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Understanding Vari-Grind/Wolverine

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Joseph Bruno, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. Joseph Bruno

    Joseph Bruno

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    I'm trying to figure out how to set the leg on the varigrind. Is there a tutorial that shows the effects of setting it one way or the other? I read that the leg controls the angle of the nose while others say the opposite (wing). I dont understand in this case if the angle of the wing vs the nose would be different or the same? If same, then does the leg affect how far back the sweep could go?

    I have some micro tools that are too short and dont have enough steel to protrude the required 1 -3/4 inches from the jig and other tools that will not clamp down fully due to the tool being thicker where the end of the flute reaches the steel.

    I've watched pretty much every video and none explain what the leg does. Well, at least they don't demonstrate it in practice. Anyone got a good resource or reading material for me to better understand how to use the tool for my purposes?
     
  2. Dennis J Gooding

    Dennis J Gooding

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    Joseph, the simple answer for most applications is to set the Varigrind arm angle at a position near the middle of the range and adjust the V-arm position to yield the desired nose angle of the gouge. This applies to both spindle gouges and bowl gouges, even with long wings. For the gouges that he manufactures, Doug Thompson sets the arm at the 4-th notch from the closed position, which is near the middle (an arm angle of 40 degrees). The exact setting is not very important as long as it is maintained for successive sharpenings. Some advocate a much smaller arm angle of 23 degrees, but this will produce a rather blunt edge on swept back wings of a bowl gouge. This recommendation stands for reasonable variations of nose protrusion, because the value of the nose protrusion has little effect on the results obtained as long as the v-arm is set to yield the desired nose angle. A protrusion of 1.5 to 2 inches is a typical choice, but smaller values can be used. The lower limit is set by the jig striking the grinding wheel at the ends of the swing. (I have purposely ground back portions of my jig to accommodate shorter gouges.) If you follow these recommendations and use a fixed value for both the Varigrind arm angle and the gouge protrusion you will have only one setting to contend with -- the V-arm position, which controls the nose angle for both spindle and bowl gouges.
     
  3. Joseph Bruno

    Joseph Bruno

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    Thanks for the info. I'm using the Thompson instructions now where I set the arm and leave it in that position. The questions started flowing in my head when I tried to match the angle on a new spindle gouge I purchased and wanted to maintain. I had sharpied the bevel and found the correct nose angle but when I swept around the whole edge the parts of the marker that were removed on the wings were lower than the factory grind. I played with the leg angle but then things started to change but I didn't do enough trial and error to figure out effect moving the leg had.
     
  4. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    Joseph Don't actually grind it when you are trying to find an arm setting. Just move it around the stone with it off and look very closely. Doesn't take long to get really close and then you can turn on the stone and try to sharpen like you are now. The adjustable arm affects the shape of the wings. I use the setting that Doug Uses and never change it. I actually drilled a hole in my Wolverine so that if it ever is moved by a student or someone else in my shop I can move it back to the exact location by inserting a 1/8" drill in that hole. when a question was asked about using the wolverine to make a 40/40 grind I found that by moving the arm all the way back as far as it would go gave me a very close approximation of the 40/40 grind that has very short wings. My gouges have realatively long wing just like Doug's since i use his V bowl gouge.
     
  5. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I consider any tool I buy to have been profiled not sharpened.
    They have a useable profile but not the one I want. So out of the box I sharpen and profile the Cutting edge.

    My friend Don Geiger has come up with a sweet solution to using the varigrind or Ellsworth Jig.
    It may require a slight modification to the grinds you are using.

    it consists of a machined aluminum block, a stop collar for the woulverine pocket, a beveled bar for the initial set up. And an optional guide for setting the varigrind to get real close to the Ellsworth grind.

    once the stop collar is set. You choose the appropriate dimension of the block to use the preset varigrind for the
    Spindle gouge, the bowl gouge, or a micro bevel. Everything is controlled by the where the pocket is set.
    It’s a really good tool for someone just starting out. Set the varigrind once then lock the pocket against the appropriate space setting on the block and grind away.

    If you are interested the link below is to the tool and there is also a link to a YouTube so you can see it in action.

    https://www.geigerssolutions.com/Evolution-Sharpening-System.html

    it takes a long time to learn to set the varigrind to the grind on a tool. When you learn how it can be done in a few seconds. When you’re starting out you may take hours and still not get it.
     
  6. Dennis J Gooding

    Dennis J Gooding

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    I might add that statements to the effect that the arm angle controls the nose angle of the gouge and the V-arm position controls the angle of the wings are a fallacy and come from the fact that if you are trying to set up the jig to match an unknown gouge exactly you use the following procedure:
    1. Set the arm angle to mid range (or any value actually).
    2. Set the V-arm so that the outer wing matches the grinding wheel.
    3. Set the arm angle so that the nose of the gouge matches the grinding wheel.
    4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 until no changes are needed.
    In practice, there little reason to try to exactly match a grind. If you set the nose angle correctly and use a mid-range value for the arm angle, you will get a satisfactory result. (It may take a bit of grinding the first time to get the whole edge sharp.)
     
  7. Roger Wiegand

    Roger Wiegand

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    When I tried to understand it I took an experimental approach (I was always a lab guy, not a theoretician). Start by sharpening a gouge with the suggested, midde-of-the-range, standard settings. Color the ground area with a sharpie. Pick one of the settings (arm angle, for example) keeping the others constant. Move the arm one notch away from the starting position. Rotating the grinding wheel slowly by hand or under power take a very light cut, just enough to take the ink off. Look at the result-- where is the ink ground off and where is it left behind. Repeat with fresh ink (regrinding to your starting (control) position if you took off more than a few molecules), moving the arm in the other direction by one notch. The ground off ink area will have now moved and you now know what the arm, in isolation, does to the geometry of the gouge. You can then repeat the experiment varying the position of the pocket or the extension of the gouge from the jig.

    If you change more than one adjustment at a time I don't think you'll ever understand what each does, nor can you necessarily predict the effect of changing two or more (a real theoretician would just build a model in the computer and give you a graph of all possible outcomes). Practically, knowing how one variable at a time will affect the grind you can figure out how to achieve an acceptable grind-- then you write those parameters on a note on the wall over your grinder so, like me, you can forget exactly how to move what to change things but still reproducibly sharpen your tools.

    I keep labeled wood blocks or now angle irons to set the distance of the V from the grinder base, a block with a flat-bottom hole to set tool protrusion, and an etched line on the varigrind for my three-four most commonly used tools (I really like the suggestion of drilling a small hole!)

    Of course if you use an aluminum oxide wheel that changes diameter over time all bets are off. It's about enough to cause one to learn to sharpen freehand. After my last Alan Lacer class I started doing my spindle gouges freehand with good success, don't have the hang of the more complicated bowl gouge grind yet. No matter what you do the sharpie is your friend in seeing what's going on.
     
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  8. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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  9. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    I'm not going to offer anything beyond what is mentioned above, but want to say I feel your pain. I tried for a couple years to figure out what adjustment does what on a varigrind and could never make sense of it. (and I've read all of the explanations by the guys on this forum and I was still too stupid to get it)

    I solved the problem by picking one system of sharpening, with the leg always in the same position, and sticking with it. I probably don't get exactly the best grind or the grind exactly like any specific rock star turner, but with a CBN wheel, I do get exactly the same grind every time. Which is just fine by me.
     
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  10. Lars Hansen

    Lars Hansen

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    @ Dennis: You wrote:
    "I have purposely ground back portions of my jig to accommodate shorter gouges"
    Would you mind explaining that? Or maybe even share a photo? Can't get it into my thick head.
    @ Dean: The nice thing about the VariGrind is that you can get very nice and repeatable results with or without understanding the finer details of adjustment :)
     
  11. Karl Loeblein

    Karl Loeblein

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    Roger, Mind sharing thosee notes with us? -Karl
     
  12. Clifton C

    Clifton C

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    I like my wings a bit rolled over, some people like them more straight up. Viewed from the top, looking into the flute, the more side bevel (cheek) showing, the more rolled over the wings. I find that the less wing bevel showing, meaning more straight up, the catchy-er the gouge (for me). The only way I've found to change this is with the V-arm, the farther out, the more rolled over, the closer in, the straighter up. So, I use the V-arm to set the wing (cheek), and then, the leg to set the nose. The wing profile is up to the person grinding, long, short, curved or straight. Still learning and understanding, so, my question is, how can I change the wing/cheek angle with the jig leg?


    bowl gouge.jpg
     
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  13. Ron Vasser

    Ron Vasser

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  14. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    I finally did figure it out. Used to grind the 1 inch roughing gouge with just part of the bevel. Played around with the angle of the Vari-Grind and actually ground the entire bevel. FWIW, I sharpen when I start then periodically touch up with a DMT diamond file.
    John Lucas, need to drill holes and mark them. Good idea.
     
  15. Dennis J Gooding

    Dennis J Gooding

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    Lars, I cannot conveniently get a photo of my jig right now, but you can easily determine where to grind by yourself. With the grinder OFF, mount a gouge in the jig and little by little, reduce the protrusion of the gouge from the jig until the jig hits the grinding wheel before the end of a swing to the left or right. The region of contact is where metal needs to be removed from the jig. With care, you can do the necessary grinding with the gouge mounted, reducing the protrusion as needed to avoid grinding the gouge. Alternatively, you can hand hold the jig to do the grinding. In any case, it is best not to use a CBN wheel to do the grinding as the jig probably is made of mild steel. It has been so long since I ground my jig that I cannot remember how much this allowed me to reduce the projection. I would guess maybe half an inch or so, depending on the length of the wings on a particular gouge.
     
  16. Lars Hansen

    Lars Hansen

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    @ Dennis. Thank you, got it. My (lack of) English skills were letting me down. I read "ground ... back part" instead of "ground back ... part".
    And yes, the jig itself is mild steel or similar. One newbee was allowed a try at my CBN grinder and within seconds, he had both the brass knob and the edge of the jig leave a footprint on the wheel. Lesson learned!
     
  17. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    Thanks for the laugh Lars. It's amazing to me that new people seem to not have a clue how a grinder works. One thing I'm learning when teaching is you cant assume the student has even the basic understanding of how things work mechanically. Kids today havent grown up fixing and repairing things like we did.
     
  18. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    John is right- show-and-tell. I have used many grinders over the years. The have something in common- go around and around and around.
     
  19. John Jordan

    John Jordan AAW Advisor

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    This is the AAW sharpening video. It covers several things, but there is a section on bowl gouges that covers the sharpening jig in depth. Very easy to understand, and the presenter is very nice looking. :D:D:D


    View: https://vimeo.com/111139564


    John
     
  20. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Need to watch it but won't have time right now. Thanks for the heads-up on the AAW site and the resources available...in addition to the people on the forum.
     
  21. Roger Wiegand

    Roger Wiegand

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    OK, Not sure if they will be helpful with your setup, but here goes:

    Rikon 8" 1 HP grinder set up with 180 grit Woodturners Wonders CBN wheel
    Original (ancient) Wolverine attachment, upgraded with the new style variable arm

    Bowl gouge (swept back grind):
    extension from jig: 1.75"
    Spacing of V from jig base: 2.55"
    Arm position: aligned with bottom of second notch from bottom
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Bottom bowl gouge:

    extension from jig: 1.75"
    Spacing of V from jig base: 4.25"
    Arm position: aligned with bottom of 6th notch from bottom

    [​IMG]

    Spindle/detail gouge (not a real pointy grind (I typically freehand these now)):

    extension from jig: 1.75"
    Spacing of V from jig base: 3.25"
    Arm position: aligned with bottom of 6th notch

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My jig is set flush with the bottom of the grinder, so it would be low for use with the platform. This will also affect the geometry, so if you're switching back and forth you'll need to adjust accordingly. Because I dedicate that wheel to the varigrind it doesn't matter so much for me. On the platform side I needed to elevate the jig by about 3/4" to have it line up with the center of the wheel.

    [​IMG]

    Hope this helps.
     
  22. charlie knighton

    charlie knighton

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    another setup.....how to make the jigs etc. 20200108_210904-1.jpg
     
  23. Lars Hansen

    Lars Hansen

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  24. Mike Adams

    Mike Adams

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    Such a no-brainer. I wish I'd thought of that!
     
  25. Lars Hansen

    Lars Hansen

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    Another variation. I prefer this because the angled jig sits on top of the diamond shaped bar,
    setting the distance on both sides and giving a very consistent result.

    Angles.JPG
     

    Attached Files:

  26. Mike Adams

    Mike Adams

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    Some halved pcv pipe would serve, too.
     
  27. Tom Gall

    Tom Gall

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    Full round PVC pipe also works (1" I think) without the bother of cutting it in half. I put mine into the pocket (like your tool handle) and push it up against the receiver tube for the distance I want. This has worked for many, many years for me.....even before CBN wheels!
     
  28. Dennis J Gooding

    Dennis J Gooding

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    That is my favorite too. I slot it so that it slips snugly over the bar and won't fall off, and I leave it in place as a reminder of the nose angle that the arm is set for.
     
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  29. Dave Landers

    Dave Landers

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    So here's my grinder setup things, for what it's worth. I don't really know angles or anything - I set up my grinder and wolverine so that I got the grinds I want, and made the setup jigs to match those settings.

    This arm-setter thing is good because it measures the distance from the wheel to the arm, so it works on either wheel on either grinder. And I can take it to a demo or someone else's shop and setup for my gouges. I just cut it rough to shape, and tweaked it on the sander till it matched the arm setting. You can buy something similar, but if (like me) you don't know the angles, then you're matching your gouges to someone else's numbers.
    IMG_3902.jpeg

    My vari-grind setter lets me reset the leg if it gets off (like when I loan it to our symposium or whatever). But I like John's suggestion of simply drilling an 1/8" hole for registration - much simpler than making this thing.
    IMG_3906.jpeg

    When I made the offset setters (for setting the gouge tip-to-varigrind distance), I made it double-wide, then cut it into two - one attached to the grinder and the other I can travel with. They have formica scraps where the gouge hits to help reduce wear, and a bench-hook so the traveling one is easier to use.
    IMG_5093.jpeg

    I made my own platform angle setters by drawing out the geometry on some MDF or something, and cutting it out.
    IMG_3912.jpeg IMG_3910.jpeg

    I also added a block of delrin with a countersink on the V-arm. It's on the bottom side of the normal V, so I can flip the arm over and use it normally if I want/need. I have one spindle gouge that bumped into the corners of the huge V pocket - this mod gave more clearance, and I think the arm registers and swings better (and was easier than grinding down the pocket).
    IMG_5090.jpeg
     
  30. Mike Adams

    Mike Adams

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    Dave, all very good ideas I'm going to use! Especially the platform angle setter :)
     
  31. Scott Lynn

    Scott Lynn

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    Not sure if you have a friend with a 3d printer but I do know there is a guy on FB that offers free plans to make jigs his name is Dmitriy Popkov I had Steve Worcester from Turningwood.com make me one for my bowl gouge it set the arm on the vari grind and everything real simple for a 60 deg angle but he offers other angles aswell as other jigs for other tools.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
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  32. Lars Hansen

    Lars Hansen

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    His name is Dmitry Popkov, and the place to find his many designs/jigs for woodturners is:

    https://www.thingiverse.com/_dvp_/designs

    To non-3D-printing-nerds:
    The files you can download makes it possible for someone with at 3D printer to print the part(s) for you - but not fundamentally change the design.

    Lars
     
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  33. Scott Lynn

    Scott Lynn

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    Sorry auto correct changed his name but I fixed it thanks and it is Dimtriy Popkov and thanks for the link also
     
  34. Vicki Hayden

    Vicki Hayden

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    Here's the paper template: https://images.app.goo.gl/A9pbjWnHF54Bfv416 , but you probably already have that.
    I didn't have real consistency until I set the vari grind and left it in one place and used the Raptor set up guides. Prior to the Raptors, I tried blocks of wood and made a template that I think vari grind includes. Raptor, vari-grind, and CBN wheels are what I need. Saves me a lot of head aches. I'm like some of the others that just can't 'get it' any other way. I'm just happy I finally did 'get it' lol
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
  35. Mike Adams

    Mike Adams

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    And a note for you non-3D-printing nerds: It's not hard. Really. I had more headache and heartache from aligning my tablesaw blade for the first time than I have had using a 3D printer. There are many of them in the USD$200-300 range that will make most of the smaller models (things that fit in a box ~6 inches square and 5-6 inches tall).

    Just make sure that it's sturdy and that its controller's software will print stl or obj files.

    After that, the only consideration is if you can dedicate a computer to run the print job (it could take _hours_ ) or if the 3D printer can run a file you give it via USB (either downloaded via usb cable from your computer or on a flash drive that you plug into the printer) .

    The consumable is a PLA filament that sort of looks like weed whacker line. It runs ~USD$15-25 for a kg.
     
  36. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    no need for a computer or buying the Raptors. Here is a video showing how I use my homemade sharpening angle jigs. Just takes about 2 minutes to make on at any angle you want. These saved me a ton of money on steel.
    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xbggxj2kgyc&t=9s
     
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