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