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Buffing wheel question...honing. Help!

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  • Buffing wheel question...honing. Help!

    Hope someone can help....I've always only used a strop with flexcut yellow compound or the green. Recently purchased Smokey Mtn. Woodcarvers buffing wheel and green compound for my 1/2" bore grinder to try honing. Never used a grinder before and this question may sound stupid, but bear with me....how do you apply the compound to the buffing wheel?? I know it takes practice and more practice to get the hang of honing this way, but I don't even know where to start! Bonnie

  • #2
    Re: Buffing wheel question...honing. Help!

    Well, the way I've done it is to just turn on the buffing wheel and gently press the stick of honing compound to the spinning wheel for a few seconds. Then, start honing the knife/gouge/chisel... I also keep a container of water right next to the machine so I can hone for about 5 seconds, then dunk in the water to cool, hone for 5 seconds and dunk in the water to cool, etc. You have to be careful to avoid overheating the blade (if it changes color from steel to bluish, you've overheated...)

    Claude
    My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/
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    • #3
      Re: Buffing wheel question...honing. Help!

      Thanks, Claude! I will take your advice and see how I fare....will try some old knives first...I didn't even know where to begin, so thanks again! Bonnie

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      • #4
        Re: Buffing wheel question...honing. Help!

        Bonnie,
        Be sure that when you put the knife to the buffing wheel that you put the knife blade the right way or the wheel will throw the knife at you or to the floor and hit your foot , Do not place the sharp end of the blade so it is going the opposite way as the wheel. the blade will dig in the wheel, and someone will get hurt. Please be careful
        Just old Jim

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        • #5
          Re: Buffing wheel question...honing. Help!

          with a new leather wheel (the ones i made of thin 1/8th" disks glued up) i find it sometimes useful to turn the motor by hand and overload the wheel with compound, or even spray a little wd40 on thr compound to make it thin and adhear better...

          especaly if im not having much success at getting any compound to stay on the wheel while its running, 1175 rpm is approching too fast for me i prefur slower motors as the centrifical force dont sling off the compound completely, as it heats up while honing

          not tried and true method but it got me going..

          i just cant see how you would use the powder compound on a wheel...?

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          • #6
            Re: Buffing wheel question...honing. Help!

            Bonnie, I can not stress enough to be careful doing this, and I would hope someone in your area might show you how this is done. I was using a 3450 rpm bench grinder to buff with and the best I can remember was when I was honing near the point of the knife, it jerked it out of my hands and threw the knife at an alarming speed. I now use a variable speed drill at about 1/2 speed, my guess about 700 - 800 rpm and I still hold the knife or gouges with both hands for stability. Should you work on long knives such as a fillet, be even more cautious according to a knife making friend. He received such a scare, he will no longer make that style of knife. Tho I sound like an old Grandpa, be very respectful of that spinning wheel. Answering your question, just start your wheel rotation, I use a stick type compound, push the compound into the spinning wheel and load it, you'll see the wheel change color with load of compound. I have never worried about cleaning my wheels, I just keep adding more compound and my leather wheel has lasted probably 7 years. - Earl

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            • #7
              Re: Buffing wheel question...honing. Help!

              bonnie set up your hone as to rotate away from you, this might be accomplished by turning the grinder around and mounting it on the bench face or a wall then with the wheels top turnung away from you work off the top of the wheel..

              if something snags the wheel it will be thrown away from you..

              i removed the safty guards on mine, to make more room,

              note;
              mark the direction of rotation with a big red arrow to remind yourself and others of this modification....

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              • #8
                Re: Buffing wheel question...honing. Help!

                Oh, yeah, speed... Sorry, Bonnie, I forgot to mention I have my power strop mounted in my drill press when I use it, so it's much slower turning. Thomp has the right idea: turn the wheel by hand and rub the compound onto the wheel. And as several have pointed out, make sure the wheel turns away from the knife edge, not into it. Don't forget to wear safety goggles when doing your honing also.

                Claude
                My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/
                My Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/cfreaner/
                My Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/claudeswoodcarving/
                My ETSY Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

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                • #9
                  Re: Buffing wheel question...honing. Help!

                  Here is the web page for the Smoky Mountain folks that explains how to use the buffing wheel. http://www.woodcarvers.com/sharpening.htm

                  I hope this helps

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                  • #10
                    Re: Buffing wheel question...honing. Help!

                    Thanks to all who have replied to my honing problem with the buffer wheel! I am finding out that it is difficult to use, and will be till I get the hang of it. I will try these suggestions until I find what's best for me. I sincerely appreciate the input from all of you! Bonnie

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                    • #11
                      Re: Buffing wheel question...honing. Help!

                      If you haven't used snag grinders, polishing buffing tools much or not at all in your lifetime then you had better go with this endever SLOWLY as it can be and is very dangerous if not done properly. I make woodcarving tools so I use power tools to make, sharpen, hone tools almost on a daily basis.
                      It sounds like you have a cotton buffing wheel in your description, this is just ok imho for all tools I feel it is best used to get into the inside of gouges, veiners, vee tools etc. A flat honing wheel such as cardboard or leather is also needed imho to do a better job.. As said above this is my opinion. The best thing to do is read all you can or care about SHARPENING on the net and in books and form your own opinion. A few years ago when I started making lots of tools is when I really learned how to be a better tool sharpener.

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