General Information on Sharpening
Rose Engine Fly Cutters

Typical Grinding Media Used
  • SB-250 Original Grindstone, graded course
  • DC-250 Diamond Wheel Course
  • 60 grit ProEdge Zirconium Belt
  • CBN wheel : <100 grit
  • Very friable grindstone : 80 - 100 grit
  • Sandpaper : <100 grit

Shaping the Tool - Rose Engine Fly Cutters are typically only (re)shaped once in their lifetime. And that happens when the woodworker gets the tool from the manufacturer and adjusts it to their own preferences, or when they make their own.

Typical Grinding Media Used
  • SB-250 Black Grindstone, graded fine
  • DE-250 Diamond Wheel Extra Fine
  • DF-250 Diamond Wheel Fine
  • 120 grit ProEdge Zirconium Belt
  • Pedia ProEdge Diamond Belt
  • 600 grit ProEdge Trizact Belt
  • 1,200 grit ProEdge Trizact Belt
  • CBN wheel : 150-180 grit
  • Very friable grindstone : 150 - 180 grit
  • Sandpaper : 150 - 250 grit

Sharpening the Tool - Rose Engine Fly Cutters should be resharpened as often as possible, given that the cutter cannot be removed when being used on a single operation (on the side or end of a piece). So, all the side cuts would be done without removing the cutter from the cutter holder. But it can be resharpened before switching to the end of the piece.

And of course, the tool must be resharpened whenever the woodworker moves the cutter so that the cutter hits the chuck. (Please do not ask how I know.)

Honing and Stropping
to remove the burr
Typical Grinding Media Used
  • SJ-250 Japanese Waterstone
  • 3,000 grit ProEdge Trizact Belt
  • Japanese Waterstone : 4,000+ grit

Honing the Tool - This is especially important for ornamental turning as the piece should not be sanded once the cutting is done. The quality of the cut is a mark of the ornamental turner's abilities.

Note: When honing or stropping, the side to start on is the one where the grinding was last done. If you start on the other side, the burr will get ripped off and you can end up with an edge like above.

Typical Grinding Media Used
  • Leather honing wheel with a honing compound
  • Paper wheel with a honing compound or diamond honing paste
  • Leather strop (e.g., horse butt leather) with a honing compound
  • Medium density fibreboard (MDF) shaped for the tool's edge, and using a honing compound or diamond paste

Stropping the Tool - Some ornamental turners choose not to strop their tools. Your call; however it is recommended to help get the tool as sharp as possible.

My experience has been that stropping is especially useful when using the SJ-250 Japanese Waterstone for honing. I do not have finer stones (e.g., 12,000 grit Japanese waterstones), so stropping seems to cover that gap for me.