CBN Wheel vs. Jet wet wheel?

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Mark Hepburn, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

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    I’m using a Jet 10†150 RPM wet grinder and hate the mess, even after modifying the water basin because it just runs down the tool handle.

    I contacted Dave at D-Way and he said that quite a few people he knew were using the CBN wheel on this grinder with success. I do like the slow speed because I’m not much of a sharpener, and as a newbie turner/sharpener I use jigs for most things.

    But having re-read some of the posts here, I’m wondering if I should just lose the leather hone on the left, put the CBN wheel on the left and keep the original Jet wheel with the water basin? Is there a benefit to having both the CBN and the wet wheel? If not, then I’ll probably post the wheel in Want-Ads really cheap so it can be put to good use by someone.

    So I guess the main thing I’m asking is, what would you do in my situation?

    Thanks to all for your thoughts.
     
  2. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Mark,
    Sharpening is the area of woodturning where you will find the most divergence and lack of clear consensus among the experts.

    Few people use the slow wet wheels for any tools other than a skew. If you are primarily a spindle turner, stay with the wet wheel and honing between trips to the grinder.
    Most turners are using something like 8" Norton 3x wheels k hardness 60-80 grit for sharpening bowl gouges
    Some prefer 100 grit wheels

    There is a group of devotees to the CBN wheels
    promotion of the CBN among the top turners seems to be strongest among those with a financial interest and those who add a lot of spindle details like finials to their work. Some owners of CBN wheels may have lost their objectivity along with the $200-250 they spent.

    A lot of folks are buying CBN wheels. They will leave a sharp edge.
    Few people will ever see a cost benefit to buying a CBN wheel.
    With the CBN you will want a complimenting shaping wheel like a 40 grit Norton 3x

    My suggestion to bowl& hollow form turners would be to get a 1750 grinder, woulverine, and Norton 3x wheels.
    Just like your wet wheel the norton wheels need to be tired and leveled periodically. Many people see a marked improvement with CBN Wheels because they never properly dressed their wheels.

    You might contact Don Geiger, or Kirk DeHeer at craft supplies. These are two leading experts on sharpening who don't have a direct interest in selling CBN wheels.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2014
  3. john lucas

    john lucas

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    I'm still experimenting with the CBN wheel. I don't sell them so have no financial dealings. It is an interesting wheel. I do like the edge I get from my 180 grit wheel. I is perfectly balanced and never needs truing. It does remove metal faster than you think and I believe I'm actually using metal faster than I was with my 100 grit white AO wheel. I grind very lightly so I was a little surprised about that and I'm still experimenting to see if it's true.
    Back to your question. I'm not a wet wheel fan for lathe tools. It does give a very good edge. I have the Tormek and don't have the water running down problem you have. It's just a hassle for me trying to keep water handy since I dont have running water in the shop and don't feel like pouring water in every time I want to use the lathe and sharpen. I use the Tormek to sharpen plane and chisel blades and don't want to groove it with turning tools. Still I'm experimenting with it to try and learn the differences.
    Would it be a good option for your grinder. I don't know. It would work and you will probably enjoy it. It's a lot of money and if money isn't an issue I would try it. You can always go back, buy a different insert and use it on a real grinder if you don't like it on the Jet.
    Most turners will get buy quite well with a White, Blue or pink wheel on a grinder if they learn how to properly balance and keep it true. they run about $30 and last a pretty good while. the newer CBN wheels sell for about $124 and others around $200. I haven't looked into the quality differences yet. You can quite a few grinding wheels for $200.
    Still I do like the CBN wheel and use it every day so you may really find it a good combination for the Jet.
     
  4. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I agree with what Al and John said. I have a Tormek and a dry grinder with Norton 3X wheels. I am thinking about getting a CBN wheel. For me the advantage of a CBN wheel is not financial since I am not a professional turner -- I see the advantage being that it does not fill the air with grit when I sharpen a tool. The white aluminum oxide wheels are horrible about shedding grit. The Norton 3X wheels are a bit better. However, both cause me to have coughing spasms from all the dust that stays suspended in the air. For that reason, I primarily use my Tormek for sharpening. It is nearly as fast as using a dry grinder and there is no cloud of stuff in the air. The Tormek does not have the problem that you described with the Jet.

    I bought my Tormek long before woodturning ever appeared on my radar so it was natural for me to use it for sharpening woodturning tools after I had problems with dust from the dry grinder. There is a downside to sharpening round tools on the Tormek wheel. As John said, it creates grooves that then become a problem when sharpening tools like plane irons, chisels, jointer blades, and planar blades. I might get separate stones for flat tools and round tools or I might get a CBN wheel for my dry grinder. If I had a CBN wheel I wouldn't put it on my Tormek.
     
  5. n7bsn

    n7bsn

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    Mark, I had a Delta wet-wheel and disliked the mess, so I usually used the regular grinder with the friable wheels.
    One day we took a class from Eli Avisera, shortly after D-way started selling CBN wheels. Eli stated "Dave has changed sharpening, forever"

    At one point the wife walked over to sharpen a chisel, as she walked back she stopped at my lathe and said "As soon as we can afford it, we are getting a CBN wheel"

    I sold the Delta on Craigs list for enough to buy a CBN for the regular grinder.

    On the grinder we have a CBN we use almost every day, and a friable that neither has used in months.

    I put a couple rare-earth magnets (in small zip-locks) under the CBN and collect most of the metal shavings.

    Between the CBN wheel and Reed Gray's Robo-Rest the wife does all her own sharpening now.
     
  6. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I prefer the CBN wheels because there is almost zero maintenance with them. Mine do get slop on them from the wet wood I turn, but using a scraper cleans most of it off. Some times I will take them off and take to the sink and hit them with some Ajax and a plastic scrub brush. My Tormek only gets used for my kitchen knives. The CBN are too aggressive for that.

    Craft Supplies does carry a CBN wheel now, a 1 inch wide version of the Optigrind that they are selling under their house brand 'Raptor' name.

    I can not think of one single advantage the standard wheels have over the CBN wheels. Not even cost if you consider value.

    robo hippy
     
  7. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

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    Thanks everyone.

    It seems that the consensus is that nobody really uses their wet grinders or slow speed sharpening systems much other than for non-turning. And since I already bought the CBN wheel from Dave at D-Way, I'd be better off getting a 1750 grinder or similar and putting the wheel on that. I do have the Wolverine system and also the Ellsworth jig for my bowl gouge, so I can use them on this grinder for tool shaping and such, and if I can stand the mess then use the Jet if I want to put a very fine edge on a tool?

    One other thing is that the wheel is a 10" and it seems that 8" is the gold standard and probably better for my Ellsworth jig; I had to fab a little riser block and modified my Wolverine tool rest to accept it to get the angle for the Ellsworth grind.

    I do like the "no maintenance" aspect of the CBN wheel, but the Jet hasn't been too bad aside from the mess. The wheel needs pretty frequent dressing/truing but I'm never really in a hurry.

    I hone pretty often at the lathe with some of the Henry Taylor slipstones, by the way.

    And since my interest is mainly bowls and not spindles (but maybe an occasional finial for a lidded box) then I probably have little to no use for the Jet?

    So am I even close here to what I'm reading or am I dumb as a stick? Well, yes, I am, but that's a whole new thread :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2014
  8. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    If you can modify the Jet wet sharpener by moving the tool bar higher then it might work more satisfactory for putting a final edge on skew chisels if doing delicate finials. On the Tormek, the tool rest is high enough that the tool being sharpened is angled with the handle higher than the cutting edge which means that any water will drain towards the wheel rather than the other way. I get the impression that the Jet design overlooked that important detail. For all other things I think that the dry grinder might be your best option. And because of the problem of breathing grit from the grinder, I would recommend the CBN wheel. From my very limited use of a CBN wheel I would agree with John Lucas that it is probably removing more metal than the other options.
     
  9. odie

    odie

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    Can't say about the CBN wheels. Generally, those who have them feel they are worth getting......

    I had a 10" wet grinder that I believe I started using at about the same time I got my Grizzly 16" band saw.....in the late 1980's. It will sharpen a gouge very nicely, but is very slow. No water running down problems if the rest is high enough to keep the tool level, or butt higher than the tool steel. After it set idle for the past 7-8 years taking up room on the shelf, I sold this wet grinder about a year ago. I will not be going back to wet grinding for lathe tools.

    Went directly from white wheels to the Norton 80gt SG wheels......never have used the 3x. I can say that the SG wheels wear extremely slowly, and depending on technique, seldom need dressing. The cut fast and heat is minimal. The SG wheels continually break down, exposing new abrasive. Despite the price, I intend to continue using the SG wheels, because the results I'm getting are superb.

    ooc
     

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  10. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

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    Thanks Bill. I can adjust the tool bar higher on the Jet. And breathing grit is a big deal for me. I'm an ex-smoker (25 years now) but my dad died last year of lung cancer so I'm taking lung care pretty seriously.

    Amazon has a huge variety of grinders with lots of reviews - many from woodworkers - and I'll probably get one there. Unless I'm mistaken, I don't see the need for a variable speed if I'm going to keep the Jet for other use, or should I consider a VS grinder? Wheel quality isn't an issue since I'll be swapping one for my CBN...

    So about those magnets for particles. I have a slew of neodymium magnets but the question is how to mount them so as to maximize the particle pickup?
     
  11. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Only if the rest of us a dumber than a box of rocks.

    I have a tormek. I used it some and went back to the dry grinder. My wife used it for a couple of years and then switched over to the dry grinder.
    One of my good spindle turning friend uses a wet grinder almost exclusively.
    Nothing beats a tormek for sharpening skews, planner blades and jointer knives.

    Al
     
  12. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Mark, you can get dry grinders that run at 1750 RPM or 3550 RPM. The consensus among woodturners is to get the 1750 RPM type. Also make sure that it uses the 8" wheels and not the 6" wheels. Most are rated at 1/2 to 3/4 horsepower. Either will do fine since you won't be loading the motor down. Woodcraft has one that they put on sale frequently for about $90.
     
  13. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

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    Bill, just went there but it's not on sale right now. But I've seen a bunch at amazon with good reviews including a Rikon with excellent reviews, most of which were by woodturners. 1725 rpm and AO wheels. Anyone have an opinion on Rikon? I have no experience at all.
     
  14. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

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    Sounds like I'm in the same boat you were. So do you just lay the bag with magnets under the wheel? He effective is it at pickup?
     
  15. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

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    Odie, I got the Jet because I've never been a tool sharpener other than my work knives and didn't mind the time. But after spending about an hour putting a curve in a skew I realize that turning is a skill I'll need to develop. Those SG wheels, are they ceramic? I went to Nortons web site and looked at them. I have some ceramic kitchen knives and they are excellent.
     
  16. odie

    odie

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    Hi Mark.......

    I bought my SG wheels from CSUSA, and I see they are no longer available from them. I see Packard has them, and there is a little bit of information on these wheels on their site, click here:

    http://www.packardwoodworks.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=sharp-sg

    I really can't say how these SG wheels compare to the 3x wheels, but I'm so thrilled with them that I wouldn't be satisfied with anything less than the performance I've become accustomed to.....fast cutting, and not much heat. I also hone both inside flute and bevel side several times before returning to the grinder, so that has some influence on my thinking, as well.....

    ooc
     
  17. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I have a plywood back stop behind my wheels. I just sweep the steel dust off into the shavings. I do keep my wheel guards on. I saw one turner some where who had removed his guards and he hung a magnet about 8 inches over the grinder. It was picking up some filings. I doubt that they would do a lot of damage, but I think I will keep the guards on.

    Oh yea, for you tool junkies out there, besides me...

    http://www.cuttermasters.com/portfolio/tradesman-dc/

    robo hippy
     
  18. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

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    Must. Have. Tradesman.

    :D
    That's is one nice tool.

    Seriously, if I were to decide to buy a better grinder but not sacrifice my firstborn son, any recommendations?
     
  19. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    The 1/2 hp Rikon 8 inch slow speed grinder that Woodcraft is now carrying looks pretty good. It does purr. I think they are in the $100 range, but that may only be 'on sale'.

    robo hippy
     
  20. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

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    Thank you. I just checked and it's $140, but great reviews on it. That's still reasonable I think.
     

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