Harold Hall

Workshop Processes


Tool and Cutter Sharpening             Harold Hall

Sharpening workshop tools is probably considered by many workshop owners to be one of the most difficult tasks to understand, and put into practice. A major factor is though the limited equipment that most home workshops have. This largely due to the necessary equipment either being too expensive, too large or too big a task to make in the workshop itself, the quorn for example.


Because of this, I developed a grinding rest that would go a long way to overcome the above deterrents. Subsequently, I also developed a simpler rest that could be made without the benefit of a milling machine being available. Both are equally capable but the more advanced one is just a little easier to use, click on the links above to view the details of these.


The purpose of these pages is to illustrate how these can be used to shape and sharpen tools, virtually as good as can be achieved with much more complex and  expensive equipment


Both rests use the same range of accessories including one that permits the spiral cutting edges of an end mill to be sharpened. These are shown in Photograph 1 and as can be seen are all quite simple except that for the spiral edges of end mills. In fact, I included this in the original articles for completeness but consider that unless the reader makes considerable use of their milling machine it is not worth the effort of making it. Sharpening the end cutting edges is though easy and as will be seen needs very little additional items beyond the rest itself. It can, if surfacing, improve the resulting finish appreciably and is therefore well worth doing.


If the viewer feels unable for some reason to make one of the two rests featured in this process, then a method of sharpening just the end cutting edges is also included on the site,


All pictures can be clicked on to provide a larger view





Whilst quite different both rests possess the same range of facilities. Fine feed, to control the depth of cut and or position, is provided for both the X and Y axis, with the table moving to provide both on the complex rest but with the simpler rest the table moves for one and a fence on the table for the other. The feed knobs are calibrated in increments of 0.02mm but this is just for ensuring that a small depth of cut is being taken and is not used for setting dimensions over a longer distance.





Videos showing tools being sharpened using my grinding Rests