Rose Engine Fly Cutter, Round Rod

As with other tools, these cutters should be re-honed many times before they need to be re-ground (i.e., re-shaping them). This saves time, as well as making better use of the investment in the cutter metal.

Once the shape is established, the sharpener only needs to re-shape the cutter occasionally. Re-hone often.


The cutter shown to the right is a "V" shaped cutter, but shows the general ideas behind the angles noted below. The cutting edge shapes shown below are the cutter when viewed from the top.


Some historical information about sharpening these is available on the Ornamental Turning Book of Knowledge.

General Guidelines
Shape β Comments
Prim Micro bevel
60° 30° 60°

V Shaped Cutter

Use the Tormek SVD-110 Tool Rest with the Square Cutter Holder and an angle jig (example below).

For the micro bevel, use the WM-200 AngleMaster to set the angle of the SVD-110 at 75°.

The high β angle helps support the cutting edge.

Setting a nose radius of 0.007 in. (0.2 mm) is a good idea. If it is too pointy, the result on the work will look rather like a just-raked sand trap.

A similarly radiused approach is shown on the carbide insert pictured to the right.

n/a 65° n/a
SVD-186/185
Jig Settings
Hole JS P
B 4 55 mm

U Shaped Cutter

Use the Tormek SVD-186 or SVD-185 Gouge Jig, in conjunction with the Round Cutter Holder

n/a 30° 60°

Square Ended Cutter

Use the Tormek SVD-110 Tool Rest with the Square Cutter Holder.

The high β angle helps support the cutting edge.



Notes & Comments

Jon Magill wrote a really great article for the Spring 2008 edition (Vol 23, #1) of AAW's "American Woodturner". In the article titled, Build an Overhead Drive (pages 30-31), he wrote:

Cutters must be sharp! You will never achieve a reflective cut off the tool, which is always the goal in OT, if your cutter isn’t sharp. I once read that you can never get a better finish off of your tool than the finish on the tool itself. In other words, unless your cutter has a mirror finish, you cannot expect to produce a mirror finish on your work.

Round Cutter Holder

Dimensions for the Round Cutter Holder are not terribly critical. I used 1 inch steel rod for mine, and it works very well.

The end hole must be drilled for the cutter size. I use 3/16 inch rod for my cutters, so I used a #12 (0.1890) drill for the cutter insertion hole. Also, the diameter of the overall shaft must fit into the Tormek SVD-186 or SVD-185 jig.

Square Cutter Holder

Dimensions for the Square Cutter Holder are also not terribly critical. I used ½ inch square steel rod, 2 ½ inches long for mine, and it works very well.

And as with the Round Cutter Holder, the end hole must be drilled for the cutter size. I use 3/16 inch rod for my cutters, so I used a #12 (0.1890) drill for the cutter insertion hole.

Square Cutter Holder Jig for the SVD-110

The plywood block shown to the right is used to align the Square Cutter Holder for proper, accurate angles when sharpening.

This one has an angle of 120°.

It was cut so that it would slide along the SVD-110 and not hit the grindstone.


The Accu-Finish machine has been used for years by machinists. These machines use diamond wheels, or a ceramic lapping wheel with a diamond spray. It is is a really great machine, especially as it has a built-in goniostat, but it can be a bit expensive.

The video to the left shows a demonstration of one that was given at the 2018 Ornamental Turners International Symposium.

I've found the Tormek grinder to meet my needs, though I did have to make some of my own jigs.


Tormek is a copyrighted logo of Tormek AB. Its presentation on this site is used to help the user quickly understand when specific Tormek tools, jigs, or setting are being used. For specific information regarding Tormek AB, or its products, please refer to the www.Tormek.com.


About this site
Remember : The goal of sharpening is to produce sharp tools, and these tools can injure you if mishandled. Safety measures should be followed to protect yourself and those in your shop. Be sure to read and follow all instructions from the manufacturer, and and utilize proper safety equipment. Never consume alcohol or anything that could impair your judgement before sharpening tools, or using sharp tools. Comments can be sent via eMail to me at SharpeningHandbook@Gmail.com.