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Thread: I'm still a little confused by gouges...

  1. #1
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    I'm still a little confused by gouges...

    OK, I can tell a roughing gouge from a scraper, and a parting tool from a spearpoint scraper, and even a detail gouge from a writing desk (as long as it's a multiple choice question,) but I have a problem identifiying bowl and spindle gouges and how to sharpen and use them.

    As far as I can tell, the fingernail grind is supposed to be applied to a spindle gouge, and is not swept back as far as an Irish grind on a bowl gouge. But then I hear sharpening people talking about using the fingernail grind inside a bowl. So which is it (the fingernail grind?) Bowl gouge or spindle?

    A bowl gouge can be given an Irish or Ellsworth grind, which I have done with mine, and they work for me, but the traditional bowl gouge grind looks to me like a slightly misshapen roughing gouge with no wings to speak of. Does anyone still use this grind, and what for?

    If I mistakenly use a spingle gouge in a bowl, or an Irish grind on a spindle, am I going to lose my fingers?

    I would like to know what gouges you use for both between centres and bowl work, and how you sharpen them.

    I have to rebuild my sharpening jig, so there will be more questions later.
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  2. #2
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    Smile

    The depth of the flute determines bowl or spindle in most cases.
    Here is a link to Thompson Tools
    From L to R the first two are bowl gouges with very deep flutes whether U or V.
    Third is the Spindle gouge and depth of flute is 50% of diameter.
    Fourth is the Detail Spindle gouge and depth of flute is 33% of diameter.
    Fifth is the Shallow Detail Spindle and depth of flute is 20% of the diameter.
    http://www.thompsonlathetools.com/products.asp
    If you click on each pic it will take you to a better view.

    The more shallow the flute the tighter place your can turn into such as a bead.

    Bowl grinds can also be a Jamieson, 45/45, and other terms. Typically bowl gouges have the wings swept back more than spindle gouges.
    A traditional grind (sometimes called a production) is as you say. The wings are almost straight up like a spindle roughing gouge. I do not use one because I am a chicken . If you can control it the cutting edge is very sheer giving a cleaner cut, if you can't control it the top corner is very close to the wood and a small mistake allows it to dig in creating one heck of a catch.
    On either type of grind for bowls many people grind a secondary bevel in order to scoot around the area from the side to the bottom easier.

    Most gouges now are made from round stock so if it is bowl or spindle the shaft is the same. Older spindle gouges may be formed from flat steel and should not be used inside a bowl IMHO. Typically I would not use a spindle gouge for bowl turning; the exception would be for detail work such as adding beads or working around the base of a tenon.
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. Thomas Jefferson

  3. #3
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    If it says spindle...no bowl work! If it says bowl...use it on anything. Grind is a matter of taste. Fingernail is good for shear cut and some shallower stuff. A more blunt grind on a bowl gouge does a great job on steep walled stuff.
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  4. #4
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    OK, it is becoming clearer to me now. Of the 7 or8 gouges I have, only one is a bowl gouge, the others all having flutes pretty close to 50% of the thickness. I bought some of them in a bargain bin with no labels on them. My bowl gouge is ˝"; do I need more than one gouge to start simple work? I understand Jim's warning not to use a spindle gouge in a bowl, but can I use it to shape the outside of the bowl before hollowing it out?
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Tulk View Post
    My bowl gouge is ˝"; do I need more than one gouge to start simple work?
    Nope, I use a single 5/8" bowl gouge for 80-90% of my bowl turning. The rest is done with a couple of scrapers and a little detail work with a 3/8" gouge. The 1/2" should work for most small/medium simple bowls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Tulk View Post
    I understand Jim's warning not to use a spindle gouge in a bowl, but can I use it to shape the outside of the bowl before hollowing it out?
    No!

    he problem is that the shape is bad for attacking end grain (so technically if you were turning a bowl where the outside was all side grain its a spindle and then its sort of ok). I actually use my bowl gouges for even spindle work where I'm doing a steep end grain cut because they work better and its safer. The other problem is that the spindle gouges mostly have a weaker attachment to the handle so if you do have a problem there's also a higher chance of the gouge coming apart and then doing bad things to you as the mangled bits come by you.

    Here's a rather dramatic example of what not to do (warning small amounts of blood and large amounts of "don't do this even to demonstrate why not to do this").


  6. #6
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    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Tulk View Post
    OK, it is becoming clearer to me now. Of the 7 or8 gouges I have, only one is a bowl gouge, the others all having flutes pretty close to 50% of the thickness. I bought some of them in a bargain bin with no labels on them. My bowl gouge is ˝"; do I need more than one gouge to start simple work? I understand Jim's warning not to use a spindle gouge in a bowl, but can I use it to shape the outside of the bowl before hollowing it out?
    Your 1/2 bowl gouge should be good for most work. If I added one it would be a 5/8". Note in the US the size is the shaft, in the UK the size is the flute in bowl gouges only. If yours has a 1/2 shaft it is a 1/2 US or a 3/8 UK. UK include Sorby, Hamlet, Crown, Asley Iles, and others. Hurricane bowl gouges are also sized by UK specs.
    If you have bowl gouges why ever use a spindle gouge on a bowl (except as linked to below).

    As far as spindle gouges and bowls. I would never use a Spindle Roughing Gouge as in the video with any bowl/face work.
    However the normal spindle gouge may be a different story for detail work. A bowl may be almost finished with a bowl gouge but I would not try to add these type of beads/details with a bowl gouge.

    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...Ljw&ajaxhist=0

    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...VXA&ajaxhist=0

    Just saying there can be exceptions, some mandatory.
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. Thomas Jefferson

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Mills View Post
    However the normal spindle gouge may be a different story for detail work. A bowl may be almost finished with a bowl gouge but I would not try to add these type of beads/details with a bowl gouge.

    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...Ljw&ajaxhist=0

    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...VXA&ajaxhist=0

    Just saying there can be exceptions, some mandatory.
    Truth, you can do a lot with a spindle detail gouge - some folks even do small vessel hollowing with them. I was mostly aiming to avoid confusing the issue to much to start with - there is always an exception

  9. #9
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    This is certainly a useful thread for me, I didn't know that I didn't know this stuff. A follow up on the spindle gouge for the outside of the bowl if I may. I know the roughing gouges aren't to be used on bowls, but I though the spindle gouge (which i had always thought of as being a different tool, than a roughing gouge) was acceptable. Not true, or have I got all this confused in my mind?

  10. #10
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    Fred...the only time I would use a roughing gouge on a bowl is to take the blank from square to round. But IMHO...my bandsaw does a far better job.
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

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