Establish or Determine Angles [for Turning Knives & Such]

  • Advertise with us
Review by Kelly posted 01-27-2017 08:28 PM 2176 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Establish or Determine Angles [for Turning Knives & Such] No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

It’s a good thing I like toys. The reason I say that is, I have a significant layout tool collection grown out of both that I find myself laying out everything from straight lines or circles and arcs, curves to letters and numbers, so I find need for verifying a variety of setups and layouts.

For the foregoing reasons, I have all manner of triangles, rulers, straight edges, tapes, compasses, curves, gauges lettering templates and so on. Some are more useful for a given project than others.

Since I took up turning last year, I find myself experimenting with the bevel angles of my turning knives. If nothing else, I’ve learned:

1) experts are not experts on which angles best work for me [and my style of turning]; and,

2) just changing the angle of a grind five degrees, or even less, can produce vastly different results.

For the foregoing reasons, capturing an angle I found worked well for me is critical. To that end, I’ve looked to or bought different gauges to determine before and after angles of turning knives. For example, I’ve tried using a very common adjustable protractor to check angles (picture below), but the leg is too long. As such, I’d need to buy a second one and cut the leg down enough to allow me to use it on short turning knives. Until I do that, I won’t know if one with a shorter leg worked for establishing

Because they are inexpensive, I purchased one of the gauges you see available on line (picture below). It has two drawbacks – it lacks the forty degree angle I need for some of my preferred choice of angles, and it seems to offer a different opinion of what some angles actually are, or are said to be, according to at least two other tools I tested it against.

Bills were light this month, so I decided to test drive a completely different kind of angle gauge (top picture). This one had far more adjustability than any of my others. For example, the body can be slid right or left to over come the long leg problem of the first gauge. You can even slide the body up and down to allow measuring thick items, like ax heads, or down tight to the base to test the angle of a chisel, for example. Too, it is significantly more accurate than the [fake] brass gauge in the second picture.

I went out in the shop and test drove this for setting the bevels on a couple gouges and a skews and believe I may have found what I needed to verify angles. The leg of this gauge adjusts in or out to allow me to check large and small knives. Setting the angle is easy. A small adjustment knob on the back side lets me move the setting of the gauge in degrees or minutes. All the adjustments are easy to make.

The only reason I did not give this five stars is, it is not a three hundred dollar set up tool. It’s a twenty-six dollar ($26.00), “what you pay for is what you get” tool.

Too, I do not know it’s accuracy. When I find some of the machinist’s angle gauges that came in a yard sale box of goodies, I may have a better idea.

View Kelly's profile


3050 posts in 3748 days

3 comments so far

View Ocelot's profile


2553 posts in 3442 days

#1 posted 01-27-2017 10:03 PM

I bought one of those last month too. It’s terrific!

It doesn’t seem to be a copy of some Starrett or Browne and Sharpe thing, but is it’s own design. You can get them for about $20 with free shipping on ebay as well (though I bought mine from Amazon).


View Woodknack's profile


13439 posts in 3184 days

#2 posted 01-28-2017 01:59 AM

I looked at those awhile back but don’t have a use for it. Looks cool though.

-- Rick M,

View waho6o9's profile


8917 posts in 3380 days

#3 posted 02-01-2017 12:17 AM

Interesting, thank you.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics