Thursday, 2 June 2011

Sharpening tools

Last night I had three members of our club around as they were all having problems sharpening their tools.
When I saw the state of their tools I was amazed just how bad they where.
It took three hours to profile and sharpen their tools, it is no wonder they have problems with their turning.
The thing that surprised me most that one of the tools a 3/8" bowl gouge was brand new and strait from the manufacturer.
The grind on this tool was very much like you would expect on a spindle roughing gouge strait across.I  have just had a word with the supplier who said this is what is called a traditional grind and that it is up to the turner to create his own grind.I think this is a bit of a cop out and I am waiting to see what the manufacturer 's response is.
I have been turning now for seven years and have never seen anybody that knows anything about tool profiles use anything other than a fingernail grind or long grind on a bowl gouge.
I think this highlights a real problem with novice turners that they are not getting the absolute basics right as for instance sharpening.If you are not sure that your tools are profiled and sharpened properly either go and see a pro turner and have a bit of tuition or seek out someone from your club who turns out very high quality work and ask him or her to check out you tools.
Don't assume that because somebody has been doing it a long time that they know what they are doing because they might just have just been doing it badly for a long time.But the chances are that if someone is turning out consistently good work they will know what they are talking about.

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