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  • Tungsten Sharpening

    Not being able to afford one of the fancy automatic tungsten sharpeners, I have been doing what I suspect most are - sharpening on a grinder and then polishing on abrasives of one sort or the other.

    Roaming around in my local big box store the other day, I stumbled on this :

    Click image for larger version

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    A few longitudinal swipes on this with the tungsten after sharpening on the grinder really smooths it out. I have noticed an improvement in the arc.

    The best part is that the stones were less than $6.00 each. I bought one for steel and one for aluminum.

  • #2
    There is a product made by Dynaflux called Chem Sharp. This is a powder that will sharpen your tungsten without grinding.

    http://www.weldersource.com/chemsharp.html

    All you do is heat your tungsten by either dead shorting the tungsten or by a propane torch. Then dip the tungsten into the Chem Sharp holding the tungsten straight up and down and continue to dip until the desired tungsten point. It really works great and it's only about $7 or $8 a jar.
    Rich Ferguson
    Sales Technician
    Jackson Welding Supply Co.
    "Keep America Strong.....Weld It"
    www.jacksonweldingsupply.com

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    • #3
      I like to take the tray out of the bottom of the drill doctor and sharpen mine, works great. That's the only thing it's good for, it don't sharpen bits very well.
      Dewayne Sullivan
      Dixieland Welding
      Lewisburg, TN

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      • #4
        For the past 25 years I've just used a 1/4" drill motor and a bench grinder to sharpen tungston. Pretty simple thing to do. Just hand tighten the tungston in the drill motor chuck. When I say hand tighten I mean tighten up the chuck then hold the chuck with your hand and hit the trigger on the drill motor. This causes the chuck to tighten up on the tungston to firmly hold it in place and it also makes it alot easier to loosen the chuck with just a quick twist of the chuck when you get through sharpening the tungston, instead of having to use the chuck key everytime. Turn on the bench grinder, turn on the drill motor and lay the tungston against the face of the grinder wheel, at an angle to the wheel, apply slight pressure and in a couple of seconds you'll have a nice sharp tapered point on the tungston. No need to purchase high dollar tungston sharpners or other gadgets that pop up on the market every so often.
        Bill

        Miller Dialarc 250 AC/DC
        Miller 251
        Thermodynamics Plasma arc
        Benard "Center Fire" wirefeed gun
        Miller alum. spool gun
        Tweco Tig torch
        Victor O/A torches
        B&D Wildcat 9" grinder
        DeWalt 10 amp 4-1/2" grinders
        7"x12" bandsaw

        A shop that's always going to be to small.

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        • #5
          This is the same way I sharpen mine. Slow speed on the drill works fine. Now with the combination of the diamond stone and the drill, I'm getting much better arc performance.

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          • #6
            Gee, I just use the regular grinder. Last place had 18 in belt sander...

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            • #7
              I bought a tool sharpener from sears to use just for tungston and that works well also. Just a thought

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              • #8
                Originally posted by littlefuzz View Post
                I like to take the tray out of the bottom of the drill doctor and sharpen mine, works great. That's the only thing it's good for, it don't sharpen bits very well.
                I've been wondering about this method...glad you cleared it up. I dug mine outta the corner last week (after tossing it there last year when it wouldn't sharpen Jack Schidt for a drill bit!!) but haven't actually tried it yet. I'm stoked to know someone else out there has done it with success.

                I also keep meaning to look for some of that powder Rich keeps talking about...seems like a neat thing, especially when I'm out on the road and not near my bench grinder. Then again, if this DrillDr works, I'll toss it in the toolbox and just plug it in when I need it.
                sigpic
                Clint Baxley
                Baxley Welding Service
                Rembert, SC 29128

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                • #9
                  Drill Doctor

                  I have owned the smaller (3/32 - 1/2") model for several years now, and it sharpens bits fine. The key is to make sure you have the bit oriented properly. I messed up a couple of times until I got it right.

                  As for the hook sharpener I originally posted on, it wasn't something I was looking for, just happened on it and a light went off. I've used small diamond hones for years with my carving knives and figured I couldn't lose even if it didn't work on tungstens. I'm very happy with the results. The grain of the stone is such that you get a good polish on the tungsten.

                  Not saying this is for everyone, but works for me. As for the "Chemsharp", I looked into this a while back and read some less than complimentary comments about it. Plus, I can grind and hone a tungsten quicker than I can heat one and dip it. I might try it one day, but for now I'm pretty much set for sharpening.

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                  • #10
                    Clint:

                    I have an older Drill Doctor - Model 750. It is the large upright one that has the clear plastic cover on the top over the diamond grinding wheel. I removed the cover and it does a heck of a job sharpening 1/16" and 3/32" tungsten. I have not tried it on 1/8" tungsten but don't think that it would do well as the circumference of the wheel is small enough that I think it would give a dished out shape rather than a long smooth point on the larger tungsten. Quick. Easy. And the diamond wheels for the Drill Doctor are relatively inexpensive compared to many diamond wheels. Being a Tig Noobie I do a lot of sharpening since I seem to be quite proficient at dipping the tungsten into the puddle.

                    Unlike you and Littlefuzz I find that the Drill Doctor REALLY sharpens drill bits well. It took me awhile to get the hang of it, and I will admit that I have never had much success sharpening something like a 1/8" drill bit, but for 1/4" up to 5/8" which I sharpen regularly I swear by it, not at it.

                    Adios

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                    • #11
                      Well, I went out and found my Drill Doctor. Every single hole was filled with dirt dobbers. Got it mostly cleaned out, and took it apart to aid the process. Am going to soak the top plastic piece in warm dishwater to finish it up and then blow it clean/dry with the air compressor.

                      The smallest hole I've got is 9/64" <3.2mm or so> which is one step larger than a 1/8" tungsten. Don't know how good it'll do on 3/32" but maybe if I'm careful I can come up with something. Otherwise I'll take the top completely off, fashion a guard of some sort, and use the spinning stone and see what happens. Also found 4 extra replacement sharpening stones for it, even though the one that's on there is barely used.
                      sigpic
                      Clint Baxley
                      Baxley Welding Service
                      Rembert, SC 29128

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                      • #12
                        Glad I read this. I saw the method using the drill in a book I was reading today and wondered how well it would work. I don't like getting my hands that close to the grinder anyway, I would much rather the drill get scrapped up.
                        sigpic 6010
                        If I had know I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.

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                        • #13
                          I can't believe more people have not tried this solution. it costs about 40 bucks and gives great quality results. I purchased a diamond lapidary wheel off of ebay (seller is buty i believe) its a flat diamond coated disk. i used a unibit to drill it out to the same diameter as the bench grinder arbor, then put it outboard of my existing grinding wheel. I use a drill and get diamond quality grinding for about 1/2 - 1/3 the cost of a diamond wheel.
                          Dynasty 200 DX
                          Millermatic 175
                          Spectrum 375
                          All kinds of Smith OA gear

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                          • #14
                            diamond lapidary

                            Originally posted by Laiky View Post
                            I can't believe more people have not tried this solution. it costs about 40 bucks and gives great quality results. I purchased a diamond lapidary wheel off of ebay (seller is buty i believe) its a flat diamond coated disk. i used a unibit to drill it out to the same diameter as the bench grinder arbor, then put it outboard of my existing grinding wheel. I use a drill and get diamond quality grinding for about 1/2 - 1/3 the cost of a diamond wheel.
                            What grit diamond lapidary disc do you use?

                            Rush

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                            • #15
                              Drill Doctor

                              My old (useless) B&D Drill Sharpener now has four angled holes at the base of the grinding section. My tungstens fit neatly into the holes and are ground on the outer edge of the flat bottom of the stone. Virg*n stone there, never been had by anything else.

                              The one problem is that it won't work for tungstens less than 3" long.



                              Joe

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