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Thread: Do I need a new grinder or a new bowl gouge?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Syracuse, New York
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    34

    Do I need a new grinder or a new bowl gouge?

    just bought an hurricane 1/2" bowl gouge from Amazon it had 4.5 stars. I also bought the wolverine one way sharpening system with the vari grind attachment. When trying to sharpen my bowl gouge on my 6" skil bench grinder with an 80 grit stone it immediately blued the gouge. I was very frustrated and I tried using water and motor oil to keep the gouge from blueing but neither worked. So then I said screw it I will grind the gouge at a 90 degree angle past the blue part and then re-grind the correct angle but when grinding it at even a 90 degree angle the gouge is smoking and just continues to blue. Therefore I cant just start over with it. The gouge was about $33 and I don't have a lot of money right now to be buying new gouges and grinders. The grinder I have is not a slow speed grinder. I was going to try a finer grit but I can not find grinder wheels in the stores near me. I use a craftsman 1" belt sander for my other turning tools as it has an adjustable platform. But I cant use the wolverine system with the belt sander

    Thanks

    Adam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Southwest Louisiana
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    80
    Don't worry about the bluing. The heat won't effect HSS.. just keep makin shavings.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Syracuse, New York
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    34
    I am beginning to wonder if the tool is not HSS then because it leave a horrible edge with knicks all along it. How ever it is fairly sharp but I have to sharpen it every 10 minutes or so because it won't hold an edge. I will post pictures when I get home.

  4. #4
    Depending what wood you are turning (some woods are high in silica content or are just great at dulling tools), remember that 10 minutes on a 8" diameter bowl (so ~24" perimeter) at 1000 RPM for 10 minutes is 20,000 feet of wood, or about 4 miles of cutting. That may very well be enough to warrant a quick touch up on the grinder.

    I have a number of Hurricane tools and enjoy using them. I haven't fired up the lathe in a bit, so I don't recall how often I sharpen them, but for some woods, every 10 minutes doesn't sound too crazy. I take a dry erase marker (or Sharpie) to the edge of the gouge, then very gently sharpen the edge on my 120 grit wheel. By looking at how much of the black marker on the gouge is left or removed, I can make sure I am sharpening up to the cutting edge without removing more than necessary. Once you have the gouge in a shape/profile you like, only very light grinding is needed to keep it sharp.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Upstate NY
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    2,903
    I never got the knack of sharpening gouges with the wolverine. I ground off way too much material before I got it right.

    I had a worksharp 3000 I never used; so I mounted it sideways and put the wolverine on it. I do a much better job with it than I ever did on the grinding wheel.
    I don't see why you can't do the same with a belt sander. Maybe not, but it is worth a try.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Syracuse, New York
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    34
    Right now i am turning a green piece of ash maybe 5 inched is diameter if that has anything to do with it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Syracuse, New York
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    I can't use the wolverine system with my belt sander because the set up is not the same as a grinder. Under the grinder wheels is air so i can mount the wolverine system under the wheels. but under the belt on the sander is the base of the sander. My sander also is vertical and not horizontal. I may be able to figure a way to use the wolverine system with the sander but right now the wolverine system is set up with my grinder so i would prefer to use it with the grinder if I can.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    4,483

    Test the steel for hardness

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Herd View Post
    I am beginning to wonder if the tool is not HSS then because it leave a horrible edge with knicks all along it. How ever it is fairly sharp but I have to sharpen it every 10 minutes or so because it won't hold an edge. I will post pictures when I get home.
    Adam,

    To see if the tool is hardened, whether HSS or carbon steel, try filing a groove in it near the working end with the corner of a file. If you can easily file a groove/scratch the tool is not hardened and can't really be used like a hardened tool. If it is not HSS, enough heat to turn it blue will remove the hardness. If not hardened properly in the first place, there's not much you can easily do except return it for a new one.

    I have a box full of cheap tools I collect to give to beginners and other who need them. I tested a bunch of them one day and found several that were not hardened at all. A few others were hardened for an inch or so at the tip but not hardened the rest of the way. Proper hardening is one thing your run into with cheap tools.

    When you can swing it, try buying a Thompson bowl gouge. These are top quality, extremely good steel, stay sharp for a long time unless you are cutting concrete. A 1/2" gouge will cost about $65.

    Note that a finer grinding wheel might actually make the tool hotter than a coarse wheel. When possible, try a CBN wheel instead. A 1/2 speed grinder is desirable for another reason - it doesn't grind away steel as fast so it might be a little easier to sharpen with.

    I don't see if you mentioned where you live. If you happen to live in East TN, come by and I can check your gouge, sharpen on a CBN wheel and test, and perhaps loan or give you a gouge that will get you going for now.

    JKJ

  9. How hard are you pressing the gouge into the wheel? You should be using light pressure just enough to keep the gouge from skipping on the wheel. I would look for a finer wheel I use a 120 grit wheel with good results.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    If your grinder has those grey stone wheels, and runs at 3650 rpm, that is a combination almost guaranteed to blue any turning tool. It will require a VERY light touch, but a slow speed grinder [1725 rpm] is best and 8" wheel, of white aluminum oxide, or even better, the pink or blue Norton wheels. Best case scenario is CBN wheels.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Syracuse, New York
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    I will answer the last three replies in this message:

    how hard am I pressing the gouge: I am not pressing the gouge into the wheel at all just keeping gouge on the wheel.

    what kind of wheel am I using: the wheel I am using is a grey stone wheel but i believe it said it was an aluminum oxide wheel

    Hardness test: I will definitely try that hardness test you suggested tomorrow. I am hoping for an easy fix though as I have already spent more money than I intended to getting into bowls between the chuck, sharpening system, and the bowl gouge and now having the problem with not being able to sharpen it. However I live in Central New York and unfortunately visiting you in East Tennessee would be a bit out of the way for me. I do wish I could because it would be nice to have some one physically examine all of these elements.

    I appreciate everyones help solving this issue its been very frustrating for me.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Ambridge, PA
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    866
    You might want to look up your nearest AAW chapter and find someone that's close to you that could help you with the wolverine system. I'm certain someone would volunteer.
    Member Turners Anonymous Pittsburgh, PA

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    4,483
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Herd View Post
    how hard am I pressing the gouge: I am not pressing the gouge into the wheel at all just keeping gouge on the wheel.
    Re-reading Raffan tonight he suggests holding the gouge so lightly against the stone that the you should be able to touch the shaft with your bare fingers 3/4" back from the tip without it being too hot to hold. Make sure the stone is well-dressed. 80 grit should be fine for a bowl gouge.

    Perhaps you can find a turning club near you. Someone would be happy to check your tools and review your sharpening technique.

    JKJ

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Walworth, NY
    Posts
    45
    Adam, if you are near Syracuse, you may wish to look up the club there. Ton of good people with a ton of good answers. They love to help new kids.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    lufkin tx
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    The old grey wheels are very bad to load up on steel. Try cleaning it with a carbide bar made for that. Also good HSS is hard to blue at reasonable use but a slick grey wheel might do it. The newer grade wheels mentioned will self clean to sharp grains without loading.

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