Constant Improvement

I love to learn new things. I find the best way to do that is to do a lot of it as quickly as possible. As I make each new one, I discover more efficient methods and sequences which make the next ones easier and usually faster. Repetitive tasks are often necessary, but painfully boring.

I decided to make spinning tops. So I made a couple of hundred using 2” sq. maple billets and a chatter tool. I changed the sequence and then the material. I got fast, really fast! I used Sharpies for color. Now I use Tombow art markers because the results are dramatically better.  The dowels were not reliably sized and were expensive to begin with. I learned to make my own dowels with wood from the scrap box. Then I made hundreds more. Then I added different textures. So far I’ve made approximately 14,000 spinning tops most of which I have given away at shows and symposiums. I assembled a “Top Kit” with all of the stuff I use personally and I made a video.

I took a similar path with turned lidded boxes in the shape of acorns. I have probably made around 1,000. But I developed methods which help me make them very quickly and very easily. I did a video. I assembled an “Acorn Kit”. Others can now do the same thing. There are 100 other examples I could give you, all exactly the same.

What I am saying is that when you are a turner first and inventor second, you create devices which help you accomplish tasks better, easier and faster because you must and because you can’t help yourself. Then you make videos to show others how to do it too.

Take sharpening a bowl gouge or spindle gouge for example. There are three variable settings to use lathe tool sharpening jigs correctly:

  1. Projection from the tool holding fixture (OneWay Varigrind #1, ProGrind Multitool holder,  as examples) Most of the world uses 2” although Doug Thompson used 1-3/4”
    1. I use a gauge block to set this exactly the same every time.
  2. Leg Angle
    1. Some tool holding fixtures have notches, others have detents. I commonly use the second and fifth notches depending on the gouge (23 deg 2nd notch, 45 deg 5th notch)
  3. Pocket Arm Distance – Setting this variable is the most tedious and least understood
    1. The bar which holds the leg of the tool holding fixture is movable. Very different grinds occur with slight differences in this setting.
    2. I designed two devices to set this angle exactly the same every time.
      1.  Starting out with new gouges, or way out of spec gouges, I made and use Ron Brown's Best Gouge Setup Blocks™
      2. For sharpening other non-standard grinds already on a tool, I made and use the “Universal Setting Jig”.
      3. For non-gouge tools not requiring a compound type of grind (skew chisel, bowl scraper, parting tool and spindle roughing gouge) I use the “Quad Setting Gauge” for adjusting the platform to the proper angle.


The vast majority of the products offered for sale at www.ronbrownsbest.com are items I designed first for my own use. After extensive personal use in my own shop and after they were proven, revised and improved, I decide to make them available to other turners facing similar problems.

That is just the way I roll, because wherever you go, there you are.

Here is my inspiration for this message and also one of my personal Keystone Scriptures:
Prov 8:12 KJV  I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.



We will also be in the Peachtree Woodworking Supply booth again this year at SWAT in Waco, Texas on August 26-28, 2016.

Peach State Woodturners in Oxford, Ga. Thursday evening meeting Sept 1st, 2016 More info here: I will be explaining the assembly process we use to successfully glue up the laser cut inlay Christmas Ornament Kits.

Introducing Ron Brown's Best Gouge Setup Blocks™



Now available! Save 20% off Retail Price One Week Only

More Info (Perfect addition for those who already purchased Ron Brown's Super Sharpen Package)

Click Here To Order

Super Sharpen Package Sale Extended Until 8-15-2016


Save 45%


Don't Forget About This Week's Other Sale

Pre-Season Christmas 6 Pack

Laser Cut Kits

For Making:

Christmas Ornaments, Bottle Stoppers, Coasters, Pendants, Hollow Forms, Turned Lidded Boxes, Mason Jar Lids, etc.

Also available individually


Kits 2016 Aug

+ Full Length How To DVD

"Laser Cut Kits Made Easy"

Pre-Season Sale $99.99 Save $104.94 Off Retail Price

($204.93 When Purchased Individually)

Or, Mix & Match Your Choice

Pick Any 6 Laser Cut Kits - Same Deal

Chose From:

Angel, Butterfly, Christmas Tree, Single Cross, Tripple Cross, Cross & Dove, Eagle, Elephant, Fluer de Lis, Hearts, Holly, Light House, Nativity, Ocean, Peace, Santa Clause, Snowman, Star of David, Anything from the 95% line, I Love America, or just ask.

To view all of the available designs, click HERE



"Free Downloads HERE"

Including Bottle Stopper Designs - 50 Plus classic designs. Free PDF