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Thread: Sharpening scraper shaped carbide tool tips

  1. #1
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    Sharpening scraper shaped carbide tool tips

    This video shows how simple it is to sharpen the scraper type carbide tool tips. This how I do it and although not factory sharp it does a good job. Ken Rizza also has a method for doing it under power but when I tried I domed the insert. By hand is easy enough.

    I'm not endorsing the products used in the video, just the method.

    https://youtu.be/kUOuAPimjP4
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Dooling View Post
    This video shows how simple it is to sharpen the scraper type carbide tool tips. This how I do it and although not factory sharp it does a good job. Ken Rizza also has a method for doing it under power but when I tried I domed the insert. By hand is easy enough.
    One thing I do with Hunter carbide cutters is look at them under a good magnifier. (Can't sharpen those because of the shape.) I use 10x and 15x loupes or a low-power stereo microscope. It's easy to see if any carbide cutter is dull or chipped.

    Rizza has nice hones for a good price. He didn't offer them but when I asked he special ordered some for me with diamond. Double sided, great size for sharpening things like that, any grit, 2" x 8". Anyone who needs some diamond honing plates might ask and see if he can still get them made.

    JKJ

  3. #3
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    John, do you have any thoughts as to optimal grit/mesh/micron grade for this? The finest I have is the DMT green listed as 1200 mesh and 9 micron.
    Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Dooling View Post
    John, do you have any thoughts as to optimal grit/mesh/micron grade for this? The finest I have is the DMT green listed as 1200 mesh and 9 micron.
    For sharpening the flat-topped carbide tips? I don't know, I don't have any flat-topped carbide cutters any more, haven't tried sharpening one. I have diamond plates from fairly coarse up to 1200 grit. When I sharpened the ceramic cutters for my llama shears I think I started with 600 then 1000 then 1200. The ceramic was so hard it took a much longer time than what the guy in the video said would work for the carbide.

    I think the guy in the video said he recommended between 600 and 1000 grit for the carbide. I see he was using the Trend honing fluid. It's expensive but I always use it on my diamond plates.

  5. #5
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    I have done this a number of times with the radius and round cutters. I have only used my 1200 diamond stone. It does what the video from Craft Supplies says it does. The cutters do get sharper than their performance low point, but I have never been completely satisfied with the result while they certainly do cut better than before honing. Plus, the edges don't seem to last as long as the factory edges.

    When I bought the gouge sharpening jig for my Tormek, I noticed that there is an included accessory which is designed to sharpen the carbide cutter inserts (like Easy Wood). However, it would require a diamond wheel (don't know if CBN would work or not). That's one of the reasons I was thinking of purchasing a Tormek diamond wheel when they are available in a couple of weeks (allegedly). Problem is these wheels are expensive; $300 or more apiece. Plus, no guarantee of the result.

  6. #6
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    A CBN wheel does work but it changes the appearance and cutting perfomance of the wheel. I don't recommend it. I don't know why he says not to sharpen the bevel side. A sharp tool is the intersection of 2 planes. If you only sharpen one plane you have not achieved the best you can. The cutters on the Woodpecker carbide tools are highly polished. Much more so than the EZ wood tools. However when tested on my sharpness tester they barely tested any sharper. The reason is the bevel on both tools was about the same satin appearance. I honed one using my 600 and then 1200 diamond hone and improved it's performance. Still not as sharp as the Hunter carbide tools but better than factory sharp. I did not try honing the top surface. I haven't used the tools enough to seriously dull them yet. If I have time I will spend some time sharpening an EZ wood tool cutter and compare the sharpness before and after honing the bevel. 1200 grit will give you a mirror finish which should be fine.

  7. #7
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    Without a jig of some sort to hold the cutter at the correct angle, it would be extremely difficult to maintain the factory angle on the underside of the cutter. So, while it is probably a certainty that sharpening the beveled side also would get the cutter sharper, there would definitely be a risk of changing the angle or not getting it consistent. The Tormek's accessory for the gouge sharpening jig is meant to hold the circular cutter at the correct angle while turning it to sharpen the entire circumference. I'm not clear on how the radius cutter is sharpened with the jig but I would guess it's sort of the same except you would stop when you get to the corners. However, this can't be done with the standard Tormek grinding wheel.

    It appears that Tormek is releasing 10" diamond wheels within a week or two to be delivered a few weeks after that. They will sell 3 grits - 360, 600, and 1200 and also a jig that is supposed to hold the tool to allow use of the side of the wheel, also diamond coated, for sharpening. I suppose this would be used for flattening chisels, plane blades, and other flat tools. A little pricey, they are - all around $300 apiece and the jig is another $79.

  8. #8
    Inexpensive lapidary discs like some of us use on a Worksharp are great for this (just setting on the bench) and come in fine grits.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


  9. #9
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    Changing the angle would not make a bit of difference on a scraping tool like that. It is 60 degrees by the way. You probably wouldn't change it more than a few degrees unless you really try to. If you really need to sharpen it often I would just go back to HSS or particle metal tools and learn to sharpen them. You will get better finishes off the tool than you will with the scrapers and you can cut cleaner details.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for everyone's replies.

    I have two EWT tools and really only use the Ci0 with any regularity. I find I'm using it less and less especially with the fact that I sharpen them myself they are not (and IMO never were) as sharp as HSS scrapers. I think the Hunter tools are very interesting but I don't really want to get into a system I can't sharpen.

    I use it mostly like a roughing tool as I can't get as good a finish as I get with gouges and HSS scrapers. And I still get the best finish with a sharp gouge, but I also struggle with control in push cuts.

    It seems like sharpening just the flat should be sufficient unless there has been a large amount of wear or damage to the bevel. Since I'm doing this as soon as performance is low I'm not removing much metal.

    I have three of the tips and generally have at least one ready to go.
    Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.
    - Churchill

  11. #11
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    As Glen reports, the inexpensive lapidary discs wok great. I mount mine on an expensive HF buffing machine (35$) which can give you four grits showing--sharpens anything as they are diamond grits.

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