Thursday, June 10, 2010

Buffing and Grinding Wheels

Tod Herrli has a speedy way to hone his complex-profile moulding plane blades—with buffing wheels.

Ever the resourceful fellow, Tod makes his own using cardboard from cereal boxes and tablets.*

By gluing discs of cardboard together, he creates various thicknesses of buffing wheels according to his needs.

He bores a hole in the glued-up wheel, mounts it on his grinder, and shapes a rounded profile with a shop-made tool that looks a lot like the rounded profile on a woodturning scraper (photo 1).

I took a class taught by Tod a few days ago on making side escapement planes (blog post to follow) where we used his wheels to do the final sharpening on our blades.

Buffing wheels need to spin in the opposite direction (away from you**) than grinding wheels, so Tod built a sharpening station that captures the catapulted rouge when it's applied to the spinning cardboard wheels (photo 2).

He also showed us another trick (photos 3-6). The center holes on grinding wheels need to fit the arbor on your grinder. So if you have a wheel with too large a hole, here's how Tod remedies the situation.

He glues a dowel, which matches the diameter of his arbor, into a hole in a board; draws a 6" diameter circle around the dowel to help him center the grinding wheel; wraps a piece of paper around the dowel; and fills the cavity with hot glue. The paper keeps the glue from sticking to the dowel. Once dry, the grinding wheel fits perfectly on his grinder.

He then uses a dressing tool to round the profile on the wheel so it can be used for grinding moulding plane profiles on newly-made blades.

*MDF will also work. **Buffing wheels must spin away from you, otherwise, the tool might catch in the wheel, resulting in injury.