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Best methods and wheel for sharpening bowl gouges

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blackhawk:
Hello All - I am using the SVD-185 to sharpen my bowl gouges, then using the leather wheel.  My gouges are standard M2 steel (Robert Sorby).  It seems that I can't get a razor sharp edge.  I get a sharp edge for sure, but it seems less sharp than what my buddy gets on his 1750 rpm grinder with a CBN wheel.  To me, it almost seems like the leather honing wheel dulls the edge just a little by honing the outside.  I wonder if I should get the LA-120 profile leather wheel and only hone the inside?

I have graded my stone with the SP-650 which helped.  What stones work best with bowl gouges?

RichColvin:
Brad,

I recommend the SB grindstone as it works better for harder steels like HSS and especially for M2.  That is what I've used for many years and it works well.

I sharpen often, and usually only hone when making the final passes on the piece I'm turning. 

The leather wheel works OK, but I prefer a paper wheel on a high speed grinder and jeweler's rouge.  That works especially well for woods that are softer and take a find cut (like walnut, cherry, maple, etc.).  The process i follow is documented at this link :  https://www.sharpeninghandbook.info/Info-WoodLatheTools.html

Here is a diagram:

Last recommendation:  when you can, move to the SVD-186.  It is a really strong improvement from the SVD-185.  (Then you can dedicate your SVD-185 to the carbide bits used for hollowing.)

Good luck,
Rich

blackhawk:
Rich - Thanks for the reply, good info!  Do you use the LA-120 profile wheel at all for gouges?

AKMike:
I had the privilege of taking turning classes from Glenn Lucas and Nick Agar, both Tormek Friends https://www.tormek.com/usa/en/about-tormek/tormek-friends/. Glenn rarely honed his gouges and Nick regularly honed. The profile wheels are important to honing, since the burr is going to be inside the flute.

Mike

RichColvin:
Brad,

Mike brings up two good points :

* it is a real mixed bag on who hones often vs who does not, &
* there is probably value in at least a quick honing pass on the inside of the gouge.
I’ve not done any tests to see, but I would bet that there are some key variables at work here:

* how the tool was sharpened :  from the horizontal position with the grindstone turning away from the tool (my general preference), or the vertical position with the grindstone turning towards the stone,
* the type of metal (e.g., high carbon steel vs HSS like M4 or M42 ... and even more exotic options like powdered metal, cryogenic, or even nitrided metal), and
* the wood being turned (e.g., soft woods probably benefit from honing more than super hard woods)
My advice is this :  try honing vs. not.   Also try vertical vs. horizontal sharpening.  See which work best for you.

The real question is this : what gets you back to using the tool in a way that you will sharpen often?  Turning tools must be resharpened often, and your sharpening practice must facilitate that.  Otherwise, you will end up using a tool too long between sharpenings.

Let us know what you find out.

Kind regards,
Rich

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