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Thread: Alternatives to Wolverine Jigs

  1. #1

    Alternatives to Wolverine Jigs

    There are Kelton, TruCut, Don Geiger's, and new ones from Sharp Fast (Dave Hout may have helped develop?) and Teknatool. There is also the Sorby based on Tormek jigs.
    It seems like the Wolverine has been out long enough without improvement that competitors would have introduced a better product by now. I do know that each of these alternatives offers at least one improvement over the wolverine, but I don't know that the end result is an significant improvement.
    Has anyone had any first hand experience with any of these?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Can't help. I am the new owner of a Wolverine set-up and, thus far, a fan. PSI sells a knock-off that has received good reviews. I believe a search for the Holy Grail would be considerably easier than for the perfect sharpening system.
    Last edited by Frank Fusco; 09-13-2008 at 01:04 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Tyler, Texas
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    I've had a Wolverine for a few years and I can't imagine anything being easier or more effective...cheaper maybe. I think it's sort of like a mousetrap...really simple but difficult to improve upon.
    Cody


  4. #4
    The Wolverine was a great innovation and has allowed many turners (including myself) to learn to turn without the interference of having to learn freehand sharpening.
    However, there is room for improvement. Here are 3 things which immediately come to mind based on the other jigs and my own experience.
    1) The point of the vari-grind which pivots in the V-pocket is made from flat bar stock. I think it is Betty Klein on the AAW video who recommends grinding the corners off of this point. Others have welded a ball bearing onto the point.
    2) The V-bar lock tends to vibrate loose over time. This is potentially dangerous, but in my case I noticed a drifting before things got exciting. I now make it a habit to re-tighten it before each tool I sharpen. The housing also tends to load up with grit over time.
    3) The repeatability of both the V-arm position and the vari-grind angle could be improved (Teknatool is putting an Incra style indexing system on their version of the vari-grind).

    Understand that I am not bashing the Wolverine. I certainly get good service out of mine and have developed solutions to most of these issues.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Stow, OH
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    Yes, the SharpFast was developed by Dave Hout. He showed us the new gadgets before the Richmond Symposium.
    They have 3 major selling points.
    The side grind jig would accommodate larger tools (You need a separate Varigrind for larger diameter gouges).
    It uses a bearing to hold down the tool, instead of a piece of spring steel. So you don't dull your newly sharpened tool when you withdraw it from the jig.
    The trapping system of the side grind jig won't allow the tool to fall off the edges of the wheel. I believe this introduces another problem. Only the center of the wheel is used. You can't even out the wheel on the whole width of the wheel. You will need a heavy truing before you can use the same wheel on flat tools. The compromise is to have same grit wheel on both sides; one for sharpening gouges and the other for flat tools.

    Has anyone look at the TTS-100 from Tormek?
    http://www.tormek.com/en/woodturning/
    That little gadget makes setting up easy, fast and accurate. It makes refreshing the edge on Tormek is even faster than Wolverine.
    If you download the pdf, it contains more profiles than on this page. I bet it is patented now. This is a better mouse trap.
    Gordon

  6. #6
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    Gordon I have the TTS-100 and it makes it a breeze to setup.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
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    No Experience

    I don't have any experience with these other systems, but it appears the Wolverine is the best bang for your buck. I don't know of a system (I mean the grinding wheel systems, not Kelton, etc..) that will grind a fingernail grind accurately for the same price as a Woverine with the Varigrind jig. I have glanced at the different systems we have in the Woodcraft store where I work, and they all are pricey by comparison. And I don't think turning tool sharpening accessories come with any of them. (The ones I mean are the Jet system, Tomek, Jooltool, and SharpFast. They all will to the job, but the prices aren't justified IMO if all you're doing is sharpening turning tools.)

    Hutch
    Last edited by Matt Hutchinson; 09-13-2008 at 02:04 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Hutchinson View Post
    I don't have any experience with these other systems, but it appears the Wolverine is the best bang for your buck. I don't know of a system (I mean the grinding wheel systems, not Kelton, etc..) that will grind a fingernail grind accurately for the same price as a Woverine with the Varigrind jig...
    I'd say the PSI clone of the Wolverine does an equal job, but for a bit less money. The Wolverine is a bit more stoutly made, IMHO, but the results on the gouge are the same.

    Bernie's talk (and that of others) is making me eye the Tormek approach more closely, though. Just need to find a family like Bernie has, so I can get it for Christmas or something.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Bernie's talk (and that of others) is making me eye the Tormek approach more closely, though. Just need to find a family like Bernie has, so I can get it for Christmas or something.
    I tell ya Vaughn I don't know because I haven't had the time yet to really run it thru its paces with several gouges but so far I am liking it. I did all my wifes scissors and kitchen knives. She is extremely happy with those. So got half the battle won right there. I did use the Tormek on my new Thompson bowl gouge and I finished roughing 3 bowls without going to the grinder. That alone to me is worth the money. Yep it does cost but it will sharpen everything.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Bellingham
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    2,449

    Tormek

    Bernie, I also have the TTS-100 from Tormek, but I just started turning last spring. I also have done very little with it as I have been busy with some other projects. I did mess around with sharpening my tools using the Tormek. I found that if your profiles fit their system everything worked great. As soon as you started creating "custom angles or profiles" it got a little confusing for me. I don't have enough experience to determine what profiles and angles work best in my turning.

    Anyway to make a long story short on someone else's thread (sorry Kurt) I found that I was using the standard TTS-100 settings on some tools and on others I was using (for example) a different spacing from the stone. In order to keep track of what tool was what, I decided to create spacer blocks for every tool no matter if I could use the TTS-100 spacer hole or not (no thinking then just shove the spacer between the tool rest and wheel). I have a spacer for every tool and I then put all the info on the block.

    As you can see below the tool indicated could have just been set up with the TTS-100, but when you have so many tools (at least to me) it is hard to keep track.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Maybe this winter when I hope to start tuning again I can revisit this whole thing and you can guide me through it. You will be an expert at sharpening with the Tormek by then, right?!

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