How to Sharpen Wood Turning Tools

Your best woodturning begins at the grinder. Razor sharp tools are not only safer - they create smoother cuts and an easier learning curve. And as with any skill - every sharpening master began as a rookie. Use the videos above, and the following information to hone (pun intended!) your skills. And give us a call anytime!

Equipment

For sharpening your high speed steel tools we suggest a slow running grinder, Raptor Set Up tools, the Wolverine Jig and the Oneway Varigrind. While these jigs and tools are not required, they will help ensure that you end up with the same grind geometry every time.

CBN Wheels

In our shop, we use CBN wheels. There are a myriad of videos and articles regarding these wheels and their specific benefits. If you're looking to invest in sharpening equipment, CBN wheels are an excellent place to start. We suggest 320 grit or higher. The higher you go (up to 400 or 600 grit) the finer your edge will be. Please give us a call for further CBN wheel recommendations.

Questions? Give us a call, we're happy to help. We're available Monday through Saturday, 7am - 7pm. (206)878-7672.

Step 1: Set Wolverine Jig Arm

Using the raptor set up tool, set the wolverine jig arm to the appropriate angle. Ensure that the raptor tool touches the wheel at two points and is resting firmly in the wolverine jig.

Step 2: Set Varigrind Jig

Next, fasten your tool into the varigrind jig. The tool should protrude 2" from the jig, and your varigrind should be set at a 23º angle.

If you'd like to grind a relief angle, allow the tool to protrude 2-1/2" from the jig.

Step 3: Grind!

Place the varigrind in the wolverine jig arm and rotate the tool back and forth to restore the edge.

Tool Angle

'V' Shaped Bowl Gouges

This is appropriate for all sizes of traditional 'v' fluted bowl gouges, from 3/4" to 3/8".

50º angle

Parabolic Bowl Gouges

This is appropriate for all sizes of parabolic flute bowl gouges, from 3/4" to 3/8".

40º angle

'U' Shaped Bowl Gouges

This angle is optimal for all traditional 'u' shaped, or bottom feeder gouges.

60º angle

Parabolic Bottom Feeder

This angle is optimal for all parabolic bottom feeder gouges.

50º angle

Step 1: Set Wolverine Jig Arm

Using the raptor set up tool, set the wolverine jig arm to the appropriate angle. Ensure that the raptor tool touches the wheel at two points and is resting firmly in the wolverine jig.

Step 2: Set Varigrind Jig

Next, fasten your tool into the varigrind jig. The tool should protrude 2" from the jig, and your varigrind should be set at a 23º angle.

If you'd like to grind a relief angle, allow the tool to protrude 2-1/2" from the jig.

Step 3: Grind!

Place the varigrind in the wolverine jig arm and rotate the tool back and forth to restore the edge.

Tool Angle

Traditional spindle gouge (e.g. 1/2" and 3/8")

45º

Detail spindle gouge

35º

Low Profile Spindle Gouges

40º

Step 1: Mark the Edge

We demonstrate sharpening the roughing gouge without the use of the wolverine jig. This process is optimal if you'd like to replicate your tool's factory grind. First, we'll color the cutting edge of the gouge to determine if our grinding platform is set at the desired angle.

Step 2: Set the Angle

With the machine turned off, lay the gouge on the flat platform and rotate the wheel slowly. If the wheel is removing the black mark, we know that we have the correct angle. Adjust the grinding platform until the mark is removed.

Step 3: Grind!

Once you've established your angle, simply rotate the tool back and forth to restore the edge.

Tool Angle

Spindle roughing gouge

35º

Step 1: Mark the Edge

We demonstrate sharpening the skew without the use of the wolverine jig. This process is optimal if you'd like to replicate your tool's factory grind. First, we'll color the cutting edge of the tool to determine if our grinding platform is set at the desired angle.

Step 2: Set The Angle

With the machine turned off, lay the skew on the flat platform and rotate the wheel slowly. If the wheel is removing the black mark, we know that we have the correct angle. Adjust the grinding platform until the mark is removed.

Step 3: Grind!

Once you've established your angle, simply rotate the tool back and forth to restore the edge.

Tool Angle

Skew chisel

30º

Square nose and bowl scraper

12º

Negative rake scraper

25º on the top, 40º on the bottom

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