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Thread: conquering the bowl gouge - episode #1

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    conquering the bowl gouge - episode #1

    Well folks, today, the clouds parted and angels descended singing hallelujahs. At least, I thought I heard them. Spent most of the day today at the shop of a friend from my woodturning club. After helping another fellow member conquer the skew he turned his efforts to helping me overcome the bowl gouge. I have four of them and, until today, never was able to do more than 'touch and catch' when trying to use them. He sharpened the two biggest and demonstrated their use. Hey! They work! Actually, I believe the way they were sharpened was a huge part of the problem. With the current sharpening angles, they actually cut wood. I got a start on two bowls. One a piece of alder Vaughn sent me, the other walnut. The walnut bowl is now a funnel. Friend/instructor went all the way through with his depth gauge drill demo. I'll have to do something imaginative with that. Vaughn's alder has some side by side very soft and very hard knot spots and will require some work but it will end up a decent something, I'm sure. Good news, no more 'touch and catch' and I actually make curlies and shavings with the bowl gouges.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
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    Congratulations, Frank!
    That's great to hear. Doesn't it feel good when a tool is finally conquered; or at least partially figured out?

  3. #3
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    Congrats Frank Now lets see some pics of your first bowl from a bowl gouge as soon as it's done.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Bower View Post
    Congrats Frank Now lets see some pics of your first bowl from a bowl gouge as soon as it's done.
    You bet, it will happen. Maybe a couple 'in progress' shots tomorrow.

  5. #5
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    glad mine swivels

    Friend/instructor has a Powermatic but chose instead to demo on his Jet mini. Quickly found out the mini is way-way underpowered for bowl work. However, I learned why it is said some like to work from the end of the bed when bowl turning. Using that bowl gouge and reaching/leaning is low back torture. My Grizzly lathe head swivels and I'm now super glad it has that feature and that I bought a tool rest extension. Upright I will stand for this and also for hollowing and sanding. BTW, the Powermatic has some parts on it identical to my Grizzly, the legs being one (OK, two) and some knobs and other things. Thought that was interesting.

  6. #6
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    Congrats Frank. Sounds to me like you got it down. Way to go.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  7. #7
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    Oh well, there goes my four free bowl gouges...........

    Glad you got a handle on it Frank, it is amazing what you can do with the tool correctly ground and a little instruction.

    Congrats!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Good going, Frank. Glad to hear it's starting to make sense. Once you get comfortable with the various ways to cut with a bowl gouge, it's a pretty remarkable tool.

    That alder has varied from piece to piece. I just finished up a bowl and was having the same hard/soft spots. In the end, I gave up on trying to make it even. That piece I sent you was intended for practice...I figure it's served at that. I'll have to find you something a bit more consistent next time.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Odessa, Tx
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    Good going, Frank, sounds like it was a successful day, Annnnnnd....... looks like the "Gods" looked out for you as well by keeping you away from the edge of that "Mustard Vortex". I guess we won't have to worry about those "Shocking Headlines" after all.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Brentwood, TN
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    Congrats Frank! Most folks tend to grind too steep an angle on their bowl gouges and they start looking like deep flute spindle gouges. Second most common error is not getting the tools sharp enough. In fact, since you mentioned the skew, that's the #1 error for most skews and their users early attempts.
    Member; Society of American Period Furniture Makers

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