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Experienced turners know that learning to sharpen tools is arguably more important than learning to cut with them.  Whilst most tools can be sharpened with a straightforward platform -style jig such as the basic Sorby jig, certain advanced styles of grind such as the Celtic (Swept-back/Irish/O'Donnell etc.) and fingernail types are more easily ground and maintained using specialist jigs such as those by Oneway and Robert Sorby .  Or you can go the whole hog and opt for a high-performance belt sharpening system such as the Sorby Pro Edge, perhaps equipped with our own High-Value, High-Performance Belts.  We're also pleased to recommend the Oneway Wolverine system as a first class sharpening jig system - the one we use in our own workshop and for our students - an excellent product.

Hamlet  Profile-Pro Setup Tools

Hamlet Profile Pro setup tool for spindle gouges
Hamlet Profile Pro setup tool for bowl gouges
Hamlet Profile Pro practice and reference guide for spindle gouges

Above: Examples of the various Hamlet Profile Pro grinder setup tools showing the spindle gouge profiles (top), the Celtic bowl gouges (centre) and the Spindle grinding practice blank (bottom).

Learning exactly how to set up and grind a decent Celtic profile is something of an art.  This has been greatly simplified by the introduction by Hamlet (a subsidiary of Henry Taylor Tools) of the Profile Pro tools. These are actual sections of gouge blade onto which have been ground the "correct" profile of the various grinds.  Pop one of these into your grinding jig, adjust the jig settings so that the complete profile can be ground and you have the perfect set-up: record the settings and you will be able to repeat them any time you need.  If you wish to check out the set-up, then rather than use up expensive tool steel, Hamlet also thoughtfully provide short sections of both bowl and spindle blade profile, in mild steel, so that you can do a test grind any time you wish to check your grinder setting - or your skill - at no cost to your tools.  See the listing, below, for the available options in this canny system.

 

Robert Sorby Grinding Jigs & ProEdge Sharpening System

Robert Sorby produce a range of sharpening jigs which can be adapted for use with most dry grinders.  All three models are illustrated, above.

445 Fingernail Profiler:  An answer to all those prayers for help in producing an even and consistent fingernail grind on spindle and bowl gouges!  Fully adjustable to enable both long and short profiles to be achieved and easily reset to pre-determined positions to make regrinds consistent.  The clamp system will accept gouges ranging in diameter from 1/4" (6mm) to 3/4" (20mm).
446 Universal Sharpening System:  A large, robust platform assembly of all-steel construction. Features captive spanners to lock the height and angle of the platform.  Also includes an angle-finder to aid in setting up at the correct angle for the tool's bevel angle.
447 Deluxe Universal Sharpening System:  A combination of the two devices detailed above.  The fingernail profiler can be dropped back or the arm removed completely to give clear access to the flat platform for square-on grinding.

 

**NB: Prices quoted in pounds sterling. 
Value Added Tax will be added to invoices to EU
residents, unless a valid EU VAT Registration Number is provided (see Cashier page)

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ProEdge Sharpening System is a revolutionary sharpening system introduced by Robert Sorby. In fact, the concept is far from new as the ProEdge largely replicates the tool sharpening system which has evolved in the Robert Sorby factory over many, many years. This compact system is now available to woodworkers whether operating in a large workshop or small shed.

Central to the ProEdge is an abrasive belt which is a quick and efficient method of putting a keen edge on each and every tool. The cool running belt avoids any overheating. The ProEdge comes complete with aluminium oxide and zirconium belts with a selection of sizes in those materials and ceramic also available.

The system comes with an angle setter which allows the user to accurately locate most of the common sharpening angles required by woodworkers. However, the user can easily set his own angle if he wishes to move away from any of these common pre-set angles - 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 45, 60, 80 and 90 degrees. The angle setter ensures that the same angle can be achieved accurately time after time. There is no complex setting up involved. In fact, the ProEdge can be used straight out of the box.

The ProEdge can be used to sharpen carving tools, bench chisels, framing chisels, turning tools, plane irons, router bits, garden tools and more.  There are additional attachments to help the turner overcome sharpening difficulties with skew chisels, standard and fingernail profile gouges.

As optional extras honing wheels and buffing mops may be added to give the ProEdge even greater versatility.

There are two models. The ProEdge (ref. PE01A) comes complete with aluminium oxide and zirconium belts handle most jobs. The ProEdge Plus (ref. PED01A) also includes a number of further accessories of especial value to the woodturner - a skew chisel jig, a fingernail gouge profiler and a standard gouge jig.

The skew chisel jig, fingernail and standard gouge jigs may also be used along with an attachment table (447JAT) to the Robert Sorby Sharpening System (refs 446 and 447).

For those working with mini or midi tools there is also a short tool rest (ref. PESPC). This measures 1" (25mm) in length - compared with 2.3/8" (60mm) for the standard rest - thereby allowing the user to sharpen shorter tools without fouling or catching on the rest.

 

Unlike other sharpening systems, the sharpening media (the abrasive belts) for the Pro-Edge must be considered as consumables.  Knowing the importance of critical sharpness, but aware of the "economic" inclinations of some woodworkers, we have sought out a source of replacement belts which offer a performance at least as good as that of the original manufacturer's belts but at a more affordable price point.  So if you seek high performance from your Pro-Edge but at a price that means that you can change the belt more frequently and enjoy that "fresh" performance, every time you use the machine, then these could be the belts for you. The available grits include:-

  • Aluminium Oxide (AlOx): A good, fast-cutting, economical general purpose belt using this hard and durable grain. Normally coloured brown.
  • Zirconium: Gives outstanding cutting performance with high rate of stock removal whilst reducing temperature in the grinding zone. This gives an extended service life and reduces the chance of overheating tools during the grinding process. The continuous breakdown of the grains throughout the life of the belt provides a consistent grain sharpness. Normally coloured blue.
  • Ceramic: The premium belt for the coolest aggressive grinding.  Ideal for re-shaping tools since the stock removal rate is high. Especially suitable for use on high alloy steels. Normally coloured red.

 

**NB: Prices quoted in pounds sterling. 
Value Added Tax will be added to invoices to EU
residents, unless a valid EU VAT Registration Number is provided (see Cashier page)

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1997-2009 P. Hemsley.  The information on this website is the copyright property of Peter Hemsley.  Coeur du Bois and The ToolPost are trading styles of Peter Hemsley.  Whilst reasonable efforts are made to ensure the accuracy of information presented, no liability can be accepted for errors in this information nor for contingencies arising therefrom.  If you are inexperienced in any aspect of woodworking, we would strongly counsel that you take a course of formal instruction before commencing to practice