MCW Mar.'14 Program
Mar 19, 2014Public
Photo: A nice turnout for our demonstrator Chuck Engstrom.
Photo: Thank you, Chuck, for coming all the way from Chestertown, MD to tell us about things like...  sharpening.  Here Chuck discusses the benefits of CBN wheel, for which he is a strong proponent.
Photo: Here's a little safety tip -- you can grind smooth corners on your chuck jaws.  That way, they'll do a lot less damage if you should accidentally get your hand into them.  This in no way impairs their functionality.
Photo: He recommends keeping things as simple as possible regarding tool grinds, but a small notebook with grinder and jig settings is a good thing to have when you are trying to resharpen that tool you can't remember about.
Photo: Premeasured stop blocks on the grinder base are very handy for quickly setting the tool length out of your Vari-Grind or other gouge sharpening jig.  Chuck's are set to 1-3/4" and 2-1/8".
Photo: As a professional, Chuck feels that it takes too long to reset the angle of the grinder platform, so he keeps a couple around that are permanently set to fixed angles.
Photo: He keeps a can of goodies one the back of the grinder platform -- one thing to put in it is a black marker to mark the bevel of your tools before sharpening so you can quickly and easily see the action.
Photo: Here is his classic, (almost) original Vari-Grind jig.  This is the industry standard and highly recommended.  Note the larger, easier-to-use plywood knob that Chuck added in place of the original, smaller, metal one.
Photo: Here's another variant of gouge holder jig -- this one from Hannes Michelsen.  David Ellsworth also sells a similar one.
Photo: Here, Chuck is sharpening a bowl gouge on the CBN wheel using the classic Vari-Grind jig and the associated Wolverine attachment, with it's "V-arm" on the base of the grinder.
Photo: He firmly believes in using the Alan Lacer diamond hone on his gouges between grindings...
Photo: can be used both on the bevel...
Photo: ...and inside the flute.  It's a little pricey but well worth the money.  It's the same one Mark Supik uses in his pro shop every day.
Photo: Here's an alternative hone, less expensive and less capable, if you want to go that way...
Photo: Actually, a coarser fish hook hone works pretty well too, for a very modest price.
Photo: If you're still using a standard stone wheel on your grinder, you'll want to have a diamond wheel dresser like this to keep it clean.
Photo: Here's a view of the Hannes platform and jig.  It provides a different angle on the wings by using the detents to each side, and permits removing the heel in a controlled manner by using the two extra in-line locations.
Photo: Here it is in action.
Photo: Chuck sharpens his scrapers upside down, as do some other professionals.  Note that he's working below center on the grinder wheel to accomplish this.  He feels that it provides a better burr that way.  This is a screen shot off our new 55" video monitor.
Photo: Switching gears now to Chuck's second topic -- use of a homemade version of Al Stirt's "bowl driver".  Chuck notes that his nylon windbreaker from a second-hand store makes a great, inexpensive turning smock.
Photo: He uses plastic wrap on the circumference of green blanks, instead of Anchorseal, to help keep them from cracking.  He does not cover the flat surfaces, to help prevent mold.  He has successfully dried blanks to ovals without cracking, using this approach.
Photo: The Stirt Bowl Driver has a center post to hang the blank to begin the mounting process --  going into a hole drilled roughly in the center of the blank.
Photo: The tailstock is brought up to hold the blank in place.  The grain runs perpendicular to the two adjustable "pins" that provide freedom in one direction.  The location of the tailstock provides freedom in the perpendicular direction.
Photo: Before putting tool to wood, Chuck reminds us that a good face shield is an absolute requirement for safety.