Bowl Gouge Cleaning Wheel

Bowl Gouge Cleaning Wheel

Updated: 4/17/2023. This idea was published by me in the February 2023 issue of AAW American Woodturner magazine.

February 2023 issue of the AAW American WoodturnerI like to clean my bowl gouges with a 3″ nylon wheel attached to the side of my grinder when turning green wood.

I clean my gouges BEFORE I sharpen them. When I go to the grinder to sharpen a gouge. It is quick and easy.

Attaching the nylon wheel to my grinder was a good time saver. I use to walk over to my drill press and use a wire wheel in my drill press. I had to mount the wire wheel in drill press. Then I had to walk back and forth between the grinder and drill press. A real pain.

Note: Some times you can clean the shavings out of a bowl gouge with just your finger. Other times there is gunk built up in there that just won’t come out. You need to use a wire or nylon brush. It depends on the species of wood.

Photo: 3 3″ Nylon Brush Wheel

I like to clean my gouges with a 3" nylon brush wheel. Nylon works better than a wire wheel. It lasts longer.

I purchased one from my local hardware store.

Photo: Brush Attachment (gouge_cleaning_wheel_02) Brush Attachment

Attaching the brush to the end of your grinder requires a bit of ingenuity. This photo shows the general idea. The next photo shows the details. Click on the photo to see a bigger version.

I screwed my home made brush adapter (see next photo) onto the threads on my grinder that stick out beyond the CBN grinding wheel and nut on my grinder.

Photo: Brush Adapter (gouge_cleaning_wheel_01) Brush Adapter

Most grinders have a 5/8" threaded shaft on the right side. It is a standard 5/8" SAE right hand thread.

I purchased a 5/8" COUPLING nut and a short 5/8" bolt from my local hardware store. See photo.

I drilled a 1/4" hole in the end of bolt head. This allows me to just push the shaft of the nylon brush wheel into the hole. I also drilled and tapped a hole for a 1/4" set screw. The set screw holds the nylon brush wheel in place. See photo.

Note: The thread on most grinders is "left" handed on the left side and "right" handed on the right side. This tightens the nuts when the wheel spins. Left hand coupling nuts are hard to find and/or very expensive. Thus, you should go with a cheap right hand coupling nut on the right side of your grinder.

Photo: Drill Hole in Center of Bolt Head (gouge_cleaning_wheel_10) Drill Hole in Center of Bolt Head

You need to drill a hole in the head end of the bolt dead on CENTER.

You can due this simple metal working job on a wood lathe. Just clamp the bolt in a 4 jaw woodturning scroll chuck. Like the woodworm screw that comes with the chuck. Then drill the hole with a Jacobs chuck in the tailstock. See photo. Click on the photo to see a bigger version.

Start the hole with a "center drill" then switch to a standard twist drill. See my "Center Drill Set" blog entry if you don't have a "center drill".

You also need to drill a #7 or 13/64" hole for the 1/4" set screw in the side of the bolt head. Then tap with a 1/4" by 20 tap. This is best done in a drill press. It is easy if you have a good vice for your drill press. See my “Drill Press Vise” blog entry.

Photo: Install Grinding Wheel Cover (gouge_cleaning_wheel_03) Install Grinding Wheel Cover

I drilled a hole in the grinding wheel cover with a hole saw. This allows me to install the cover with the adapter installed. See photo.

Note: There is NO WAY on the face of the earth I would operate a grinder in my studio with out a cover! It takes a long time for my grinder to come to a stop after being shut off. Accidentally touching a grinding wheel for even just a second will give you a bad burn that will hurt for weeks. After you are done grinding you disengage your brain and move on to something else. This is when accidents happen!

Photo: Nylon Wheel in Use - No Cover (gouge_cleaning_wheel_04) Nylon Wheel in Use – No Cover

This photo shows how I clean a bowl gouge with the nylon brush. No cover on the nylon brush for this photo only!

Photo: Nylon Wheel with Cover (gouge_cleaning_wheel_07) Nylon Wheel with Cover

This photo shows the home made cover that I made to go over the nylon wheel. See "Wooden Nylon Wheel Cover" photo below for details.

Photo: Nylon Wheel in Use - With Cover (gouge_cleaning_wheel_08) Nylon Wheel in Use – With Cover

This photo shows how I can clean a bowl gouge with the wooden nylon wheel cover in place.

The wooden cover is attached to the metal grinding wheel cover with some metal screws.

A notch in the wooden cover helps me line up the bowl gouge with the nylon wheel. See notch in next photo.

Photo: Wooden Nylon Wheel Cover (gouge_cleaning_wheel_06) Wooden Nylon Wheel Cover

I made a wooden cover that goes over the nylon wheel. It is just a wooden bowl with 1/3 of the bowl cut off.

I made the bowl out of Walnut wood, because that is what I had.

The rim on the bowl is a flange that allows me to attach the wooden cover with some sheet metal screws.

Carl has been published numerous times. Click here to see a list of Carl’s other magazine articles.