Lathe tool sharpening for less than $2.00

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Project by 806jlb posted 03-10-2013 10:30 PM 5542 views 19 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Homemade sharpening jig for turning tools for less than $2.00. I made this jig primarily because I didn’t want to spend $100 for a professional one. All the wood is scrap from other projects. The only reason it cost anything was because I didn’t have the 5/16” hex bolts and wing nuts. I doubled up 1/2” oak scrap plywood for the base, and 3/4” scrap solid oak for the cradle. This jig is very easy to use. Just set the gouge in the cradle, resting it on the fine stone of my bench top grinder, a few light rotations, and it’s like new. A peg board hook and a rubberband makes for easy storage. This is about an hour project to make and only a few minutes to attach and adjust.

7 comments so far

View DIYaholic's profile


19647 posts in 2795 days

#1 posted 03-10-2013 10:49 PM

This looks like an easy low cost sharpening method. Thanks for sharing!!!

I will soon be getting into lathe tool sharpening.
Now all I have to do is:
Build a jig!
Set up my lathe!!
Get some turning tools!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


5545 posts in 2529 days

#2 posted 03-11-2013 12:06 AM

Great idea and it does work, I once used this method myself. That being said my experinece was this: the grinder speed is at 3400 rpm and that takes off material alot quicker that let us say a Tormec. (Do not kill me for mentioning this Porsch of sharpeners) If it works for you great, but having tried this I can tell you it can eat a chisel to nothing and that means getting a new one. Those are not cheap. (laughing)

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View ldl's profile


1135 posts in 2485 days

#3 posted 03-11-2013 03:45 AM

Neat simple rig but I don’t see how you adjust for tool wear or wheel wear.

-- Dewayne in Bainbridge, Ga. - - No one can make you mad. Only you decide when you get mad - -

View smitdog's profile


396 posts in 2225 days

#4 posted 03-11-2013 01:26 PM

Very similar to the setup I have for my Shopsmith with the 12” disc sander. It attaches to the lathe tool rest arm so all you do is swing it around and adjust it until the bevel lays flat against the disc. Then you lock it down, turn it on and just touch it a couple times.

Nice setup for a grinding wheel. You could make it adjustable by taking out the bolts on the piece on the left with the stop and installing a T-track so you could loosen that side and slide it in and out to where you need it and tighten it back down for the next chisel.

-- Jarrett - Mount Vernon, Ohio

View 806jlb's profile


8 posts in 2052 days

#5 posted 03-11-2013 04:55 PM

Hello. I should have mentioned that this is the initial setup. The jig will have to be adjusted as needed. I’ll probably route out a channel between the two bolts.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


5545 posts in 2529 days

#6 posted 03-12-2013 04:09 AM

I use formula blocks and engraved numbers on the end of the chisels so I know which block to use to set my gouges up. They have measurements that are taken from the end of the gouge to where it mounts in the cradle. This sets the angle to adjust for wear, and makes it simple to repeat the original process rather than setting it up new each time. Hope this helps, took some time the first time but once it is done and works correctly you have a guide for the next time.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Sawdustmaker115's profile


306 posts in 1841 days

#7 posted 09-09-2013 12:49 AM

Thanks for sharing I’m going to make one for myself.

-- Anthony--

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