sharping carbide bits

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mecompco

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Joined
Apr 24, 2015
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1,607
Location
Fairfield, Maine
I have a set of the small diamond cards. I use the fine, then the ultra-fine. Moisten with water, then face down, I go around in a big circle 50 times, then in the other direction 50 times. Then I go back and forth 50 times and back and forth the other way 50 times. Then I move to the ultra fine and repeat. Takes less than 10 minutes.

I agree the edge is not quite as good as new, but it certainly more than serviceable. I can usually get four or five blanks per edge on my R2 cutter before sharpening again. More if turning wood, less if turning finicky blanks like Acrylester. I've probably turned at least 100 pens on the cutter I'm using now.
 
Joined
Aug 13, 2016
Messages
1,307
Location
Surprise, Arizona
I've used a diamond card lubricated with WD-40 - thanks to YouTuber Gord Rock for the idea. While nothing like new, it did breathe new life into them and I'm sure they'll last awhile before I need to buy new ones.
 

Imaginethat

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Joined
Mar 31, 2015
Messages
206
Location
Maricopa, AZ
I’ve used the diamond card along with cutting fluid to sharpen my carbide tools with mixed results. What I’ve found works best is just buy new inserts. I know this can be pricey but I’ve found AZ Carbides has some pretty good prices and ship quickly.

The other thing I’ve noticed are the inserts I get from AZ Carbides seem to be a little sharper than others purchased. May or may not be true, it just seems like it to me.

That’s azcarbide.com
 

larryc

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Joined
Oct 2, 2009
Messages
1,087
Location
Mableton, GA (Near Atlanta)
I’ve used the diamond card along with cutting fluid to sharpen my carbide tools with mixed results. What I’ve found works best is just buy new inserts. I know this can be pricey but I’ve found AZ Carbides has some pretty good prices and ship quickly.

The other thing I’ve noticed are the inserts I get from AZ Carbides seem to be a little sharper than others purchased. May or may not be true, it just seems like it to me.

That’s azcarbide.com
Wow! Those are expensive. I get mine from Global Tooling and Supply at about half that of AZ Carbide.
 

Kelley Crafts

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Joined
Aug 25, 2016
Messages
57
Location
AZ
I'll agree with above, you can sharpen with diamonds but getting new inserts is better. If you went with the EWT tools there are definitely a lot of sellers who have inserts that fit their tools for cheaper.
 

Seer

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Joined
Jan 3, 2009
Messages
1,699
Location
Glendale,Arizona
I was being cheap and trying to resharpen mine according to the ways above and finally ordered some from Global Tooling and turned an acrylic with them and I can tell you the new ones cut unlike any I had sharpened. For $35.00 including shipping for 10 inserts I will buy them new from now on.
 

moke

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Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
932
Location
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
I have recently researched sharpening knifes, skews and cutters. I have credit card and several diamond plates. To lengthen the life of them use their lapping fluid. It's ridiculously expensive but is far thinner than oil, and still has the ability to lubricate. I started researching this because I had a 1200 EZ LAP diamond plate that had lost a fair amount of its grit, even though it was only 8 months old. I had been using oil, and the "slurry" generated had adhered itself into the grit. I was able to clean it with a number of products and got some of it's grit exposed again, but it is still not what it was before.

I had never sharpened any cutters, but I had saved them, throwing them into a corner of a drawer. There was quite a few there, I sharpened them all, and tested some of them. As mentioned, I found they were improved but not like new one. I guess it depends on what you turn and how "thrifty" you are. They seem to cut wood well, and acrylic ok. I watched the Woodcraft video where they said to use a 600-1000 card and just rub it around 10 to 15 times.....I found it was far improved to follow as previously suggested, and rub it around 50 times or so each direction. I would go 300-600-1200 grits. I did not start at 300 and some of mine where "well used"....I might go back and try that.

I also have been able to get some of my knives to a razor finish by ending with a leather strop and compound sticks...anyone have any idea it that would help the carbide insert?
 
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Kelley Crafts

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Joined
Aug 25, 2016
Messages
57
Location
AZ
Moke, I'm glad you brought up lapping fluid. I think oil is way too thick like you said. I do a lot of flat work, not just turning so I sharpen A LOT of HSS steels as well on big diamond stones and have found Windex does a pretty good job. You should give that a shot if you want to test the waters with a more budget friendly option. Any window cleaner will do really.
 
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