There are a number of gouge sharpening jigs available for purchase that aid in putting a fingernail grind on a bowl gouge or splindle gouge.
This method of sharpening bowl and spindle gouges has several advantages over hand sharpening.
The main benefit is that a minimum of metal is removed from the gouge during sharpening if the setup of the jig is identical as the last time it was used. If a wood turner only
has one jig, then it needs to be adjusted for each gouge being sharpened. Slight differences in setting from one sharpening to another means more metal must be removed from the gouge during each sharpening.
The ideal solution would be to have a jig for each gouge the turner owns. Then the jigs would maintain their exact setting between sharpenings, and the turner would not have to adjust the jig for each gouge before sharpening.
Thus, saving time and money over hand sharpening.
However, commercially available jigs cost around $50. I have come up with a simple design for a sharpening jig. It is simple to make and does not require any welding or special tools.
The cost of materials is under $3.00 per jig.
Other homemade jig designs: