Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Buffing wheel part I

So, following a discussion a couple of months ago about sharpening with a buffing wheel, I finally went out and bought one for my 6" grinder, and a felt wheel as well.

The general idea is that the buffing wheel will make short work of putting a final polish on a tool, or touching up a tool, which is only similar to stropping in spirit, I think... I'll explore the real details in a follow-up post.

I got the wheels partially set up yesterday, and played with them a bit. I need to rework the guards on the grinder, which I'll do later this week, but initial testing of the buffing wheel thing as a way to keep my tools sharp left me feeling wowed. Among other things, I buffed my pocket knife, which I typically keep un-necessarily sharp. My shiny sharp edge turned into a BRIGHT shine, even sharper edge, in almost no time.

Better results in much less time is something I'm very excited about.

More soon.


Dana Grund said...

Hi James,
A quick note on buffing wheels as sharpeners: The harder the buff, the less rounded over the tool edge. Use a "rockhard" felt buff for your chisels and plane irons, and save the soft flappy ones for polishing rounded surfaces, like brass hinge barrels. You can even make a nice polishing lap by sticking a piece of hard natural leather on a cheap faceplate and mounting it horizontaly to any motor, such as a washer motor.
WARNING: if you use a hard felt buff use it on a seperate grinder facing backward so the buff rotates away from you, otherwise your tool edge will catch and dig in to the buff, and throw your tool at you faster than you can blink-very bad!

JW said...

Hi Dana!

Not to worry about the mounting direction... The picture is showing the back of the grinder.

Good to know about the hard felt buff vs the soft wheel. I was taught by someone to use the softer one on things like carving tools that get rounded a bit anyway, but I'm always open to learning something new.