves a lot to be desired in the way of accuracy and cleanliness of the cut.

I was going to build a variation on a goniostat, but this is a bit complicated, and is meant to sharpen the tool on a flat surface.  Adapting it to the Tormek would be difficult.

Today, I came upon this idea.  It is a two-piece jig that I made today on my metal lathe.  The pieces are shown below separated, and together :

The rod is ¾" diameter, hot-rolled steel, and the collar is aluminum.

The calculations used for sharpening the cutter are :

When the cutter is mounted in the jig and held against the wheel, this is how it looks :

The measured angle is exactly as needed, and this works wonderfully.

if you want more details, please contact me.


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