Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lathe Tool Sharpening

I have a dirty little secret that woodworking videos put me to sleep. I have to watch them a few times to get all of the information in between naps. I love them, and keep buying them, but they put me out.
My all-time favourite cure for insomnia had been Rob Cosman's "Rough to Ready" wherein we get to spend an hour watching him plane one board. Little did I know that I hadn't seen anything yet.

I bought the video "Sharpening Woodturning Tools" by Mike Darlow. Oh boy.

First let me say that there is excellent information in there. His is the very first woodworking-oriented sharpening... thing... that mentions that you should never quench high-speed steel. This is something that machinists and metallurgists have known for almost 100 years, but woodworkers who use a bench grinder seem to be addicted to dunking their tools in water every 10 seconds as they're grinding them. You should never do this to high-speed steel as it will develop micro-cracks and you'll be just begging for a future fracture. Feel free to quench your regular carbon steel, but never quench HSS. Anyway, lots of info. TONS of info. Almost THREE HOURS of info. It's going to take me a week to see it all, between naps, but I'm glad I bought it. It covers every jig I've ever heard of, and sharpening every common lathe tool, though not hook tools or other esoterics... at least, not that I've been awake for so far. :)
The production quality is not professional, but it gets the point across.


The Village Carpenter said...

Too funny, Mike. My head also bobs when I watch woodworking videos! I just bought Don McConnell's video on using moulding planes and have watched two segments at two differents times—only about 20 minutes total. I still have another hour to watch. zzzzzz

Metalworker Mike said...

I don't know why they put me to sleep, but they certainly do. It doesn't matter who the presenter is.. I've got videos from the afore-mentioned Rob Cosman, Tage Frid, Frank Klaus, and others, and they all put me to sleep. I suppose if I had to pick a 'least likely to make me nod off' it would be Frank Klaus, perhaps because he doesn't bother with theory much, and his idiosyncratic diction is interesting. "How more you talking English, how more you get better."
I should point out that I like theory, but I find it better in a book than in a video, unless delivered in an off-hand 'theory nugget' while doing something active (in other words, not a monologue on theory).