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JET TR-1 Tool Rest
A simple and versatile must-have jig
Text & photos by Tom Hintz
Posted – 11-25-2006
The JET TR-1 Tool Rest is one of the more deceptive jigs available for the JET Wet Sharpener. Its flat table and single locking knob give the impression that its usefulness begins and ends with turning scrapers. The reality is that the simplicity of the JET TR-1 Tool Rest is exactly what extends its utility.
The flat 4 3/8”-long by 3 ½”-deep surface provides plenty of support for flat tools but also makes a good base for sharpening many odd shaped tools like scorps. Since the JET TR-1 Tool Rest can be used with the support arm in the horizontal or vertical positions, the range of tools that can be sharpened is expanded. Being able to choose between the grinding wheel turning into or away from the edge being sharpened allows controlling how aggressive the grinding action is.
The JET TR-1 Tool Rest slips onto to the support arm using an oblong-shaped hole through its base. A single locking knob secures the JET TR-1 Tool Rest in position with surprisingly little effort. This makes holding the tool to be sharpened on the JET TR-1 Tool Rest surface, setting the angle and then locking it in place easy, even with the human limitation of having only 2 hands.
The table surface of the JET TR-1 Tool Rest is offset over the mounting boss. Because it can be mounted to the support arm with either the long or short overhang towards the grinding wheel, the JET TR-1 Tool Rest can be steep at very steep angles without interference.
The surface of the JET TR-1 Tool Rest is ribbed, reducing the actual contact area between a tool and rest by roughly 50%. That makes it easier to move the tool smoothly when sweeping grinding motions are needed. The ribs also give small pieces of debris a place to go so they don’t get stuck under the tool and hold it at a different angle than intended.
Tuning the TR-1
The combination of square-ended ribs on the JET TR-1 Tool Rest surface and square-shanked tools can cause them to “catch” on the ribs as the cutting edge is swept across the grinding stone. The fix is simple and makes square-shank lathe tools more predictable as they slide along the tool rest.
Using a fine metal file, gently round the edges of the JET TR-1 Tool Rest. Follow that with a little rubbing with fine emery paper to feather the edges of the ribs. Square-shanked tools often have rather sharp corners that contribute to this catching problem. Rounding those corners slightly on a common grinder will substantially reduce their tendency to catch on the JET TR-1 Tool Rest ribs. This same fix also makes the tools pass over small nicks and scratches in the lathe tool rest without catching. I have also heard from several folks from the carving community that say this simple modification made sharpening some of their specialty tools easier as well. After rough grinding the radius, I used the JET Wet Sharpener to smooth those edges further by rolling that edge against the grinding stone freehand with light pressure.
In The Shop
The stability of the JET TR-1 Tool Rest and its unobstructed surface make it very useful for sharpening far more than scrapers. The near total lack of vibration makes using the JET TR-1 Tool Rest to grind odd shaped tools freehand much easier.
Though I have used this jig for some time, I continue to find unexpected uses for it in my shop. Freshening the edge of tools like scrapers, parting tools and many others is surprisingly quick with the JET TR-1 Tool Rest. Set the angle of the JET TR-1 Tool Rest and then adjust the support arm so the edge of the table is very close to the grinding wheel. With very little practice, this procedure takes less than a minute.
When using tools like turning scrapers, parting tools and other straight-edged chisels, I set the JET TR-1 Tool Rest up and then grind a fresh edge. Then, when the tool loses some of its efficiency, I can go back to the JET Wet Sharpener to restore the edge in seconds. That makes working at the lathe easier, safer and faster overall. I have heard from several wood carvers who found these same characteristics of the JET TR-1 Tool Rest to be just as useful for sharpening many of their specialty tools.
The JET TR-1 Tool Rest is a must-have jig for the JET Wet Sharpener. It is easy to set up, use and very effective. With a street price of $29.99 (11-21-2006) the JET TR-1 Tool Rest extends the capabilities of the JET Wet Sharpener, adding in-shop value with a minimal investment.
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