As we know, lathe tools perform various functions; especially it helps to perform operations like drilling, knurling, deformation or cutting. And when your lathe tools turn dull, you can use a belt sander to sharpen those. Just install a two-inch belt in the belt sander, there you go! It's ready to sharpen the lathe tool.
Now you might be wondering if it's the right decision to choose the belt sander over a slow speed bench grinder to sharpen lathe tools. You can trial the lathe on some wood piece or walnut once it is sharpened. Nonetheless, In this article, I'm going to explain why a belt sander is a better option.
Why Should I Choose a Belt Sander to Sharpen Lathe Tools?
- Belt sander is affordable than a bench grinder. Grinding wheels also work well, but it is a bit pricey for a mere sharpening job.
- It is easy to change grits in a belt sander.
- Comparing to a bench grinder, belt sander causes less friction.
- It is easy to sharpen lathe tool in a belt sander as it cuts very fast.
- The wide flat pattern on the belt does not require frequent dressing.
- Belts are comparatively cheap, available, and give the best service while using wax lube with it.
- You can hone the tool in less than a minute.
So, the above reasons how that it is pretty convincing to use a belt sander to sharpen the lathe tools. Now let's jump into the process:
How to Sharpen Lathe Tools with a Belt Sander?
Step-1: Items you need
To get this method done, you will need a belt sander with a 2-inch belt, belt grit (grits from 80 to 120 may work fine), and the dull lathe tool you are going to sharpen.
Step-2: Prepare the belt sander
Install belt of two-inch. You can't just use a 1-inch belt for this purpose, because it doesn't grind the turning gouges that evenly.
Do not install the belt too tightly; keep the belt between not too tight and not too loose.
Step-3: Sharp the lathe tool
Now, with gentle pressure, put the lathe tool on the belt sander. I would recommend sharpening the tool keeping it away from cutting edge.
Slightly turn the tool so that the belt sander hones the tool all the other sides. Explore sharpen a knife with a belt sander to learn more abut belt sander usage.
Hold the tool lightly. If you put pressure on it, the sander might just unnecessarily eat away much of the metals.
Check the tool at every stroke. Remember, a belt sander cuts fast. You don't want your tool turning fragile, do you? That is why it is important to check after every stroke.
Step-4: Cool down the lathe tool
As you have put the tool on a belt sander, with constant friction, it will turn hot. So you need to cool down the tool after finishing the job. If you don't consider cooling it down, the tool may dampen a bit.
Step-5: Test on something
After certain strokes, when you feel sharpened enough, test it on walnut or something to make sure it is sharpened enough.
Always put on goggles and gloves for self-protection. The flying metal pieces may harm your skin in the long run. To avoid any unpleasant, even keel goggles and gloves at hand.
Now, as we have come across how to do it, we should know the difficulties you might face while sharpening with a belt sander.
As I have done extensive research on the users, people find it challenging to find a position to hold the lathe tool on a belt sander. They are often confused about which direction they should have the lathe tool on it. Some users would rather go a sharpening jig to sharpen a lathe tool.
On the brighter side, a belt sander is cheaper and does the job in the quickest possible time. So the decision comes down to you whether you are willing to choose it or not.
A handheld belt sander can be a bit troublesome, but it's not an impossible task. If you don't have tons of wood turning works on your shoulder the choosing a belt sander can be an ideal choice in this situation. Moreover, a belt sander doesn't cause much friction; and less friction is good for wood turning tools.
If you are not a first-timer using a belt sander and willing for a faster yet finer result, then go for a belt sander to sharpen lathe tools. Plus, it is much cheaper comparing to grinders.