Beginner’s question about tool sharpening

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  • #48210
    [email protected]
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    These questions are either for Bob or someone else on the forum who uses the watchmaker’s lathe and good quality screwdrivers and knows the importance of tool sharpness. I am an absolute beginner and I am doing the online courses a bit and a piece at a time. I went through the watchmaking courses once and I am an animal of habit, I will re-run the lessons many many times. Right now I am looking at the first lathework lesson and have just seen the sequence where Bob is sharpening the graver. I know the importance of keeping lathe tools sharp from my high school days working on 10″ and 12″ engine lathes. I know the importance of keeping screwdrivers not only sharp but shaped correctly by the number of screw heads I have ruined over the years trying to use screwdrivers with compromised shapes, sizes and degrees of sharpness.

    Here are some questions and where possible I would like to get a recommendation of brand or specific type or composition and if you know a good place to buy these that will save searching…

    Question #1: What kind of stone is best for sharpening good quality watch screwdrivers? (I have Horotecs)

    Question #2: What kind of sharpening guide tools should I round up for screwdrivers?

    Question #3: What kind of stone is best for sharpening tool-steel gravers?

    Question #4: I saw the sharpening guide for gravers used in the lathe lesson, who makes it/who has it?

    Thanks in advance…

    #51219
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1557

    Great and very important questions Dkrugler!
    If your Horotec screwdrivers have straight blades then you can use a standard holder. I’ll try to find some links to this tool and all others that I mention in this post and will put them up here in an hour or so. If they are the “hollow ground” (concave) blade (I believe they offer both) then Horotec makes a sharpener that will maintain this blade radius while keeping the grind lines running horizontal to the blade bottom. Problem is that the tool is very expensive. Most of my screwdrivers are straight edged but I do have some that are hollow ground and like to maintain the same shape when possible. For this type of blade I usually use my Foredom flex tool with fine sanding cylinders (Got mine from a machinery supply house but I think Dremel has them too) which does a pretty good job for me. This runs the abrasion lines vertically though. When finished I just manually draw the blade along the length of the cylinder enough to change the grain direction. For straight edged blades grinding I use a FINE 2″ x 6″ Indian stone. If you like a more polished blade you can then repeat the process with a White Hard Arkansas stone.
    I use the same stones mentioned above for grinding gravers. For normal or rough cutting I just use the gravers sharpened with the Fine 2″x 6″ Indian stone. For finishing cuts I use gravers that have been finished with the white Ark. stone.
    Heading out the door right now (grocery store run) but will grab some links to these tools and post them up here when I get back.
    Bob

    #51220
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1557

    Here are some links that I mentioned above:

    Horotec Screwdriver Sharpener: http://www.jewelerssupplies.com/Screwdriver-Blade-Sharpener.html

    Standard Watchmaker Screwdriver Sharpener: http://www.esslinger.com/screwdriversharpener.aspx

    Croker Graver Sharpener: http://www.contenti.com/products/engraving-tools/250-942.html

    For Inexpensive Graver Jig: put “Graver Jig” into eBay search and some will come up.

    Good screwdriver sharpening explanation: http://members.iinet.net.au/~fotoplot/sdriver/sdriver.html

    Enjoy!
    Bob

    #51221
    [email protected]
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 3
    • Total Posts: 7

    Hi Bob; These are some great tips (no pun intended) and appreciate the links too. We are headed for Austin TX tomorrow to see my new first grand daughter and will be away for awhile. When I get back I will look into ordering some sharpening equipment. Thanks again for your responses. Dave

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[email protected]Beginner’s question about tool sharpening