Big Tree Tools

This article first appeared in The Old Saw, the journal of the Guild of New Hampshire Woodworkers ( ) Novemeber 2005. Point of cutting below the centreline of the workpiece when working on the outside and above the centreline when turning the inside of, for instance, a bowl. While it works very well as a grinder (rough shaping of the bevels), I don’t believe any high speed abrasive should be used for honing (finishing the edge). Using Tormek’s Gouge Jig SVD-185 and the TTS-100, I can only say one thing, AMAZING!!! During sharpening it is important to maintain the nose radius to the shape you prefer. With a fresh blank in the lathe, and a Crown chisel in hand, I began a new turning. Money making homemade sharpening jig for woodturning tools (free plans) howtomake.

A grinder should be positioned so that it is high enough to easily see what’s being accomplished. Sharpening is usually accomplished with the aid of mechanical devices such as powered sharpening wheels and abrasives. Fortunately that means we can take the best of many different designs, add in a little modern hardware and end up with a lathe suited for any size shop or style of wood turning. But, before you begin either sharpening or grinding, there is a bit more you must learn.

Then I can sharpen by simply taking one step; and I’m back turning wood in about 7 seconds because of course, I leave the lathe running. It should be recognised that a grinder will go on revolving long after it has been switched off whilst being relatively quiet. Larry’s grinder was written up in more detail in a Woodnet discussion in 2007 that has since disappeared.

These long side edges are useful in many bowl turning situations, especially reaching into end grain boxes or goblets where the cut must be made in a pulling motion (working toward the mouth). For chisels and block planes I use a Richard Kell device and a whole other setting jig because I’m posh. We believe we have the largest selection and the most cost efficient carbide wood lathe tools of this type on the market now. I’ve also had people tell me that they purchased yard-sale tools (old, worn-out carbon-steel tools) to practice on until they got better at turning. Scrapers and chisels can be sharpened more easily using the grinder’s own tool rest.


The elements of the system which allow this are simple: incremental set up, automatic precise repeatability allows you to remove the minimum amount of metal (typically 0.001 inches or less), and a buffing wheel for deburring on the same machine. To rough out” is to coarsely define your work’s shape, round off the edges, and give the wood a more even stability. Pen turners to advanced bowl turners will find their turning time cut in half compared to bowl gouges used for the same purpose. The tool rest for wood turning gouges (in fact, any round chisel) is particularly clever.

That’s what it feels like to hold a chisel at 25° on a sharpening stone, which is what you’re trying to train yourself to do. As you sharpen, the fingers of your left hand ride the back of the chisel, gently pressing the bevel flat on the stone to help you feel that 25° angle and working to apply pressure evenly so the chisel will stay square. With Easy Wood Tools, or products like them, I can buy a square, round and detail cutter all for about $350. The carbide turning tool is available from small to aggressively large to suit your needs.

Chisels, as well as new planes and the irons and chipbreakers with them, arrive coated with oil or lacquer which prevents corrosion quite effectively, but it also keeps the tools from sliding easily on wood surfaces. Skew chisel – a wide, steeply pointed chisel with the edge running at an angle to the length of the tool. I cut and shaped some scrap cedar I had laying around to fit into the pocket, and make a proper V shape to it, so that the butt end of the chisel doesn’t move around laterally. The terms grinding and sharpening are used interchangeably, sometimes causing confusion.

Delta’s heavy-duty grinder comes with a 100-grit wheel, which is excellent for sharpening high-speed turning tools, and a 60-grit wheel that can be used for general purpose grinding. I paid about 30$ for mine but after the second sharpening it has paid for its-self and then some… I have 3 carbide chisels, 2 minis and one large smoother. I might need to add more screws here, but it’s hard to get at with the grinder mounted. Product Summary: Plane Camber Jig for use with the Triton Wetstone Sharpener TWSS10.

I am convinced they have reduced the steepness of my learning curve, and will continue to do so in the future as my still fledgling turning skills improve. I also just used the buffing wheel on the other grinder (always use the portion of the wheel where the surface is passing away from you so the point doesn’t catch and throw the tool at you). I’ll go one step further: Even though I learned freehand sharpening first (jigs weren’t commonly available then), I now use a sharpening jig all the time.

Turning with a chuck or a mandrel is a very different style and requires different tools and rock solid work holding. When I lead hands-on workshops, I limit students to small projects and usually bring sufficient material to complete three of the same projects (three birdhouses, three ornaments). Basically we will cover the…um…basics to getting started turning on a foot powered lathe.