1. Welcome new registering member. Your username must be your real First and Last name (for example: John Doe). "Screen names" and "handles" are not allowed and your registration will be deleted if you don't use your real name. Also, do not use all caps nor all lower case.

1/4" or 3/8" detail spindle gouge

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Mark Corkern, Dec 22, 2019.

  1. Mark Corkern

    Mark Corkern

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2019
    Messages:
    46
    Location (City & State):
    Franklinton, LA
    So I am hoping Santa may leave me a present at Thompson Tools not sure if it will be a 1/4" or 3/8" detail gouge. I have been practicing on small snow people, finales, tops, etc., which would you prefer?
     
  2. Tom Gall

    Tom Gall

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    266
    Location (City & State):
    Hillsborough, NJ
    3/8" ..... less prone to vibration & chatter when extended over the toolrest.
     
  3. Dan Bevilacqua

    Dan Bevilacqua

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Messages:
    140
    Location (City & State):
    Idaho
    I use my 1/4" for portions of fine finials and fine close small cuts on boxes. As Tom said, the 1/4" is subject to tendency to vibrate; but, no vibration issues when I use as I described above. The 3/8" is my go to. That said, if I could only have one, it would easily be the 3/8". The 3/8" is what I was using for the same cuts as the 1/4" before I purchased the 1/4" about a month ago.

    Edit: please ignore my post because I missed that you were talking about a "detail gouge". I was referring to my standard spindle gouges. Dean's post below made me see my mistake :oops:.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2019
  4. Dean Center

    Dean Center

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,131
    Location (City & State):
    Bozeman, MT
    Mark, forgive me if I've underestimated the extent of your tool addiction.

    Before somebody places an order, keep in mind that Doug Thompson offers 4 varieties of spindle gouge (if I remember correctly). One is a fluteless gouge and probably not what you want. One is just called "spindle gouge", and 2 say "detail gouge". One of the detail gouges has a pretty shallow flute (detail gouge) and the other has an even shallower flute (shallow detail gouge). All of them are strong and do a good job, but it can be a little confusing to get the right one until you've tried them out.

    In my search for that one tool keeping me from greatness, I've used them all and here humbly is my experience. The "shallow detail gouge" is fairly specialized, and handles much like a fluteless gouge. Either of the other two gouges work well for me and can do pretty much any task I want. The regular spindle gouge is an effective, all-purpose gouge, and if ground to an acute angle (25-35 degrees, say) with the heel relieved can do a reasonable job on many of the tasks for which folks get a detail gouge. If you're going to make lots of finials, or back hollow lots of boxes, the detail gouge has an advantage.

    And I vote for 3/8", too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2019
  5. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    6,702
    Location (City & State):
    Lakeland, Florida
    Home Page:
    For finials I use a 3/8 spindle gouge with a fingernail grind 30 degree bevel.
    same tool,I use to cut the dovetails for chuck mounts and the final cuts in finishing the bottoms of reverse chucked bowls and hollow forms.

    I have a 3/16” gouge don’t us it often.
    My wife uses it for small detail rings on platters to separate carving areas

    for turning beads on bowls I mostly use a 1/2” spindle gouge with a fingernail grind and 30 degree bevel angle.
    I also use a 1/2” detail gouge with a 60 degree bevel and finger nail grind.

    I have a couple of 3/8” detail gouges but haven’t used them in years.
    if I need beef I have the two 1/2” tools
    For finesse the spindle gouge is sharper and cuts cleaner.

    Beginners often lack the skill to control a 30 degree bevel 100% of the time.
    Start with a 40 or 45 degree bevel which is easier to control. After getting comfortable with the 40- 45 you can sharpen it at 35-30 and then later on to 30-25.

    the trade off for control is that the 30 degree bevel is sharper and cuts a finer groove than the 45 degree bevel.
    Not important if you are getting catches with the 30 degree bevel.
     
    Bill Boehme likes this.
  6. R Henrickson

    R Henrickson

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Messages:
    187
    Location (City & State):
    Kentucky
    3/8 detail gouge is my go-to for much of my spindle turning, and some other as well. Next in usefulness -- 1/2" detail gouge. I rarely use a standard spindle gouge anymore, but much of my work presents rather odd turning problems, so the extra thickness of the detail gouge is good. I have a 1/4" detail gouge. I hardly ever use it. All rare Thompsons.
     
  7. Roger Wiegand

    Roger Wiegand

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2018
    Messages:
    363
    Location (City & State):
    Wayland, MA
    Home Page:
    Curious what the distinction is between "spindle" and "detail" gouge? I always thought they were two interchangeable names for the same general type of tool.

    I own a bunch of different ones, the one I reach for first is a 3/8" Henry Taylor that I've had for a long time. Can't tell you what the angle is, as I don't measure, but a fairly acute fingernail grind. I find I'm using my gouges a whole lot less as I finally begin to get on much better terms with the skew. (a couple days of "skew camp" with Alan Lacer can do wonders!)
     
  8. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    11,450
    Location (City & State):
    Dalworthington Gardens, TX
    Home Page:
    A detail gouge has a shallower flute which means that it is more rigid than a spindle gouge.
     
  9. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    6,702
    Location (City & State):
    Lakeland, Florida
    Home Page:
    The gouges made from round bars both have the same flute.
    The detail gouge has the flute ground into the top of the bar.
    The spindle gouge has the top 1/3 or top 1/2 of the bar ground away before the flute is ground.

    at the basic level the tools are interchangeable.

    Obviously the detail gouge has a lot more steel under the flute. IMHO this make the detail gouge better suited for bevel angles of 40-60 degrees. The spindle gouge better suited for the 25-40 degree bevels.

    the flute will be a little wider in the spindle gouge
     
  10. William Rogers

    William Rogers

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    Messages:
    656
    Location (City & State):
    Haubstadt, Indiana
    I don’t have a 1/4” detail gouge, but have two 3/8” detail gouges. One is a Thompson and the other is a Carter & Son. I like both of them and do a slightly different grind on each. I do have a 1/4” spindle gouge that doesn’t ge much use.
     
  11. Mark Corkern

    Mark Corkern

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2019
    Messages:
    46
    Location (City & State):
    Franklinton, LA
    Contacted Mr. Doug, and he told me that the shallow fluted detail gouge is mostly used for offset turning so I ordered the 38D which is the standard 3/8" detail gouge he sales. Thanks for all of your help.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice