Sharpening Mistake With Oneway Wolverine Grinding Jig

Wolverine Sharpening Jig Mistake

I just made a really stupid mistake when using the oneway wolverine grinding jig to sharpen my round nose scraper.

I wanted to change the angle to 20 dregrees, something that Thompson recommends, not problem I thought. Some turners showed sharpening their scraper on the platform that comes with the oneway sharpening jig.

I had not put the platform together yet, only had a couple minutes tonight to see if the change in angle makes much of a difference in the scraper. I had the scraper at 40 degrees and it was giving me some grabs in a hard piece of oak burl, I thought maybe the 20 degrees would make a difference. I’ve since come to understand that some scrapers are at 10 degrees, thus lessening the chance for a grab.

Used the Single Cup of the Wolverine Jig to Sharpen The Scraper

So I just used the long arm of the oneway jig with the cup on it and I placed the scraper on the wheel, I would need to cut more from the top of the scraper to change the angle to 20 degrees… I slid the arm out until it looked like it would take a good piece of the top off, then I would check the angle of the scraper.

I turned on the grinder and lowered the scraper onto the grinding wheel and it happened. I thought my little shop exploded and it felt like I lost a finger!

Grinding Accident with oneway wolverine sharpening jigWell, I see why you should use the platform to sharpen a tool with a smaller angle. You can see in the pictures, the tool was almost horizontal and when I turned on the grinder the tip caught the wheel, dug a hole in the Norton 8″ 120 grit wheel and broke the top of the scraper. I don’t know what else happened, all I know is that I have a gouge in my finger and hand, the grinding wheel might be ruined and it scared the crap out of me.

WoodTurning Tool Sharpening Lesson Learned

Lesson learned…. when sharpening be careful! Pay attention to the angle that you are sharpening, use the platform when necessary and always introduct the woodturning tool slowly into the wheel. I don’t know, maybe I pushed to hard, too fast but I now am much more careful when sharpening ….I pay attention to all the details when resharpening my woodturning tools or trying to reshape my woodturning tools.

It was late, I was in a hurry, I wanted to try some new grinds I had studied over the last couple of days and I was not paying attention to detail.

I’ve worked with powertools for almost 50 years…yes, I did start young but you should never allow yourself to get so comfortable when working with power tools that you are not taking proper precautions to safety rules. I’m afraid I let the familiarity of working with power tools get the best of me, need to pay more attention to the task at hand….. always!

Should Have Checked My Setup Before Turning the Grinder On!

If I would have stood back and looked at the setup I made, I would have immediately noticed the dangerous situation. I’m thankful that nothing worse happened, I could have easily been injured severely since the scraping gouge went sailing and the grinding wheel took a beating and could have boke up sending pieces of the wheel everywhere.

WoodTurning Tool
Sharpening Lesson Learned!

Slow down, and if you can’t ….do the task another day.

The Oneway Wolverine Grinding Jig is an awesome set up for sharpening your woodturining tools and you should not be afraid of it, but you should be careful, think, use some logic and be careful with each setup and each sharpening situation.

Take a minute to analyze each set up before you push the “ON” button.

Be careful friends, although wood turning is addicting the tools we work with are extremely dangerous if used incorrectly! We tend to focus on the wood lathe and the project in the chuck….. its a good idea to be aware and be careful all around the shop. This week I bound up a bandsaw blade, the wood kicked back and the blade threw off the wheels ….. I tried making a new scraper and the unshielded wheel caught my arm ….not a good week for me and I definitely will pay more attention to what I am doing and not approach my work in such a lackidasical way!

What is The ONEWAY Manufacturing WOLVERINE Grinding Jig?

What is The ONEWAY
Manufacturing WOLVERINE
Grinding Jig?

As you might know I’ve been researching the best way to sharpen my wood turning tools, I’ve been trying to find the best affordable woodturning tools and equipment in terms of quality and value.

Here are 2 Facts to consider:

-a woodturning bowl chisel can be cheap or close to $200
-most reviews from the owners of the $100 dollar plus chisels and gouges say they are a dream to use compared to the cheap wood turning tools
however those of us that have elcheapo woodturning gouges and chisels get great results if we can get our woodturning tools sharpened properly.

Sharpening a cheap wood lathe chisel means you need to keep an edge on that tool because the quality of the steel is not as good as the expensive lathe chisels and gouges. The fact is, cheap steel does not keep a sharp edge very long. But…. if you know how to sharpen your cheap tools you can hone your woodturning skills using cheap tools and work your way up to the more expensive wood turning tools!

Sharpening cheap woodlathe tools allows you to learn on those tools how to sharpen them properly. So, now when you by that expensive Sorby or Ellsworth wood-turning chisel you’ll exactly how to do it and you won’t lose excessive metal by over-grinding.

Sharpening Cheap and
Expensive Wood Turning Tools

To recap up to this point.

We have cheap tools and expensive tools. Both need to be sharpened.

Cheap tools, when sharpened properly can cut almost as good as an expensive woodturning tool, it just depends on your ability to sharpen your tools. And the frequency of sharpening is greater, in other words, it’s been said that you will sharpen a cheap wood turning bowl gouge 7 times to each single sharpening of a Sorby or Ellsworth bowl gouge! Keeping in mind that the expensive Sorby or Ellsworth wood turning bowl gouge that gets delivered will be sharp (not always) but you are going to have to know how to sharpen it sooner or latter and you don’t want to learn how to sharpen one of these expensive tools with your first attempt at sharpening……I guarantee you will watch that 200 dollar turning chisel shrink into a little stub of a tool in no time.

It’s been said, sharpening is an art! I’ve worked with a variety of cutting tools over the last 45 years and can tell you that there’s nothing like a newly sharpened blade, chisel or other tool to work with.

Yes is is an “art”, but it is also based on mathematics and physics. Unless you’ve been turning for the last 20 years its impossible to know what the angles are, how far the sweep goes back and a whole myriad of different factors in sharpening. You can spend the next year watching videos and reading articles just on sharpening your wood turning tools, but thank Goodness you really don’t have to because there are plenty of sharpening kits and jigs out there that you can either make or buy.

Sharpen your wood turning tools more efficiently by coloring the area to be ground.
Color the section of your new wood turning tool with a black sharpie pen, this is the area to be removed

Heck, when I first started my wood turning habit,  I took my elcheapo Harbor Freight wood turning chisels and sharpened them by hand. I did pick up one trick, take a black sharpie pen and color the entire grind of the tool. As you begin to sharpen your chisel (by hand) watch the colored area get ground away. At this point you know you have the right angle and you can sort of watch the tool take shape …..always trying not to overgrind which leads to changing the profile or the angle of the cutting edge.

Sharpening by hand works but even the most avid wood turning will tell you to invest in tools and equipment that will help you keep your woodturning tools, chisels and gouges in good shape. I’ve worked with wood almost all my life and a sharp tool is safer, makes the day go by quicker and your work will always be better ……along with the fact that you will actually enjoy the project you are working on!

So, in my quest for learning all I can to be a good wood-turner on a low budget I found all kinds of solutions for sharpening your tools. I found instructions on how to make a jig that will allow you to put that extra special irish grind or Ellsworth grind on your bowl gouge and you can make this jig for 2 dollars its called “the 2 dollar sharpening jig“.

I found jigs with big turning stones, some with small turning stones and had attachments that you could use on your lawnmower and kitchen knives ….these were always between $600 and $1000 because I never could figure out how many extra attachments you needed to sharpen wood turning tools. I watched different guys use belt sanders, disc sanders and 2” vertical sanders…… all claimed they had the perfect set up. And you know what, this is important, if you have or develop a system to sharpen your woodturning tools …..good one for you! You make it your own and if you’re happy with the results then there is no need to change.

I stumbled on this guys website, he actually goes thru the process of building a sharpening jig from wood similar to the Oneway Wolverine jig. You might like to look at that!

Here’s another alternative to the Wolverine Sharpening Jig, it’s a shop made jig of wood, looks fairly simple to make and will save you a pile of cash ….all it takes is some talent and time. Anway he also offers a free set of plans to build to turners sharpening jig so check out the video below:

Stephen Ogle, a wood turner, from whom I learned a ton about woodturning from shows how he made a jig that turned a flat disk using an old fan motor…..well, I think he swiped it from his wife 🙂 But it is perfect for maintaining an edge, however, you can’t use it to grind or regrind an edge on a tool, in other words can’t use his system to reshape the end of your tool. His sharpening system only deals with the very end of the chisel or gouge to put a razor sharp edge on the tool. So you might want to use this as a second step option to fine tune your sharpening after the first basic sharpening. Anyway,  check out his video here

Sorby has some kind of monster belt sander that flips, goes horizontal, turns around and I think hovers 🙂 but I know that it is over $1000 and you need to get a set of accessories to sharpen your specific tools.

I figured out when it came down to it, the toughest and most used grind is the swept back irish grind. Now there are probably 100 variations or more of this grind and you have to figure out which one suits your need. Once you find out what type of grind will work for you, you need to figure out a way to consistently sharpen that gouge or chisel each and every time so your results will be the same. Find something that works for you and just keep on using it….. go to seminars, watch videos and check out blogs like mine that will keep you up to date on what’s working and what’s not …..what kind of new stuff is available to help keep your tools sharp.

My whole thought process was, will cheap tools work? …. can I sharpen cheap tools? I know, or at least I’ve read reviews about the expensive tools and quality steel….it all makes sense and anyone who has switched from elcheapo to the grand wood-turning gouge…almost always say that they cannot believe how much better the good tool, properly sharpened, works.

Yet on the other hand, I’ve read reviews for some of the cheaper tools where the tool owner’s had both and literally could not tell the difference between the two tools because he kept them properly sharpened.

XXXXXXXXX PIC HERE After much research and contemplation I decided I would look for something I could use to sharpen all my tools and not pay $1,000 dollars to get all set up. I decided to get the or something similar to the Oneway Wolverine Grinding Jig. Keep in mind there are many knockoffs, most cheaper but upon reading the reviews it seemed as though the reproduction product itself was cheap. The metal on some of the takeoffs was thinner, the lockdowns didn’t work, no instructions and the kit was not complete…. you needed to buy a bunch of accessories, which in the long run caused the price to come close to what I consider to be the King of the Hill, the Oneway Wolverine Grinding Jig.

oneway wolverine woodturing tool sharpening jig
Best way to sharpen your woodturing tools, gouges and chisels is the oneway wolverine sharpening jig

So I decided to go with the ONEWAY Manufacturing WOLVERINE Grinding Jig. You can get the basic set up for less than 100 dollars, but you really need all the accessories which brings the price tag closer to 150 dollars. They provide everything you need to sharpen all your wood-turning chisels and gouges. The metal is sturdy, the clamps have a strong feel and lock down nicely…. what’s more it works! Turners who have had the Wolverine jig say it will last a lifetime due to the quality construction.

You can take a bowl gouge with a grind you like and duplicate it exactly within 10 minutes of using this sharpening jig. You can take an older gouge or a new gouge and put the long sought after Ellsworth grind on it, then you can set up your Wolverine grinding jig to match that grind perfectly each and every time….. the best part is you don’t have to grind half the tool away, just a couple of light pass-by’s and your new gouge is ready to go.

If you invested in some of the more expensive wood turning tools like a Sorby or Ellsworth wood turning tool then the ONEWAY WOLVERINE Grinding Jig is exactly what you want. You can keep the profile they came with and you can keep them razor sharp with little effort. The wolverine jig enables you to product duplicatable results each and every time. If you try that by hand it ain’t gonna happen unless you are like Moses the woodturner who’s been sharpening and turning for at least 2000 years or so 🙂

I’ve included a copy of the Wolverine Grinding Jig Instructions that came with my package. It will give you an idea how the jig works and what you need to do. Click on this link Oneway Manufacturing Wolverine Grinding Jig Instructions Instructions or click on the image below to download the booklet, I think its 6 pages but you’ll know exactly how to set it up before you buy it ….and if you wanted to buy one, click on this link for the best deal Oneway Wolverine Sharpening Jig.

Hope this helps some of you guys/gals who might get a little confused before figuring out what the best way is to sharpen you prized wood turning gouges and chisels. I know I spent months before I thought I could make an intelligent decision on what I might need to sharpen my tools. I am very happy with the WOLVERINE Grinding Jig!

Best Place to Buy a Wolverine Grinding Jig:


One more thing, you might need a grinder. I already had a couple of 6″ grinders but I wanted to make a dedicated grinder and grinding station for my wood turning tools. So I checked out grinders, I didn’t want to make this cost a basket full of cash so I headed out to the local harbor freight. Funny thing, every time I mention harbor freight I start a war! For me, I’ve learned to read the reviews, buy the extended warranties and get to know the people in my local store. It’s been a great place to pick up some tools, some tools you know are garbage ….so are every bit as good as the big box stores.

Anyway, with a coupon, I got a nice 8″ grinder from Harbor Freight for $35. It works great, has plenty of power and it’s my dedicated wood turning tools grinder…..I’m really happy with the setup. There is one drawback, the shaft is 1/2″ and most 8″ wheels need a 5/8″ shaft. Just search Amazon or Ebay and you’ll come up with a bunch of different solutions for that problem. I even found a guy who turned some wood reducers on his lathe that solved the arbor thickness problem.

Well….hope this might help you a little bit. If you’re like me you probably will still go out there and try to find the best solution….good luck but I bet you’ll come back to the ONEWAY WOLVERINE Grinding Jig ….it really is something that you’ll use to the end of your days and then it will be passed on to your sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters. Because the way it is built… will last forever!

Happy Turning


Two Dollar Sharpening Jig by Cap’n Eddie Castelin

Two Dollar Sharpening Jig
by Cap’n Eddie Castelin

I just love Cap’n Eddie, wish I lived closer to him. I know we’d be good friends. He loves teaching woodturning to others and has all kinds of tips, tricks and other woodturning secrets.

Although he can tell you all about the best and most expensive tools for woodturning. Often he’ll share a method of doing something almost for free. That is, if your handy and you can follow his instructions.

Often times he has some of his woodturning tools and jigs for sale. Do him and yourself a favor and send the guy a few bucks so he can keep cranking out these videos and we can learn from him.

Learn How to Make a $2 Sharpening
Jig for Your Woodturning Tools

In this video Eddie shows us how to make a $2 sharpening jig for your gouges and bowl woodturning tools, a tool that gives you the fingernail grind or elsworth grind. He shares everything you need to make it your self, or you can get on from him for about $20 bucks.

Now this is just one part of the Oneway Wolverine Grinding Jig, nonetheless, I think the part from Oneway is 80 bucks and is called the Vari-Grind Attachment.

Basically Eddie is Showing you how to make something like this:

Here is his comment from the video:

This is a $2 sharpening jig for the Elsworth type deep fluted gouge. See my website: for more. It’s best made from a piece of water pipe, but if you can’t do that, a piece of schedule 80 plastic will do.
See my website: for more.
I added a revision to this video so you can stop it at the end and print a picture of the sketch. Just hit pause and then file, print. You should be able to get the sketch at the very end.

Here’s a pdf of the Wolverine One-way sharpening Jig for gouges.

Click on the image to read the pdf, its only 4 pages and came with my oneway wolverine grinding jig! you have your choice of vari-grind attachments, but you can use Cap’n Eddies  2 dollar jig and save about 60 bucks or so 🙂 watch the video above, he shows you have to make the vari-grind jig.

How to Sharpen Your Woodturning Lathes and Gouges using a Plywood Grinding Wheel

How to Sharpen Your Woodturning Lathes and Gouges using a Plywood Grinding Wheel

oneway wolverine woodturing tool sharpening jig
Best way to sharpen your woodturing tools, gouges and chisels is the oneway wolverine sharpening jib

As I did, you might think that sharpening your woodturning tools is limited to your electric grinder and a 6 inch or 8″ grinding stone. Well, my friend, you’re in for a big surprise because there is a whole new world of sharpening tools when it comes to what you might use to sharpen your woodturning chisels and gouges. This all started when I was looking around to purchase a OneWay sharpening system for woodturning tools, I purchased one and then I wanted to learn how to use it. Which ended up leading me down the rabbit’s hole of different ways to sharpen wood turning tools, sharpening knives or just plain sharpening your chisels!

Well, I found a video on how to sharpen your knives razor sharp by making a plywood sharpening wheel! I thought I bookmarked it, and I thought I placed it in my carefully organized research system of folders on the bookmark tab ….well, somehow it never got bookmarked and I lost the video on how to make your own plywood sharpening wheel. I searched for a week or more and in that time I learned a ton of information on how to get razor sharp woodworking tools, knives or anything that cuts.

The Laziest Way to Sharpen
Any Knife to Razor Sharp 2

I found the video entitled “The Laziest Way to Sharpen Any Knife to Razor Sharp 2”. It’s nothing fancy, nothing complicated but it will open your world of knowledge when it comes to sharpening your woodworking tools in particulate I plan on using it to keep a razor sharp edge on my woodturning bowl gouges, finger grinds, elsworth grinds and basically all my wood turning chisels. In fact, this Easter I took some old kitchen knifes out to the garage and put an edge on them with this plywood sharpening wheel and they sliced through a ham like a hot knife thru butter! I’ll report back once I fine turn the wheel and use it on my wood turning tools and let you know how it sharpens a cheap set of wood lathe turning tools! Meanwhile, you should enjoy this video. Sorry….. should mention this is his first video, make sure you scroll down and watch the next video…. it has the info on the plywood sharpening wheel. I just can’t rewrite this post again ….wordpress or my compter or internet crashed on a fully edited post and somehow it did not get saved … I am not going to rewrite it again! ……just make sure you see the next video from this guy 🙂

Oh, by the way, this is the video owners comments, he has some other videos on wood working tools and the wood sharpening wheel/stone that might be worth checking out.

Published on Aug 29, 2015


Hey guys, in this video I am going to be showing you my method of sharpening knives up to a razor sharpness as quickly as possible.
John Heisz’s video:…
The CNC machine used in this video was sent to me by Inventables, they are such an awesome company and you should check them out here:…

sharpening wheels and stones
Antique Sharpening Wheel Stone

This is not a picture of today’s sharpening technology 🙂 Next I started doing what every 21st century mortal does when in quest of information, I did an internet search. Well, I “Googled” it and then I checked out youtube….. boy was I surprised!

I will do an entire series showing a variety of different methods and tools used to sharpend your woodturning tools and other tools as well. After all, a woodturning chisel or gouge is a metal instrument or tool with a sharp edge. If you learn how to put an edge on a knife, you can carry that skill on to your woodturning tools.

Don’t get me wrong.

Sharpening your woodturning tools is not a one size fits all. There are many methods, many differnt sharpening tools and jigs needed to get your bowl gouges and chisels in tip top shape.

Learning How to Sharpen
Your WoodTurning Tools

Unfortunately you can’t watch one video and go out and give it a whack ….expecting to have a perfect edge and perfect tool. It just ain’t gonna happen 🙂 Best thing is to study, watch some tutorials, take some classes if you have to and keep trying!

I have to be honest with you, although I’m not an expert woodworker yet ….I’ve worked in the trades from highschool, through college and up until now …. a good 45 years or so. I’ve seen many tradesmen, or I should say I’ve watched many workers attempt to master a trade. If you stay at it, you can become sufficent, even good ….but some people are just naturals when it comes to building something ….and some struggle and often quit!

Don’t quit, wood turning and woodturning associated tasks can become overwhelming but with some intestinal fortitude ….keep plugging along, you’ll get it!

The first piece of wood I turned with some cheapo chisels I probably stopped my lathe about 20 times or more when trying to hollow out a cup. I had no idea what I was doing, I was trying to remember some of the videos I watched …..I certainly wasn’t making things happen like those guys. Sooner or latter I could make my cheap woodturning bowl gouges cut like a hot knife thru butter with hardly a gouge.

Here’s the trick. When you mess up, learn how to fix your screw ups. Any good tradesman will mess things up now and then…. the good ones know how to fix their mistakes. So if you leave a big gashing hole in your candle holder or cup you’re turning, watch some of the pro’s mix up some CA or superglue and woodchips, jam it in the hold, let it set and sand it out or turn it out.

I’m sorry, got carried away again.

I wanted to show you guys a video that really caught my eye and its a little off topic but has to do with sharpening knifes, chisels or anything you’d want to sharpen with your grinder.

In this video the guy calls it “The Laziest WAy to Sharpen Any Any Knife to Razor Sharp” I watched this video about sharpening and it opened up a whole new paradigm when using a grinder for sharpening tools. The only problem was, I didn’t bookmark the video and couldn’t find it because I was searching youtube for “plywood grinding wheels” “wood grinding wheels” “different grinding wheels” and a whole bunch of other terms because I couldn’t remember the title.

Long story short is that the guy makes a grinding wheel from plywood, trues the wheel, applies some kind of rubbing or sharpening compound to the plywood grinding wheel and once done he can but a razor sharp edge on a knife in under a minute. I’m thinking you can sharpen anything including your woodturning tools, gouges and chisels.

Check out his video on plywood & MDF grinding wheels for Tool Sharpening

This video is what the whole post is about. If you only watch one video, check this one out….. guaranteed you will be impressed if you or knew as much about wood tool sharpening as I did!

His comments have some useful information, you might want to check out some of his links:

Published on Jan 21, 2017

Today I am showing you a method to sharpen knives from completely dull to razor sharp in just 60 seconds. That makes this method in my opinion the laziest way to sharpen any knife to razor sharp.
My last video on this topic got over 4.7 million views so I think its time for me to re-visit and improve the method!
How to Sharpen a Knife with a Whetstone:…
Old video:…

Cheap bench grinder:…
Buffing compound:…

Please consider supporting me on Patreon for early access to videos and to help keep quality content like this coming:…

Check out my instagram for more updates:…

I watched another video where a guy did the same thing but used MDF board for the wheel and then bought some sheets of leather from ebay and cut a couple circles, glued them together, shaped it and applied the buffing compount. You would use this wheel after shapening on the first wheel. I forgot what its called, but if the video isn’t here, just means I lost that one too…. I’ll find it though.

I did watch izzy swan’s video on “How to Make Your Knife Scary Sharp” using store purchased grinding wheels made of cardboard. That’s right folk’s ….cardboard! He swears by it, can’t remember how long he’s been using it be it’s his go to system for sharpening. I think I’m gonna stick with the plywod because I can save probably $100 for either the cardboard or the MDF grinding/sharpening wheels because I can make it myself, I can find tune it and I can steal ideas from all 3 wheels to make the perfect wooden grinding wheel!

How to Make Your Knife Scary Sharp

Anyway, watch Izzy’s video here on wooden or cardboard grinding/sharpening wheels:

You can find the cardboard sharpening wheel system that Izzy uses on Amazon, check out

Turns out some guy is selling a set of wood wheels made of MDF board, both have a buffing compound on them and then you impregnate the wheel with an abbrasive mixture of sand/grit. Anyway, he sells them for something like $40 bucks a piece on Amazon or Ebay, click here to see the MDF sharpening wheels and buffing compound. I’ll see if I can find the link.

MDF Sharpening Wheels
for Your Woodturning Tool Sharpening

My only problem with MDF board is that I wonder how stable it is. In other words, will it break apart after being on the grinder for a while? I did not see anyone complain with that problem but I think it’s a fairly new method so the test of time is yet to be made.


Plywood sharpening system using mdf sharpening wheels

I really wanted to show you guys the cool method of sharpening stuff with a plywood wheel, how you adapt it to your needs and tools is totally up to you. Look at it this way, a grinding stone is going to remove a lot of steel from your tool, until you really get to know how to use a light touch your tools are not going to last long. Maybe, just maybe a plywood grinding wheel could save you some money in the long run by not grinding away the precious steel of your tool. If you buy a 100 dollar Sorby woodturning bowl gouge or $180 Ellesworth bowl gouge, you’re gonna want to make that steel last as long as possible!

As always, sharpening tools is dangerous, wear the appropiate protective gear…always! And….. when using these wooden grinding wheels you are going to want the plywood or mdf grinding wheel to turn in reverse so it doesn’t allow the tool to dig into the wheel and cause a terrible accident!!!!!

wooden sharpening wheel
MDF sharpening Wheel from the Old Texas WoodCarvers Shop

I just ran into a website that seems to specialize these wooden grinding wheels, leather wheels and buffing compounds, everything you would need to get a fine edge. I can’t speak to their quality or service but it surely seems like a collection for those who know what they are doing when it comes to sharpening tools, anyway, check them out at “The Old Texas Woodcarvers Shop” I really enjoyed looking at this site, it’s an old style website and kind of reminded me of the time when we used to walk in stores, talk to the owners and pick their brains on what we needed. I’m not sure but I bet they have a physcial location in Texas and I bet you could spend a day there learning about sharpening wood working tools!

DIY MDF Sharpening Wheel

As I was researching and looking for the plywood sharpening wheel video I ran across this video:

This is what he had to say: This is how I made a paper (mdf) sharpening wheel. It works very well and with practice you can have scary sharp knives because of this simple wheel. Most of you have a piece of scrap mdf laying around which makes this free… Don’t pay $80 like the advertised products. Beat the man and make your own!

It’s a fast and easy to watch video on how to make one of these plywood/wood/paper sharpening wheels. You can give it a go and test it out if you’re pretty handy. If it works, it might be all you need besides a little rubbing compound. However, if it works, you might want to consider grabbing a wood sharpening wheel from one of the links on this page since it will be “trued”, generally you get (2) 6″ or 8″ wood sharpening wheels plus some come with kits of adhesive and/or rubbing compound that allow you to add silica carbide grit to the wheel that supposedly creates a surgeons edge on your wood turning tools and wood working tools. Click Here to check out one of the Razor sharp wood wheel sharpening systems and this is what they say about it …..just to give you an idea of what you get. Sure you can buy all this seperately, just depends how involved you want to get and I’m trying to help you with some ideas. Anyway, this is off their salespage:

8 inches diameter x 3/4 inch wide x 5/8 inch hole in center

with adapter… if needed for adapting to 1/2 inch hole in center



8 inches diameter x 3/4 inch wide x 5/8 inch hole in center with adapter… if needed for adapting to 1/2 inch hole in center SHARPENING WHEELS.

Professional sharpening supplies and equipment are now available for your personal, business, and professional use at affordable prices. This method is used by professional knife sharpeners, taxidermists, butchers, custom knife makers, knife dealers, and other professionals whose businesses depend on a RAZOR EDGE. Sharpens Schrade, Buck, Puma, and Gerber knives and other stainless blades. This is the ideal method for sharpening any pocket knife, sheath knife, kitchen knife, hunting knife, and professional knives and tools that require a RAZOR EDGE. Works equally well on high-carbon steel or stainless steel knife blades for a RAZOR EDGE. This method of sharpening is easily learned; quick to sharpen; removes the least amount of blade metal; forms an edge to your requirements; developes the least heat; and can be reconditioned for further use without costly belts or additional wheels and supplies.


Each sharpening wheel set contains:

  • 1 grittted sharpening wheel 180 grit silicon carbide 8 inches diameter by 3/4 inch wide by 5/8 inch hole in center.
  • 1 slotted polishing wheel  8 inches diameter by 3/4 inch wide by 5/8 inch hole in center.
  • 2 adapters if needed to adapt to 1/2 inch hole in center.
  • 2 ounces of white rouge…used to polish the knife edge.
  • 2 ounces of wax “goose grease”…used to lubricate the sharpening wheel to reduce heat.
  • 3 ounces of 180 silicon carbide grit…used to refurbish the sharpening wheel 15-20 times.


YouTube videos are available online

Here’s another idea for a sharpening system for the DIY’er. It’s not what I really had in mind when writing this aritcle but it can take you on a totally different route for sharpening, worse case it will open your mind to the possibilities when it comes to sharpening. Sometimes all you need is to watch something like this so you might create your own one off design that is perfect for your woodturning tool purposes. I like his ideas, they are simple to construct and very well explained. You can check out the video here:

I hope you found this post useful. I really did spend a lot of time researching the fine art of sharpening wood working tools and in particular woodturning tools. I plan on doing more detailed posts that cover specifics for sharpening each of the woodturning tools and will probably carry that on to sharpening other wood working tools.

If you stumble on this post, I hope you let me know what you think.

Remember, I really only wanted to reveal what I thought was something very different from the ordinary when it comes to sharpening wood working tools. I thought you needed a grinder and various grits of grinding stones. I stumbled on these wood, mdf and paper sharpening wheels and thought they would be very helpful when it comes to sharpening our woodturning tools …, this really does not contain any info from the experts on how to sharpen your wood turning gouges, chisels and the like ….however, I will let you know what each of the woodturning experts has to say on this subject so that you might really enjoy your woodturning and wood lathe experience!

WoodTurning Gouge Sharpening and Grinding An Elsworth or Fingernail Grind for Woodturning Gouges

Grinding An Elsworth or Fingernail Grind for Woodturning Gouges

One of the toughest choices I had to make when getting started in wood turning was deciding which type of woodturning gouge or wood turning chisel to purchase and use.

It gets complicated really fast.

You have to know or learn about steel, that is the steel used in your tools. Brand names become important and deciding on a budget for your woodturning tools is really the major factor.

Knowing what type of steel is used is important because that will tell you how long the woodturning tool will stay sharp and how long it will last. Woodturning tool steel is important also when considering or learning how to sharpen the tools, will it cut green wood easily? ….will it slice thru dry wood?

I watched all kinds of youtube videos, read a bunch of books and did a lot of googling for “woodturning tools” and the amount of information was really overwhelming!


Affordable Wood Turning Chisels
Get Started with the most expensive woodturning chisels you can afford!

I purchased a cheap set of HSS woodturning chisels from Harbor Freight. I think there are about 8 tools and the regular price is around 60 dollars. I had a coupon and ended up getting the set for less than $50, in fact, I think I had a 25% coupon and I paid around 48 bucks for the set.

They were kind of sharp to start with, I found out after a while that they were no where near the sharpness they needed to be. I can tell you how many times a gouge dug into a bowl and stopped the lathe 🙂 …..I don’t know how it did’t break those poor tools….. I read of guys paying just as much for one woodturning gouge and having the steel shank break in two! So, I guess I was pretty lucky.

I could go on and on about gouges but I wanted to share how you can get a fingernail grind on a cheap woodturning tool to experiment with while you are learning.

Here’s the deal. Buy a cheap set of chisels, start to learn how to use them, buy the jigs you need to sharpen the woodturning gouges and chisels and then figure out which woodturning chisel you like best.

Once you get a handle on sharpening and abusing your cheap set of woodturning tools, you can now think about which tools you really like. No need to guy a whole new set, because now you can spend some money and buy a good, expensive or more expensive, wood turning tool. Eddie Castelin says, “Hey, no need to buy a set of tools ….just buy the one you like to use and learn to use it well, after you master that move on to the next!”

Of course if budget isn’t an issue you can get a set of Sorby Woodturning Tools or Hamlet woodturning gouges & chisels or the famous David Ellsworth Signature Gouges …I think made by Crown. You can find good deals on Ebay, best deals on Amazon ….then again, if you have a local woodworking store in your area they can always use the business. Check your local area for Woodturning clases, you might have some luck Googling “woodturning” or even your local college might have classes.

I saved the best for last.

The Ellsworth or Fingernail Grind ….A Swept Back Cutting Bowl Gouge Grind

Ellsworth Grind for Woodturning tools
Woodturing Bowl Gouge with Ellsworth Grind, known as Irish Grind or Fingernail Grind

Since I really wanted to learn how to make bowls, I tried to learn as much as I could about the woodturning tools needed to turn wood bowls. As it turns out, no pun intended :), there are a number of variations of something called a fingernail grind or the ellsworth grind….check out the image (if I found one). These bowl gouge grinds allow you to do a variety of cuts but they are:

  1. hard to master
  2. hard to sharpen

You can spend anywhere from $60 to $200 for a bowl gouge with an ellsworth grind already on it, all you need to do is learn how to use the tool and keep it sharpened.

Wolverine Oneway Grinding JibTo keep it sharpened you need a sharpening jig similar to or a Oneway Wolverine Sharpening jig, something designed to sharpen a variety of woodturning chisels and gouges. There are different manufacturer’s of this system and youtube can provide you with some homemade solutions, Eddie Castelin actually shows you how to make one of these jigs ….he also sells them. Eddie is a long time wood turner, quite a character who suffered a stroke. If you appreciate his videos, you should consider supporting him! This is his youtube channel

Captain Eddie’s WoodTurning Channel

he is a wealth of knowledge ….he is affectionitly known as Captain Eddie!

I don’t know why, but it seems like I can write for hours….late at night. All I wanted to do is share a cool video I found that educates you on how to put an ellsworth grind or fingernail grind on a standard bowl or spindle gouge.

Why is this good?

Because you can take your cheap bowl gouge with a standard bowl grind and turn it into a fancy and effective fingernail grind ….oh, I should have mentioned it can also be called an Irish grind.

Turning an older or cheaper woodturning bowl gouge into a ellsworth grind will allow you to practice using this unique grind at little cost. If you break a 20 or 30 dollar chisel you won’t go busto! Maybe the most important aspect of this whole process is that you can learn and fine turn your woodturning gouge/chisel sharpening skills. It won’t be long before you can shape the Irish grind or Ellsworth grind on your woodturing tools, and it won’t be long before you can effectively use it.

I have yet to use an expensive woodturning gouge with the ellsworth grind such as a Sorby or Crown (Ellsworth) but all the reviews I’ve read tell me that they are a dream come true, they cut the hardest wood like butter, the sharpening last’s 3 to 6 times as long. So, maybe like you, I’m awaiting the finances to get one of the beautiful woodturning tools, the great difference being the type and hardness of the steel …but that’s for another day and another discussion.

How To Grind An Ellsworth Grind or Irish Grind on a Standard Bowl Gouge

So, watch this video about how to take a standard woodturning bowl grind and grind it down to the shape of the fingernail grind, which is the basis of the Irish and Ellsworth grinds. This is one of those videos that you don’t want to lose, after you watch it I would download it and create a folder on your computer with important woodturning videos!