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New Turner-Question About Grinds

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Larry Steinmetz, Mar 17, 2020.

  1. Larry Steinmetz

    Larry Steinmetz

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    Hello,

    In these trying times, I hope everyone is staying safe!

    I am a new turner (as in still getting my tools together to get started). I have watched a lot of videos and read a lot of forum threads about different bowl gouge grinds and am very interested in the 40/40 grind.

    My question: I am curious if over a matter of weeks/months/years a person became proficient at grinding and using a 40/40 gouge, would they have issues if they were turning at a friends house or some other event and could only use the tools they had with their different grinds? From what I have been able to gather, the tool and body approach is different depending on what gouge angles you are using. This is not something that worries me but is something I have been pondering while doing my research. Thanks.
     
  2. Daniel Warren

    Daniel Warren

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    I’d suggest you try different grinds before you “commit” to one grind or another. Practice with each, they all have advantages and disadvantages. Also some folks just prefer one grind to another for no other reason other than it feels better.

    If you practice with different grinds you won’t have problems if turning at a different location with different grinds.
     
  3. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Well, as some one who has that engineer's syndrome, which is 'if it ain't broke, take it apart and fix it anyway', I think it is worth playing around with different grinds, just to find out what works best for you. The problem with play dates, and demonstrations is using some one else's set up. Some times it is easy to adapt, some times not. I always take my own grinder and tools along. If the host has the same set up as I do, then not a problem. I am a big fan of the 40/40 grind, and only use the platform to sharpen with, and that is for all of my turning tools.

    robo hippy
     
  4. Larry Steinmetz

    Larry Steinmetz

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    Thanks for the reply. Good advice and I do plan on trying different grinds but you have to start somewhere and the 40/40 has grabbed my attention. That said, I see forums where people mention that they did 40/40 for awhile and went back to the familar grinds they were using previously.
     
  5. Larry Steinmetz

    Larry Steinmetz

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    I agree with trying different things. I am coming into this craft probably later than most (64 in May) so not an issue of "can't teach an old dog new tricks" because I don't have any yet. I envy those that got into turning years/decades ago. I am not quite certain why I never did as I have been into woodworking (more lately carpentry) for all of my adult life.
     
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  6. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    once you learn to turn riding the bevel and using your body. You will be able to turn with a sharp spoon.
    So if your friends gouge is sharpened with a continuous convex edge you will be able to turn with it. You may have to adjust your body position and footwork - this may make you a little uncomfortable but you can still make chips.

    my suggestion is to work with a mentor or take a class - then get really good using the grind you have been taught.
    you get really good by turning the same object 15-20 times using the same tools.

    when you turn one of everything using every tool you can get your hands on it can be fun but you don’t get very good with any of them.

    most all of the well known turners use a side ground gouge that come close to:
    the Ellsworth grind or
    The 40/40 Batty teaches or
    Ap the Michelson grind or
    the long near flat wing O’Neil developed.

    There’s is no right or wrong. Some grinds do some things better than others. Some grinds can’t follow curves that others can.

    I use an Ellsworth grind most of the time. I have a Michelson grind on one gouge I use for finishing and tight curves. I also have a 40/40 I use some on platters.

    if you are interested in natural edge bowls I would encourage you to use the Ellsworth.
     
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  7. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    The important point to make here is to learn proper tool presentation to the wood. Sharpening angle won't matter a bit if you understand how to hold the tool so that it makes the desired entry and cut. You are correct that tool and body approach is different but it becomes second-nature to adjust when needed.
     
  8. Dennis J Gooding

    Dennis J Gooding

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    I would agree that it would be useful to compare different grinds. However, many new woodturners flounder because they cannot quickly master freehand gouge sharpening. If you find yourself in that position, I would strongly advise investing in a gouge sharpening system such as the Oneway Wolverine/Varigrind. This will allow you explore a variety of grind profiles without having to master freehand grinding while you are trying to master woodturning skills. The 40/40 grind traditionally is a freehand grind, although it can be approximated using the Varigrind jig. Not all woodturners would agree that the 40/40 grind has any special advantages that would justify learning do it freehand before developing woodturning skills.
     
  9. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    I agree with Dennis. Sharpening is a big part of the learning curve and using a jig will allow you to sharpen well much sooner than you can on a platform. Maybe years different.

    I'm also a big advocate of early success. Early success makes you feel confident and encourages you to continue working at the craft. In order to have early success, having forgiving tools is a big help. A radius edged skew is more forgiving, in my opinion, than a straight edged skew. A slightly swept back bowl gouge ground at 50-60 degrees, with a definite and relatively lengthy bevel, will be more forgiving than some of the specialty or 'advanced' grinds, in my opinion.

    The most effective way to have early and safe success is to spend a little time with a coach. You can make as much progress in a few hours as you would in months and months of trying to teach yourself, even with videos.
     
  10. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    No, not in my view, but I think that a person who is just learning to turn might be overwhelmed with stance, posture, tool rest position, grip on tool handle, tool orientation, and then the earth shattering catch because they can't process all that information simultaneously. My philosophy is to pay close attention to how the cutting edge is contacting the wood and all of the other stuff will naturally fall into place. Once you clear the initial learning hurdle using a tool becomes intuitive.
     
  11. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    I agree with the comment on instant gratification. Most of the beginners that come to my studio, now get started with a MIke Hunter Viceroy tool. They can go home on the very first day with a completed bowl. There will be lots of time for them to learn traditional tools. Get them hooked quick is a must. As much as I preach about the 40/40, I have 5 bowl gouges with that, all hand ground, I would not recomend it for someone just starting, like @Bill Boehme said. A David Ellsworth grind would be my choice.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
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  12. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I didn't actually say it, but you knew what I was thinking. :D :)
     
  13. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Funny thing about the swept back grinds, I quit using them years ago. Only thing I would consider them for now days would be for shear scraping with the wings. I can rough out a bowl faster using a scraper than I can with a gouge. I am a bit unusual that way...

    Oh, 'You can teach an old dog new tricks. Problem is that he just doesn't remember for very long.'

    robo hippy
     
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  14. Larry Steinmetz

    Larry Steinmetz

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    I agree 100% with this sentiment. I began homebrewing in 1992. I would have started sometime around 1988 but I had a guy who I worked with who said he and a friend made a batch and it was terrible and never made another batch. I guess I wasn't as committed to learning the art of brewing as I should have been because I accepted their failure as a sign that it was probably a waste of my time. 1992 rolls around and I get the urge to try it again so I decided to order a kit and a little bit of equipment. Fortuantely, the first several batches (although they could have been a lot better) turned out to be clean and very drinkable. If my first batch had been a complete failure, who knows, I might have thought back to my buddies in '88 and sold the 100 bucks worth of equipment and moved on. BTW, it wasn't until I got to batch 29 that I actually had a recipe that I would consider a "repeat" batch. That particular beer took "Best of Show" in a homebrew competition in 1994 held in Pittsburgh, PA.

    Sorry...way off topic! ;)
     
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  15. Larry Steinmetz

    Larry Steinmetz

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    When things in society return to normal, or a new norm, I plan to join a turner's group in Houston to hopefully keep me from developing too many bad habits.
     
  16. Larry Steinmetz

    Larry Steinmetz

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    Wow...I am new here and you know me already! ;)
     
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  17. Lars Hansen

    Lars Hansen

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    @Dennis J Gooding : You wrote:
    "The 40/40 grind (...) can be approximated using the Varigrind jig."
    Would you mind commenting a bit more on that? Maybe even give a hint about settings? I have been both searching here and experimenting myself but with sad result.
    Lars
     
  18. Dennis J Gooding

    Dennis J Gooding

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    Lars, I will defer to John Lucas for the settings information. He worked out some that he felt were a good fit and the results were posted here several months ago. I suggest you send him a "hello John" or do a search through the earlier files here.
     
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  19. Jim Woods

    Jim Woods

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    Just in my 2nd year turning bowls, si still a newbie here. I use my homemade Elsworth jig for 3 bowl gouges. The consistent angle and shape makes the learning curve much better for me.
     
  20. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Would this be the thread: 40/40 Grind?
     
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  21. Lars Hansen

    Lars Hansen

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    How on earth did I miss that? (Please don't answer that question!).
    Being more or less locked up this is the time for experiments - off to the workshop!

    A good health to you all!

    Lars
     
  22. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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  23. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    My suggestion is what ever grind you try, stick with that grind until you really learn how to use it. Only then should you try another grind. I'm a huge fan of the Winged type grinds that is often called the Ellsworth or Irish grind. But that's because i use the wings. I do use the 40/40 but it's just not an all around tool for me. You can do a real close approximation of the 40/40 grind using the Wolverine jig. Ideally you should buy a Robo Rest and learn the 40/40 because other tools can easily be hand sharpened once you get the knack and have a rest that can be set to certain angles consistently.
     
  24. Lars Hansen

    Lars Hansen

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    Forgive me for suggesting something a far cry from your opening question.
    Since turning technique is very much a question of muscle memory and adjusting your tool handling to what you see, hear and feel, why not go for a simple and reliable standard grind the next few months?
    Simple because there is a detailed and argumented instruction available from one who knows a lot about practical sharpening:

    View: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ttYyulsM7wg

    Standard because the grind he produces is versatile enough to serve you well and every experience, you harvest from using it, will be useful later using other grinds.
    Lars
     
  25. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    I usually change the grind right away on my tools. But once I wanted to try Doug's grind, with his settings. I found his grind to be a good one.
     
  26. Joseph Maiorano

    Joseph Maiorano

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    Sharpening has always driven me crazy until I watched the Doug Thompson video. His simple approach changed how I sharpen and made turning much more enjoyable. For my bowl gouges I later switched to an Ellsworth grind. Carl Ford's website has an excellent article on sharpening, complete with templates. You can find it here: http://www.carlford.info/pages/jigs_tools/jigs_tools.html Scroll down to Sharpening Templates.
     
  27. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I turn by feel, not by 'this gouge has this grind, so I have to use it this way', if that makes sense to you. The 40/40 grind on my platform just didn't 'feel' right to me, but the 45 degree setting felt right. Well, I compared my 45/40 to another turner's 40/40, and they matched. No idea why the setting degree is off since the rest is a protractor, and 'it worked on paper'. Put a 60 degree bevel gouge in my hands, and the handle position changes, but not how the tool cuts, I move the bevel and cutting edge around till it starts cutting and then cut some more. It works better on gouges for me than it does on skew chisels, but I am a bowl turner....

    robo hippy
     
  28. Mike Adams

    Mike Adams

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    I just ordered Ron Brown's 40/40 setup tool for the Vari-grind 1. I'm not a fan of platform sharpening. Granted, I'm crap at it, even with practice. But I want something absolutely repeatable, even for me.
     
  29. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I haven't heard of that set up. I do know you can get 'close' to the actual 40/40 grind with the Vari Grind, but it isn't identical. Not sure what the actual difference is. The most difficult thing about platform sharpening, other than setting the angles, is learning that what you do when using this method of sharpening, is exactly what you do when you turn. A, B, C, as in anchor the tool on the tool rest, rub the bevel, and cut. Maybe not simple for a casual turner, but if you turn several times a week, fairly easy. I guess it is like learning to turn from both right and left sides, your hands do little or nothing other than hold the tool, and your body does all the work....

    robo hippy
     
  30. Mike Adams

    Mike Adams

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    The result in the video is a 40/40. The setup uses a three inch protrusion (that you cam measure right on the setup tool) and the jig is as flat as it'll go.

    I'll post some before/after pics when mine arrives.
     
  31. Donovan Bailey

    Donovan Bailey

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    Agree. 40/40 is a great grind for a specific use (i.e., outside of a bowl but not the inside) however, I always recommend Doug Thompson's grinds and angles as a baseline for new turners. He has put a ton of thought on the topic from an engineering perspective.
     
  32. Dennis J Gooding

    Dennis J Gooding

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    Maybe not a big deal, but unless you are very good at freehand gouge sharpening, you will waste a lot more metal than when using a jig carefully.
     
  33. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I don't think free hand wastes any more metal than jig sharpening. One difficult thing to learn, especially for beginners, is the difference between grinding and sharpening.....

    robo hippy
     
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  34. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

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  35. Glenn Lefley

    Glenn Lefley

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    I agree. A person can get quite proficient in sharpening with a jig fast.
    To get good at free hand sharpening can take a long time. And a person will go through a lot of steel to get there. I do find that a good way to get there though without wasting steel is sharpening with a jig, then grind the heel of the tool away free hand. Doing this every time allows one to get better and better at rolling the tool and sneaking up on the grind. At some point the sharpener will get good enough to try freehanding the primary cutting edge not just removing the excess steel.
     
  36. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I have never seen that Ron Brown set up. Looks interesting, but the 3 inch protrusion would cause problems as the gouge gets worn down.

    robo hippy
     
  37. Lars Hansen

    Lars Hansen

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    I would be very interested to read what you think about the RB jig set. Please post when you have an impression to share.
    TIA, Lars
     
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  38. Richard Coers

    Richard Coers

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    Ever notice how a grind gets popular based on the popularity of the demonstrator? Ever notice how more tools get sold based on the popularity of the demonstrator? It's a fine tradition just established in the past few decades. Once we had a national organization, and an internet, grinds and tools became a hot topic and developed popularity. Turning went on for centuries before a 40/40, or any other grind, was invented and sold. As stated over and over, play with something, try something else, get some personal instruction!
     
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  39. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    I'm reminded of the foot lathe used by the fellow in the Middle East. Used only a skew and sharpened it with a file.
     
  40. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

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    The popularity of any given demonstrator is directly proportional to the turning skills they might have and the results they get with those skills. Obviously, most of the good ones, though not all, have some personality and a sense of humor as well.
    Everybody has to make a living. And if the need were not there, the new ideas or ways of doing things wouldn't evolve as they do.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2020

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