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Forum topic by sudbrinkm posted 03-18-2014 01:03 PM 1357 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View sudbrinkm's profile


22 posts in 2302 days

03-18-2014 01:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sharpening turning

Looking for an opinion and what I can do about sharpening my tools. I am new to turning. I was thinking either a bench grinder and a wolverine jig, or Grizzly version of a Tormek.

I am too poor to afford an actual Tormek.

does anyone have any experience either way on this subject?

-- Matthew

9 replies so far

View TheDane's profile


5549 posts in 3864 days

#1 posted 03-18-2014 02:23 PM

Matthew—Bench grinder and Wolverine-style rig are the way to go.

Make sure you grinder is a ‘slow-speed’ with friable wheels. Lowes has a pretty decent Porter-Cable grinder for $109.

There are a lot of turners who sharpen free-hand with no jigs, etc. I am not in that number, so I need a jig to get consistent, repeatable results.

Eddie Castelin’s ‘Blackhawk’ sharpening rig (see: ) is similar in principal to the Wolverine and goes for significantly less money. I had one of Eddie’s systems, but got a complete Wolverine rig as a retirement gift so I sold Eddie’s Blackhawk to another turner.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Wildwood's profile


2473 posts in 2335 days

#2 posted 03-18-2014 02:25 PM

JMOH, belt sander free hand or bench grinder & wolverine least expensive method to sharpen your turning tools.

Only advice on bench grinder is buy locally if have a problem can exchange or get a refund. Basic Wolverine system with Vari-grind jig should last you many years.

My only problem with wet grinders is additional cost of jigs, most folks end up buying Tormek jigs.

-- Bill

View DrDirt's profile


4510 posts in 3943 days

#3 posted 03-18-2014 04:02 PM

Ditto on the Wolverine jig.

We got a wolverine system, and while the jigs are great for sharpening gouges

The flat plate really shines compared to the cheapo stamped tool rests that come with the grinders.

On the bench grinder – get 8 inch variable speed (or larger) I know some folks got a 10 inch grinder from Grizzly on sale and really love it.

I got a super package thing on teh Wolverine that came with these “Raptor” set-up guides for different angles, that I have never used.

I just have the 8 inch Variable Speed Delta – mounted to a doule layer of 3/4 MDF with blind nuts.
the setup is 152 dollars.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View JAY Made's profile

JAY Made

202 posts in 2245 days

#4 posted 03-18-2014 05:13 PM

I am in the same boat your are in as far as money is concerned. I bought the Grizzly, I love it the Tormek jigs will work with this grinder. So far I have purchased the knife jig and the square edge jig. My chisels and plane irons along with my kitchen knives have never been sharper.

-- We all should push ourselves to learn new skills.

View jeff's profile


1120 posts in 3666 days

#5 posted 03-18-2014 11:32 PM

I have the Wolverine Jig and the Woodcraft slow speed grinder-works great…

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View sudbrinkm's profile


22 posts in 2302 days

#6 posted 03-19-2014 02:20 AM

So is it hard to do sharpening on the Tormek style machine? They make an attachment set for wood turning. I like the way my uncle’s Tormek sharpens chisels. Never done it on a bench grinder. Then again I have never sharpened turning tools ever

-- Matthew

View JAY Made's profile

JAY Made

202 posts in 2245 days

#7 posted 03-19-2014 02:49 PM

I can’t answer about sharpening turning tools because I don’t own a lath yet. However on Tormek’s website they have a video for each of there jigs, they make it look pretty easy.

-- We all should push ourselves to learn new skills.

View TerryDowning's profile


1103 posts in 2318 days

#8 posted 03-19-2014 11:15 PM

I’m in the strip sander and free hand camp (‘cause I’m too cheap to buy a fancy system). Get some less expensive tools to practice on (HF sells an 8 piece set of HSS steel chisels that when sharpened perform quite nicely). Practice turning with soft pine. If your tool is not sharp enough you will find out very quickly as the pine tears so easily. and hey, it’s BORG or scrap pine lots of practice for minimal outlay. Firewood bundles are also a great source for practice wood.

-- - Terry

View SWCPres's profile


29 posts in 1730 days

#9 posted 03-20-2014 12:12 AM

I have a Grizzly 10” Slow Speed Wet like the Tormek. Some things to consider when buying:
1) Wheel isn’t always true to the rest. Tormek is the same way. Tormek makes a diamond truing jig to get it right (add $100). This is a great jig and worth the $$$ but I didn’t know that when I bought it.
2) Grizzly jigs suck. Buy Tormek’s jigs, they are much better.
3) Grizzly’s water tray isn’t as good as Tormek, but you can modify slightly if needed, I have plans to do so with mine.
4) Wet Grinders are better for the tooling edge as they will not overheat them easily as with most other methods (with the exception of hand sharpening). When you overheat the tooling edge it will not hold it’s edge as long.
5) Wet Grinders are easy and forgiving compared to other methods. Additionally, they take a little longer to shape the edge.
6) You can buy a stone to dress the wheel. This allows you to go from the 220 standard grit to 1000 grit on the same wheel. Another worth the $$$ buy.

I would recommend everyone have one.

-- Reinventing the "Wheel", one 800mg Ibuprofen at a time.....

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