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40/40 vs Swept-back Grind

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Donovan Bailey, Feb 15, 2021.

  1. Donovan Bailey

    Donovan Bailey

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    I respect the opinions enough on turning discussions here to go ahead and share my thoughts on the subject. I've been using the 40/40 for a long time now and, if pushed, I have to say that I honestly do not think 40/40 is just that much of improvement (if any) to turners that are using any of the versions of the swept-back grinds (Irish, Ellsworth, standard/English, etc.). I have no problem with the sharpening requirements for the 40/40. I find it to be a pretty simple and quick process with a little practice. What I do find is that there is no difference in the quality of a cut between the 2 grinds (and I have compared cuts on 8 or 10 different woods) PLUS it will only get you about 2/3 way down inside of a bowl where then you have to shift to a different tool (due to the bad angle) to cut the bottom (a steep/bottom grind, scraper, or even one of the swept-back grinds). On the other hand, a swept-back grind is without doubt or argument (ha) a more versatile setup for a turner. Depending on the size and type of what you are cutting, there is way less tool swapping whether working inside or outside of a vessel and whether or not you are making heavy (hogging) or light cuts (shearing). I love the process of looking for a better turning technique or a better tool...but I've never really developed a taste for my own bathwater. Yes, it "takes all kinds"...but I would be interested in reading your own truthful opinions on this subject.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2021
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  2. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member Beta Tester

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    On my 1/2” gouges (5/8” diameter) I use the Ellsworth grind most of them with one gouge having a 40/40 grind.
    Also have a 1/4” (3/8 D) with a Michelson grind.

    on platters wher I want to make push cuts the 40/40 is my first choice. Don’t do many platters.

    Much of the versatility of the Ellsworth comes about through the various bevel angles
    Front bevel - 60 degrees allows hollowing a hemispherical bowl rim to bottom center using a bevel riding push cut.
    The 40/40 will hit the rim about a 1/3 of the way from the rim.

    Leading edge of the wing - 45 degree bevel. This is often called the sweet spot. Produce about the same quality of cut as the 40/40 but slightly inferior.

    wing edge - 25 -:30 bevel angle. Produces a new skew quality surface with the pull cut.

    Using the roughing cut David Ellsworth taught with the Ellsworth grind I can remove wood much faster than I can with the 40/40

    The 40/40 is better for the bevel riding push cut - except for hollowing bowls
    The 40/40 is better for most spindle work.

    The Ellsworth grind better at:
    Roughing cut
    Scraping cut
    Shear scraping
    Pull cut
    Flute up shear cut on the leading edge of the wing
    Jimmy Clewes back cut on the rims of square edge pieces

    If you want to explore a different grind the Michelson grind is a much better all-around grind than the 40/40

    I can’t imagine turning a sphere with the 40/40
     
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  3. Mike Zip Hamilton

    Mike Zip Hamilton

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    Can one leave flute shape out of this discussion? OK. I'm going to make some popcorn now.
     
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  4. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    I think everyone should use the grind/shape that they feel works the best for them without apology. And that's the truth.
     
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  5. Donovan Bailey

    Donovan Bailey

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    I appreciate your insights, Al. I have not explored the Michelson grind...but I am now going to look it up and give it a go. Thank you.
     
  6. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    I really would like to see a picture of your 40/40. I hosted Stu Batty for over a week here. All-day long in my Studio, except for one day at Wayne Omura's Studio. If you can not tell the difference, I can guarantee you either do not have the grind right or you are not doing something right. I was an Ellsworth man myself for 20 years, until Stu came. I still use and teach the Ellsworth way, but it is day and night in between the 2. When I hear something like this, I have to of course wonder what the turner is doing wrong. When I teach I do not want to convert people, I show both ways, I let them decide for themselves. How many hands on classes have you taken with Stu? One is not enough, 3 days is not enough, a youtube video is definitely not enough. Turners like Cindy Drozda, keep going back for refresher classes with Stu. He was supposed to come back to Maui, but Covid got on the way. A picture, will tell the whole story.
     
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  7. Bill Blasic

    Bill Blasic

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    I use the Vector Grind Fixture for my gouges which gives you the hat makers grind. A grind that is virtually catchless. I swear that about 85% of what I turn is done with my Thompson 5/8 V with this grind. All my V gouges have this grind and whether platters, bowls, push, pull or whatever it is the grind I use. One added benefit of the fixture is that as long as you have 1/2" of flute you can sharpen your tool. Just like everything in turning you like what you like.
     
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  8. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member Beta Tester

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    Bill is calling the Michelson grind the “hat makers grind” also Johannes Michelson makes the vector grind sharpening jig.
    I had a week long class with Johannes around 1998. Learned to sharpen the grind free hand and how to turn thin.
     
  9. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    I also use the Hannes Vector grind system. I tried the 40/40 grind and came to the same conclusion as the OP. I am happy with the Vector grind system.
     
  10. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    When the Michelson grind is done with a 40* nose angle it seems to me to be very similar to Beaty's 40/40 grind. For those familiar with both, do they differ much? How?
     
  11. Bill Blasic

    Bill Blasic

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    My hat making experience comes from Chris Ramsey. I always write Vector Grind Fixture so anyone who googles it goes right to Hannes' site. I believe I may have written an article about it for one of the mags I wrote for. My freehand sharpening lacks any kind of consistency hence the use of the fixture. It's a terrific grind whether free hand or fixture.
    Mark not to be facetious but I have no idea about the angles and don't care, it works and works well.
     
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  12. Dennis Weiner

    Dennis Weiner

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    I’m with you @Emiliano Achaval . Many turners achieve a 40 degree wing and a 40 degree nose and call it a 40/40 grind. However it’s really about the results of the cut that distinguishes the grind. That is a combination of what the nose looks like and your ability to float the bevel and execute the push cut properly. You will know when it’s right because no other tool will produce the finish a 40/40 gouge except a skew. If you have ever sliced a skew cross grain you’ll know the burnished look that you get. The only problem using the skew in this scenario is it does not take off much material. The 40/40 on the other hand accomplishes this finish and removes more material.
    I have used the Ellsworth grind for 18 years as my go to gouge and will continue to use it. But if I have the opportunity to execute a push cut using the 40/40, that will override my choice of any other tool.
    I have converted many of my deep fluted gouges to 40/40 but they all do not perform the same. A lot has to do with the flute’s profile and the intersection at the nose. You gotta keep trying.

    I will say this, that I am able to execute push cuts with the Ellsworth , traditional and spindle gouges with beautiful results that require very light sanding and can understand why everyone is reluctant to change. If you are getting beautiful cuts using the above, then why change? After you execute successfully on the 40/40 you will know the difference between excellent and wow.
     
  13. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I have had 2 of the Dave Ellsworth signature swept back gouges. Wore the first one down to the nub, then got the second one worn down almost that far, and stopped using it. The reason I stopped using it was because I learned the 40/40 grind. It does cut better, and is more efficient for cutting, and getting a clean cut. On the outside of the bowl, no problems with bevel angle since the form is convex. On the inside of a bowl, the 40/40 is used for the walls down to the transition, and then you switch to a BOB tool (bottom of bowl). As for the swept back grind being faster for roughing than the 40/40, I am skeptical. With the swept back, you can get more metal into the wood at one time, taking a wider shaving. With the 40/40, you don't put as much cutting edge into the wood, but you take off a thicker shaving. As for roughing out a bowl, a gouge can't keep up with the Big Ugly tool. Main reason is that with a scraper and roughing cuts, you sweep from side to side and the cutting edge doesn't have to come off the wood till the shape is roughed out. Yes, on the inside of a bowl, you do have to switch tools, but for finish cuts, you want a fresh edge, and by switching when you get to the transition area, you have a fresh edge. Depending on how close you are to finish thickness, you should be able to finish with the BOB tool, and then a NRS. I don't think the swept back can compare to the 40/40 for going down the side of a bowl, or for going through the transition and across the bottom of a bowl. There is a cut that makes me uncomfortable with the swept back gouges, on the inside of a bowl, and you cut more with the wing than the nose. While it does work, I haven't noticed that it cuts any better, and if you come off the wing, even a tiny bit, you get a huge catch. No thanks....

    As for shear scraping, I don't know if the swept back does a better job than a dedicated scraper, and I exclusively use scrapers with a burnished burr for all of my shear scraping. If the swept back gouge has any advantage, it is the more acute angle on the wing when compared to the 70 degree bevel I use on all of my shear scrapers. Some times with my shear scrapers, I am doing almost a bevel rubbing shear scrape, only being off the bevel a tiny bit, if that makes any sense. I roll off the bevel until it just starts to cut, very similar to what is done with a hand held card scraper.

    I never have really investigated the Johannes grind. Vague memory is that it is basically a swept back grind and you grind away 90% or so of the bevel, rounding it over. Please correct me if I am wrong about that.

    robo hippy
     
  14. Bill Blasic

    Bill Blasic

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    Here is a photo of a tool edge sharpened by Chris Ramsey (foreground) and my gouge sharpened with the Vector Grind Fixture (back). Compare.jpg
     
  15. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    Well I did try the 40/40 grind (as best I could) using the wolverine variant-grind before I got the vector grind fixture. It did not seem that wonderful, but was this the true 40/40 grind. You are trying to accomplish everything from a single pivot point with the various-grind. I don’t “think" you really get the same 40/40 grind using the vari-grind that Stu does free hand. When I got the vector grind I first used the various-grind, blackened the the end and then took one pass with the vector grind. The vector grind produced a different profile on the wings especially. The last time I checked the angle it was about 45 degrees. I have no idea if this is even similar to Stu’s 40/40/ grind profile. I didn’t realize it, but Bill Blasic stated it was almost impossible to get a catch. I can’t remember ever getting a catch since I started using the vector system. And I thought I was just getting better.
     
  16. Donovan Bailey

    Donovan Bailey

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    I appreciate all of the comments. I think that I'll go ahead and keep a 40/40 at hand to tinker with from time-to-time [or maybe have something to grab in case I need to kill a snake] and I am going to explore the Michelson grind. Emiliano, it leads me to a mild depression to think that I would have to give Mr. Batty 3 days of my life per year to gain the full benefits of the 40/40 (I'm joking...I know what you are saying).
     
  17. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I had thought that the Michaelson grind was more of a swept back design. The similar element in the two gouges you show Bill is that both have a very small cutting bevel edge. The vector grind appears to have 3 bevels, and the grind by Chris seems to have one cutting bevel, and a more rounded grind to relieve the heel of the bevel. I need to get my hands on one to play with some time... Don't know how to use gouge jigs any more....

    I was chatting with Christian Burshard once about his grind. He was using more of a swept back grind, and he had no cutting edge bevel. The cutting bevel was ground away/rounded over all the way to the cutting edge. When I commented about it to Johannes, he said he taught that grind to Christian. I am guessing the idea is that with a minimal bevel like that, it makes it much more difficult to come off of the bevel, and by the time you do, you are not pointing up into the spinning wood so much as you would be if you had a full length grinder bevel.

    robo hippy
     
  18. Dave Hulett

    Dave Hulett

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    I've used the Ellsworth grind since he spent a weekend with our club back in 2014 and love it. However the last symposium attend was SWAT in August 2019 and it might as well have been called SWAT 40/40. Nearly every demonstrator spent time discussing the virtues of the 40/40. I haven't tried it yet somewhat because I haven't felt the need but more importantly I feel I needed some in person instruction which for the past year... well, you know.
     
  19. Donna Frazier

    Donna Frazier

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    I was mentored to turn with the Hannes grind (although I've never meet JoHannes Michaelson in person). Then years later I took a week course with Stuart Batty and his 40/40 grind. I liked the freehand sharpening and the 40 degrees felt like a race car, but the 40/40 is temperamental depending on the wood. (Switching left hand pressure points...more downward pressure on back of gouge with left hand fingers to lighten the bevel, then more pressure on the front with the left hand thumb, but do not to block the cut, etc.) It also does not reach the bottom of bowls. The Hannes grind is 55 degrees and is SO smooth. The swept back wings allow for better access to shaping curves. You can cut off either side of the gouge's wing on the outside of a bowl. It does well at light finishing cuts off the right wing. Which leads me to think....it is opposite of Stuart Batty's gouge. Used in this manner the Hannes gouge's finishing cut is coming off the slicing action of the wing not the tip. I've been told this is possible, because of the Hannes gouges continous angel. But I've also heard Stuart Batty say that his gouge has a continous angel. If you look at both gouges, the Hannes grind wraps over the wings.
    In response to your convex bevel gouge, I've tried it. It is hard to sharpen and good only for light cuts. It was too tame and wouldn't take a heavy cut.
    I'd be interested in hearing more about why everyone thinks the Hannes gouge wings perform as well as they do.
     
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  20. Karl Loeblein

    Karl Loeblein

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    What does you favorite 40/40 gouge look like?
     
  21. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member Beta Tester

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    One factor is small bevel drag. The Michelson grind has very little bevel to drag.
     
  22. Kevin Weir

    Kevin Weir

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    Perhaps this is a good point to ask what it is I am doing. Let me explain. I haven’t been taught the 40/40 grind nor any of the other grinds mentioned above. But I use Oneway’s fixture set at the number 1 position with a 1 3/4 inch extension. Is this a modified 40/40? And I know, I need to clean the dust. FA4C8C71-CD1E-47C2-A099-0A30655F20F9.jpeg
     
  23. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    I guess I use a Hannes grind, as the bevel is about the same at the tip and wings, and I use 3 bevels, so that it resharpens quickly on the Griz wet grinder. The Tormek jig settings for 60 bevel provide that shape. I use it as Ellsworth teaches. I also use a 40/40. As espoused previously, The swept back grind is far more flexible. SB found/designed/whatever the grind for production turning, to remove as much wood as possible and leave a fine finish, and I find it does exactly that. Now, I dont have good enough tool control to make a big cut and have the shape just as I want it, so I use it as a roughing tool to work on my tool control, and I use it some on the inside to both hog out and to make the upper wall finish cuts in the ID.

    I like the 40/40, but I dont see it replacing the swept back grind for me. The flexibility provided by the wings, the less aggressive bevel angle, and the Ellsworth ID finish cuts are too much to give up. I see them as complimentary tools and not in competition really. I think it’s great to have the multitude of different grinds and skills to learn, and each can have its place. It doesnt have to be an either/or decision.


    From what I can see that appears to be an Ellsworth grind. The nose appears to be 50+ deg, with the angle decreasing along the wing.
     
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  24. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    That looks like a very useful grind. I could use it. I could turn an entire bowl with it. I'm sure that it works great for you, and that is what's important. But, no, it doesn't look like anything like a 40/40 Stu Batty grind.
     
  25. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    Mine looks like the pictures in the handouts from Stuart Batty. I'll see if I can take a picture tomorrow.
     
  26. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    Bill, I always admired Chris Ramsey, and you do great work. That grind, looks very close to a 40/40 from Stu, you have a few more bevels.
     
  27. Bill Blasic

    Bill Blasic

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    Emiliano I've never had Batty in my shop but have had Jimmy Clewes, Nick Agar and Glenn Lucas to name a few. One thing these guys have in common and I'm sure Batty would be the same is that they could open a can of beans sharpen the edge of the can and get unbelievable finishes. They all have their own grinds but I've seen them take a tool from a student and make great cuts before taking the tool and sharpening their tool for them. The thread that these guys all have is literally thousands and thousands of hours turning. I don't care which grind a person likes practice, practice, practice is how you get better as all of the grinds will work. My trip down to Chris Ramsey's studio was first to see him core with the Oneway Coring System and he did not disappoint. Don't let anybody tell you the Oneway system is not versatile.
     
  28. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    My favorite grind is the one I wind up with after sharpening.;)
     
  29. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Good comment John.... Got a laugh out of me. My grinds have never been 'perfectly' replicated, and always vary a bit from time to time.

    I am wondering, but I have noticed that I have always turned with my gouges mostly level, while most of the swept back gouge users cut with the handle dropped some what. This is done on the outsides of bowls. With the inside of the bowl, that is pretty much impossible because the bowl and lathe get in the way. This means pretty much, that when turning the outside of a bowl, I am cutting more with the nose, while the wing is actually kind of scraping, and when the handle is dropped, most of the cutting is done with the wing. Inside the bowl, most of the cutting is done with the nose, when the gouge is level. The exception is with the swept back gouges, there is that cut where you are using more of the wing and the flutes straight up. Never liked that cut... I never liked the old Glaser V gouge because it was too much of a V, which made it difficult to impossible to cut with the nose, and not open like the Thompson and D Way gouges.

    robo hippy
     
  30. Kevin Weir

    Kevin Weir

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    I haven’t tried any of the other grinds because as you say, this one does work well for me. The only thing I might do is grind the heel off one of my 1/2 gouges to facilitate cutting the inside of smaller bowls. Good feedback, thanks Emiliano.
     
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  31. Rusty Nesmith

    Rusty Nesmith

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    I don’t know anything about the different grinds. I finally bought a decent bowl gouge. A Robert Sorby 1/2” V gouge with a fingernail grind. I bought the Oneway jig with the Vari-grind and keep it the way it came. Is there any advantage changing to the 40/40 grind?
     
  32. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    Last year, in Argentina, someone from the crowd said: I want to see you turn with one of our homemade gouges, not a Thompson. I said, OK. I sharpened one gouge that the flute was made by an angle grinder, which looked decent. Other than I had to stop more often to sharpen, I showed the crowd that it is not the arrow, is the Indian. I'm amazed sometimes when I visit other shops and the host shows me his gouges. So I have to agree, people get used to whatever they have, and work for them.
     
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  33. Bill Blasic

    Bill Blasic

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    Emiliano thanks for that one - It's not the arrow, it's the Indian - Good one.
     
  34. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Not an expert turner, but does the type of wood have anything with a particular grind cutting or shearing efficiently?
     
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  35. Dennis Weiner

    Dennis Weiner

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    That's a great question. If you are just starting out, I would want you to learn how to use your recently purchased gouge to make learn how to make bowls first before exploring different grinds and other bowl gouge flute configurations, including the 40/40.
    I think getting experience first in using your bowl gouge, sharpening, sanding, and finishing would be to your advantage. One has enough to learn without having to change to a more complicated grind and execution.
    I know that this thread discussed various grinds and their uses. But it was also said that a good turning can make anything happen with any tools. The 40/40 has some advantages as well as disadvantages to the other grinds. Down the road, you may wish to explore other grinds after you learn the traditional grinds. SO at this time, I don't see any advantage for you changing to the 40/40 gouge.
     
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  36. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    The type of wood can make a huge difference in how things cut, and even pieces from the same tree can be very different. Some times you can get a great finish cut from a 80 grit grind, and some times you have to have a 600 or 1000 grit honed edge to get the same cut. Some times a NRS will give a great finish cut, some times a shear scrape gives a better cut. You just have to experiment some times....

    One can never have too many tools. I have the engineer's syndrome, which is 'if it ain't broke, take it apart and fix it anyway'. So I keep playing around with different grinds and different edges. I do really like the 40/40 grind. For demonstration purposes, I have seen people use an axe, a shovel blade, and Del Stubbs was famous, in part because his first gouge was a piece of galvanized pipe....

    robo hippy
     
  37. Karl Loeblein

    Karl Loeblein

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    Do you have a link for that 40/40 handout from Stuart Batty?
     
  38. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    This has me wondering if Oneway sets the leg angle the same on all the Varigrinds they ship out, or is it random? I would assume random, but ??? If it's not random, where do they set them and why there?
     
  39. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    I have posted that a few times on these endless 40/40 threads... I have that on my studio computer.
     
  40. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    Straight from the man himself.
     

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