First set of gouges, recommendation?

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

  1. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    It's about time to put this train back on the tracks. One thing that we know with absolute certainty is that in woodturning there aren't any absolutes ... except maybe for the fact that woodturners are sometimes obsessively passionate about this activity.
     
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  2. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    @Mike Johnson 's suggestion of shopping resales is worth doing.
    Local clubs often have used tools offered for sale from turner's estates or members moving.

    Other than a broken handle nothing much can go wrong with a used turning tool other than having had some useful life sharpened away.

    It is along shot finding a specific tool. But itmcan be a good source for adding a few additional tool you want or duplicates of tools you use a lot. For example you might find a gouge you can regained into a bottom feeder.
     
  3. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    Ok y'all the question is not about advanced technique it is about the decision of what 2 tools to start with. Lets drop the "best technique" lectures and answer the question that was asked.

    By the way Fadi it is my understanding that the U flute has a steep learning curve so look at the V. I am sure that someone will correct that if I am wrong as I have the V only.
     
  4. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Addressing the original question, wanting to spend the money for (2) new tools which ones should he purchase.
    Over time you will use all of the tools available in a typical wood turning tool set.
    I would rather have a full set of used tools then (2) new tools limiting what I can work on.
    Every tool has it's purpose and use, with experience you can use any sharp edge to cut wood.
    Each tool design makes it easier for the wood turner to make specific cuts.
    It really comes down to the type of wood projects you want to turn.
    The project will determine the best tools to use for turning that item.
    I could live without a roughing gouge but it sure would waste a lot of time not having one.
     
  5. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    U vs. V flutes.... For the more open flutes like the Thompson U or a more standard half round flute shape, they work better with a 45/45 bevel/sweep type nose profile, and not so well with a swept back nose profile. Since I tend to hold my tools more level and flutes rolled over to 90 degrees when turning, this is my preferred tool. There are V flutes which are very pointed in the bottom like the old Glaser gouges, and some, like Doug's are more open. I always had more problems with the pointed V tools clogging up, and the more open ones working better. Doug's V works fine as a swept back type gouge, and the parabolic flutes also work that way.

    Now, traditional gouge grinds. As near as I can tell, this refers to one that is ground more square across the nose, like a spindle roughing gouge.??? If there is some sweep around the side, it is made by rolling the tool on the platform, not by sweeping the handle as you sharpen. Don't think I have ever used it though.

    Cleanest cuts come from a higher shear angle. Push or pull makes no difference. The pull cut is made with the handle very low so you can get a 60, 70, or even 80 degree shear angle. The wing on a swept back grind does provide a bigger sweet spot for cutting. With a ) shape nose profile, I can hold the tool level or the handle dropped slightly, FLUTES ROLLED ALL THE WAY OVER/90 DEGREES, and get the same high shear angles. The Thompson fluteless gouge does this very well, and so does the continental style SRG, and so does the traditional SRG, or the more traditional grind. I can do that on both the inside and outside of bowls and other forms.

    As for speed, well, no matter how fast you are with a gouge, for roughing out bowls, scrapers are faster. Only real reason is not because of style or horse power or how much of a brute you can be, it is because you never come off the wood when roughing. You push, then pull, then push, sweeping back and forth, not starting at the top, push/pull to the bottom, take the tool out of the wood and go back to the top.

    The flute up, cut with the wing cut used by some with the swept back gouge, I will not use or teach. More than anything else, that is due to the high risk of a nasty catch as you are learning and even after you have done it for a while. Other cuts work just as well, with no risk of catching.

    As for using the SRG on bowls, I will have a thread up in the next week or so about that. After Harvey Rogers article in the AAW's e-mail magazine link and article about why the SRG does not work, I have to respond.... Must ponder a bit, but some 'facts' are not accurate at all...

    robo hippy
     
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  6. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Reed. @robo hippy
    The flute up cut with the Ellsworth gouge is for advanced turners at the intermediate and above level, Who should learn it hands on. I am in a turning club of about 80 people there are 5 turners proficient with the flute up cut. People who don't know what they are doing can get big catches. It is wise to warn the untrained not to attempt this cut.
    Once you learn the cut it is like riding a bicycle and you won't get a catch. It is a bevel riding cut and with the bevel riding the cut is supported. Liam O'neil taught me the shear cut in 1995. I know of no other cut that works as well on cutting the inside rim of a natural edge bowl. It is also critical to have properly sharpened gouge. Ellsworth grind does this cut well the glazer grind is okay but it is a little grabby.

    Remember bowl gouge catches are not as severe as those with a scraper or SRG because the amount of wood that can drive onto the tool is limited by the diameter of the flute. Scrapers are reasonably safe once people understand the basic rules of below center on the outside and above center on the inside which eliminates bevel contact. Your catch video a while back showed this clearly but almost too quick for the eye, once the bevel of scraper touched the center post the wood drove onto the tool and bang and no more bowl. the center post needed to be cut below center and the inside of the bowl above center.

    The SRG and even a skew can be used by experts on a bowl. However the risks associated with a misuse is a catastrophic catch. With an 1 1/4 SRG you have an 1 1/4 wide chuck of wood driving into the tool. There is no plausible reason to risk using an SRG on bowl when a bowl gouge will do the job more efficiently and safer.

    Suggesting that using an SRG on bowls is ok or that it can be done safely will get an inexperienced person seriously injured.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
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  7. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    I would compare tool usage to a professional golfer that can use a putter to put a golf ball on the green.
    It takes 100's if not 1000's of hours of turning time to truly master all of the tools available.
    Most wood turners do not have the time to master all of the tools that are available, most will learn the basics
    and master a hand full of tools that they use as their "go to tools".
    Put an edge on a screw driver and a master wood turner will present the burr at the correct angle to make the cut.
    Each wood turner will use the tools as they progress with experience and mastering the proper use of each tool.
    The day you stop learning new methods and techniques is usually the day they plant you in the ground.
     
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  8. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    just to clarify, I am not looking to turn using one or two tools. I am still using Carbide tools (what I learned on), but I want to start making the switch over to gouges by learning a new tool.

    My thinking is that I should get one or two gouges/scrapers/etc. and start incorporating them and learning how to use and grind and then make the switch. If the learning curve is not that drastic, I will definitely get more gouges when needed. I was not aware that the grinds on the gouges were that big of a difference, so I'm going to pick one and learn it then move on.
     
  9. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Do you have a grinding jig for sharpening gouges? Setting the angles and touching up the cutting edge on a gouge is
    a whole lot easier to do with sharpening jigs designed for gouges.
     
  10. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    Not yet, I will have to buy an 8" grinder and sharpening jig, will go with vari-grind jig as some suggested. BTW, do I need to bolt a grinder down or can I store it and take it out when I need it? I only turn on weekends in the driveway
     
  11. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    The difference between shapes of various grinds isn't all that drastic especially once you become proficient. The Ellsworth/Irish grind is very popular because of its versatility, is relatively easy to learn to use with good results, and with a jig you can get a nice repeatable bevel which uses a minimum of metal during sharpening. It is likely that you will eventually evolve the shape of the grind that you use to what you like. I have more gouges than I care to admit and have several different grinds that enable me to perform a cut whee another shape won't quite do the job. Two examples are:
    1. being able to maintain bevel contact all the way down to the bottom of a deep bowl, and
    2. being able to make a sharp corner where the angle may be less than 90°.
    For me, woodturning isn't a race against time. I retired so that I wouldn't have to put up with that sort of stuff ... not swap one rat race for another. For that reason, I don't give a "rat" about how fast I can rough something out. I turn for pleasure and to relax. For me, turning is about the journey as much as it is about the destination. If I am turning a nice piece of wet wood and getting long streamers, I want to savor the experience and even call the wife to see the show. She has even been know to take pictures when I'm making long shavings and put them on Facebook. :D Oops, I'm waxing elephants again ... getting back to the subject ...

    Most gouges don't really have a U or V shape ... it's more like an elliptical or parabolic flute. And, you can put whatever shape bevel you want onto a bowl gouge. There is no rule that says that you must stick with what the gouge came with. There are several popular bevel shapes. They are popular because they work and are easy to reproduce with a jig.

    Occasionally, someone will say that they think that they ought to get a cheap set of tools from Harbor Freight or eBay to learn sharpening and to experiment with different grinds. First, I don't think that learning to sharpen is such a big deal unless you try to reinvent the wheel. John Lucas and Robo Hippy (Reed Gray) both have great YouTube videos. AAW has a great video or two and I'm sure that there are many others. If you are close to a club then getting some one on one instruction will be the best way to quickly get up to speed. Also, there is no need to grind away steel to find a shape that you like. That is just a good way to blame the tool for problems that are really a lack of proficiency. Eventually you will have more than one bowl gouge and you can have a different grind on each one to see if you have a favorite. You might wind up like me and have several favorites. And, I'm not really a tool junkie. A junkie can't stop buying tools ... they simply can't control the urge. On the other hand, I can stop buying tools any time that I please. It's just that I just want one more and then I'll stop ... seriously ... maybe. :D
     
  12. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Show me one wood turner that has been turning for a decade or two that does not have a wall full of turning tools. :cool:
     
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  13. odie

    odie

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    A grinder does need a solid mount. With a little imagination, you could rig up a portable mount. For example, you could mount the grinder to a board, and then C-clamp it to your bench, when in use. There are many ways of accomplishing the same sort of temporary set-up. Remember, that if you get the Vari grind jig for your gouges, you'll need to permanently mount the Wolverine at the right height just below the grinder wheels. The board used as a temporary mount can also serve this purpose.

    I have the Wolverine with vari grind jig, and I feel this is a quality grinding jig from Oneway......

    ko

    Shop September 2014 (18).JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2016
  14. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    Fadi,
    If you are going to buy a Thompson bowl gouge, most people would recommend the V shape over the U shape, as being more versatile and effective for contemporary grinds and usage. Be aware that Thompson tools are sold unhandled. You can make your own wood handles easily enough (and have fun doing it!) or buy metal handles.
     
  15. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    Amen!!
     
  16. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    True, but sharpening is much, much easier if done without the handle, so even with a wood handle, I'd want it to be easily removable. Not only is sharpening easier, but generally it seems you can get more out of the tool before it's too awkward to sharpen (with a holder).
     
  17. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Yes, the grinder should be clamped down. Even though it takes a feather light touch to sharpen, as compared to grinding, it helps to have it anchored some way. I even screw down my 90 pound Baldor grinders...

    Al, the inherent risk in using ANY tool is totally presentation, and not the tool. I will address this, most likely with a video as words just won't do it.

    robo hippy
     
  18. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Reed @robo hippy ,

    Your a smart guy but You are ignoring the potential risk. Which is many times greater turning bowls with an SRG than it is with a bowl gouge.

    Yes proper presentation of any tool is safe. Proper presentation of a sharp axe head will turn wood very nicely. I'm quite sure you could turn wood with an axe head.
    I am also quite sure that a beginner turning with a sharp axe head is going to get major catches and is very likely to get hurt.

    The potential risk with a 1/2" bowl gouge is that at most a 1/2 chunck of wood can drive onto the tool. Most often this results damage to the wood surface as the wood breaks free. Sometimes the catch will pull the wood off the lathe.

    Potential risk with a 1 1/4 roughing gouge is that the a 1 1/4 chunk of wood can drive onto the tool. When a catch this big happens the wood does not break free and something much worse happens: the piece comes off the lathe, the tool breaks, or the tool rest breaks. SRG's are mostly weak tools so they bend and break when abused.

    You want to prove it is safe to use an SRG on bowls?

    1. Video the biggest catch you can make with the SRG. Hold the SRG flute up perpendicular to a spinning bowl and jamb it into the sidewall.

    2. Video the biggest catch you can make with a 1/2" bowl gouge the same way.

    That will demonstrate how safe they are for the novice turner.

    DON'T SAY "YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO THAT"
    THAT IS EXACTLY THE POINT!
    NOVICE WOODTURNERS OFTEN DO THE WRONG THING.

    There is no reason to encourage new turners to hurt themselves needlessly.

    Al
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2016
  19. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Beginners often have tools hanging way over the toolrest thus giving away any benefit of mechanical advantage. Compound that with the fact that beginners often turn way too fast because of the limitations of their lathe or lack of appreciation of the danger. Cheap tools like Harbor Freight and Benjamin's Best and other no name tools are the tools of choice of beginners. Even if the tool or handle doesn't break, the speed at which a tool handle kicks up can't be controlled no matter how tough a guy the person might be. At the speeds that these things happen, human muscle has all the rigidity of a bowl of Jello ... sans bowl.
     
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  20. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    With a 1 1/4 inch SRG on the inside of a bowl, at most you can get half of that width into the wood at one time. Same with the outside of a bowl. Even with a dead flat board, it is impossible to engage the entire cutting surface of the SRG. With a 1/2 inch gouge, with a swept back grind, you can get well over 1/2 inch of metal into the wood with your 'cutting with the wing' cut.

    I am not ignoring the possible risks of the SRG on a bowl any more than you are with your cut with the wing on the inside which you say should be learned with an instructor and not on your own.

    The problem with the SRG on bowls is that people tend to approach it with handle low, and bevel extended up. No one who turns much would ever approach a bowl with a scraper that way, any more than they would with a bowl gouge, no matter what grind is on the nose. You can do a bevel rubbing cut with the SRG on a bowl with the handle down and bevel up. This is what Robbo does in his video on why you shouldn't use a SRG on bowls. He finally gets his catch after 'hours' of trying by extending out way too far and then raising the handle. You go instantly from a bevel rubbing cut to a scraper edge pointing up into the spinning wood, which is instant slam.

    There are 2 ways to cut spindles with a SRG. One is a 'sharpening the pencil' type cut, and the other is a peeling cut. When instructing, we always talk about cutting the wood the same way you do when you sharpen a pencil with your pocket knife, cut with the grain. This, to me, is the proper and safe way to rough the corners off a square spindle blank. Flutes rolled over, rub the bevel, cut with a high shear angle. There is no possibility of a catch. Once the spindle is rounded out, you can get the same spiral dig in that you get with the skew if you come off the bevel. The peeling cut is the one that gets people into trouble with the SRG on bowls. Start with rubbing the heel of the bevel, and slowly raise the handle till it starts to cut. This is efficient for removing a lot of stock in a hurry on a rounded blank. If you come off the bevel, it does turn more into a scraping cut, but because the tool rest is very close to the wood, and the spindle diameter is much smaller than just about any bowl, it generally doesn't cause any problems. With bowls, this is not the case, obviously.

    In Stuart Batty's 7 Fundamentals video clip he states that Craft Supplies gets over 100 SRGs returned that are broken. He states that it is because the end grain causes the dig ins. Absolutely not! It has nothing at all to do with the wood grain. You can get the same dig in with any turning tool out there. It is presentation, and the fact that this is not taught properly. The SRG should be demonstrated as a 2 different type of cuts tool, instead of primarily the peeling cut.

    Yes, we can never idiot proof any tool because we all know that as soon as you do, some one invents a better idiot....

    robo hippy
     

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