I am interested in the paper wheel sharpening method.
I've tried many, if not most, of the methods and fixtures over the years, and have always returned to freehand grinder and waterstones. I use abrasive-on-glass and waterstones to flatten backs. Its reasonably efficient for me, and I find the lessons I teach in freehand techniques are bedrock for other operations around the shop.
Still, what takes me seconds or minutes can take a young guy quite a while longer. And once they get "the disease", its normal for them to spend an inordinate amount of time at the sharpening bench. I'm glad, of course, that we breed such pride on our work, but I do need to balance that with the bottom line.
Years ago, an old carver in Skandia, MI told me he used a cotton wheel for razor results in seconds. I've never been able to do anything but buff with a cotton wheel, however, because of the flexibility of it. This cardboard system, being rigid, has piqued my interest.
1. Stone wheels get dangerous if they get plugged up. Are there similar concerns to be considered with paper wheels? While we of course train against non-ferrous materials on the wheels, I'm still interested in identifying possible safety issues.
2. I haven't seen anything in any of the youtubes I've watched regarding the dressing of them. Is it even possible? Which begs the question:
3. How long do they last?
4. I gather you still have to use stones, or abrasive paper, to flatten backs and swipe burrs.
I was told about the razor Sharp System 12 years ago by a carver friend. I put the 2 wheels on a slow sped Baldor grinder (rotation with the top or the wheel coming at me) and have never looked back. I can't think of using anything else. The oilstones and waterstones are all put away, with only a few diamond plates for carbide.
I also have a firm felt wheel for compounds and a less firm narrow felt wheel for inside gouges. The third piece is a conventional 8" grinder with a 1/4" wheel and a 3/4" wheel - both are for grinding.
The paper wheels do not need to be dressed as in a stone wheel, but the abrasive needs to be replenished. With glue on the "coarser" wheel and a compound on the finer wheel. That is the only hassle to an otherwise perfect system, my opinion.
I can go from the grinder to a mirror polished razor edge in about 30 seconds or less for most plane irons and chisels. Touch ups with the first wheel and then the second are easy and quick.
I do not use rests or holders for angles on the paper wheels or the felt wheels. Just eye-hand. All wheels rotate the same direction, with the stone wheels and rests used conventionally, and the others free hand.
I use a stone for flattening backs when a tool is new. From then on, I use the paper wheels to flatten a burr on the flat side of the edge. I hold the tool at about 90 degrees to the wheel, and let it ride lightly on the wheel to remove the burr. This takes some practice to keep it flat. Sight it right, and it is easy. Holding the blade in the conventional way and trying to remove the burr on the flat side is asking for trouble - a micro bevel where you don't want it.
A stone nearby for backs may be what you want to start out with to build confidence and stay with something that you know works.
I use something similar. I mounted a 1/2" MDF disk on one of my grinders, charged with the white compound. Rather than a square edge, on the lathe, I turned a long elliptical cross section, so the fine end is about the radius of a BB. This will fit the inside of my smallest gouges, except the V gouges.
Between the grinding wheel, I also have a Cratex wheel shaped about the same, which does a nice job of quickly reducing the wheel scratches.
Both of these need to be used with the edge pointing away from the rotation, so make sure everybody in the shop knows not to stick a blade into it the wrong way with a light grip, unless they like sharp spinning projectiles flung at their face faster than a blink.
I'm a grinder and water stone man. I use a Veritas holder on the edge of a Oneway Wolverine platform for my hand plane grinding. I do a lot of turning, so have that platform on the grinder all the time. If you do go with the paper, you still can't get rid of your grinder. If you ever get a chip in the steel, you have to go back to the grinder to refresh the edge.
David, do you just eyeball for 2" wide plane blades?
This paper wheel looks interesting but I have not found info about sharpening chisels on them. I did notice that some suggest high speed and some say slow speed. I have a Makita water stone machine but it can sure make a mess.
Most you tube vids show an open wheel. Will this throw crap everywhere? I would love to get away from the wet mess of the Makita.
I use the tool rests on the grinder for plane blades, chisels and such. With the paper wheels, I present the tool to the wheel by eye/hand - no rests are on that machine, and it is open wheels. The rotation is top to me, and I use the underside of the wheel, with the edge pointing in the same direction as the wheel - opposite from the grinder where the edge is run against the rotation. This prevents the tool catching and being thrown back at you - as Keith also cautions. It is a 1725 rpm grinder I use. The wheels, grits, etc are from Razor Sharp that I picked up from Woodcraft.
This is a dry process, so there is no slop, no mess. Care must be used in that you can still burn an edge, but light pressure and correct angle work fairly quickly. Much faster than any stone. A light touch is better than a gorilla hand. The felt wheels can leave a bit of compound behind, but that cleans off quickly - it is just a wax.
I need to collect a commission from the Razor Sharp folks, correct? At least a couple new wheels and the grits.
FORUM GUIDELINES: Please review the guidelines below before posting at WOODWEB's Interactive Message Boards(return to top)
WOODWEB is a professional industrial woodworking site. Hobbyist and homeowner woodworking questions are inappropriate.
Messages should be kept reasonably short and on topic, relating to the focus of the forum. Responses should relate to the original question.
A valid email return address must be included with each message.
Advertising is inappropriate. The only exceptions are the Classified Ads Exchange, Machinery Exchange, Lumber Exchange, and Job Opportunities and Services Exchange. When posting listings in these areas, review the posting instructions carefully.
Subject lines may be edited for length and clarity.
"Cross posting" is not permitted. Choose the best forum for your question, and post your question at one forum only.
Messages requesting private responses will be removed - Forums are designed to provide information and assistance for all of our visitors. Private response requests are appropriate at WOODWEB's Exchanges and Job Opportunities and Services.
Messages that accuse businesses or individuals of alleged negative actions or behavior are inappropriate since WOODWEB is unable to verify or substantiate the claims.
Posts with the intent of soliciting answers to surveys are not appropriate. Contact WOODWEB for more information on initiating a survey.
Excessive forum participation by an individual upsets the balance of a healthy forum atmosphere. Individuals who excessively post responses containing marginal content will be considered repeat forum abusers.
Responses that initiate or support inappropriate and off-topic discussion of general politics detract from the professional woodworking focus of WOODWEB, and will be removed.
Participants are encouraged to use their real name when posting. Intentionally using another persons name is prohibited, and posts of this nature will be removed at WOODWEB's discretion.
Carefully review your message before clicking on the "Send Message" button - you will not be able to revise the message once it has been sent.
You will be notified of responses to the message(s) you posted via email. Be sure to enter your email address correctly.
WOODWEB's forums are a highly regarded resource for professional woodworkers. Messages and responses that are crafted in a professional and civil manner strengthen this resource. Messages that do not reflect a professional tone reduce the value of our forums.
Messages are inappropriate when their content: is deemed libelous in nature or is based on rumor, fails to meet basic standards of decorum, contains blatant advertising or inappropriate emphasis on self promotion (return to top).
Libel: Posts which defame an individual or organization, or employ a tone which can be viewed as malicious in nature. Words, pictures, or cartoons which expose a person or organization to public hatred, shame, disgrace, or ridicule, or induce an ill opinion of a person or organization, are libelous.
Improper Decorum: Posts which are profane, inciting, disrespectful or uncivil in tone, or maliciously worded. This also includes the venting of unsubstantiated opinions. Such messages do little to illuminate a given topic, and often have the opposite effect. Constructive criticism is acceptable (return to top).
Advertising: The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not an advertising venue. Companies participating in a Forum discussion should provide specific answers to posted questions. WOODWEB suggests that businesses include an appropriately crafted signature in order to identify their company. A well meaning post that seems to be on-topic but contains a product reference may do your business more harm than good in the Forum environment. Forum users may perceive your references to specific products as unsolicited advertising (spam) and consciously avoid your web site or services. A well-crafted signature is an appropriate way to advertise your services that will not offend potential customers. Signatures should be limited to 4-6 lines, and may contain information that identifies the type of business you're in, your URL and email address (return to top).
Repeated Forum Abuse:
Forum participants who repeatedly fail to follow WOODWEB's Forum Guidelines may encounter difficulty when attempting to post messages.
There are often situations when the original message asks for opinions: "What is the best widget for my type of shop?". To a certain extent, the person posting the message is responsible for including specific questions within the message. An open ended question (like the one above) invites responses that may read as sales pitches. WOODWEB suggests that companies responding to such a question provide detailed and substantive replies rather than responses that read as a one-sided product promotion. It has been WOODWEB's experience that substantive responses are held in higher regard by our readers (return to top).
The staff of WOODWEB assume no responsibility for the accuracy, content, or outcome of any posting transmitted at WOODWEB's Message Boards. Participants should undertake the use of machinery, materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB's Message Boards after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages it deems inappropriate. (return to top)
Forum Posting Form Guidelines
The name you enter in this field will be the name that appears with your post or response (return to form).
Personal or business website links must point to the author's website. Inappropriate links will be removed without notice, and at WOODWEB's sole discretion. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
Your e-mail address will not be publicly viewable. Forum participants will be able to contact you using a contact link (included with your post) that is substituted for your actual address. You must include a valid email address in this field. (return to form)
Subject may be edited for length and clarity. Subject lines should provide an indication of the content of your post. (return to form)
Thread Related Link and Image Guidelines
Thread Related Links posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should point to locations that provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related Link that directs visitors to an area with inappropriate content will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
Thread Related File Uploads
Thread Related Files posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. Video Files: acceptable video formats are: .MOV .AVI .WMV .MPEG .MPG .FLV .MP4 (Image Upload Tips) If you encounter any difficulty when uploading video files, E-mail WOODWEB for assistance. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related File that contains inappropriate content will be removed, and uploaded files that are not directly related to the message thread will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links, files, or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices.
What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe
for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use
of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation,
and at their own risk.