Lathe chisel sharpening

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Forum topic by SethA73 posted 01-20-2019 10:10 PM 1192 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 1259 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

15 replies so far

View lew's profile


13272 posts in 4722 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


1239 posts in 870 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


2711 posts in 2957 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


1449 posts in 3078 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 (online now)


15926 posts in 2106 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


79 posts in 1594 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


281 posts in 4753 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

View Gittyup's profile


210 posts in 2923 days

#8 posted 02-22-2019 07:52 PM

I’m new to this turning thing also. I quickly realized that sharpening and sharpening well were critical to “success” in this venture.

Knowing that I’m not experienced at sharpening, I opted for the low speed grinder with CBN wheels and the vari-grind jig/tool rests. With these, even I can get most of my tools sharp. Expensive initial investment though.

I also have a Tormek wet grinder. I like the wet grinder for narrow angle tools, likes skews, because they can easily overheat, even on CBNs (at least with me operating them). The wet grinder is also “better” for hollow grinding chisels, again for me.

Now if your angles are set right and you are experienced at free hand sharpening, you may not need any of this. I’ve watched the pros (like Stuart Batty), hand sharpen off of a simple rest

-- tel

View bigJohninvegas's profile


882 posts in 2429 days

#9 posted 02-22-2019 10:11 PM

I use an 8” grinder form lowes, and a wolverine jig.
I also use a 180 grit CBN wheel. I got my wheel from woodturners wonder.
About the best deal out there.

-- John

View ToughCut's profile


88 posts in 2574 days

#10 posted 02-22-2019 10:16 PM

+0ne for 8” slow speed grinder with CBN and Wolverine jig

-- If you are not willing to learn, No one can help you. If you are determined to learn, No one can stop you.

View Holbs's profile


2373 posts in 2996 days

#11 posted 02-23-2019 12:45 AM

what about the worksharp 3000?
I really was thinking of seeing what a Wen 8” wet grinder (tormek clone) can do for $100, but then… I have the worksharp 3000 already.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4314 posts in 4076 days

#12 posted 02-23-2019 02:36 AM

what about the worksharp 3000?
I really was thinking of seeing what a Wen 8” wet grinder (tormek clone) can do for $100, but then… I have the worksharp 3000 already.

- Holbs

Set the angle and use the right grit, you’re set!

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View Gittyup's profile


210 posts in 2923 days

#13 posted 02-23-2019 11:52 PM

I resharpened all my tools today using the one-way rest and vari-jig. First time I’ve sharpened some new Thompson gouges I recently purchased. All turned out great. Getting better at this. One thing that helps is to note your rest angles and mark you tools using electrical tape with the rest angles. It forces you to think about it a bit more and easier to get back there each time you resharpen.

-- tel

View Dustin's profile


707 posts in 1708 days

#14 posted 02-24-2019 12:08 AM

what about the worksharp 3000?
I really was thinking of seeing what a Wen 8” wet grinder (tormek clone) can do for $100, but then… I have the worksharp 3000 already.

- Holbs

Holbs, I used the WS3000 for a few years, and finally got tired of cleaning adhesive from the wheels, the platform jig for scrapers kept slipping (even when using loctite) worked really well, but never felt natural to me. I finally pulled the trigger on the cheap Rikon slow speed with a Wolverine jig and CBN wheels this year. I’ll keep my WS for chisels and plane irons, but man, I love my grinder so much more for lathe tools.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View Avi's profile


27 posts in 1208 days

#15 posted 02-25-2019 10:46 AM

what about the worksharp 3000?
I really was thinking of seeing what a Wen 8” wet grinder (tormek clone) can do for $100, but then… I have the worksharp 3000 already.

- Holbs

No. Just no.

I tried it, even bought a jig meant for the tormek that the WS3k recommended together with its bar. I ended up giving up and springing for the wolverine. And then a slow speed grinder (Rikon). And better wheels. And ended up MUCH happier.
I keep the tormek jig (~$80) as a reminder to not be smarter than everyone else, and just get what most people recommend from the beginning! (Also got no bites on a second hand site I tried to sell it on haha).

-- ~

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