Give your tools a good rest
The key to creating crisp, sharp cutting edges: Hold tools at a consistent angle, matching the tool edge's bevel angle. If your grinder lacks an adjustable tool rest, make angled wood blocks to replicate the angle, build a tool-holding jig from our plans [see More Resources, below], or replace the factory-supplied tool rest with an aftermarket model.
Veritas' tool rest, top photo, mounts on your grinder support in front of the wheel. Use it alone or with an optional grinding jig that rides in the shelf slot. A handy angle gauge comes with the tool rest. Oneway's Wolverine grinding jig [middle and bottom photo, Sources] accepts a variety of rests to easily sharpen chisels, plane irons, or woodturning tools.
Get on solid ground
To keep your bench grinder from scooting away while sharpening, anchor it down. Build a dedicated stand, if you have floor space for it. Bolt the grinder to the stand, and if possible, bolt the stand to the floor. If you're squeezed for space, then bolt your grinder to a piece of 3/4"-thick plywood, and clamp it to your workbench.
- To buy project plans for a shop-made grinding jig, go to woodmagazine.com/grindjig.
- To buy project plans for a shop-made grinder stand, go to woodmagazine.com/grindstand.
- Watch a FREE video on sharpening wood chisels on a grinder at woodmagazine.com/sharpenvid.
- Watch FREE videos on sharpening woodturning tools at woodmagazine.com/woodvision. Click on the woodturning link.
Aluminum oxide wheels: available at Lee Valley, 800-871-8158, leevalley.com; Rockler Woodworking and Hardware, 800-279-4441, rockler.com; Woodcraft Supply, 800-225-1153, woodcraft.com.
Blade stiffeners: 3 1/2" diameter, #16T01.01, 5" diameter, #16T01.02, $24.50 per pair; Lee Valley.
Wheel balancers: Wolverine Precision Balancing System, #2272 (for 5/8" grinder arbors), Oneway Manufacturing, 800-565-7288, oneway.ca.
Dressing tool: #124670, $15, Woodcraft.
Veritas tool rest system: Tool rest, #05M23.01; Grinding jig, #05M06.01, $24.50; Lee Valley.
Wolverine grinding jig: #2291 (with two toolrests); woodturning accessories sold separately; Oneway Manufacturing.