Woodturning tools sharpening jig (Approved pending process preparation)

Proposal Type:

Peter Roberts - WoodyDusty

I want to buy a sharpening jig for turning chisels because it’s very difficult to get the right angles by eye, and we’ve recently received a donation of some very nice HSS turning chisels. Practically speaking the hss tools are useless without this purchase

Proposed Purchase:
There are two options.

there is this basic turning jig: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lathe-Tools-UK-Chisel-Sharpening/dp/B0714QHBVJ/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?keywords=woodturning+sharpening+jig&qid=1689088020&sr=8-1 (£39.99)

there is additionally the wood turners’ sharpening jig pack from record:
Sharpening Jigs Category (£47.99)

The basic jig is for gouges. The record set ostensibly does more but I couldn’t say whether it’s better overall. The main disadvantage is it relies on a rail that is on the record whetstone grinders, but not @FoodNoTear’s whetstone grinder. It could possibly still be used with it because it does have an armature, but I’m not familiar with the machine.

The first jig could be used with the regular grinders although the requirements for sharpening wood tools are higher than general grinding and it seems best to use the whetstone grinder for best results.

Proposed Installation:


Funding type:
Fully funded by Hackspace

Health & Safety
Additional health and safety protocols would be required for hss tool use. New wood lathe training involves only tct tool use although Alex’s old training covered hss tools in addition. Sharper chisels are, however, safer, and it’s hard to get training up and running for hss tools without being able to sharpen them.

@mikeh has set up risk assessment and training for the grinders but this does not cover the whetstone grinder; although largely just due to unfamiliarity rather than any known differences. The whetstone is slower speed so doesn’t carry the same levels of wheel bursting etc. compared to the dry bench grinders.

Micro Proposal <£50 - 1 Board Members and 2 Members

Supporting Board Members:

  1. @Josephxtian

Supporting Members: (delete number as appropriate)

  1. Peter Roberts
  2. @Percy42

I expect this will need more discussion before purchasing but it’s been discussed offline for months so I’m pushing it along



Please make sure any risk assessments are completed and approved by the board asap so this doesn’t become a thing we can’t use please.

There’s some dependency on what jig is best, based on the wheel used to do the sharpening.

Things needed to sharpen trad lathe tools.
*Bench grinder or wet stone sharpener. + wheels.
*Tool rest for scrappers. Angle adjustable.
*Jig for sharpening gouges.

Grinder / wet wheel

There is a loaned wet grinder in the space, which has an adjustable tool rest.

It didn’t run when I tried. It may just be seized up a little and a small amount of TLC.

This mounting for this grinder is directly below the wheel. This will mean it needs to be mounted on a bridge like structure if any jig mounting also goes below the wheel.

I’m not sure the spec of the other grinding machinery in the room beyond metal work.

Some alternatives
8” bench grinder £110

8” Wet Stone sharpening £140

10” Wet Stone sharpening £220

200mm wet wheel £250

Jig for sharpening Gouges

Gouges require some form of jig (or a quite a bit of skill).

Option 1 (£45)
The first jig you picked out is focused on shapprening gauages and “some scrapers”. It’s similar in method to option 3 below. It doesn’t appear to allow adjustments near the wheel to adjust angle precisely, but if we found that is a limiting factor this could be an additional purchase later.

Option 2 (£40)
The Record Power Woodturner’s Sharpening Package looks reasonable, but relies on a separate rail mounted to the tool, which limits the grinders that can be used. We might not be able to mount this on certain wheels, or have a lot of faffing to do so. The wet wheels listed above have this rail.

Option 3. Vari-Grind (£186)
Various turnings sites recommended oneway Vari-Grind Sharpening system. It also has an optional attachment to adjust the tool angle more precisely. Given it’s quite a lot more expensive and I can only find it from the US, it would cost us £186, so I don’t recommend it. However, it’s worthwhile to considering its features.

Option 4. Rutlands sharpening jig (£100)
Similar in design to the above, including attachment to adjust angle at tool level, which (apparently) makes getting precise angles easier.

Tool rest

Scrappers basically need a flat surface to rest the tool on, adjustable for the angle.

Most bench grinders have a tool rest built in. The loaned grinder has one of these.

If not, there are plenty of options around £30 to £40.
Bench Grinder Sharpening Jigs | Next Day Delivery – Rutlands Limited (£35)


For the jig: I think the Option 1 (currently agreed budge) or 4 (exceeds agreed budget) give good flexibility, and can be used with pretty much any sort of wheel.

What wheel to use: If a bit of TLC can make it work, the loaned wet wheel (mounting on something with a gap below) should be able to sharpen the lathe tools (and some other chisels) in woodwork.

If reshaping of tools is required, the other bench grinders in metal work may also be of use.

If the loaned wet wheel isn’t useable, we can consider whether to buy another wheel specifically for the lathe tools. Whilst that would be a separate purchase and discussion, the Record Power wet stone options seems a reasonable option. If we know we where going down this route, the option of the Record Power jig (option 2) becomes a better option for me and would be more compact (which would be of benefit if wanting to leave angles set up in case of returning to the sharpening station with the same tool).

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Thanks a lot for your research. We’ll order the first option, but the information you’ve provided will be very useful if we need to upgrade/buy our own system.

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Gouge Chisel Sharpening Jig for Wood Lathe Woodturning chisels for Bench Grinder Amazon.co.uk has been ordered.

ETA Saturday