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Sharpening help please

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by David Kaye, Nov 6, 2020.

  1. David Kaye

    David Kaye

    Jul 28, 2019
    Location (City & State):
    Toronto, Ontario

    I have a 1/2" bowl gouge that I am having trouble sharpening. I have the bevel at approx. 46', but I think the shape is wrong. I have the wolverine grinding jig, but not the varigrind attachment. Can anybody provide some insight here? Am I sharpening as a spindle gouge instead of a bowl gouge?
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Also, with the jig platform, I find that I have trouble grinding my skew on one side. The way that the platform is made results in my skew falling off the edge of the platform before I can complete the sharpening on a stable surface. Am I doing something wrong here?

    Apologies for these newbie questions, but any help would be appreciated! Thanks.
  2. Clifton C

    Clifton C

    Aug 26, 2006
    Location (City & State):
    Hampton Roads Virginia
    I believe your platform is 180 out. Try unscrewing the lever nut (?), completely slide the platform off the stud then turn it around and slide back on.
    As to the gouge, are you putting the handle in the V-arm?
  3. Robert D Evans

    Robert D Evans

    Jan 31, 2020
    Location (City & State):
    Hoschton, GA
    That grinding wheel looks like the one I use to sharpen my lawn mower blades. You need to get an aluminum oxide wheel or a CNB wheel. I think your grinding wheel is too course. The vari-grind jig is an important part of sharpening bowl gouges. Well worth the investment.

    +1 on your platform being turned around backwards. The wheel should be pretty much centered on the platform.
  4. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Jan 27, 2005
    Location (City & State):
    Dalworthington Gardens, TX
    Home Page:
    I agree with the previous comments about the platform and the grinding wheel. For a beginner, I think that the nose angle is too acute. I suggest getting the original Varigrind (not the Varigrind 2) along with white aluminum oxide grinding wheels (40 grit and 80 grit, hardness J or K) Also, it would be a good idea to get a diamond wheel-dressing tool. The gray silicon carbide wheel that is currently on your grinder isn't the best for getting a really sharp edge on turning tools.

    I would recommend setting the arm on the Varigrind to the middle notch and insert the bowl gouge so that there is 2" protrusion from the Varigrind to the tip of the bowl gouge. Set the arm on the Wolverine so that the nose of the bowl gouge will have a 60° bevel angle. This will give the bowl gouge a very close approximation of an Ellsworth grind. In order to get a good profile on the wings, you could flip the bowl gouge over and grind a straight line from the nose of the tool to a point about ¾" back. Then with the bowl gouge in the Varigrind, grind on the wings until the flats are gone.
    Peter Vines and Emiliano Achaval like this.
  5. robo hippy

    robo hippy

    Aug 14, 2007
    Location (City & State):
    Eugene, OR
    Well, the grind on your gouge looks okay. Oh, that is a bowl gouge. The center is a bit off, but I have been dealing with that for years. Just correct it a little the next time you sharpen. As for the bevel angle being right or wrong, that depends. I use 2 basic grinds. The 40/40, and a BOB (bottom of bowl) gouge grind. The 40/40 is excellent for the outsides of a bowl and for down the inside wall until you hit the transition area. This is where you need a BOB tool. Mine have a bevel angle of about 70 degrees, and the nose profile like this ), so very little sweep. If you only have one gouge, then for bowls you need a bevel angle of 60 to 70 degrees. The most common form of this is one of the swept back gouges.

    I would expect that you have your grinder platform fixed by now.

    There is no end to the tools you can buy. That grinding wheel you have will work, but I wouldn't use one of the fancy gouges on it since it is so coarse, and you will grind it down to a nub shortly. The CBN wheels are by far the best buy and value, but they cost you. Also they are far safer than the standard wheels.

    I have a bunch of videos up on You Tube, covering just about every thing related to bowl turning.

    robo hippy
    Emiliano Achaval likes this.

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