CBN grinding wheel for sharpening woodturning tools
CBN (cubic boron nitride) grinding wheels have advantages for grinding woodturning tools. They are the latest must-have kit. Unlike conventional wheels, they don’t require dressing to clean and true them, so make less dust, and they don’t wear down to a smaller diameter. They are said to be very long-lasting. This means that any jigs used with them never need adjusting after initial set-up. They have a thin layer of grit on a heavy steel or aluminium wheel. They are available with very fine grit and produce an excellent sharp edge on the tools. They are suitable for high speed steel and hardened carbon steel, but unhardened steel may clog them.
I recently invested in a 180 grit 200 x 40 mm CBN wheel from Optigrind and installed it on my VEM grinder, which though old is a reasonably good quality machine. Some small burrs from the old wheel bushes made them too tight for the new wheel. Holding the steel bushes in my woodturning chuck, I skimmed them very lightly with a graver. They would have gone in as they were, but perhaps never come out again!