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Power sharpener

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  • Power sharpener

    Need some advice. I am in the process of making my own power sharpening system. I would like to pattern it after a Burke system. I have all the required parts, but am struggling with the actual sharpening wheels. First I planned on turning wooden wheels on the lathe, about 6 inches in diameter, with profiles for the v tools and gouges. I would like to be able to just apply the sharpening compund to the wooden wheel, but what type of wood is best. I have basswood, soft maple, hard maple, cherry and walnut. Is softer better or the harder stuff. Also what about the felt wheels which is better hard or soft. I will turn one wheel and glue leather to it, for the flat tools and knives, and have one with emory for reshaping edges. I have started making my own knives and plan on using this to get the blades in carving condition. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    Have fun, carve


  • #2
    Re: Power sharpener

    Harold... I don't know much about power sharpening, myself being a firm believer in the old fashion method. However, I did break down and install a honing wheel on my bench grinder. When I did my research I was advised against going with soft cloth or felt wheels as they will round off your edges. I ended up cutting out a 6" diameter wheel in a piece of empress wood which is softer than basswood but harder than balsa. There were a few flat spots to begin with but after a few uses the wheel trued itself and for the little that I use it I'm pretty satisfied with it's performance.


    • #3
      Re: Power sharpener

      Originally posted by oldbearx2 View Post
      I have basswood, soft maple, hard maple, cherry and walnut. Is softer better or the harder stuff.
      The problem I always have with wooden wheels is, they're round when you turn them but get out of round when they dry out (from the heat caused by friction in use). Especially our local wild cherry, which turns into a Pringle shape.

      Then I started making them out of MDF. No grain, no uneven drying, just porous enough to hold the compound. The ideal honing wheel material. Be sure to sink the drive spur good and deep, or you'll send them rolling across your shop like I did. It's amazing how far they'll roll coming off the lathe at 1725...



      • #4
        Re: Power sharpener

        Best wood to use in my opinion is the pressed wood...much more stable that natural wood. use a metal hub or bearing in the center so it doesn't beat out with time, after that is in, put on a lathe and true it up .....then put a band of leather on the outside....makes a good strop wheel.
        "Lif iz lik a box "o" choc lets, ya nevr kno whut yull git!"