Grinder Platform Setting Jigs

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I made these jigs to set the angles on my grinder platform. They have a flat edge that sits on the platform, and two points to register on the grinder wheel.

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Making them is pretty straightforward. Below shows the geometry layout. I drew it on paper as illustration, but for the jigs I made, I actually drew the geometry directly on a the wood and cut it out.

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I start with a 8″ diameter (4″ radius) to represent the grinder wheel. A straight line through its center marks “level”. Measure the desired angle (40 deg in this picture) from this line at the point where it meets the circle – this is the flat bit that rests on the platform. Next, you want 2 points to rest on the wheel (these are circled in the above picture). These two points and the flat for the platform are the only important bits. The rest can be cut however you like. I like a big hole for my thumb to hold the jig on the platform. It is also useful  for hanging the up jigs (on some pegs I’ve attached to the leg of my grinder stand).

The picture below shows the cutout jig sitting on the drawing, so you can see how matches.

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Vari-Grind Setting Jig

I made a couple of jigs to reset my Vari-Grind to various angles for my different gouges.

IMG_3906.jpgIt is just a dowel and a block of scrap wood.  I flattened the top of the dowel so the knob will tighten snugly.  There is a flat face in the block of wood where the dowel is glued in: this face registerswith the corresponding part of the Vari-Grind.  The other important bit is the angle to register against the leg.  I setup my Vari-Grind and then cut that angle to match.

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Another Airgun Hanger

Here’s another thing I use to hang my air nozzle on.IMG_3975

It’s just a scrap of wood with rare-earth magnets epoxied to the bottom so it will stick anywhere when I want the air nozzle within convenient reach.

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Really handy when working the inside of a hollow-form and I’m using the air all the time.

Airgun Hanger

Pretty simple, but it’s been helpful. I added a big screw eye to a piece of scrap wood and attached it to the end of my lathe (using holes that were already there for attaching extensions etc). I put it on the headstock end because otherwise the hose was just underfoot too much.IMG_3960.jpg

Wolverine V-Arm Setting Jig

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I set the arm where I wanted it and made the guide to match that location. I really have no idea what the dimensions are, just that they’re right for my gouges. They’re just made from scraps of Masonite/hardboard.  Two points touch the grinding wheel, and the other end sits in the V.

Since they register off the surface of the wheel, they actually set the distance from the wheel to the V.  Other jigs (like stop blocks) only set the extension of the arm from some point on the grinder stand, and thus will set different grinder angles if moved to another wheel or grinder that’s configured slightly differently. So I can use these on either side of either of my grinders and get the same setting at the wheel. I can also take them to a friend’s shop and setup their grinder for my gouges.

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Tool Rack

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This is my turning tool rack.  Some PVC pipe screwed to a board, attached to the wall over a narrow shelf.  The important bit (as I discovered with a previous attempt) is the gap between the bottom of the PVC pipes and the shelf, to let out any chips that get in the pipes.

The “business end” of the tool is up and exposed so I can find the tool I’m looking for.  The rack is mounted high enough that I’m not going to accidentially stab myself reaching for a tool.

Cheap Inertia Sanders

I use small, cheap die grinders from Harbor Freight for inertia sanding. They are small and cost about $10 when on sale. They may not be great die grinders, but the bearings are good and they have a 1/4″ collet that accepts my 2″ hook-and-loop pads.

Inertia sanding is when you hold a sanding disk to the wood while it’s spinning on the lathe. The turning wood spins the sanding disk so you don’t get straight scratches. It’s less aggressive than power-sanding, and can produce a better finish than plain flat sandpaper.

Big Drive Center

Drive Center for Roughing Bowls
I made this big drive center that I sometimes use for the initial roughing out of bowls. A standard drive center just won’t work for larger pieces or wet wood.
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I rough between centers when I want to reposition the blank to center the grain, avoid (or highlight) a defect, etc.  Or for times when I don’t have a good surface for a screw chuck, or when the wood just won’t hold a screw for some reason.
I started with a 3″ faceplate and added 5 bolts.  The faceplate had a center hole so it could be used as a screw chuck. So one bolt went in there, and 4 others around the outer holes. I sharpened the ends of the bolts to a point (chuck it in a drill and spin it against a bench grinder). The center point is a bit longer than the others, which helps with initial positioning and keep the thing where it should stay.
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Wood Turning by Dave Landers