I am a new woodturner and also a woodworker and I am in the market for a
HF has these 2 products on sale:
a combo wet/dry grinder for $59
and a 8" dry grinder with a lamp (8" version of this one) for $49
What do you think is the most usefull? the wet grinder seems a better deal as the large wet store can be really usefull and is usually a finer grit than dry stones... but looking at various websites, it looks like most people use only dry grinders...
You are getting into some pretty personal preferences that you will
understand as you start grinding. And the differences of opinion
stretch from the most experienced pros to the newest turner.
Take in the opinions, make the decision that suits you.
I would not buy either of the grinders that you list from HF. Nothing
wrong with them, but for me I really prefer sharpening my HSS tools on
a friable ceramic wheel. These wheels cost more money than the hard
wheels (gray), and they are worth it to me. You can usually tell
friable wheels as they are white, pink, green, blue, etc. The only one
that I know that has a slow speed grinder that comes with friable
wheels is Woodcraft, and theirs is on sale frequently for under $100.
Just being nosy, I looked at the WC site, and it is now less than $100
when not on sale.
I like the 8" wheels as they give less of a hollow grind on the chisels. Obviously after a lot of wear, that is a moot point. But I have * wheels that have been properly cared for and they are doing fine with a diameter loss of only about 3/4" in a few years. I also found I like the bigger, heavier grinder as I use it for other things besides sharpening lathe tools, and I discovered that for me it was easier to work my homemade jigs aound the 8" wheels.
However, we have a couple of guys in our club that love the 6"
grinders. They are used to them and they like the more hollowed grind.
The touch up the tools with a diamond file between trips to the
grinder and the hollow grind makes it easier. I have tried it; it's
true. They also have Wolverine systems and they can put an edge and a
half on just about anything.
Some like high speed grinders (3450 rpms) and some like slower (1750
rpms or so) and the reasons are wild and varied. Some do strop, hone,
polish and all manner of other things after sharpening, but think most
of us go grind the tools first, then straight to the lathe. Another
reason good wheels are important.
One thing for sure that I agree with Darrell on, and that is no wet
grinders around the wood shop. Unless you keep it covered, I don't
know how you would keep wheels and water clean enough to use. I have
no dust collection on my lathe, and when I sand soft woods it soon
looks as if I am standing in fog there is so much in the air. Seems
that would clog a system wheels pretty quick.
Good luck on your purchase!
I use a stationary belt sander. That might be why no one likes me. ;-)
I think I saw a pretty nice grinding jig on either Darrell's web page or
on CharlieB's website. Couple hours, couple bucks, a cheap grinder and
you're good to go. The white or pink stones ARE very nice. You'll find
them where machinists shop.
what we always used in a high school woodwork shop was the 8" dry
grinder. That will work for chisels, plane blades and your lathe tools.
You then need a set of oilstones for final sharpening and resharpening.
We usually got about 5 sharpenings on the stones before regrinding.
If you are doing lathe work with the scraping method the dry grinder
will put a burr on with only one or two passes.
A large wetstone however , in my opinion , will get you a much nicer
edge with less work .
It also has the benefit that you have to work to overheat the steel and
ruin the metals temper.
This may be true for the carbon steel tools we used in shop or trade
school (dating myself). Today most lathe chisels/tools are made of HSS
and don't really need to be stoned (honed) after grinding. The skew
chisel may be the exception. I usually hone the skew after I grind it
and then hone it periodically while in use (touch it up with a small
handheld diamond hone). All other chisels, gouges, scrapers (I don't
really have scrapers, honest) etc. have an adequate edge off the grinder.
When I feel they are not cutting as they should, I step to the grinder
and touch them up (takes 10-30 seconds). I use a soft or friable (sp?)
wheel on an eight inch grinder. Very little metal is removed when
touching up. I was/am using a Wolverine grinding jig and recommend it for
any turner that doesn't have much grinding experience. I tend to free
hand grind now (just like in trade school). So, get an 8" grinder with a
soft wheel (60-100 grit) and a hand held diamond hone. High speed or low
speed isn't that important.
A 180 rpm wet stone will make a hell of a mess with water spilling over
everything, and also getting wood dust in and on the water/stone, also
it takes forever sharpening on a fine grained wet stone, nice for your
plane steel or knifes, but not for turning tools IMO.
Get yourself a good 8" or 10" grinder, and preferably a slow speed
(1725rpm) grinder, they are a lot less likely to vibrate than the high
speed ones (3450rpm) or else you will end up needing a balancing set or
live with it and always have a problem sharpening your tools.
Also I would strongly recommend you get the Wolverine sharpening jig or
build yourself one, Darrell Feltmate has a good plan on his site.