First set of gouges, recommendation?

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Fadi Zeidan, Sep 14, 2016.

  1. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    hello all,

    I'm thinking of gradually switching from carbides to HHS gouges to start learning how to use them and grind them. I'm thinking of starting out with a roughing and bowl gouge and move from there. Which brand would you recommend while I learn? start with decent one then switching to Robert Sorby once I become good at it? I'm open for suggestions.
     
  2. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    The mistake a lot of new turners make is buying a lot of cheaper tools and getting bad results. Start with a bowl gouge ...probably 3/8 would be good. Forget Sorby and get Thompson , they stay sharper for longer and you will turn better because of it. Unless you are doing a lot of spindle turning stay away from Spindle Roughing Gouge for now and put that into another tool , perhaps a skew.
     
  3. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    A good quality 3-5 day class with a good bowl turner will advance your skills in a hurry.

    The Thompson tools are great. I have 3 I use often.
    My favorite is the Lyle Jamieson gouge made by tompson it takes the Ellswort grind really well.

    I suggest the Ellsowrth grind for bowls. The grind you use will determine which gouges are better for you.

    My suggestion on gouges is to start with two.
    A 3/8" diameter spindle gouge ( a 3/8 detail would do)
    And a 1/2" Henry Taylor super flute artisen bowl gouge from craft supplies. This tool takes the Ellsworth grind well. This tool is about $85 Handled. When you wear it out buy and unhandled Jamieson for a $100 and pop it into the Taylor handle.

    With these two tools are all you need to turn bowls and you can tturn any outside shape with them.
    The 1/2" Gouge with an Ellsworth grind does a pretty good job roughing spindles somyoundon't really need a spindle roughing gouge unless you plan to to turn a lot of spindles..

    I think the Taylor super flute has a wide rounded nose and wide sweet spot with the Ellsworth grind.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2016
  4. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    The best gouges for the money are D Way and Thompson. Best metal, and you buy direct from the guys who make them. It has been a long time since I used M2 high speed steel. D Way are M42, and Thompson is V10 which is actually a particle metal. Most will want a 1/2 inch gouge, which is a bit small for my taste, but good average for most lathes. On a mini lathe, it can be a bit more than the lathe can handle if you push hard. Every one prefers a different nose profile, and most have a BOB (bottom of bowl) gouge with a more blunt nose angle, in the 60 to 70 degree range, and other bowl gouges go from 40 to 60 degrees. I prefer a 45/45, 45 degree bevel, and 45 degrees of sweep, and don't care for the swept back grinds, but that is me....

    robo hippy
     
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  5. Zach LaPerriere

    Zach LaPerriere

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    Great advice so far. I'll echo going for DWay or Thompson steel. I started with cheaper HSS, then moved to the high buck English steel, and finally to Thompson.

    To add one thing, consider getting a sharpening system, such as the wolverine base and the Ellsworth jig for sharpening the gouge—which I think is the easiest to both sharpen and use.

    Good luck.
     
  6. odie

    odie

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    When first learning, it's not a bad idea to get a less expensive tools, like the Artisian brand from CSUSA, and the Packard name brand from Packard. The reason I say this, is you'll be experimenting with a variety of grinds and nose shapes, and you'll use it up fairly quickly. Why do your experimenting with expensive tools......?

    I'm one who has an entirely different thinking on steels than the "main stream" thought. I've used harder steels, but have returned to using M2 steel exclusively. The main reason for this, is it's quicker and easier to sharpen, and resharpen, or re-hone during turning sessions. It does dull a bit quicker, but there is a psychological advantage to this. Most of us would rather turn, and not sharpen.......and because of this, will go longer than they should between re-sharpening. It's much easier to push the limits for a longer time, when using the exotic steels.......and, when doing so, a turner will tend to go without resharpening for a much longer time, when in that "grey contemplative area" between "just sharp enough" and "not sharp enough". The result is they will be using a "less than as sharp as possible" tool for longer periods of time, than tools that dull a little quicker. It's much easier to make the determination about needing to re-sharpening, but easier, and quicker to renew the edge.....all which adds up to an advantage.

    Not only have I gone back to the more generic M2 steel.......I've also gone back to using a the original standard grind done by using the "v" arm on the Wolverine jig. This is where the tool shank spins on it's own axis, rather than swinging through an arc, as with the Ellsworth grind done with the vari-grind jig. Other than the Ellsworth grind looks cool, there is not one single advantage where the cut is superior to what you can get with the standard grind. I do feel I'm better informed by having used the Ellsworth grind almost exclusively for a couple decades, before I came to the conclusions I have. Because of this, I suggest you try all the various grinds you are inclined to experiment with.......and then let the chips fall where they may.

    Remember this........The fineness of the cut is a result of how sharp the tool is, along with how well it's presented, and is not the result of the grind style of the tool. If you can put that sharp cutting edge where and how it will cut best, your results will be better than anything less than that........

    ko :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2016
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  7. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    Thanks all for the feedback!

    I need to do few cuts and get the feel of the tools then try all the other grinds and I still have the carbide tools for what I cannot do. I had to google most of what you guys mentioned since I'm very new to this and some is still over my head :)

    Based on your feedback, I assume these are good to start with?
    1. Thompson 3/8 Spindle Gouge
    2. Thompson 1/2 U Bowl Gouge (there is a V and a U, I assume I should start with the U)
    3. Scraper, not sure which yet still reading

    I will be getting a grinder with grinding jig, still trying to figure out which one and if I need to bolt it to something. I may get M2 as Odie said to try out after I feel little more comfortable with the gouges.
     
  8. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Fadi, I have a bunch of videos up on You Tube, and most are about bowl turning and the tools used. Type in robo hippy.

    robo hippy
     
  9. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    Hey Rob, I am a subscriber to your channel and I do watch your videos.
     
  10. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    There is nothing wrong with using and preferring a traditional grind.
    However the traditional ground tool has a single bevel angle - could be a good thing for some people.
    It is just wrong to suggest a traditional grind can do what an Ellsworth grind can.

    The versatility of the Ellsworth grind comes from the changing bevel angle. Which gives it capabilities you just don't get in a tradionally ground tool.
    The grind has a nose bevel angle of about 60 degrees,
    Off the tip at the leading edge of the wing bevel angel is 40-45
    The wing has a bevel angle of about 25-30 degrees.

    Most bevel riding cuts are done with the 40-45 bevel angle and if that is the only cut you ever do a traditional ground gouge would do the same when ground with a 40-45 degree bevel.

    1. pull cut: Requies a wing. the 25-30 degree bevel angle on the Ellsworth wing is Very sharp! The pull is the best I have found at leaving a clean surface. It is especially effective in turning the outside of NE bowls and in turning multi center spindles. This cut cannot be done with a traditional grind.

    2. roughing cut the wing can take a great big shaving. I routinely rough a 3/4" wide shaving with a 1/2" bowl gouge(5/8" bar) with an Ellsworth grind. With a tradional grind I am limited to about a 1/4" shaving. So 3 passes instead of 1. The traditional grind just cannot match the Ellsworth in roughing.

    3. Scraping cut. The wing can be used as a scraper to smooth surface. The traditional gouge cannot do it.

    4. Shear scrape. The wing edge can be presented in a shear shape angle and smooth the surface of the wood considerably. Traditional gouge cannot do it. Need a wing.

    5. Shear cut with the flute up using the leading edge of the wing. This is an advanced cut I encourage people get hands on instruction before trying it. The Ellsworth grind works extremely well for this cut to produce a clean surface on the inside of cut rim bowls and is great for cutting the inside rim of natural edge bowls. The traditional gouge cannot make this cut on a convex surface.

    traditional gouge can do the shear cut on a convex surface and can do it better than the Ellsworth if it is ground to a 45 degree bevel angle.

    Bottom feeding- people often use a traditional grind with an 80 degree bevel angle.
    The Ellsworth with the heel ground off making a micro bevel can go to bottom of bowls with a bevel riding cut until the depth gets more than 60% or so of the width.

    I use the above 5 cuts on just about every bowl along with the bevel riding cut.

    Ellsworth or any winged grind is far suspior to the tradional grind on natural edge bowls and larger cut rimmed bowls.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2016
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  11. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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  12. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Just so that you appreciate the difference, a roughing gouge (more correctly called a spindle roughing gouge) should never be used for face-grain turning (bowls and platters) ... it is strictly for spindle turning. It's name comes from its intended purpose of smoothing rough spindle stock prior to doing the final work using skew and/or spindle gouge. A bowl gouge is more versatile because it can be used to do the job of a spindle roughing gouge as well as its named purpose ... turning bowls.

    As far as sharpening is concerned, I would recommend getting the Wolverine fixture for your grinder and also the original Varigrind jig for sharpening gouges. Definitely do NOT get the Varigrind 2.

    I have Sorby, Crown, Henry Taylor, Glaser, and Thompson bowl gouges. They are all very good. The main thing to know about them is that their performance depends on your care in sharpening them and your skill in using them. None of them (as far as I can tell) will make you suddenly become a great turner. That part is left up to you.

    As far as type of grind is concerned, the swept back style has become almost universal because of their great versatility.. I have several different variations of the swept back style and they are about equally useful, but I have some modified for shear cutting and one with a nearly square nose for working the bottoms of deep bowls. For most of the turning that I do, I can pick up any one of them and use with equal effectiveness.
     
  13. odie

    odie

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    Well......the ONLY thing that counts is results. My results with difficult shapes are there to see......

    The results includes a tool finish that requires a minimum of sanding for more complicated surfaces than very basic shapes. Again......after having used the side ground gouge for several decades, the conclusive evidence shows there is absolutely nothing that the Ellsworth grind, or side ground gouge can do, that the traditional, or standard grind can't do just as well. And, it can do it better, if taken into consideration that it's a more simple grind, requiring less time and effort to return to the lathe. Woodturning doesn't have to be as complicated as some people influenced by "herd think" make it out to be. There are plenty of great turnings produced prior to the time the Ellsworth grind was made popular about 30 years ago.......and, there is nothing being produced today that wasn't being produced then. The only real differences have been advancements in embellishments.

    BTW: The standard grind can be made with any bevel a turner wishes it to be, and the bevel on the side is not necessarily the same as the bevel on the nose.

    ko
     
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  14. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I believe this is true in your experience with the work you do.

    However, In actual fact a side ground gouge can make at least 5 cuts that the traditional gouge cannot.

    We can do a simple comparison on roughing. Put a green maple half log on for a 14" diameter 7" high bowl. Shoot a video of you roughing it for drying with a traditional 1/2" bowl gouge 5/8 diameter bar. I will get a video done of me roughing one with an Ellsworth gouge. Turn for drying a 14" diameter x 7" high bowl.

    There are at least two innovations that were not around 30 years ago.
    Suspended spherical forms - 2004 and ball in a ball - 2007.
    Three sided napkin rings might be another.

    You need to visit an instant gallery once in while.

    hollow forms and natural edge bowls are two well known turnings developed in our lifetimes.
    3 sided bowls are another. Lots of square edge inovations.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2016
  15. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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  16. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Fadi,
    There are at least 2 more

    This is the one I was thinking of.
    https://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/p/129/948/Artisan-Superflute-Bowl-Gouge


    • The Artisan® Superflute Bowl Gouge is a superb woodturning tool and is very popular worldwide. Since its introduction in 1978, the Superflute Bowl Gouge has become the most popular bowl turning gouge ever.
    • 6" Flute
    • M2 High-speed steel
    • Premium ash handle
    • Parabolic flute

    They also have this one. It looks like the same tool with a nicer handle.
    https://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/p/129/1287/Henry-Taylor-M2-HSS-Superflute-Bowl-Gouge
     
  17. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Kelly,
    Versatility is about being able to do different cuts.

    If you want to argue that you get a cleaner surface on your shapes with a traditional gouge than you could with the Ellsworth, I believe you.

    It is wrong to say a traditional gouge can do all the cuts the side ground gouge can.
    It can't. That is a very different argument than surface quality on a set of objects.

    Simple is what I go for. I try to have curves without flats and do many pieces with a natural edge.
    Agressive sanding ruins the natural edge. agressive sanding will ruin a curve faster than agressive sanding ruins a flat.

    I find that the surface I get with the Ellsworth on a natural edge bowl is far superior to the surface I get with a traditional grind. Maybe you do better on natural edge bowls with a traditional grind than I do with an Ellsworth. Maybe you can post a video some time.

    Oh when I turn spheres I sand them pretty aggressively with hand held paper.
    Turning spheres is so much easier with a side ground bowl gouge than it would be with a traditional bowl gouge.

    Al
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2016
  18. odie

    odie

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    Al.....I never did say the ability to perform certain cuts were equally possible with side ground gouge vs standard grind. You are misinterpreting what I said, Al. What I am saying is the standard ground gouge is capable of as good, or better surface quality straight from the tool......not that they both can be presented in the same way. You are welcome to disagree with that, because we both have opinions that are represented by the results we are getting.

    It's not about how the tool itself can be presented, it's all about the quality of the cut itself. No matter what shape the grind takes on a gouge, the resulting cut will be from a sharp edge presented well. It doesn't matter what shape the gouge grind is, if the resulting cut is made equally well.....and, with precision.

    ko
     
  19. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    You could shop around on CraigsList and Ebay and see if you can find a local deal on some quality tools.
    For the price of two new tools I just purchased a complete set of Sorby tools along with some carbides and several
    hollowing tools. With multiple tools I can sharpen them at the same time and always have a 2nd sharp tool available
    when working on a project.
     
  20. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    It is about the edge and how it can be presented to the wood and about how the tool is controlled to move it over the surface being cut.

    In the case of the outside of a natural edge the pull cut with and Ellsworth is similar to using a skew with the point down the 30-25 sharp bevel angle and the near straight wing make a slicing cut. The cut is made from foot to rim and the bevel contact controls the cut on the interrupted cut. The slice almost always cuts the bark cleanly. With the the handle down resting against the thigh for support and the gouge tip out of the wood it cannot catch. A very controlled cut that can work a curve through the interupted cut to the rim.

    Most people who turn natural edge bowls with a traditional ground bowl gouge turn the outside from the rim toward the foot accepting a poorer cut on the wood's surface for a clean cut on the the bark and rim.

    The one of the cool elements of the side ground gouges is that I has both curved cutting edges and near straight cutting edge of the wing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2016

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