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Gouge Sharpening Jig

There are a number of gouge sharpening jigs available for purchase that aid in putting a fingernail grind on a bowl gouge or splindle gouge. This method of sharpening bowl and spindle gouges has several advantages over hand sharpening. The main benefit is that a minimum of metal is removed from the gouge during sharpening if the setup of the jig is identical as the last time it was used. If a wood turner only has one jig, then it needs to be adjusted for each gouge being sharpened. Slight differences in setting from one sharpening to another means more metal must be removed from the gouge during each sharpening. The ideal solution would be to have a jig for each gouge the turner owns. Then the jigs would maintain their exact setting between sharpenings, and the turner would not have to adjust the jig for each gouge before sharpening. Thus, saving time and money over hand sharpening. However, commercially available jigs cost around $50. I have come up with a simple design for a sharpening jig. It is simple to make and does not require any welding or special tools. The cost of materials is under $3.00 per jig.

Commerically available sharpening jigs:
Oneway Vari-Grind Jig
Woodcut Tru-Grind
Kelton Multi-Grind Jig
Ellsworth Grinding Jig
Hamlet Grinding Jig
Packard Woodworks: Side Grinding Jig
Robert Sorby, Fingernail Profiler NOVA Sharpening Centre System

Other homemade jig designs:
Richard Stapley
Darrell Feltmate
King Heiple
Brian Clifford
Jean Michel


Jig Features

What makes this jig different?

  1. Materials costs is less than $3 each jig.
  2. Having a jig for each gouge means more repeatable setup. Which means less grinding. Which means longer tool life.
  3. Adjustable leg length on the jig means a fancy sliding positioning arm attached to the grinder base is not required. A simple single position rest is all that's needed.
  4. Downloadable template
  5. Detailed description of how it's made

See how it's done