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Thread: OK, how insane is this?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Inside the Beltway

    OK, how insane is this?

    Ok, folks,

    So, I need some stuff. Like, say, a bowl gouge. And other stuff too, which is why I'm posting here... but mostly, right now, I need a bowl gouge. Except...

    Doorlink says we're broke, which we are, and the bowl gouges I've seen are like 30, no, 60, no 90 bucks... and they go up from there. Like the song says, I may as well forget it....

    And like the old adage says, you need money, brains, or ...daring..., pick two. Of course, I don't have any one of those three things. But, as we all know, I do have vast amounts of one commodity, and that's foolishness. And what could be more foolish than to hatch a plot to make a "bowl gouge"

    I know I can turn a handle... I'm sure I can find, like at the despot, some cold rolled steel for the "bar" But where in the world would I get tool steel, or HSS, even. So then, I happen upon this site:

    Before you click, here's the headline:

    Make a hook tool
    Forge out a hook in your own shop.
    It is easy and you likely have everything to do it.

    For some reason, the very idea makes me giggle with delight. Sounds like a truly crazy thing to do, most of all because it "just... might... work..." I blame Stu... it's all his fault.

    But I'm not really talking about making a 'hook' at least not yet. More like something like this, for a first try:

    So I know I'm insane... but is this more insane than usual? Anybody ever tried it?

    Please let me know your thoughts,


    Last edited by Bill Lantry; 06-04-2007 at 09:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Bill......You might take a look at PSI's offerings for bowl gouges. They have a series Benjamin's Best that are hard to beat for price.

    Make a bowl gouge will be more expensive in the long run IMHO.....Unless of course you enjoy that type of stuff like our buddy Stu!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    I'll second the suggestion for the Benjamin's Best bowl tools from Penn State Industries. I have this set, and I'm happy with it. Good bang for the buck, and all four tools are useful for the types of pieces your making.

    The trick to making your own tools is that it helps to know how the fnished tool should look, feel, and operate. If you've not used a tool before, it's hard to know when you've got it right.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    The Heart of Dixie
    MAKE IT!! What have you to loose?? You will learn more than the money you will spend! It's been on my list for a long time but I just turn much now that I have my shop set up like I want. Furniture is what really interests me. So turning has taken a big step back on my list.

    But making some tools like that is still on my list. I have seen that one and as tools go it should be pretty simple to make. Turners made their own tools for years.

    And as for tool steel. McMaster Carr. You might stop by a machine shop and see if they would sell you something too.

    PS OK read Vaughn's comment and I have to agree. BUT at the same time, you might find something you like better and no one makes one like it. I have a scrapper, I guess it's a scraper, that I ground and love. Never seen one sold quite like it. I can hog off more with it than with a P&N bowl gouge and then I can take delicate cuts with it too. I never saw one before. Just played around and found something that worked.
    Last edited by Jeff Horton; 06-04-2007 at 11:09 PM.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.

    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Rio Rancho, NM
    Just for jollies, check out CSUSA - I just got my monthly "sale flyer" and they have all of their Henry Taylor tools on sale this month at 15% off. May be worth a look?

    Nancy Laird
    FWW Registered Voter and Voting Member
    Woodworker, turner, laser engraver; RETIRED!!

    A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to his country for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' If you love your country, thank a vet.

  6. #6
    Make a pair of each while you are at it, PM me and I will send an address where to send My unit.

  7. #7
    A hook tool is really for end grain work. I doubt you will have good luck using it to turn a bowl with the grain going accross.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    You could check these guys too, I've bought brass from them. As I remember you get a pretty good price on pieces less than a foot or something like that, but watch the shipping if you get more than a piece or so, it adds up fast.

    Just went back and poked around their site again, they don't do the random short in tool steel (thats what I bought in brass).

    Another thought, the biggest swap meet file you can find -- ultra cheap
    Last edited by John Dow; 06-05-2007 at 01:31 AM. Reason: more info

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Oh sure, blame poor old me

    Make the tool, it is not a bowl gouge, but like Jeff says, what have you got to lose?

    Making a bowl gouge, heck I've already done that!

    My steel was not hard enough, and it did not work out so well, but I figure I could make a good bowl gouge or two, if I can find a cheap source of M2 HSS.

    This is my idea, steal it if you will

    I have a SCMS, it slides out more than enough to cut a flute on a gouge. On my saw, I can set the depth of cut, so the blade will just cut through the table top, or cut deeper etc.

    OK get an abrasive blade that fits your SCMS, and then make a jig that holds the piece of HSS you want to make a gouge from. Everything would have to be clamped down really tight, and you would take fairly light cuts, but I figure it is totally doable.

    You would have to shift the jig left and right a bit to get a wide enough flute in a thicker piece of HSS, but I also do not think this would be a big problem.

    There, the solution

    Now you REALLY can blame me
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Floydada, Tx
    A good source for good steel are hydraulic shops. The rams are made from some extremly hard steel and work great for makeing stuff. I have made slide hammers and punches out of them and the lasted over five yaers of daily abuse.

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