The Johannes Michelsen Signature Gouge Grind

I got started on this grind 30 years ago when Dennis Stewart told us that the heel of the standard grind was a problem—“it too is an edge” he said it can’t cut but it can score your bowl— round it over a bit! When I got home I did just that and had a look at it and decided if a little rounding is good more is better and my grind just developed over the next few years.

It was when I started teaching that students noted that my grind just worked better so we had to analyze it to discover why—I was just doing what came naturally and was not aware that I had come up with something special. Rounding out the entire back of the grind instead of just bumping the heel like Dennis suggested was the key to whole new way of grinding, getting rid of the heel was just the start of the good stuff, it was arriving at the small rubbing bevel that was and is the magic. Rubbing a small bevel is sooooo much easier to control directionally an also very much less likely to cause a faceting event. Constant bevel is also a new thing, it came naturally when free hand grinding but was not available when jig grinding because of the very nature of the existing jigs, swinging to the side without enough projection of steel will just change the angle and make the side of grind flat like the wheel adding more projection and swinging way past 90 degrees to the point where the flute is almost against the wheel is where it’s at, angle at the front of the steel wraps all the way around both side and swinging way past the norm curves the side of the tool so there is always a bevel to rub—no catches!!

When I got into the tools biz and with teaching realized that not everyone could learn how to free hand grind so in January 2012 I went at developing a fixture and was able to do the impossible—I had always said that a jig/fixture for my grind was impossible because in free hand grinding I rolled the steel across the wheel to get the tucked in back corners of the edge which are what cause the catches/hooks. I was wrong—when using the “Vector”a different kind of roll but with the exact same effect so all is good now in the multi bevel grind world.

Anodized Vector on grinder

Videos of the Fixture in Use