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The SVD-185 jig works so easily it belies the complicated engineering behind it.
Click image to enlarge

Review - Tormek SVD-185 Jig

For Gouges and Turning Cutters

Text & Photos by Tom Hintz

Sharpening turning gouges, particularly those with the fingernail, or wrap-around cutting edge can be very difficult. Get the cutting edge right and these chisels slice wood like it's butter. The same tool incorrectly ground will grab, chatter and go places of its own choosing, usually at the worst possible moment.
   I have heard of folks who can sharpen these complicated tools by hand, but suspect their numbers are similar to those who can leap a tall building in a single bound. The rest of us need help. Enter the Tormek SuperGrind and the SVD-185 jig.

Simple Looks

   The SVD-185 looks deceptively simple. It has a clamping fixture, a knuckle and a tube that fits onto the Universal Support. Designing the simple features of the SVD-185 so that it is both adjustable, and swings so many chisels through precisely correct arcs was no small mathematical feat. Once again, Tormek has taken a highly complicated task and engineered an easy-to-use tool that makes us all experts.


   When adjusted properly, the SVD-185 keeps the cutting edge properly oriented to the stone as it is swung back and forth through an arc that can exceed 180-degrees. The extreme accuracy of the SVD-185 makes replicating a factory angle or

The SVD-185 jig makes following the complicated fingernail profile a snap.
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"tweaking" it to fit your ideas simple, and very accurate.
   Setting up the SVD-185 and using the instructions is surprisingly simple, but Tormek has developed the "Instant Replication" (IR) Method (described in the manual) that uses a shop-made gauge block to make returning to a specific setup extremely fast and accurate.
   The adjustability of the SVD-185 means everything from bowl gouges to many curved edge carving tools can be sharpened with it. The SVD-185 chapter in the Tormek manual provides information on a wide variety of cutting tools and how to set up the SVD-185 for sharpening them.
   Included with the SVD-185 jig is a barrel-like adaptor for repairing and sharpening disk type cutters with the same accuracy.
   Tormek includes special labels meant to be affixed to the tool on which the "recipe" (the various jig settings) for that tool can be recorded. When resharpening is necessary, the information needed to return the SVD-185 to the proper configuration is spelled out. To protect the label and writing adding a coat of clear varnish or poly is a good idea.

The graduated knuckle allows the SVD-185 to grind a wide range of profiles.
Click image to enlarge

   Using the IR method is even faster. I can go from using my bowl gouge at the lathe to sharpening it on the Tormek in about 30 seconds. This is especially handy when tough jobs like rounding a piece of a tree strains the cutting edge. Being able to quickly freshen the cutting edge makes these operations faster, safer and more efficient.
   Another important benefit of the SVD-185 and the IR gauge block is extending the life of expensive tools. Being able to align the tool correctly with the stone the first time means far less material is removed in the sharpening process. With the tool positioned accurately, resharpening is reduced to a few passes on the stone, a few more on the honing wheel and it is done.
   If you sharpen bowl gouges or similar tools, the SVD-185 will be a welcome addition to your Tormek system. I can say with certainty that using the SVD-185 and the Tormek SuperGrind have made my turning efforts much more successful by allowing me to put consistently sharpened edges on my turning chisels which makes them very predictable in use. And, a well sharpened chisel stays sharp longer and cuts more cleanly. I suspect the combination will have similar effects on your turning as well.

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