What is The ONEWAY
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.
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 http://bhovey.com, 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.
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…..it will last forever!