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Grinding wheels and jigs

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I own a 6" grinder that runs 3450 rpm with 1/2 arbor. I just found a couple of wheels for it, 80 and 120 grit, but I remembered some talk here about the colors of the wheels. I think it has a 36 and 60 on it which I use for whatever, but I'm not letting it anywhere near my gouges!
I'm guessing the different colors are for the uses of them such as HSS. Before I sink money into wheels I thought I'd ask someone whos know a bit more than me!

The jig I'm looking at is the Wolverine grinding system with the vari-grind jig. From what I've heard it's the best and Amazon wants $150.

The gouges I have came with the lathe I bought so I know they need work done on them. So, without driving myself into more debt, what are the best wheels out there that won't break me?

 
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for turning tools, you probably want the aluminum oxide wheels - typically they will be white in color, but you willl have to dress the wheels more frequently.. The grey color wheels, you do NOT want, they tend to very quickly overheat your tools.... Besides which, Color does not necessarily mean a lot as to what a wheel is made of.. You'll be more concerned by the specific material it is made of... and the quality of the manufacturer...

If it was me and I had the choice between $150 on a wolverine jig system , or a $150 CBN wheel (assuming you can find them in 6 inch) I would take the CBN wheel - it'd be easy for a relatively skilled woodworker to make their own copy of a wollverine jig (Mine is made of 2x4 and plywood scraps, and a 1/4" carriage bolt and 1/4" T-Nut insert for the knob, works, as far as I can tell as any factory bought jig) but next to impossible to DIY your own CBN (cubic boron nitride) wheel unless you have a fully equipped machine shop facility (which would cost way more more than a couple thousand CBN wheels) But if you can't find a 6 inch CBN wheel, I'd go for the best quality Aluminum Oxide (white) grinding wheel, a diamond wheel dresser you can find..
 
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OK, I'll be searching for the Aluminum Oxide wheels. The only wheels I've ever dealt with, besides the 20 or so I got from my father, were the ones that came with the grinder.

As to the jig, while I've worked with wood, I'm not sure I could make something like that. I tried a jig for drill bits and failed. And the 8" grinder to run the CBN, another $80 for the grinder. The only reason I really got into lathe work was the two Shopsmith 10ERs I got for about $150 each. Got the hardware, why not give it a try.....

Thanks for the info on the wheels, I had them all picked out but figured I'd better ask!
 
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I'll see if I can do up some photos and dimensions of mine, it's not a complicated design at all.. main thing, I think is getting your grinder's centerline at a more or less "proper" height for your jig dimensions so as to give you angles.. Mine is currently set up on a single wheel Oregon lawnmower blade grinder (which is why I have not fabricated a flat tool rest.. been using an old foley-belsaw sharp-all for toolrest based grinding, but it is rather difficult when the tool itself is a bit "short" from ferrule to cutting edge) My next purchase is probably gonna be a Rikon 8 inch grinder (which would come with the aluminum oxide wheels, and cost about the same as a wolverine system) and then I'll fabricate myself a purpose-built tool rest for one side, and move (and/or adjust) my DIY jig for the other.. Hopefully tomorrow I'll remember to take some photos and do up some dimensions..
 
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I'm not sure if you can use the Wolverine system on a 6" wheel. There are some geometry requirements, including a 'height from bottom of base to center of grinder axis'. Maybe you can raise the grinder up on some layers of plywood to get the right measurements. If so, someone here on the forum will likely chime in and give you suggestions.

Your grinder is probably a full speed, 3500 rpm model and the standard wheels are very likely to overheat and ruin carbon steel tools which may be the ones that came with your shopsmiths. If your tools are High Speed Steel (HSS, often marked on the tool), you have a lot bigger safety margin. If you use 'friable' aluminum oxide wheels, you will be much better off with all tools, and might get away using them on carbon steel tools, if you have a light, brief touch and dip the tools in water to keep them cool when grinding.

The alternatives to the standard, gray wheels are Blue, Pink and White. The white wheels (https://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/Norton-White-Grinding-Wheel-P38.aspx) are the least expensive and might be found at your local hardware store. I haven't used the pink wheels, and am not sure how they compare to the white and blue wheels. The blue wheels (https://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/Norton-3X-Blue-Grinding-Wheel-K-Grade-P101.aspx) are the most expensive and the best wheels among the stone wheels. (To make things even more complicated, there are some very nice friable, aluminum oxide wheels that are gray:oops: )

There are a number of challenges when mounting new wheels on a grinder, so if you get some new ones, put them on, and find they don't hum smoothly along, but wobble or rumble or anything else, post your observations on here and the members will guide you through tuning things up. As mentioned, you will need a wheel dresser, and I would recommend a T shaped diamond wheel dresser as an effective and not terribly expensive choice.
 
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OK Brian, I'll look them over.

The grinder is a 3450 RPM. The wheel I ordered is a CGW 6 x 3/4 x 1 Aluminum Oxide Bench Grinding Wheel 80 Grit. It's a brownish grayish color.

The main tools I have are almost the full set of Craftsman, and a couple of others. I bought a roughing gouge and a bowl gouge, but I'm not so sure about the bowl work.... yet. The tools are a bit dull, I've used a diamond plate I bought for touch ups.

I just bought the T dresser. I have a couple of the good ol dressers, but I know better that to touch them to the newer wheel!

Gee, I wonder if any of the numerous motors I have laying around could be made into a grinder......... 1725 RPM huh......
 
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There are 6 inch CBN wheels available. I would worry more about if they would over load your grinder. If it is a light weight one, then that is a possibility. You can fit the Wolverine set up on to a 6 inch grinder, but your grinder will have to be raised up on a piece of plywood or three. An 80 grit wheel would be a bit coarse, but probably all you can find. A 120 grit wheel would be better. The diamond plates and hones are fine for touchups, but you still need a grinder. Welcome to the vortex....

Sounds like you are pretty much just getting started. Try to find a club near by. If nothing else, they can be a great source for used tools. I do have a bunch of turning videos up on You Tube, mostly about bowl turning...

robo hippy
 
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Well, right now CBN means Cost Berry Nasty. That's what I paid for each of the Shopsmiths' I have! I'm just starting and I'm not willing to sink a lot into it....yet.....

I've found several 120 and 150 grit AO wheels.

I have speed controls on both of my SS so I might try a bit of 1725 rpm with a SAFE Hammer Rig on one.

As to clubs, they are a bit far away. I've downloaded over 800 vides and a heck of a lot of info on woodturning. I want to do so much, like the inside out turning I think they call it, but I got to learn the simple things first.

Now, back to my confusion.......
 
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OK, Larry , I am gonna see if I can manage to show this.. To start, as I noted, I have repurposed an Oregon mower blade grinder - Through a lot of trial and error (and guessing at installed height of jigs I've seen in other photos) I ended up doing this - Since I used 2x4 scraps for the arm, I raised the grinder up on a couple 2x4's for clearance, then made the arm out of approx. 26 inches of 2x4 cut down to 1-1/2" x 1-1/2".. then stacked another shorter piece on top of that to base the V-notch on (Note my V-notch will only serve for the vari-grind, it won't do for other grind types, really, which as I mentioned I do on flat rest on an old sharp-all) .. THat means the center line of grinding wheel arbor is about 9 inches from bench surface, which (due to 3" height of my arm and v-notch) means the V-Notch would be about 6 inches below centerline.. (Since you are using a 6 inch grinder, you probably need to do some trial and error if you do a DIY build like mine, but the goal basically is getting the grinding edge not only above center of the wheel arbor but also the gouge grinding angle at that spot being about where you want yours to be) I include some views of my home made vari-grind jig (1/2 inch plywood with a couple rabbets, some glue, and drilled & tapped hole for the holding screw- I added some thin CA glue to the wood threads after tapping, and let it penetrate, then re-tapped after it cured, to add a little strength.. the "tail" arm is 1/4 inch plywood... ) Depending on how many pictures I am able to upload here, I've got a number of them with some tape rule measurements.. and at the very end, my personal grind preference result from the pictured jig setup.. Hmm OK only 8 files, I have 3 more to add, I'll see if I can add those in a follow-up post below.. Although the last 3 are just a photo of my home-made setup block (to get roughly a 2 inch offset in the jig), and how I use it to put a gouge in, and the resulting grind..
 

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And let me see here if I can add the last 3... as noted above - just my setup block and how I use it.. Also, be advised to all who might comment - I am very well aware of the risk of exploding unguarded wheel, so I can't recommend doing the same thing I show here.. NOT AT ALL... so I use care to check my wheel every time before turning it on , and stand off to the side out of line of fire when Im using it anyway... (with face shield of course) and be aware I have been working in a shop environment like this one way or another (machine shop, auto shop, lawnmower shop, etc) for the past nearly 40 years... so my awareness and safety steps are so ingrained, I almost forget I am even doing them... but I do them purely out of ingrained habit... so if I had to actually describe what I do in that regard, I'd be writing a book, pretty much.. a long, boring read.. (and I still have both eyes and all 10 fingers and toes... LOL!)
 

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Well, right now CBN means Cost Berry Nasty. That's what I paid for each of the Shopsmiths' I have! I'm just starting and I'm not willing to sink a lot into it....yet.....
Larry,
One more thought. Lots of us started out on a budget or mentally just dipping our toe in, so your current situation is familiar to many of us. One of the lessons I learned through the early days of learning, is that I seemed to make progress with my turning, as I made progress with my sharpening. At this point, I'm convinced that good sharpening is essential to good turning.

As you try out turning with very basic tools and methods, your sharpening will inherently be less than the best and your frustrations will be more than they will be when you are able to sharpen better. If you find yourself throwing up your hands and wanting to give up, figure out a way to go visit one of those other turners in your area and try turning with cooperative wood and properly sharp tools and a lathe that is set up for success. Otherwise, you may never know how great a pastime turning can be.
 
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Even if the nearest club it a bit out of your way, chances are that there is a club member near by. Necessity is the mother of invention! What Brian did shows that...

robo hippy
 
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I'm looking at a Norton for my 150 grit. A 120 if I can find one.

Just looking at a 3X and all I can find is 80 grit. Short search mind you.

CBN is way down the way for me, I've got to get into it better to see if how far I'm going to go. I have a daughter with me that is kinda interested in it, along with her job and video games...... (she's 45)
 
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Well, my daughter, who has been helping me with the loss of my wife, and life as it is, was watching over my shoulder and decided to get me the Wolverine grinding jig for my birthday. In June..... And I was just trying to figure out a bench grinder stand......

Brian, I thought that vari-grind jig looked familiar. I had been playing with building one of those from plans I downloaded over a year ago. Didn't get beyond printing, gluing and a bit of cutting tho...... I found the site in my bookmarks for it -
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfmIv0iXjis
that gives a site for plans. I'll have to squeeze some time between the backyard, the house and living to get it made before I do the grinder stand. BTW, just what is 'CA glue'? (I only speak English...)

I think between $61 for the Wolverine vari-grind and some work in the shop, I'll take the work in the shop and build one myself!

As to the shield, two inverted 'U' shaped plywood pieces with a notch in one for the 'axel' (?) and cutting back for the work area, then a thin metal strip over the two of them. attach it to your bench in a way for easy removal...... I've got it in my mind..... If you can't picture it, let me know and I'll try working it up on my graphics program.

Off to the backyard.....
 
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. BTW, just what is 'CA glue'? (I only speak English...)
Cyanoacrylate Glue .. more commonly known as Super Glue .. can get it at the dollar store if you only need a little bit.. but so useful, I usually buy titebond bottles of it (they have it in thin, medium, thick, gel, as well as different colors of it, and accelerator... ) But it is just simpler to call it CA Glue

Oh yeah, that jig on youtube is what triggered my build on it, I just never could find the video later when I wanted to make it.. but it was easy enough to figure out, having seen it once already.. wasn't difficult to put together.. and sizing was fairly simple, once I found a picture of the wolverine in a photo laying on someone's 8 inch grinding wheel which gave me a known dimension, simple matter of relational sizing using Gimp (free photo editing software like photoshop) Mine doesn't look quite as pretty but the main thing was the 2 inch distance and radius of the slot for the jig arm, once I knew that dimension, the rest was easy to size and put together...
 
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OK, I remember that stuff. It would have a place in woodworking.

I spent 10 years using GIMP for making materials for a game. Fun to play with.

And as long as a jig 'SAFELY' works, it don't really need to be pretty since it isn't going to leave your shop anyway.
 
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Brian, I thought that vari-grind jig looked familiar. I had been playing with building one of those from plans I downloaded over a year ago. Didn't get beyond printing, gluing and a bit of cutting tho...... I found the site in my bookmarks for it -

that gives a site for plans. I'll have to squeeze some time between the backyard, the house and living to get it made before I do the grinder stand. BTW, just what is 'CA glue'? (I only speak English...)
You don't actually need the adjustable leg. You could just have a fixed leg. If you do that, you have to decide on what angle you want. Kirk DeHeer has a sharpening method and puts his jig at one spot. Doug Thompson has a slightly different sharpening method and puts his leg at a different spot. You could pick either one and do well. Somewhere in the cobwebs is "23 degrees" but I can't recall which system that was.

An even simpler jig is the David Ellsworth style. The jig was originally designed to produce his style of bowl gouge, which is a good one, though newer grinds are also very popular. You take a chunk of hard wood, roughly 1.5X1.5X2", drill a 5/8" hole in the center down the 2" length. Then drill a snug hole in the center of one side, maybe tap it, and screw in a ring bolt. Then drill a hole at 45 degrees in the center of one 1.5" edge and plug it with a dowel. (Can't recall how long a dowel). The net result is a servicable jig with a fixed leg. Direction may be on youtube, but may also be on David Ellsworth's web site. You could do a search.

Your very considerate daughter may provide the easiest and best answer--buy the Wolverine varigrind jig. (NOT the varigrind-2)

I'm sorry for your loss. My wife passed away just over 8 years ago and there's still a giant hole in my heart, but the pain isn't so bad.
 
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So then, what I need to do is a bit (ha ha) of research on angles for gouges, choose one and make a jig for it. I've seen videos for that type, and I've always felt that bigger '$' sign on an item does not make it better or the best. My father taught me what I like to call 'Hammer Engineering', and it works! I'll have to check my video recordings of those three and see what I can find. Then a Google of 'wood lathe gouge grind angles' should get me more. The depth gauge Brian uses is something I've also seen and looks to be a great one. Color code the tools for gouge type and you got it.

I went thru a lot for my children with my 1st 2 marriages and Judy and I put our children first. Sometimes you get a couple who remember you.

And Thank-you. I have half my being missing without Judy.
 
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I have half my being missing without Judy.
Sorry for your loss, Larry. I know how you feel - it's been 20 yrs. now without my better half. Good memories will get you through the tough times and with time the pain will lessen. On the bright side - Woodturning (especially being a newbie woodturner) will offer an important diversion for you! All the best to you.
 
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Be very careful when you research sharpening methods, as it's very easy to get confused. More than one of them works fine. My strong recommendation is to pick one, and only one, and stick with it until you are fully comfortable with that method. Trying to combine more than one or create you own is a recipe for months or years of frustration.
 
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Well, that has already started! Looking over a search on Google I've found to many different ones.....

On my present tools, which is how they came to me,

Spindle gouges 28 to 30
Skew 55 & 62 with a 30 point (excuse my terminology)
Parting Chisel 57 & 60

Those are used. My roughing gouge is new at 47

If those are good numbers, by opinion, I guess I'll start with those. The roughing gouge seems to work just fine. I've only played with the other 3.
 
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(Before the disagreers get going, these comments are directed at someone just starting out and however you grind your tools is just fine by me.)
The spindle gouges are pretty pointy but should be OK. If they give you trouble, 35-40 degrees would be the ball park I'd shoot for.
I think you'll like the skew at 60 better than more acute. One way to judge skews is that the bevel width/length should be 1.5 times the thickness of the tool.
The parting tools and roughing gouge are entirely personal preference and any of the above will work fine.
As previously mentioned, a couple of degrees difference won't be noticeable.
 
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Can't remember, again.... I like my SRG at about 40 degrees. My detail gouges at about 35 to 40. If you look at the 'Vortex' tool that Cindy Drozda and Stuart Batty use, I think it is more acute than that. Comes in handy for getting down into tight spaces for detail work. My skews, which I do use some times, at about 30 degrees. I have at least one that is ground to 25 degrees, and not sure if I like it or not. With the platform I made, I did every thing in about 5 degree increments. Being off by a degree or two doesn't make much difference. My parting tools are about 45 degrees. I didn't like them when they were more acute.

robo hippy
 
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You know, it's rather interesting when you know what other people are talking about.......

I'm about to learn Woodturners Terminology here! Several years ago when I got my first Shopsmith I thought along with a book about 6 of the tools it does I'd get a book about woodturning. The Woodturner's Bible sounded great! I got it, put it in a cabinet for later use, and forget about it. Until you guys started using these strange words.....

So, I get that jig for angle gouge sharpening done and start from scratch on the angles from what I have been, and may yet be, given. Those angles may be part of the problems I've been having trying to learn with them.

Just to clear things up Robo, just what is the difference between gouges and detail gouges?

Dean, I found this diagram on Skews. The angle they show, the 'Skew angle', is your number from the toe down the shank?

Skew Angles.jpg

Now I guess I should go and read that bible........
 
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Just to clear things up Robo, just what is the difference between gouges and detail gouges?
You may get varying answers , but "Gouge" covers a lot of ground.. .. You got your SRG (Spindle Roughing Gouge) , your Spindle Detail Gouge (Which typically is 1/2 inch to 3/8 inch , maybe 1/4 inch even wide gouge usually fingernail grind) and your Spindle Gouges which may range from 3/4 inch to 1/4 inch with a fairly straight across (maybe somewhat fingernailed) grind, similar to a SRG (Which usually has a deeper flute, but still thin-walled) then you got your bowl gouges which usually are made from solid round bar stock up to 3/4 inch diameter, with more "meat" to them after the flute (which may be U-shaped, Parabolic, or V-Shaped) is ground.. most commonly you may find them in 5/8 inch and 1/2 inch (Bar stock diameter - UK often measured them by flute width , so a 5/8 US gouge would be a 1/2 UK gouge) and of those you can get various terms based on how they are ground (Irish/Ellsworth, 40/40, and more.. so someone might talk about their 1/2 inch 40/40 gouge, most of us understand it to mean a bowl gouge with a 40/40 grind...) In a nutshell, they are all gouges.. the differences are in their purpose and design...
 

hockenbery

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to clear things up Robo, just what is the difference between gouges and detail gouges?
This is link to some slides I use in a demo to give an overview on gouges With comparative pictures.

The Joe Larese article on gouges is a real good one for a basic understanding

spindle gouges and detail gouges are often used interchangeably.
both are made from round bars.
detail gouge a flute is ground in the top of the bar
spindle gouge the top half of the bar is ground away and the flute is ground in the bottom half of the bar.
 

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More important than the Vari-grind IMO is having a solid tool rest platform, preferably with an adjustable angle. The Wolverine system, of course comes with one, but if you don't want to make that investment you can McGuyver something that will give you a solid resting point for sharpening. The supports on most grinders are a sad, microscopically small, flexible joke. Lee Valley used to sell quite a nice platform support for reasonable money.

The only tool I sharpen with the Vari-Grind is the Ellsworth grind on my bowl gouge. everything else gets sharpened off the platform. If you're a serious bowl turner it is well worthwhile, but it is certainly possible to get a good useable edge freehand, a traditional grind is easier to achieve without a jig and serves most purposes (I admit I have three bowl gouges with different grinds to attack different problems). Most of the other tools are just faster and easier on the platform than in the more complex jig.
 
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Dean, I found this diagram on Skews. The angle they show, the 'Skew angle', is your number from the toe down the shank?

View attachment 38241
Larry, their "bevel angle" term is unfamiliar to me, and I'm a skew enthusiast. It's also confusing, and maybe wrong.

I made the assumption that your number for your skew came from putting an angle gauge on the end of the tool, one side on the left bevel and the other side on the right bevel. This measures what is usually called the "included angle". For a skew, it can be anywhere from 40-70 degrees. Skews at the narrower angle end are very grabby, and tend to lift the grain from highly figured wood. Skews at the blunter angle end of the range tend to be safer, but don't cut as easily or as smoothly. An included angle of around 60 degrees seems to be a good compromise and produces a tool that cuts cleanly and is relatively user friendly.

The "Skew angle" is often described as 60-70 degrees, which is exactly what is shown above, except that it refers to the complimentary angle of the above shown 20-30 degrees. The 60-70 degree angle is what you would measure if you put an angle gauge on the end of your skew. Their way measures space rather than steel.
EDIT: I must have had a brain fart when I wrote these numbers. As Al states more clearly below, the included angle is 30-50 degrees, with 40 degrees being a good middle ground. I'm very sorry for the error.
 
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OK Brian, now you're talking HEAVY Woodturners Terminology to me.... I'm like a kid in grade school in this stuff.....

I have a roughing gouge, 1 1/8" a Bowl gouge, 1/2" a set of Craftsman gouges, 1" 3/8" spindle, 1/2" parting, 1", 1/2" skew, 1/2" spear point and a 1/2" round point. And a 3/4" & 1/2" spindle, a 1/2" parting & a 1/4" skew from a different source.

hockenbery, I got those PDF's downloaded. I'll get a look at them. Thanks.

Roger, I got the Wolverine grinding jig and the skew grinding attachment. I'm going to make a sharpening jig myself. I ain't to good freehanded, and now from the docs medicine screwup, I've got a slight shaking to my hands.....

Dean, on the skew, I measured the angle from the back of the toe down to the heal. Measuring the angle they give would be a bit difficult with nothing to rest the gauge on! As I said, mine are 55 to 62.

The 30 is what you're talking about on my description. The other is the angle from the back over the toe across the blade.

The numbers for the included angle is most likely why I'm having such trouble learning the skew. I gave up on it and went to the spindle until I could figure out just what I was doing wrong. I'll have to blunt mine a bit more and see if that helps.

I've watched videos on the skew and figured it would be easy. I tried a few cuts, but as I said, I gave up. For now anyway.

I've got over 100 Gb of videos and info downloaded to watch and learn from, but I have to get the basics down first, and I think you people will be the best source for that.

A 'Thank-You' to all of you and any others who may assist me
 
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I've watched videos on the skew and figured it would be easy. I tried a few cuts, but as I said, I gave up. For now anyway.
a trick I learned.. from a beginner (First time I ever held a skew in my hands was less than 6 months ago) that they don't seem to get across on videos and instruction articles.. (or they do, but not in a way unfamiliar beginners really "get") get a blank round and then just practice laying the bevel *softly* on the wood - very slowly lay your skew flat on the TOOL REST, with the toe (point) pointing in the direction you are angling it (I'm right handed, most comfortable pointing it to my left) and THEN lay the flat body of the skew on the wood (edge and bevel well above) at this point, your handle is way down (long tool, your hand may almost be in your pocket) and the tool is touching tool rest (first, always) and the wood.. Then slowly draw it back (using the hand holding handle, use other hand to ONLY maintain tool flat on tool rest in one spot.. just hold things like you'd hold an egg.. no death grip, but firmly enough that it won't go flying if you pretend to throw a baseball with it) just a bit at a time.. you'll get a feel for it, and as the bevel comes down to touch the wood, you'll also FEEL the difference (and probably hear it but I can't vouch for that) as the tool comes off the flat and bevel starts rubbing on the wood (which is the point where most of the "ABC" folks are talking about when they say "bevel" ) should be able to easily feel that.. from there- slow down DRASTICALLY - it takes very tiny movement at all to get to the cut point - but continue on gently and watch/listen/feel as the cutting edge just barely begins to take a tiny wisp of shaving (assuming your skew is indeed razor sharp, literally sharp enough to shave with) and that is the exact point where you wanna begin practice - very very light cuts... I practiced that, and only that, process (bring it down to the point of cutting) many times until I could almost automatically grab the skew and soon as I laid it down, I was within a few thousandths of an inch of the cut point when I had tool on tool rest and bevel skimming wood .. lot of videos on different tools talk about riding the bevel or rubbing the bevel .. you might prefer to think of it as just skimming along (exactly as lightly as you might run your finger along a razor's edge to test sharpness) ... From there it was a matter of practicing NOT moving arms or hands and just sway back and forth (without wobbling in and out, changing cutting angle) letting the tool be guided by the tool rest , let the edge cut at its own pace (when you hit it "JUST RIGHT" you'll KNOW, since it almost feels like the cut is PULLING you along, instead of you pushing the tool into the cut)

I'm still far from mastering the skew (and most other tools in fact) but seems the more I practice, the better I get, *ONCE I GOT THE ABOVE THROUGH MY HEAD* Lot of instructors seem to talk about turning but as they have long ago just about forgotten (I suspect) what it felt like to them the very first time they ever picked up a lathe tool, it gets hard to describe how it feels to a rank beginner... But the practice of touching tool to rest , then to the wood (edge well above) and slowly draw down til you feel bevel rub , WITHOUT cutting, and WITHOUT the bevel leaving any tracks in the wood (burnishing) - myself I'd recommend scrap pieces of 2x4 cut in half (1 1/2" x 1 1/2" blanks, however long.. 12 inch seems to work fine) rounded best you can with a Roughing Gouge... since the wood is easily compressed, it'll typically leave more obvious tracks from burnishing (which your goal is to avoid) but once you get used to where the bevel is (and it will change for each and every tool) and the feel of it, you'll be much closer to getting controllable cuts which you can then practice with (as in the videos, etc)

Maybe that can help... But bear in mind - there's at least one video on the skew where what the guy said sticks with me - You can be using the skew daily for 30 years, but no matter how good you get with it, you're STILL always practicing.. the best ones will typically spend the first few minutes on waste edges of their project re-practicing (muscle memory thing) different cuts before starting in on their actual project..

I have also noticed quite a few videos where the person seemingly makes it all effortless, but careful watching of little details (In the movie industry they call it continuity) you realize they often edit out any and all catches or undesirable stuff they don't wanna admit they "screwed up" .. so... unless the video is uncut live stream, I learned to also take some of those videos with a grain of salt.. they may not always be as perfect and effortless as they seem (in fact I recall one bowl maker video I watched where the shape , and grain of the wood, suddenly changed slightly mid-video.. it wasn't the same piece of wood as they started with!.. almost as if they got a nasty catch and couldn't salvage it)
 
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First Brian, I got the detail spindle understood now. A bit of reading and a guide for grinding angles showed me one. Interesting. May have to get a used spindle and try it out.

I'm going to have to get your skew instructions on my laptop to work on that.

As to those videos, It looks like they just jump into the cut without the ABC of it! They most likely use it, but at their speed, you really don't notice it.

I've seem the changes myself. There is a change in the radius, color and details they have done. But hey, none of them are as perfect as I am......

I'm going over to my Craftsman lathe since the Shopsmith has a short tool rest on it. I rigged a banjo on it, but I think I'll feel more comfortable on the Craftsman.

I've got a good deal of wood to use, but I also figure the 2x4 approach is better right now. I'm trying to get some of the warped ones they sell for lower prices since the warp doesn't really affect short pieces and using them on a lathe. That warp gets eaten REAL quick with a roughing gouge!
 
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There's no requirement that you use a skew. Lots of folks don't. The spindle gouges are more beginner friendly and can do most of the things a skew can.

Brian describes one of the key things about skews: you HAVE to do ABC (Anchor, Bevel, THEN Cut). When doing most of the spindle cuts, you also need to cut only with the lowest 1/4-1/3 of the edge. Alan Lacer is considered the guru of the skew and he has a series of DVDs on the subject. I don't believe they are available for free via the internet, though.
 
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Well, my thing was I played with the roughing gouge, quite a bit, and decided I needed to work with the other tools. I have downloads explaining how to do it, and figured I'd start with the skew. After a while of 'trying', I just figured I'd go on the the spindle gouge and mess with the skew later. This thing with the angle, I figure maybe that could have been to problem. Now that I have a start on the grinding jig, maybe I'll set the angle and work on them after I play with the spindles.

I got to get that grinder stand built first!

As to Alan Lacers DVDs... I figured I'd look on Ebay for a couple. I found a couple!! Course, they're used, and the same price as the new ones....... Hey, I tried.....

I do have a couple of downloads where he is with a woodturners club. One is 1.5 hours and the other is 1.75 hours...... Watching the first one is what made me start with the skew.
 

hockenbery

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After a while of 'trying', I just figured I'd go on the the spindle gouge and mess with the skew later.

learning either is a 10 minutes of quality instruction followed by a couple hours of observed practice
or a considerably longer time when we are the instructor because we won’t be quality instructors for several years.

some tips
1. start with a bevel angle of 40-45 degrees - much more forgiving of minor errors that would send my preferred grind of 30 degrees spiraling a gash across the work

2. keep the tool rest at center or slightly above.

3. Start with as smooth a cylinder as you can get with the roughing gouge

ABC. - consciously presenting the cutting edge to wood after having the bevel on the wood is essential

A anchor - tool on the tool rest no contact with the wood

B bevel - keep the cutting edge off wood. Keep the tool in constant contact with the tool rest. Lift the handle and rotate the tool to place the bevel on the wood with the tip pointing slightly in the direction of cut.

C cut - engage the cutting edge by lifting the handle a bit more and rolling the tool into the cut.
Keep the tip out out of the wood. Cut just off the tip on the lower half of the gouge as it is rolled slightly in the direction of the cut. once the cut start starts let the gouge follow iI.

practice practice practice

here is 38 seconds showing the ABC

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5betpoP3hA

notice in the video - thumb keeps the gouge in contact with the tool rest. thumb and forefinger apply the tiniest bit of pressure to keep the cutting edge in place.
the other hand moves through a large arc to move the cutting through the small arc.
 
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