Wood carving and woodturning are fantastic hobbies for everyone and it is a pleasure to see how simple piece of wood becomes a work of art. In our previous articles we tought you something about Wood carving tools, something about Woodturning tools, and even How to sharpen wood carving tools. If you are a wood carver, a woodturner or you are just making your first steps in carving or turning, first thing that you learn is that your tools must be razor sharp at all times. There are endless theories which is the best way to sharpen your wood carving and woodturning tools but we think that it is best that we trust those how make high quality tools and that is why we decided to make a review of the Robert Sorby ProEdge Plus sharpening system. This machine incorporates each step in sharpening process and it is all you need for razor sharp tools.
Robert Sorby is one of the oldest companies in the world which makes woodworking, wood carving and woodturning tools and it has started to make tools in the 17th century. During all those years the name Robert Sorby represent quality of hand crafted tools. Even today all of the Robert Sorby tools are hand crafted and hand sharpen and they represent one of the best and most trusted brands in the world.
ProEdge is a revolutionary sharpening system but in fact, the concept is far from new as the ProEdge largely replicates the tool sharpening system which has evolved in the Robert Sorby factory over many, many years. This compact system is now available to woodworkers whether operating in a large workshop or small shed. The center of the tool is an abrasive belt which is a quick and efficient method of putting a keen edge on each and every tool and the cool running belt avoids any overheating. The ProEdge comes complete with aluminium oxide and zirconium belts with a selection of sizes in those materials and ceramic also available. The belts are the only parts that need to be replaced and can be purchased at a minimal cost.
The ProEdge comes with an angle setter which allows the user to accurately locate most of the common sharpening angles required by woodworkers. However, the user can easily set his own angle if he wishes to move away from any of these common pre-set angles – 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 45, 60, 80 and 90 degrees. The angle setter is a simple solution that ensures that the same angle can be achieved accurately time after time. The ProEdge is ideal for those who need to sharpen carving tools, bench chisels, framing chisels, turning tools, plane irons, garden tools and much more.
There are additional attachments to help the turner overcome sharpening difficulties with skew chisels, standard and fingernail profile gouges. As optional extras honing wheels and buffing mops may be added to give the ProEdge even greater versatility.
The Robert Sorby ProEdge Plus is based on the large linishing machines used in Sheffield to grind new chisels. Made entirely in England, the Robert Sorby ProEdge Plus is a very high quality precision tool. Unlike other dry grinding machines that the Robert Sorby ProEdge Plus seems to run very cool, and we have never had any problems with overheating an edge. We advise you to do most of your sharpening freehand, and with the precisely adjustable tool rest, the ProEdge is the best system for free hand grinding. The secret is taking maximum advantage of the various belts which are available. Using one of the coarse ceramic belts, you can remove material very quickly, but you will have a very coarse edge. Then switching to a finer belt, you can quickly clean up the edge. Changing belts on the Robert Sorby ProEdge Plus is very quick and you can now do it less than a minute.
- Fixed detents for the most popular bevel angles: 90°, 80°, 60°, 45°, 35°, 30°, 25°, 20°, 15°.
- User can easily bypass the presets and set a custom angle.
- Sharpening is extremely rapid, so there is no fear of over-heating and consequently damaging your tools.
- Sharpening surface can be easily tilted back at any angle for maximum user comfort.
- No complex assembly required; the ProEdge is ready to use right out of the box.
- The ProEdge is a compact, well-engineered unit that can be located anywhere in the workshop.
- Use ProEdge aluminum oxide sharpening belts for bench and carving chisels, knives and plane irons.
- Use ProEdge zirconium sharpening belts for HSS turning tools, drill bits and router bits.
- Use ProEdge ceramic sharpening belts for rapid, heavy-duty sharpening.
- 1/2 hp (375w) motor.
- 700 ft (220m) per minute belt speed.
To make sharpening even more accurate there is a series of accessories which can be fitted to the ProEdge:
- a skew jig to give the correct presentation angle of turners’ skew chisels
- a square jig for presenting square tools at 90 degrees to the sharpening belt
- a gouge jig in the format of a vee block to prevent pivoting when sharpening a turners’ gouge
- a fingernail profiler to create swept back wings on a turners’ gouge
- a cutter holder to accept those small tool tips
- a rubberised honing wheel for the inside of gouges
- a pigtail mandrel, buffing mop and paste to add a highly polished finish to any tool
- a short platform enables easier access for miniature or worn tools
This makes the ProEdge the most efficient, accurate sharpening system around. The basic ProEdge System (PE01) comes complete with two belts. Alternatively the ProEdge Plus (PED01) includes a skew jig, a gouge jig, fingernail profiler and three different belts. We advise you to always buy a ProEdge Plus model (PED01) because it comes with all the accessories that average wood carver and woodturner need to make his tools razor sharp. Many people will argue that the price of the system is high but you must know that quality comes with a price. With this tool you will never going to buy another sharpening tool and it is an investment that will last a lifetime.