Lathe chisel sharpening

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Forum topic by SethA73 posted 01-20-2019 10:10 PM 461 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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13 posts in 560 days

01-20-2019 10:10 PM

I am new to turning and have a set of gouges. I have sharpened many knives over 20 years as a chef. I see the stones for the grinding wheels, if I am as good as I think I am, can I have sharpen the gouges? Should I make some guides for the specific angle of my gouges? Or am I wasting my time and should give the bullet and make an investment? Is there a brand or system that it preferred? Thanks so much for the help. Seth

7 replies so far

View lew's profile


12553 posts in 4023 days

#1 posted 01-20-2019 10:27 PM

A slow speed grinder and this information from Capt. Eddie will help you along

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Phil32's profile


404 posts in 171 days

#2 posted 01-21-2019 02:19 AM

You obviously have some idea what sharp is like. When your lathe tool fails to cut like when it was new try grinding the cutting edge on a slow speed grinder, maintaining the original angle of the bevel. Go slow so you don’t overheat the edge. Try in on your woodturning project. Still dull? Try again.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View OSU55's profile


2092 posts in 2257 days

#3 posted 01-21-2019 03:41 PM

Dont know if you would be wasting your time free hand sharpening spindle and bowl gouges but its a waste of time and $ for me. If done daily I’m sure I could eventually do it, but what happens to those skills when I dont turn for a few months, which happens annually for me. Suggest you bite the bullet and get or make a jig .

8” slow speed grinder with friable wheels, not the usual grey ones. Jigs – they can be made cheaply, like Capn Eddie’s, but those have limitations in the grinds produced. Its worth it to get a Wolverine system with the vari-grind 2 so that you can create about any grind desired. Grinder and jig $250-$300.

View JADobson's profile


1360 posts in 2379 days

#4 posted 01-21-2019 04:11 PM

+1 for the Oneway Wolverine jig.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View HokieKen's profile


8159 posts in 1406 days

#5 posted 01-21-2019 04:34 PM

Hand sharpening gouges would require a lot of skill IMO and even for the most skilled would probably still be terribly inefficient. Recommendations above all good. I used a 6” VS grinder personally with shop-made jigs. One “trick” to gouge sharpening is the type of grind and making sure the sweep is symmetric. At least for me, if I cut one direction and turn to cut back in the opposite direction and there is a difference in the grind, it doesn’t cut the same. Even a slight variation can cut into my “mojo” ;-)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Abter's profile


71 posts in 895 days

#6 posted 02-13-2019 07:08 PM

Penn State Industries has a near-clone of the wolverine for less $$.

-- "Many men fish all their lives without ever realizing that it is not the fish they are after." {often mis-quoted as by H.D. Thoreau}

View mike02719's profile


60 posts in 4054 days

#7 posted 02-13-2019 10:43 PM

These LJ’s are right on. Capt. Eddie Castelin has all the sharpening videos you need and his website sells great carbide cutters at great prices. I use his carbides for my chisels which I love. When my skews, bedans, cutoffs, and special grinds need a touchup but not a sharpening, I use a 1” sanding belt. I bought a cheap 1” sander with a 6” disk at Loews. Klingspoor has every kind of belt you can think of at reasonable cost. I also have a leather wheel and a buffing wheel I made with a belt driven arbor and an old washing machine motor. Great Information Guys!

-- Mike, Massachusetts

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