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Difference in Bowl Gouges

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Jon Minerich, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. Jon Minerich

    Jon Minerich

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    Hi Everyone!

    When I read articles, I get confused on the different types of "grinds" on bowl gouges that authors prescribe. Perhaps it is the terminology that is confusing me. Is there any advantage of one grind over another?

    Could any of you old pro's help me out with a simple explanation?

    Thanks,

    Jon
     
  2. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    That is a tough one. I have, and am still playing with different grinds trying to learn the difference. I find them all useful and at present not sure one is better than another. I like ground back wings for roughing out bowls. I use both push cuts and pull cuts for those and the versatility of the swept back wing gives me lots of options.
    I have been playing with the Stewart Batty grind which I believe is somewhat like what everyone calls traditional grind. I really need to put some photos in here so we all know what we are talking about but I'm at work and didn't bring my gouges with me. :)
    I'm currently trying to understand the difference in the Ellsworth grind a the grind I use on my Thompson V gouge. They are very similar. Then of course U shaped gouges have a slightly different profile, the wings are thinner which I like for some pull cuts.
    then just to muddy the water there is the Johannes Michelson grind that I put on a Thompson V gouge. It's totally convex. Still trying to learn the advantages of that one.
    I'll try to post some photos in a day or so to give a visual reference of what I'm talking about. The difference in some are so subtle I'm not sure a photo will do them justice but I'll try.
     
  3. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

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    No single answer. Different depths of flute, contour of flute and more important, presentations based on task. Which is why I don't have a lot of use for dial-a-grind jigs that make me find out how to use what they produce. http://www.woodcentral.com/newforum/grinds.shtml has a bunch, but it helps to use and think before reshaping.

    I use mine for plunge and roll operation, so the wings are fairly short, and convex rather than straight. I use other gouges for final surfacing, so I haven't done a long side grind and peel for years. Haven't done much catching, either.
     
  4. Brian McInturff

    Brian McInturff

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    The Michelson grind is very different. It takes awhile to learn the sharpening but once you do it's pretty neat. Hannes says you can't get a catch with it and he seems to be correct. I've not mastered it yet but I do have 2 large gouges with his grind. A 3/4 and a 1" bowl gouge. You can hog some serious meat with them. I'm not sure I have a favorite grind. I have some favorite tools but I wonder if it's due to the grind, the feel, the weight, or something else. I find I'll use 3 or 4 different gouges on one turning also. And all of them have a different grind. I probably need to work on my technique some more because I see some guys use one tool through the whole process. I've learned the tradition grind works better on the steep sided bowls I like to turn especially at the transition point of the sidewalks and the bottom on the inside.
    Then there are the flute less gouges and I really like those. I have a flute less Glaser and love it. Doug Thompson also sells one.
     
  5. KellyDunn

    KellyDunn

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    Jon, basicly a grind lets you do things with the tool another grind may not so good at. If you want a grind that lets you rub the bevel into a bowl bottom the wings are more upright and the grind is shallow. There is a learning curve to most grinds to get your best cut without any catching. I do this for a living and catches still happen. I suggest you join a club or contact some turners near you to see what they have and why. If you could only get one gouge I would make it a 5/8ths(1/2in flute) V shape and put the irish or Ellsworth grind on it. The tip is shallow and the swept back grind on the flutes are good for rough and finish cuts on the outside. The shallow front lets you turn it on its side to go into bowl bottoms. Each turner comes up with slight variations that work for them. The 1st grind I mentioned the gouge can also be held upside down for cuts. No way for a catch. But you cant see the cut. Only what you have cut. Where with the flute up you see the exact cut but inexperiance can make for some nasty catches. Having someone show you these things is worth the cost of say doing a hands on class versus you trying to slowly learn all these little tricks through trial and error. In 1986 when Richard Raffan and Nick Cook took me under their wing for an hour I learned more than years of me just standing at a lathe making a fool out of myself.
     
  6. Bob Edwards

    Bob Edwards

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    You are bound to get many opinions on this subject and I think a lot comes down to personal taste. What works for you may not work for me in a given circumstance. If you are just talking about bowl gouges The two main differences are the angle of the grind and the size of the wings. Than of course there is the U shape and V shape to consider. One of the best explanations I have seen is from Dale Nish in Woodturning by Design magazine. You can find the article here: http://www.woodturningdesign.com/askdale/14/14.shtml
    The only thing I would add is that I find it helps to ease off the edge that is present at the bottom of the bevel. I not only round it over a bit but polish it with a buffing wheel as well. When you make that turn at the bottom of the bowl this prevents the lagging edge of the bevel from scaring the work. I hate to say it but you may have to grind several profiles before you find what is comfortable for you. In doing so I think Dales advice is a good starting point.
     
  7. Jon Minerich

    Jon Minerich

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    My Head is Still Spinning!

    Wow, what a diversity of answers!

    Thanks everyone for your input. Bob the article you suggested was very helpful.

    Based on everyone's response, I think the answer is this: take some lessons, find what grind works best for me and stick with that until I get more experience. Did I get that right?
     
  8. Brian McInturff

    Brian McInturff

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    Jon,
    If you don't mind spending a few dollars, then buy a couple cheap used gouges. Cheap as in price. Then play with different grinds until you find the grind you like. This will save you valuable steel if you buy the more expensive gouges, Glaser, D-Way, Thompson, etc.
     
  9. Jon Minerich

    Jon Minerich

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    Thanks Brian! I like that idea.:)
     
  10. David Wilkins

    David Wilkins

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    I've worked with Mike Darlow, Michael Hosaluk and Mike Mahoney. I also have an Ellesworth gouge. They are all essentially swept back, ellesworth, irish, winged bowl style gouges. Yes, they have different angles, sometimes they are particular about angles, some look for ranges with a good reason for both. I can tell you that in every case, a bowl was made, sanded and then finished. Focus on the work is more important than focus on the tools.
     
  11. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Location (City & State):
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    The three must have tools I think you need for bowl turning are one round nose scraper, and two gouges. One gouge with about a 45 degree bevel for the outside of the bowl, and it does well on the walls on the inside. Another gouge with about a 60 degree bevel for going through the transition and across the bottom. For nose profiles, I don't use a swept back gouge much any more, and prefer the standard fingernail grind, but if you do shear scrapes (handle low, and non bevel rubbing cut to clean up tool marks) it does have more cutting surface for that, and if you use gouges for roughing, it has a longer steel edge to take off more wood in one pass if your lathe can handle the torque needed.

    The scraper I prefer for heavy roughing. I also use it on edge for shear cuts to clean up tool marks. It comes in handy for sweeping across the bottom of the bowl which is a problem area for a lot of turners, in that is takes a while to figure out how to get the ripples out.

    If you go to You Tube and type in robo hippy, I have a couple of clips up there showing gouge and scraper usage.

    Of course, the number of toys you have is only limited by your budget. Finding a local club is a huge and cheap learning experience, and you can ask all the questions you want. No embarrassment at all because we have all "been there, done that a couple of times".

    robo hippy
     
  12. Jon Minerich

    Jon Minerich

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    Location (City & State):
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    Thanks guys! I like videos because it is easier for me to learn by watching and then doing. :cool2:
     

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