At the Lathe: Sharpening for Woodturners

Turning tools come in many shapes. Here’s how to keep those shapes sharp.
By Judy Ditmer
Pages: 97-99

From the November 2004 issue #144
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Many years ago, I was cooking with a friend who was home visiting his parents during a college break. He struggled with a dull knife until he finally threw it down on the cutting board in disgust and declared, “There’s a $2,000 stove in this house and not one sharp knife!”

In cooking or in woodworking, keen edges trump just about everything else in importance. You may have a $5,000 lathe with all the bells and whistles, but without sharp tools it’s just a big piece of metal. Obviously every woodworker, whatever type of work he or she is doing, needs to use sharp tools. What isn’t always so clear is how to get them that way – or even how to recognize a dull or sharp edge in the first place. This is especially true of turning tools, because there are so many different shapes and sizes. Figuring out how to sharpen all of those can be a little confusing. But understanding a few basic principles will definitely help.

From the November 2004 issue #144
Buy this issue now