JULY/ AUG 2001
Volume 44 /  Issue 4

Project Articles
Butcher Block/ Microwave Oven Table
Gourmet Bird Feeder
Recipe Box and Interlocking Play Logs

Ask Smitty
Owner’s Gallery
Letters from Owners
Academy Notes
All About Saw Blades
Find A Shopsmith Woodworking Academy Near You

National Woodworking Academy in Dayton, OH
Service Pointers
Bandsaw Service Pointers
Safety Tips
The Safety Caper...

The Shopsmith Universal Lathe Tool Rest
Specials & Online Catalog
Links Worth Visiting
Find A Shopsmith
MARK V Demo Near You

Free Woodworking Tips
Request Accessory Catalog
Request MARK V Information Package

Contacting Shopsmith

Copyright 2001.
Shopsmith, Inc.
All Rights Reserved




Here are the questions . . . and SMITTY’S answers for this issue!


No woodworker (except SMITTY, of course) has ALL the answers. From time-to-time, everyone hits a snag, trying to figure out some sort of in-shop problem. If you're having trouble with a project or a woodworking technique, ASK SMITTY!
Just use the special e-mail link directly below to send your questions to SMITTY. He’ll do his best to get back to you soon, with the answers to those questions.

If you're having a problem setting-up, aligning or maintaining your Shopsmith equipment,
you should contact Shopsmith's Technical Support Staff (NOT Smitty).
Call TOLL-FREE, 1-800-762-7555 during normal business hours to speak directly with a Shopsmith Technical Support Representative.

Lathe Chisel Sharpening
From Bob & Patsy Keith, via e-mail:
Is there a standard to go by to know if my lathe chisels are sharp enough? I might also ask...what is TOO sharp?

How sharp is sharp may not the only question here. Answering, "What is the proper angle?" may also help with successful lathe turning. I would add that not only angle, but technique has a lot to do with the results when turning. A sharp scraping tool ground at a long angle will gouge into the wood causing tearing and require MUCH sanding as well as frustration. Scraping tools (such as the Round Nose) should be ground at 80 to 85 degree bevel angle. They require no honing (the burr cuts too). They must cut exactly on center of the rotating stock with the tool held horizontal. This tool cuts by tearing the fibers across grain. When done correctly, this leaves a smooth surface that requires some sanding and is easy to learn.

Shearing and cutting tools require a low, long bevel angle (sometimes as low as 15 degrees). They require honing the cutting edge to a fine, razor-sharp edge. They are used above center, at an angle to the rotating stock. This technique will sever the wood fibers at a shear-angle rather than tear the fibers perpendicular to the grain, as in scraping.

The technique of sharpening as well as turning takes many hours of practice (and sometimes frustration) to learn but the results will leave a much smoother surface that, in some cases requires no sanding at all. Sharpening can be made much easier.

Shopsmith offers a couple of great sharpening systems for lathe chisels. The first is our Sharpening Guide Kit, that works on the MARK V with the Disc Sander. The second is our brand-new Strip Sander Chisel Sharpening Kit, it has been designed to work with the Shopsmith Strip Sander.

The best test for a razor sharp edge is how easily it cuts through the end grain of a hard wood such as maple or oak...though I also use sharpened chisels to shave a small patch on my arm as a quick test.

Continue . . .

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