Turning Archive

Re: Vari-grind

Clifton C
Karl, I bought Don’s first vertical solution because I like taking classes, giving demoes and visiting other turners shops. The vari-grind seems to be everywhere. One of the nice things about it is that it is well built, and it works. One issue I find is that the distance from the center of the wheel to the platform the clamp block is mounted on changes from grinder to grinder, as in spacers under the grinder or the clamp block. Some have a lot, some have a little some have none. No problem for one turner, one grinder, because it’s constant, but traveling about, I was loosing a lot of steel. So, the reason I like the first version of Don’s vertical solution is I can raise or lower the basket on the V-arm to match any grinder, (within reason) to the height on my grinder, that way, I don’t have to change the jig-leg angle, hence the pinned leg. The leg really isn’t “pinned” permanently, I drilled a hole (1/8) thru the leg and body, then cut a 1/2 inch piece off the drill bit shank to use as the pin, a piece of tape on both sides holds it in place until I want to lose it. I don’t know what Don’s new system offers, seems like there are a lot of adjustments and small parts. I like easy. On the older system (original?) Setting things up only takes a half a minute unless we get to talking then it takes half an hour.

I just measured one of my bowl gouges and it’s about 60 deg. Not good or bad or the best angle, just what I happen to be using. If the shaft hits the rim while trying to get a good sweep across the bottom of a bowl, no problem, I go to the grinder, loosen the jig-leg, drop the nose down the wheel a bit, tighten, resharpen and back to turning. Easy.

Going to the shop tomorrow, we have a vari-grind 2 so I’ll give it a look. I think what you are calling the height adjustment would be the same as the jig-leg on the original vari-grind. Let me know what you find out on your experiments angle wise, and your opinion of the Vari-grind 2

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