In the Shop > Wood Turning

best diamond wheel grit for woodturning

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blackhawk:
I am looking at purchasing one of the diamond wheels for my woodturning tools, mainly bowl gouges and scrapers.  I am leaning toward the coarse (360 grit) stone.  This is because my woodturning mentor uses CBN wheels on his 1750rpm bench grinder.  He uses a 220 grit CBN wheel for his final sharpening and his tools feel razor sharp off the 220 grit wheel.  He has tried higher grit CBN wheels, but likes the 220 grit.

Does anyone have any experience with the different diamond wheel grits for bowl gouges and scrapers?

AKMike:
Here is a tip from Glenn Lucas's July 2017 e-zine:

"The new Tormek diamond wheels go on sale this month. They are offering three wheels which are coarse 360 grit, fine 600 grit, and extra fine 1200 grit. Having tried and tested each of them, if I was to choose one for every day fine sharpening of my woodturning tools, it would be the 1200 grit. Make sure your jig settings are accurate so that you hit the right spot every time.

It achieves an incredible edge in seconds. I recommend using it with water and their anti-corrosion additive, this helps keep the wheel clean and prevent magnetic filings sticking to the tool edge. The wheels stay flat with no dressing and are a dream to use. I have been using the 600 grit for over one and a half years  with superb results and was keen to try the 1200 grit.  If you have to reshape your tools then an additional purchase of the coarse wheel would be a good idea. It is quite effective at material removal.

Make sure to read the instructions as there are some great tips how to easily prolong the life of your investment."

Glenn is a world class woodturner, and was a beta tester of the diamond wheels for Tormek. I tried to find a link to that e-zine, but couldn't find it.

Glenn's website: https://glennlucaswoodturning.com

Glenn is also a Tormek Friend: https://www.tormek.com/usa/en/about-tormek/tormek-friends/

Mike

Ken S:
Excellent post, Mike. I wonder if the common preference for stopping with a coarser wheel is a leftover from before diamond wheels became available. with uniform jig set up and faster cutting diamond wheels, sharpeningtimeis reduced. It is now easier to use sharper tools.

Ken

AKMike:
Given how quick it is to resharpen turning tools with the Tormek, and how little metal is removed from the tool,  both Glenn Lucas and Nick Agar recommend frequent touch ups, so the 1200 grit diamond wheel works great for that. If you let your tools get very dull, or you reshape your tools often, then you're going to need a coarser wheel. If you do reshape often, it's probably cheaper in the long run to buy a second tool.

Mike

blackhawk:
Mike - Do you use the 1200 grit diamond wheel?

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