Recently two new manufactures have started making "Vari-Grind Jigs" that are very similar to
the well known Oneway Vari-Grind jig that has been around for a long time.
I own all 3 of these jigs. Here is what I have found.
In a nutshell. I recommend people go with the Oneway Vari-Grind Jig.
All 3 jigs are the same size. The body and arm length are the same. The knob and gouge hold down methods are different. See above photos.
♦ Vevor Vari-Grind Jig
The Vevor list and sale prices vary all over the place. The sale price on 10/20/22 is $24 on Vevor web site or Ebay.
Vevor looks like some Chinese company that specializes in cheap knock offs. The photos on Vevor web site are comical. The person who took them obvious does not known what a bowl gouge is and has no idea how to use the jig. Unfortunately, the person who designed the jig may also have no idea how to use the jig.
BEWARE! The jig DOES NOT WORK as shipped by manufacturer! You can NOT tighten down on a 1/2" or 5/8" gouge. The bolt that is suppose to hold down the gouge is to short! It can be fixed. See "Fixing the Vevor Vari-Grind" section below. The price seems right. But, I don't think it is worth the effort and cost.
The spring steel in this jig is thick and does NOT bend easily with your fingers. Thus fixing it is not easy.
♦ Easy Grind Vari-Grind Jig
$40 on 10/20/22. It is called the "Easy Grind Gouge Sharpening Jig" on Craft Supplies USA web site.
This one appears to be made in the same factory as the Vevor one. It looks like some one fixed the flaws in the Vevor design and is now selling it under the "Easy Grind" name.
This one works as shipped by the manufacturer. It is shipped with a longer bolt that can hold down a 1/2" or 5/8" gouge.
The spring steel in the jig is a good shape and it is softer and thinner. You can easily bend it to any shape you want with your fingers.
HOWEVER, the bolt and spring steel that is used to hold down the gouge is the old Wolverine solution. Oneway stopped making this version, long ago. They replaced it with a better knob and ball bearing. The ball bearing was a great improvident. I would spend the extra $20 and get the improved Oneway version of something that I use all the time, over and over!
♦ Oneway Vari-Grind Jig
$60 on 10/20/22. On Amazon, etc. The de facto standard.
The Oneway jig has a better knob. The gouge is held down in the jig with a ball bearing. This is a superior solution. Is just works better!
Note: The Oneway Vari-Grind Jig is also known as the "Wolverine Vari-Grind Jig" or "Oneway Wolverine Vari-Grind Jig". Long ago, Oneway purchased the Wolverine Jig design and started manufacturing it.
Fixing the Vevor Vari-Grind
I DO NOT recommend this. When the price of the Vevor Vari-Grind was down around $12 each it was worth it. Now the $24 price is to high. You can just purchase the Easy Grind Vari-Grind Jig for $40. It will probably cost around $15 to fix the Vevor. Thus, it is not worth it.
You can NOT tighten down on a 1/2" or 5/8" gouge. The bolt that is suppose to hold down the
gouge is to short!
Replacing it is NOT easy because it is metric M8 x 1.25 thread and it MUST be FULLY THREADED and 45mm long. HARD TO FIND!
You can get it from www.mcmaster.com item # 91280A088. BUT, You have to order 25 of them and pay for shipping! With shipping the cost is probably going to kill your Vivor savings. You would be better off purchasing the "Easy Grind Gouge Sharpening Jig" on Craft Supplies USA web site.
You also need to 5 min epoxy the knob onto the bolt. And install a 1/4" washer under the wing nut.
Note: You need the 45mm really long bolt because the hole in the knob is really deep. The 45mm long bolt just barely fits when you try to install it. It is almost to long to fit inside the jig.
It catches (traps) your gouge in the jig! You can not pull the gouge back to remove it from
Fixing this is a pain in the backside because the spring steel is JUST BARELY long enough. It is thick and does NOT bend easily with your fingers.
The photo on right shows U shape that works good. It will not catch your gouge.
Start by flattening out the spring steel.
Then bend up the last 1/8" of an inch so it will catch (trap) your gouge. See photo on right.
The down leg on the U from the bolt should be 3/4" to 1" long.
Bending the U in a vise requires a small trick. See scrap 3/4" steel bar in photo on right.
Oneway sells a "Vari-Grind Knob Upgrade" kit that you can use to upgrade old Oneway Wolverine
Vari-Grind jigs. It includes the real nice knob used on new Oneway Vari-Grind Jigs.
You may be thinking you could use one of these to upgrade a cheap Vevor jig. I tried. It is NOT easy and it does not work well!
The problem is the Vevor bolt is metric M8 x 1.25 thread thus the hole in the Vevor jig is M8 x 1.25. The Oneway knob is metric M10 x 1 thread. This is a very FINE thread that is NOT COMMON.
You can drill out the Vevor jig hole with a "Letter S" drill bit tap it with a M10 x 1 tap. This does not work well! Why? Because the cheap Vevor jig steel does not take the really fine M10 x 1 threads well. You end up with a knob that fits VERY loosely in hole.
You may need to special order a M10 x 1 tap and/or Letter S drill from www.mcmaster.com. This adds expense.
Oneway Vari-Grind “2” Jig – Just Say No
A long time ago Oneway came out with the Vari-Grind "2". I DO NOT recommend
it! Would I tell you to avoid it like the plague? Maybe.
The Oneway Vari-Grind Jig and the Oneway Vari-Grind "2" Jig are NOT the same thing! The "2" jig is NOT a better version of the original jig!
If you want to sharpen a super flute (parabolic flute) gouge then you MUST be able to swing the gouge in an arc that varies. The Vari-Grind "2" jig swings the gouge in a FIXED arc! You can NOT vary the arch as you swing the gouge. Thus it does not work on the gouge grinds I like.
The original Oneway Vari-Grind Jig allows you to vary the arc as you swing the gouge. This is what you need to do if you want to sharpen a gouge with a grind like the Ellsworth, Stirt or Jordan grinds.
There must be someone out there who likes the "2". But, not me.