Rikon's lathe tool sharpening system

Rikon’s New and Improved Lathe Tool Sharpening System

Rikon Tools in Billerica, Massachusetts has released an updated version of a traditional lathe tool sharpening system. Designed for 6” or 8” slow bench grinders, the 82-1005 system can create a fingernail grind on gouges, touch up skews and sharpen scrapers, among other tasks. The updates include two cam levers rather than the normal one to lock the platform, which delivers an added level of stability. Plus, the new platform includes a miter gauge slot and there’s a new angle gauge (82-1008) that works in that slot.

The long arm’s tool holder now has a couple of predrilled holes for easy mounting of the skew jig (item 82-1006). Both the long and short arms in the new system have small screws at their rear ends to prevent them from accidentally pulling out of the bases. (These safety screws can be removed, if desired.)

Other updates include a gouge accessory (82-1007) with very generous 40mm wide openings to accommodate larger tools, and a bigger platform at the bottom of the holding screw to secure those wider tools.

The Rikon system comes with a baked enamel finish so rust won’t be an issue. It includes two locking bases, a long V-arm, a short 90-degree platform arm, a tool-rest platform for the short arm, an adjustable lever handle and the mounting hardware.

The fingernail gouge accessory delivers bevels at consistent, repeatable angles and shape. There’s 40 degrees of adjustment, so setting the bevel to grind is easy. The clamp firmly holds tool shafts from 3/16” to 1-3/8” thick, and up to 1-9/16” wide. That makes it ideal for sharpening of spindle, bowl and roughing gouges, and also for maintaining their cutting edges as you work. It handles simple bevels, side ground variations and fingernails. It actually works well for sharpening some carving tools, too.

The new angle gauge makes it easy to grind turning tools to exact skew angles when using the platform tool-rest. This is ideal for sharpening skews, diamond point scrapers and threading cutters for wood or even metal turning tools. The gauge has two angle scales of 0 to 24 degrees and 90 to 74 degrees right and left.

The skew accessory securely positions the chisels at offset angles to the grinding wheel for precise sharpening of the tool’s double bevel. Left and right V-shaped holders mean that when a skew is moved to grind the second bevel, the same exact angle is maintained.

The new sharpening system is listed at $149.99. At the time we published, it wasn’t yet up on the Rikon website but the company says that interested woodworkers can call 877-884-5167 to ask about availability.