The cutter tip for the OneWay Easy-Core Coring System is a mighty cutting dynamo that needs to be sharpened frequently.
How do you sharpen the OneWay Easy-Core Cutter tip?
There are a few ways to sharpen the OneWay Easy-Core Cutter. You can sharpen by hand with a diamond hone, or there are a couple ways to sharpen the Easy-Core Cutter at your sharpening station.
How Not To Sharpen The Oneway Cutter
Perhaps you looked at the cutter mounted to the knife arm on the Oneway Coring System and thought, “I can just leave the cutter in the knife and bring the whole knife arm to the sharpener.”
This won’t work well, besides you would need to grind down the set screw to sharpen the top surface of the cutter.
But don’t worry you’re not alone, I thought about doing that myself too. There are better ways to sharpen the cutter tip, keep reading.
In this article, I will share with you three different ways to sharpen the OneWay Easy-Core Cutter tip.
Cutter Tip Sharpening Frequency
If the cutter tip is dull, it will require more force on the cutting knife to make the coring cut. Added pressure can cause the knife path to stray and vary and make the cutting path wider than needed.
The tip of the Easy-Core Coring System is the workhorse of the entire coring system, and it needs to stay sharp.
Every wood is different and will dull the cutter tip at a different rate.
I have found dry hardwoods can be brutal on the coring cutter tip. Sometimes the cutter tip might need to be sharpened several times for just one coring bowl cut.
On the other hand, green wet wood can be a dream to core out. I’ve
When To Sharpen
If you’re noticing that the OneWay Coring knife is not proceeding as quickly into the cutting pass, it might be time to sharpen the cutter tip.
Another sign that the cutter tip needs to be resharpened is the size of the dust and shavings.
The cut made by the OneWay Easy-Core Cutter is a hybrid scrape and cut. With a sharp cutter blade you will probably see dust from the end-grain areas and some curly shavings from the side-grain cuts, depending on the wood.
When the cutter blade is dull, the cut will produce finer dust, and the side grain cuts can change from shavings to dust as well.
If you’re seeing smoke come out of the coring cut, the cutter tip most likely needs to be sharpened immediately, and the force used to make the cut, lathe speed or handle pressure, or both, needs to be reduced.
Before You Sharpen The Cutter Tip
The OneWay Easy-Core Cutter must be removed from the cutting knife before it can be sharpened.
The top surface of the cutter needs to be honed smooth and the hex screw, which protrudes, will be in the way of the sharpening process.
Remove the hex screw from the cutter head carefully with an Allen wrench and place it on a magnet or magnetic tray. This little screw is pretty small and if dropped on the floor covered with shavings can easily be lost.
Also, it’s a good idea to clear out any dust on the OneWay Coring System knife edge and in the screw hole itself. This will assure that the cutter tip will seat properly when it is returned.
Keep a container of water handy as well to cool the cutter, as it can get hot during the sharpening process.
Sharpen OneWay Cutter By Hand
The quickest and easiest way to sharpen the OneWay Easy-Core Cutter tip is by hand using a simple diamond hone card.
There is an issue with sharpening or honing by hand, and that is accuracy. Maintaining the manufacturer’s angles and edges on the cutter tip can be tricky when hand-honing.
To help eliminate too many different motion directions, place the diamond hone on a flat surface. The flat surface keeps one side of the equation stable.
You don’t want to hold the hone in one hand and the cutter tip in the other hand. That will create multiple organic fluid motions, and the results will be curved surfaces instead of sharp, crisp cutter bevels.
What Needs Sharpening
There are only three surfaces that need attention: the flat top surface and the two bevel edges of the cutter point.
There is no need to sharpen any other areas of the OneWay cutter tip because the only surfaces making the cuts are the top and the pointed tip.
I’ll mention this because it is in the instructions, but it seems pretty obvious. The grooves on the bottom of the cutter do NOT get sharpened. They need to stay as they are because they grip and interlock with the cutting knife surface.
Sharpening By Hand Technique
With the diamond hone on a flat surface, start by honing the flat top surface of the cutter head. In smooth, fluid motions, slide the cutter upside down across the diamond hone.
Once the entire top surface of the OneWay cutter is clean and smooth you can move on to the arrow pointed tip.
The pointed tip is the trickiest part of the sharpening process. Take your time and position your hand so that each sharp angle is flush with the diamond hone surface.
Adjust your position until the beveled surface of the cutter tip is flat on the hone. Just match the existing angles on the cutter tip.
It is a good idea to rest your wrist on the flat surface to help stabilize and maintain your back and forth motions.
Slide the cutter head back and forth until each bevel edge is clean and crisp again.
While this hand-sharpening technique will work, maintaining consistency is not easy. When I did this, over time, the cutter blade angles shifted a bit, and the flat cutting surfaces became more rounded than flat.
Losing Cutter Tip Angles
Over time, the angles of the cutter tip may drift and change slightly, or perhaps worse.
The bevel angles of the tip should be 45° from top to bottom, and the arrow point is comprised of two 20° angles that meet in the middle.
Of course, just like the numerous potential bowl gouge angles, these do not need to be exact but probably shouldn’t deviate too much either.
Can OneWay Easy-Core cutters be sharpened on a CBN wheel?
Yes, the cutter can be sharpened on a CBN wheel by hand or with the aid of the OneWay Easy-Core Cutter Sharpening Jig.
Sharpening Cutter On Wheel Handheld
The second way to sharpen the Easy-Core Coring System Cutter is to use the sharpening wheel at your sharpening station and hold the cutter tip by hand.
Due to the small size of the cutter tip, it is a bit unnerving making contact with the sharpening wheel. If this idea is not for you, skip down to the next way to sharpen the cutter or try gripping the cutter tip with pliers.
Sharpening on the wheel by hand requires positioning the sharpening platform to an angle that best matches the angled bevels on the cutter tip. Adjust the sharpening platform before turning on the grinder.
Use the finest sharpening wheel you have. I use my 180 grit CBN wheel to sharpen my OneWay Easy-Core cutter tips.
Be sure the platform is as close to the sharpening wheel as possible. Any gap can allow the cutter to catch and be drug downward.
Be Safe At The Sharpening Wheel
Obviously, wear all your safety gear (safety glasses, gloves, face-shield isn’t a bad idea either), just in case.
Take your time and gently ease the cutter surfaces one by one into position to contact the sharpening wheel surface. Make short light contact only and check the surface frequently.
This should only take a couple of light touches to the wheel to restore the edge on the cutter bevels. Be careful not to cut too long or with too much pressure, because you can quickly reshape the whole cutter by sharpening too long.
Easy-Core Cutter Sharpening Jig
The third and the current way I sharpen with the OneWay cutter is with the Easy-Core Cutter Sharpening Jig.
When I said I will help you learn everything I know about wood bowl turning, I meant it. See, now you know two ways that sorta work all without having to go through all those steps, if you don’t want to. Ha!
By far, the easiest way to sharpen this little OneWay cutter head is by using the Easy-Core Cutter Sharpening Jig. The jig acts as a holder and guide to maintain the cutter head as you bring it in contact with the sharpening wheel.
Using The Easy-Core Cutter Sharpening Jig
Another great reason to use this jig is that it comes with an angle platform template. With the grinder off, position your platform with the included angle template and the platform is set. No guessing or fussing is needed.
The sharpening jig comes with an additional screw that is shorter and will sit down into the cutter tip, out of the way. This way, the top surface of the cutter is clearly exposed and ready to be sharpened smoothly.
First Sharpening Pass
Use the smaller angle platform template, which is 90° to adjust the sharpening platform to 90°. This will be the angle needed to sharpen the top surface of the cutter.
With the cutter head affixed to the jig, lay the jig on its side on the platform and lightly contact the turning sharpening wheel to smooth the top surface.
Second Sharpening Passes
Next, use the 45°, or larger template to adjust the platform to 45°. Again, with the jig laying on its side on the platform bring the pointed tip of the cutter to the sharpening wheel.
The platform angle is taking care of the 45° angle undercut bevel, but you will need to approximate the two 20° angles that make the point.
Gently contact the wheel until one side is 20° and sharpen the surface smooth and clean. Then rotate the jig to the side at the opposite angle and repeat the 20° angle on the other side.
Once the OneWay cutter has clean, shiny, smooth cutting surfaces, carefully return it to the seated grooves on the cutting knife.
Secure the cutter in place with the hex screw and tighten the screw with an Allen wrench.
You should notice a more natural and smoother cut after returning a sharp cutter head to the OneWay Coring Cutting Knife.
I can assure you from my experience, that frequent sharpening of the OneWay cutter is essential in the process of coring bowl blanks with the OneWay Easy-Core Coring System.
As a matter of fact, as part of my set up before coring wood bowls with the Oneway Coring System, I sharpen all the cutter tips in advance, so they are primed and ready to cut at one hundred percent.
Sharpening can be done by hand with a simple diamond hone or much more accurately with the dedicated sharpening jig. Either way, keep the cutter sharp, and the coring process will operate smoothly.
Check out the Recommended Bowl Coring Guide for a complete list of all the Oneway Easy-Core Coring System products.
To understand how to size and purchase the right Oneway Easy-Core Coring System parts for your lathe, be sure to read this article.
For all the details of coring bowl blanks with this system, read this complete How To Use the Oneway Easy-Core Coring system illustrated article.
BONUS: For an extra Oneway Coring Cutter Tip Sharpening trick, check out what I learned from Glenn Lucas in this article.