|Home » Forums » Professional Furniture Making » Message||Login|
You are not logged in. Consider these WOODWEB Member advantages:
Paper Wheel Sharpening9/27
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.
Thanks in advance for info/experiences.
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.
Thanks, David, for the reply - I think it was your response to a post that prompted me.
Do you use a stone for backs?
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.
Hey David thanks very much for your attentiveness, here.
I was thinking you might get that back burr on the wheel, but I was hoping you weren't :)
I am proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks - but only a few at a time. So I think if do go the paper wheel route, I'll keep my stones submerged in their little tub for a while at least.
It does sound great, though.
Thanks very much again
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.
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.
David, I'm intrigued.