Shop-made sharpening jig for spindle and bowl gouges

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Project by ChuckM posted 10-18-2009 08:56 PM 36307 views 34 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Summer made a come back after the record breaking – 16 C (3.2 F) temperature last Monday – the weekend was 14 C (57 F). I spent an afternoon finishing a few projects including this shop-made sharpening jig for my spindle and bowl gouges. You can use it with the Wolverine Vee pocket or simply make your own V- pocket. All you need are: T nuts, bolts, scarp wood, washers, wing nut,and two stripes of friction tapes. I’ll replace the carriage bolt once I get my hand on a better knob.

I tried the jig with a cheap spindle gouge before I used it on my regular gouges.

If you want to make a different but similar purpose version of fingernail grind sharpening jig, check out this article:

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

9 comments so far

View drfixit's profile


318 posts in 4594 days

#1 posted 10-18-2009 09:34 PM

NICE! thats one of the things on my todo list.

-- I GIVE UP!!!! I've cut this @!&*!% board 3 times.... its still too short!

View Bricofleur's profile


1483 posts in 4644 days

#2 posted 10-18-2009 09:44 PM

Well done and well thought Chuck. Wolverine should see a drop on their sales soon !!

I believe you cut the offset at the band saw?

So you’ll be able to complete your project, I’ll come up soon with tips on how to make your own jig knobs.

And your workbench top looks quite comfortable too.



PS: Tool not included I believe !

-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

View ChuckM's profile


674 posts in 5117 days

#3 posted 10-18-2009 10:12 PM

Hi Serge,

Thanks for your comments.

Everything was first cut on my tablesaw including the recess (offset) and then drilled (including the slot). The bandsaw was used to cut the curve and the leg only.

Tools used: TS; BS; Drill press and stationary sander.

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 4633 days

#4 posted 10-19-2009 12:05 AM

Very nice.

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5028 days

#5 posted 10-19-2009 05:33 AM

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4785 days

#6 posted 10-19-2009 12:52 PM

A very nice jig Chuck and it looks like it does a great job.

I don’t want to be controversial here or negative and I well understand the desire for a fingernail jig, but after doing a half-good FN grind by hand for awhile, I am finally doing it much better lately. It isn’t just the practice that has helped. I re-read a FWW article on the subject and based on that improved my technique quite a bit. It still probably isn’t quite as good as your jig produces, but it is good enough and works extremely well.

My reason for saying the above is not to knock you down or take away the joy of your successful jig. I just want to tell folks that if they are willing to take the time and patience to learn some of these hand skills, they will find doing these tasks is very easy, quick and efficient. I have made and used many good sharpening jigs in my time which really worked well, but it is amazing how much more fun woodworking is when you are not dependent on sharpening jigs. I am no handwork expert or obsessed with it. For me it is just trying to reduce the drudge and maximize fun. I hope you don’t think me a jerk for using your post to say this. Like they say, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View ChuckM's profile


674 posts in 5117 days

#7 posted 10-20-2009 12:26 AM

Hey Mike,

Good to hear about your view. No feeling of offence at all at this end. I agree sharpening of gouges or chisels can be done free hand. I used to sharpen my skew chisels and spindle gouges, without any aid of any jig too (using the 40 degree template from the FWW article). I decided to build this jig simply for higher consistency in how I sharpen my gouges. Yes, the use of jig doesn’t necessarily mean a lot better result … the making of the jig in itself was a fun experience though – especially after you found out your project worked as well as it was designed to!

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

View Karson's profile


35300 posts in 5851 days

#8 posted 10-20-2009 01:51 AM

Nice looking jig. Some fancy woods.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4785 days

#9 posted 10-20-2009 10:37 AM

Thanks for that very gracious answer to my comments Chuck. I can sure relate to the joy in making something that works well. And from the looks of the grind on you gouge in the photo your jig sure does the job.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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