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bowl gouge what to buy

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Charles Hill, May 19, 2013.

  1. Charles Hill

    Charles Hill

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    Should I buy a finger bowl gouge or just a bowl gouge?

    what is your opinions of what make, brand and price

    I am looking Robert Sorby Am interested in what everyone thinks is good and bad investment in bowl gouges



    Charles Hill
     
  2. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Charles,

    I suggest you connect with some woodturners and get some guidance on the use and sharpening of the bowl gouge. Best of all if you can take a quality 3-5 day bowl turning class you will have the basic skills and know what gouge to buy. Connect with an AAW chapter. they may know of classes, have a mentoring session, demos. Our local Tri-county chapter is having a bowl turning workshop next Saturday cost is $5 for lunch. Lots of chapters do similar things.

    My recommendation is to use the side-ground bow gouge. the Ellsworth grind is my preference. you can shape the profile on any gouge with a parabolic ground flute.

    The Henry Taylor gouges have a nice shaped flute for this such as the
    Craft supplies artisan gouge which is a good low cost starter gouge.
    Packard has crown with similar flutes.
    Thompson has a great gouge too ideal for your second or third.

    Sorby gouge has too wide a flute for my style. someone gave us a Sorby gouge about 12 years ago.
    it is a fine tool and works ok with a traditional grind. I have probably bought 15 gouges since then and haven't ground an inch off the Sorby.

    I'll post the link to AAW chapters here
    http://www.woodturner.org/community/chapters/LocalChapters.asp

    Al
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2013
  3. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    First, the bad news -- bowl gouges and other turning tools are an expense and not an investment. If you do not have other tools yet, you will also need an assortment of various tools -- all of them are additional expenses. Even the pros don't count them as investments when doing their taxes.

    I have some tools of most popular brands -- Sorby, Crown, Taylor, Thompson, P&N, etc. Brand preference is somewhat like what exists in golf clubs, cameras, airplanes, and dinner plates. They all do the job, but we like something about particular brands that may or may not have any logical basis. You won't go wrong with any of them.

    Signature tools cost much more than the plain ones just because somebody's name is stamped on the handle and it comes with the special grind of the FNTWWAKAR* already on the tool. You can normally save a few bucks by getting the plain vanilla tool and duplicating the bevel profile of the FNTWWAKAR yourself. There might be some few cases where the flute of the signature gouge of the FNTWWAKAR is unique, but I would say that any difference is barely if at all noticeable.

    About half of my bowl gouges came with a standard straight grind and now all of them are swept back to some degree on the sides and they have a variety of bevel angles at the nose. All of these various grinds are subject to change slightly from time to time -- either on purpose or otherwise.

    You can save a lot of money by not getting cryo treated or powdered metal tools. Those fancy tools are supposed to hold an edge longer, but the difference between them and regular high speed steel is not a big deal -- just a little deal for a lot more money. Just stay away from cheap carbon steel if it can even still be found. I don't get off brand tools from Asia just because I don't know what I am getting, there is no support if there is a problem, and handle ergonomics is nonexistent. Also, like Darrel Royal, I believe that, "you gotta dance with the one who brung you."



    *FNTWWAKAR = famous name turner who we all know and respect
     
  4. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I consider the Thompson and D Way tools to be at least as good as any out there, and you buy from the guys who make the tools. Far better than M2 HSS. Other than that, there is a lot of variety. I actually don't use the swept back grinds any more, preferring the more standard finger nail grind. I do all my heavy roughing with scrapers, and am a bit unusual that way. You do need 2 gouges for bowl turning. Just about any grind will work for the outside of the bowl, but you need 2 for the inside. The problem lies in getting around the transition and across the bottom of the bowl. With shallow bowl/platter forms, not a problem, but with deeper bowls, you can go down the side, with a nice bevel rubbing cut, but when you try to go round the transition and across the bottom, the rim of the bowl and your tool rest get in the way, and you come off the bevel. Much harder to control your tools that way. Having a more open fluted gouge ground to a 60 or so degree bevel really helps.

    Do find the nearest club. I do have a couple of clips up on You Tube if you type in robo hippy.

    robo hippy
     
  5. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    I did a survey a few years ago and most turners use and recommend a 1/2" bowl gouge ( by USA standards) and they generally use something that resembles the swept back grind similar to David Ellsworth. Most of the rest recommended 5/8" so if you turn larger work get the 5/8" if normal or small get the 1/2". Flute shape doesn't make a lot of difference for new turners. Learning to sharpen makes a huge difference so spend the time doing that.
    You should know that the English tools measure the flute width and the USA uses the width of the steel. So a 1/2" English gouge like a sorby and Henry Taylor is the same as a 5/8" American gouge such as D way or Thompson.
    To get an idea of what many tools look like when sharpened go here and check them out.
    http://www.woodcentral.com/newforum/grinds.shtml
     
  6. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

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    I have three Sorby deep flute ("bowl") gouges. The one most used has a 5/8 inch U shaped flute, and is getting short in the tooth. I also have PM, old carbon, and vanadium alloy tools. I haven't noticed anything too "special" about the alloys, but if the pattern is right, I would have no problem buying one again. If you sharpen frequently and freehand, you can amortize your cost over a thousand or three pieces anyway. Make the last passes with a less-than-fresh edge on your famous name super alloy, and you'll spend more in paper to correct what you could have cut if you'd sharpened. People who talk about short life gouges also talk about grinding jigs. I think there's cause and effect in operation there.

    Only design I would definitely avoid would be a V flute type, I dig and hog heavily enough that I fold and load shavings with them. The U ejects as I like. After that, take your choice. You will have to work your way into a favorite grind or learn the grind you got, so don't let that initial conformation bother you unduly. As you see at the URL John referenced, there's more than one way to grind a gouge. I'd get a 1/2" flute for heavy, and 1/4" flute for smaller/steeper work.
     
  7. Jeff Gilfor

    Jeff Gilfor

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    I can't add that much to what's already been said, and I agree with all of it.
    But...
    Being a rather new turner (about a year) who did a lot of carving before this, perhaps I can lend some perspective from a beginner's point of view.

    When I first started turning, I asked the same question as you. I was told to start with a 1/2 inch bowl gouge, and straight and round nose scrapers. I was also told to get the least expensive decent steel I could afford to RUIN. That's right, I said "ruin." I ended up getting some Penn Sate tools, which served me well (still have some flute on the gouge, and still use the scrapers regularly).

    Until you get comfortable sharpening and understanding which type bevel you like for which applications, you will go through gouge steel much faster than after you've gotten past the rather steep beginning learner's curve. It make sense to get the best you can afford, but I really wouldn't go nuts until you've gotten better at the basics.

    I would agree that Thompson and D-Way are some of the best tools available (there are a few other brands that nearly equal them too), but I would tell you to stick with less expensive steel until you better know what you want.
     
  8. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    Hmmm been using a V gouge for about 10 years now. I don't see much difference in it and the U for chip ejection. I like the V because the wings grind at a slightly blunter angle which lets them hold an edge longer.
    I also do a lot of pull cuts for some shapes and on these I actually like the sharper edge of the U shape.
    I find proper use of a jig actually reduced the amount of steel removed from the blade. In a years worth of sharpening I used 1" of steel off my Thompson gouge. I don't know how many pieces were turned but it's my most frequently used tool so probably in the high hundreds since I turn something just about every day. I know how much because I purchased a new tool was able to compare them side by side.
    I do sharpen by hand on some tools. I find that I don't always nail it perfect every time and will have to touch it up some of the time which of course removes more steel. I do think hand sharpening is a good way to go for many tools however the bowl gouge is one that is just easier and more accurate with a jig.
     
  9. Jeff Gilfor

    Jeff Gilfor

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    I agree about using less to steel with a jig; I was saying that, until you know which grind you prefer, you'll go through some steel changing from one to the other.
     
  10. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I think the point is don't buy a high priced gouge until you learn to sharpen.
    I use a jig for my bowl gouges.
    My reasoning many years ago was that the jig cost $20 and gouges cost $40 ( double or triple for today's prices)
    Using a jig my gouges lasted twice as long. I could hand sharpen the Ellsworth grind but once a week I would mess up and have to work for 5 minutes setting it right.

    That said a jig is a guide and still needs a competent operator.
    I have seen hundreds of bad profiles created using a jig.

    Have fun,
    Al
     
  11. Hu Lowery

    Hu Lowery

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    maybe a half step in front of you at most



    Charles,

    As you can see by my very recent posts, I am a half step in front of you at most, maybe the same place or a little behind. What I have found is that most of the video is near useless unless you have a similarly ground gouge. You will need a fairly steep grind on one, but I do recommend slightly ground back wings unless you are a glutton for punishment. Even five or ten degrees off square reduced my catches tremendously. Anyway, you need that steep gouge inside a bowl. Also as others have advised me and I'm now passing on, shallow shapes to your bowls to learn. Don't make straight up and down sidewalls and do make big sweeping curves for the transition from wall to bottom or make the entire bowl in one sweeping curve.

    Back to what I said about video, many of the techniques shown in video are totally different angles or impossible without the swept back wings, Ellsworth style or similar. For now, I really think you can pick whichever swept back grind strikes your fancy. they aren't that much different for the most part. Might want to avoid the Michelson for now just because it is different. A great grind I'll try someday but I have a suspicion it isn't a great grind for a beginner. I don't know, just a suspicion. I think I'm going to try a Lyle Jamieson grind just because I have good pictures of it and I like his approach to turning. I don't know that it is better or worse than any of the other signature grinds but as others have already said, once you are in the neighborhood it is easy to swap from one signature grind to the other. Not much metal removed that is, my grinding is still a work in progress!

    Hu
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
  12. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Sharpening: I haven't used a gouge jig in years, and free hand sharpen all my tools. A good platform helps. As for the 'you waste more steel' argument, it is not related to which system you use, but to your experience level. When rookies, we all tend to over grind. This is true with jigs, and true with free hand sharpening. The point is you 'grind' to reshape the edge, and when sharpening, it is like bevel rubbing cuts: the bevel should rub the wood, but the wood should not know it. Very light pressure makes your tools last longer. On the Mike Mahoney clip, he uses 60 grit wheels because he feels that a 'more serrated edge' cuts better. For sure, coarse grits will eat up the steel much faster.

    As for V flutes vs U or C or ) flutes, there are many variations. I think the Doug Thompson V flute is pretty open. I have seen some V flutes that are so steep, I can't see how they even milled them that steep, and consider them worthless (one by Jet in particular). I did have problems with my Glaser deep V gouge clogging up, but not the Thompson. That might have been me though because I don't use the Glaser any more, and haven't in a long time. There are no cuts that can be done with the swept back grinds that can not be done with a finger nail grind. Only real difference is that there is more wing area, so you can get more steel/cutting edge into the wood as you cut, depending on if your lathe has the horse power to remove that much wood at one time. I do feel that maybe the V flutes might a slight advantage with a dropped handle shear cut, but that is minimal. When doing finish cuts, the nose has the high shear angle, and I always roll the gouge on its side. This has the nose doing a high shear angle cut, and the wings are more scraping (more scraping if the handle is held level, less scraping if the handle is dropped). When you use the more open flute designs, there is more nose area and a larger sweet spot for the high shear angle. A ) flute shape, rolled onto its side cuts like a skew chisel. I am tending to favor this cut more and more, and have ground a spindle/detail gouge or two to that nose profile for a finish cutting tool. I also love the fluteless gouge from Doug for this cut.

    This is a link to how I platform sharpen:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQ7w6yFhw4c

    robo hippy
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
  13. Mike Peace

    Mike Peace

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    I have a Thompson U and V. Still deciding which I like better. hated the V flute on the two WC pinnacle or wood river BG's. they did clog a lot.
     
  14. KellyDunn

    KellyDunn

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    The advise to join a turners club and get some hands on with various folks tools and grinds is good advise. You will over time come to like particular grinds. I use many brands. I have been using Thompson and Benjamins best from Penn State side by side. with the same grind. Thompson will cut longer before needing sharpened. I got round flutes from Doug and sold them cause I could not get used to them. His 3/8ths(1/2inch steel) V shape is what I have left. I have a bit of a drawn back grind on both tools so I can compare apples to apples. For the money B's best is a no brainer to waste some steel. You can get a three set, steel size 3/8, 1/2, 5/8ths, so flute 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 for $54. I only have just tried a Dway tool and really liked it. So will put one on my buy list when I want another gouge.
    The is no one grind for everything. If your gouge starts running back on you, you have run out of bevel to support your cut. So a more shallow bevel is needed. An Ellswoth style grind can come close to all purpose.
    Try others tools and ask why and have them show you. Then you try it. as with anything practice is the key.
     
  15. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

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  16. KellyDunn

    KellyDunn

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    Michael, Short bevel. and the sides are barely drawn back. Not quite straight up but close. This grind does not stay as sharp as a longer bevel. So needs to hit the grinder a bit more often. Its been awhile since I measured the angle so I have forgotten. On page 7 of the Packard catalog there is an Al Stirt finishing bowl gouge. Its short bevel. Its a U shaped gouge. I do that grind on a V shaped gouge. I can also turn the tool upside down on cuts. No way for it to catch. I will try to remember short and not shallow.
     
  17. Steve Worcester

    Steve Worcester Admin Emeritus

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    When you join the club, ask some of the guys to show you their bowl gouges and see if you can try them. Most of them would hand it right over to you. If you have some trepidation, just tell them you are a little timid, and want to learn correctly. Have them set you up with some wet wood with the intent of just making shavings, not a finished work of art.

    It takes a good bit of time to understand that the curve is based on following the bevel and moving the long end of the handle. Just figure out how to mow wood first. How to use the gouge and the flute to your liking.
     
  18. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

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    A grind which sounds very traditional. You're cutting handle nearly horizontal, I assume? I grind a long bevel, equal across the nose, and do pretty much the same. Longer bevels slice easier.
     
  19. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    I don't think the length of the bevel has anything to do with how it cuts. I use very short main bevels now on all my tools except the skew. The width of the blade or area actually removing the wood might make a difference such as a wide spindle gouge vs a V shaped bowl gouge. In those instances you have a very long cutting edge vs a short cutting edge (if you assume your just using the tip of the bowl gouge and they are both held at the same angle)
    I have played with convex grindes, flat grinds and concave grinds with the bevel being honed (so in effect you have a very short bevel). I can't tell much difference in the cut or handling except on the inside of bowls where the short main bevel or convex grind seems to leave a smoother less bumpy surface but even that's dependant on lathe speed and how fast or slow you move the tool.
     

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  20. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

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    Really? Of course the length of the bevel is only important as it relates to the thickness of the steel at the same point - the sharpness angle defined. It does make a difference, because more acute sharpness angles slice the wood more easily than less acute angles, where the pitch must be increased to obtain the same clearance angle. Proof is easy by simply allowing the clearance angle to increase in a test of a knife blade beginning nearly parallel to the surface of a stick, through increasing pitch angles to an actual "negative bevel" situation. Edge versus wood 100.

    You will note that stock removal is possible at all clearance angles, so why not decrease your sharpness angle to give yourself more options instead of getting that pesky heel in the way?
     
  21. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    I think you and I are talking about 2 different things. I'm not talking about sharpening angles, only the length of the bevel that is the edge. If I sharpen my gouge with one angle I have a bevel of say 3/8" that goes from the tip to the lower corner of the bevel. If I remove much of the metal from this bevel so that I only have 1/8" of the original bevel, I get exactly the same cut. That's what I'm trying to describe.
    In drill bits or metal cutting bits this is often called a clearance angle if I have my definition correct. In a drill bit you have a very short main bevel or cutting edge and then it's ground off behind this to give you a clearance angle. That is essentially what I'm doing with my bowl gouge.
    Hope that clears it up.
     
  22. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

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    The edge will always be as long as the bevel, being created, as they are, simultaneously. So I guess I'm not catching what you mean. Are you trying to describe one technique used to solve the problem of the cylindrical gouge, that of grinding the heel for clearance, leaving the original sharpness angle for cutting? If so, the first being unchanged, the cut will be unchanged as well.

    http://woodcentral.com/newforum/grinds.shtml Are you talking about relieving the heel like the Ellsworth or Fairfield examples, or the Kauder (Hunnicutt #3) approach, working backward toward a traditional grind?

    Here's what I'm working with. http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d160/GoodOnesGone/Bevels.jpg Thickness similar, therefore longer bevel creates a more acute sharpness angle which shaves better.
     
  23. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    Yes I'm talking more like Russ's grind than Davids. You'll notice Russ has ground away much of the bevel below the main bevel. I will have to take a photo of my wider spindle gouges to show you what I mean there. My point is it's the cutting edge that does the work, not the bevel. I learned early on to remove the sharp corner from the bottom of the bevel to prevent bruising of the wood. The triple bevel like Russ (and I) use is just a variation on that.
     
  24. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I agree on the cutting edge doing the work.

    A shorter bevel has two advantages: less bevel drag which can be a real help on thin pieces and
    It allows cutting a tighter radius.
    Ellsworth and others grind the heel off the bevel to shorten it which you mentioned earlier.
    This allows turning a deeper bowl before hitting the rim with the handle.
    The triple bevel is much the same thing.
    It also creates less be el drag which makes it easier to turn thin without chatter and to work further off the tool rest without chatter.

    Johannesen Michelson, a master of thin has a micro bevel at the edge of his grind virtually no bevel drag.
    Extremely advantageous on a flat or gently curving thin surface where a long bevel would have a lot of contact and drag.

    When turning a convex shape it doesn't matter too much because just a tiny bit of the bevel contacts the wood.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2013
  25. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

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    I take it, John that you're using something like the first pictured grind here? http://www.woodturningvideosplus.com/bevel-angles.html As mentioned, one of the first workarounds for the cylindrical gouge, it kept the same sharpness angle - therefore the same optimum cutting pitch - as the unrelieved heel version. My "bowl" gouges are ground similar to carving gouges used to dig and waste material - no heel at all, so no drag. Of course, if you have ANY clearance angle at all you don't drag, heat or bruise. But you have to get away from that vision of a line of contact perpendicular to the edge as "the bevel touching" and realize that parallel to the edge, with a bit of skew, shaves cleaner and with less resistance.

    Large sharpness angles as Al advocates, produce more resistance because the pitch angle has more of a push than peel vector. Makes it, In my estimation, less preferable to a more acute sharpness angle, where there's more slice than scrape. I exploit the phenomenon not only to escape a grade or two of paper on cured wood, but to keep from pushing the ears out when turning wet wood interrupted edge pieces. Keeps me from having to use a scraper, a skill which I never really developed. Though I do increase the pitch angle to turn an abrupt corner, scraping more than slicing as I do. Since i keep the shear in, I suppose you might call it "shear scraping."
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2013
  26. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    You can have a lot of different experiences with a side ground gouge. If you use it like a traditional ground gouge you just have the large cutting angle.

    When discussing the Sharpness angle of side ground gouge it is important to note that the bevel angle changes.
    The Ellsworth grind on my 5/8 bar diameter bar bowl gouge. The bevel angle varies from about 50-60 degrees on the nose to about 30 degrees on the leading edge of the wing. When used in a shear cut, a slicing cut, or pull cut you have the advantage of a sharper 30 degree bevel angle. These cuts cut more at an angle to the wood giving a cleaner surface. When used in the roughing cut you have the beef and stability of the nose and the sharp cut from the wing.

    With the Ellsworth grind used in shear cut mode flute up cutting on the front edge of the left wing you get more of a vertical slice.
    That cut can be made from rim to bottom center of a natural edge bowl and leave a surface for 220 sanding.
    This has almost no pressure on the bowl.
    It is an advanced cut and takes some learning.

    I still use other tools with other grinds from time to time but for open natural edge bowls I only use a bowl gouge with the Ellsworth grind and spindle gouge to cut the tenon for the chuck and final finish cuts on the bottom when reverse turning. Anyone who uses the Ellsworth well on a natural edge bowl can usually start sanding with 220.

    Have fun,
    Al
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2013
  27. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    I agree with Al. I use 2 gouges in the flute up position. My Stewart Batty grind on a Henry Taylor gouge and my own special grind on a U shaped off brand gouge. the wings on the U shaped gouge are really sharp, something like 25 degrees. Used in the flute up position on a push cut and it gives me a very clean cut with almost no pressure on the bowl. Not a cut for the timid. You have to be very comfortable with your gouge because it takes very subtle movements to control it.
     
  28. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Flute up cuts belong on the "intermediate" board.
    It is a cut I have taught often to intermediates when teaching or assisting in classes.

    like John said the student has to be comfortable and have good control of the tools on basic cuts.

    I think it is difficult to learn without hands- on-instruction.

    I think it is a cut that once you have done it A few times it is easy to repeat, but if you tense up it will cause catch.

    It can be done with most side ground gouges to finishing the inside of a bowl
    On a cut rim bowl you need to roll into the cut inside the bowl
    On a natural edge bowl you can pick the cut up at the rim.
    Th interrupted cut won't cause the vertical gouge to skate.
    On the outside a flute up finish cut can be done with an English ground gouge.

    It can be very dangerous to do these types of cuts improperly.
    Roll the tool to much or sete tool rest below center and a big catch can happen.


    Al
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2013
  29. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

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    Flute up sure can remove stock quickly. John posted a video where he slides the nose and cuts below it with a modest up angle. I consider that a safer cut than sliding the side doing the cutting against the work, because it's easier to control a possible roll. Those who grind their gouges at a constant angle on the wing gain a bit of stability over those who roll to more acute sharpness angles, but there's still the problem of a small cylinder that rolls fast to either side of the contact line perpendicular to the edge while trying to "ride the bevel." I ride the nose and undercut when hogging, but it's inherently less stable than using the nose section. Like aircraft, the more maneuverable grinds are also the least stable. http://s108.photobucket.com/user/MichaelMouse/media/HollowTwo001.mp4.html The nose begins and maintains as the tool swings.

    It's finishing cuts that cause all the "catch" complaints we see. (NEVER take that "last" cut.) Which can be easily remedied by using a different tool - specifically, the one used before machining technology gave use the cylinder to fiddle with. http://s108.photobucket.com/user/MichaelMouse/media/CherryPeelIn.mp4.html Those who look will easily see that the clearance angle on this tool is pretty high until it gets near the bottom in this piece. Deep pieces are just the opposite, using low clearance angles increasing at the bottom. The tool is what the side cutters try to get, but can't seem to maintain as they try to maneuver the handle around the rest, the banjo or the ways. It has full support from the rest, and is proof against catches because it curves away from work above the cut, and has a consistent bevel with no place to roll. http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d160/GoodOnesGone/Gouge-Curves.jpg

    At least two of the many experiences available to users of side grinds. Both of which come with caution. Alternative three has neither. Don't let the name "bowl gouge" limit what you use. A gouge is a gouge just as in carving, and the broader sweep allows a broader naturally smooth cut than a narrow. So put the broad sweep on the end of the stick, not the side when you make the last cuts, and capitalize on control and a broader footing.
     
  30. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Michael,

    A shallow gouge can get a catastrophic catch. It should not be recommended to a novice unless you are by their side guiding them.

    A bowl gouge catch is limited by the flute once the wood hits the bottom of the flute the gouge can't go it any deeper and a chunk of wood breaks off. The Shallow gouge won't stop feeding in until something breaks. The gouge, tool rest, or banjo may break. Devastating injury can happen.

    You use the tool safely. This does not mean a novice will use it like you do even if you tell them clearly how to use it.
    They are going to grind it differently, present it differently,

    The down side of injury and damage to equipment with the wide spindle gouge outweighs any percieved benefit.

    consider deleting the post in the interest of Safety.

    The Gouges shown below should not be used on bowls. Their flat bent construction is considerably weaker than the machined bars used in bowl gouges.

    thanks,
    Al
     

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    Last edited: Jun 2, 2013
  31. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I never cut with the flutes up. The tool is unbalanced, and if you get up on the wing at all, it will tip over into the wood, and you have a spectacular catch. This is the most common reason for gouge catches. I always roll the tool over so that the flutes are at 45 to 90 degrees. This leaves the nose at a high shear angle for a cleaner cut. The advantage of the more open fluted gouges for finish cuts is that they have a larger sweet spot for the best cutting angle. They should also be used like a skew where you cut with the lower half of the tool edge. If you go to the high side of the tool, it is unbalanced just like a standard gouge with the flutes more vertical. They make lousy roughing tools in my opinion, but to me, that is what scrapers are for. Traditional SRG use is taught as gouge at right angle to the wood and spin, flutes up, start by rubbing the heel, and raise the handle, tipping the cutting edge down till it starts cutting. Yes, this is a bevel rubbing cut, but raising the handle even a tiny bit more makes you come off the bevel, and with spindles, this is generally not a problem, but on a bowl, if you do this, you turn the tool into a scraper instantly, and since the scraper in this case is directed up into the spinning wood, you get a catch. Those I see using a SRG on spindles, that I think really know what they are doing, will keep the tool at a 45 degree angle to the spin, and flutes rolled at 45 degrees or so, and cut like you do when you sharpen a pencil with a knife. This leaves a smoother finish cut on spindles and bowls as well. The tool is not inherently dangerous on bowls, how you present the tool to the wood is what makes it dangerous. This is true for all turning tools, there is a right way and many wrong ways to use every tool out there.

    robo hippy
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2013
  32. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Excellent advice for this area of the forum.
    I agree that every tool can used badly. That is why we all encourage people to get some good hands-on mentoring.

    Once we become proficient at wood turning we can turn spindles with an axe head and bowls with sharpened spoons.
    We don't suggest those tools to beginners.

    I has been my experience that the bad things with a spindle roughing gouge on bowls tend to be much, much worse than the bad things with bowl gouges.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2013
  33. KellyDunn

    KellyDunn

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    Turning with the flute up is an advanced cut. The sweet spot varies for each kind of grind. A point on the gouge gives almost no sweet spot. Where a rounded tip with the wings ground almost straight up give a huge sweet spot
    That said it takes practice to do and I reccomend some hands on. What is considered a standard grind in the catalogs is a good one for this. I saw Ray Key in 86 doing this cut with no explaination. I went home and ripped a bowl off the lathe. Thats when I started turning the gouge upside down. There is a learning to every aspect of turning. Even with many thousands of bowls under my belt I still get some trouble spots. When in a hurry its easy for me to get runback when making the transition from the rim to my inside first cuts. All user error. But when paying attention or using a 1/4 in detail gouge to get me that first 1/16th down then all is fine. Or pushing the grind limits. Even I run out of bevel on a curve and try to push it a few cuts more when I should just grab another gouge with the proper grind for what I need to do.
    And everyone here who is saying get some hands on is giving the best advise there is.
     
  34. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

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    You are kidding, right? Is there anyone else who can't look at the tool in use in the material provided and see that the tool CANNOT roll with the constant grind angle on the nose, and the natural curve of the tool extending into air? There's nothing to catch on, and a roll is impossible. I think you need to evaluate the material presented, and perhaps try the technique instead of attributing a break due to some horrible mistake in your past to the tool rather than the operator misunderstanding how to present ANY tool, much less the safest choice.

    I note that the skewchigouge and the fluteless gouge are catching on (not just catching ) with some turners now. Even with all that metal ground away up top, there's still a heel to limit the pitch angle. No such with the forged types. Makes them the tool of choice, as I see it. Recommend they be used under centerline inside as well, to take advantage of the air above.

    As to the fiction of a catch being limited by hacking out a chunk, it's obvious you've never thought much about it, either. Or read about people catching so hard they stopped their rotation. Besides, if it were true, then any tool, even misused, could never harm anyone, because the wood would give before metal buried itself or broke.
     
  35. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Not kidding a bit you are going to get someone seriously hurt.
    That tool should not be used by a novice. too dangerous!
    Tool is not meant for bowls and will break when used improperly on bowls.

    Your technique is just fine. You get results you are happy with.
    The whole point is it works for you because you have the skill and know how to present the gouge.

    Any properly presented gouge won't roll, go somewhere on its own, or catch.

    Novice turners will roll the tool, swing the handle the wrong way, grip the tool so hard it doesn't present to the wood properly.
    Novice turners can't control the tool like you do. We were all beginners once and I did not start with advanced techniques I built up too them.
    Any one who does exactly what you do will get similar results but it is not suitable in a newbie forum.

    You have obviously haven't taught very much woodturning or you would understand
    That yes indeed someone who has just seen the correct way to do something will go to their lathe and do it all wrong.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2013
  36. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    If you watch beginners closely, you will notice a lot of things that they will do that make no sense to some one who knows better. One problem with any demo is remembering long enough to get back to the shop and not be at square one again.

    robo hippy
     
  37. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Just human nature at work.
    Everyone has a different base to build on.
    I find one of the most important things when teaching beginners is to tell them a little bit at a time.
    It is easy to overwhelm them to where they can't absorb the important parts of the lesson.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2013
  38. dbonertz

    dbonertz

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    How often do you get mesmerized by watching the shavings slide of the gouge? I, at times, am just enjoying turning and making shavings that I don't watch the top of the bowl for form. I watch the cutting edge. Then I snap out of it and pay attention to the form. I say this because new turners/students are often times watching your cutting edge and are in awe. They are not paying attention to your stance, body movement, hand movement, rolling the tool, body position in relation to the cut being made and etc. etc. They see the shavings fly and believe they can do it. At some point they realize to watch everything but the cutting edge work. Now they are ready to learn.
     
  39. Robin Thompson

    Robin Thompson

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    That was the question. Kinda of intimidates a newbie to the point where they don't ask to begin with.
     
  40. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    Boy, ain't that the truth. I can't count the number of times I've seen somebody do something, or even had them show me how to do something, and 2 or 5 days later at home, I can't remember quite exactly how they did that but it seemed like they had the...BLAM! Another bowl bites the concrete. I've helped teach high school students over the last year and almost every day, Al's warnings have been reinforced.
     

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