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Claude Godcharles, Dennis Lillis

Lookin' sharp

Claude Godcharles, Dennis Lillis

Jun 2015

This article appeared in our 2015 june issue of Chips & Chatter.

Lookin' sharp

Claude Godcharles, from West Bay Area Woodturners, and SVW’s own Dennis Lillis presented two aspects of tool sharpening at the June meeting. Claude brought his shop made sharpening fixtures to illustrate several salient points. 


While his fixtures are modeled after commercially available products, Claude has made a significant improvement in his tool rest in making the rest’s profile a half circle, rather than a rectangle. This enables him to cleanly sweep a curved scraper without interference from the edges of the tool rest. 


While Claude explained the pros of using a sharpening jig system, he personally freehand sharpens his tools, with 40 degrees as his benchmark angle. Claude also mentioned cleaning up the inside surface of gouges helps to achieve a sharp edge. He prefers to use an abrasive impregnated rubber wheel in a Dremel type tool for this, but a slip stone also works. 


Dennis’s presentation was devoted to refining the sharp edge by honing. Using diamond slips and polishing compound on a leather strop board, Dennis brings his tool edges to shaving sharp.