Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Fadi Zeidan, Oct 10, 2017.
This is for my education, other than the flute shape, when do you use one vs the other?
The main difference between the detail gouge and spindle gouge Is that the flute is ground into the the top of the bar for the detail gouge while the top 1/3 of the bar is ground off the spindle gouge then the flute is ground.
For the same manufacturer the flute shapes are about the same and usually rather shallow.
Often the gouges are used interchangeably. Detail gouge has a lot more metal under the flute so it is a lot stiffer which makes it better for heavy cutting and for workin further over the tool rest.
Spindle gouge takes a 30 degree bevel better. A 30 degree bevel on a detail gouge gets reall long.
That 30 degree example made it click in my head. Thanks Al
A few years ago I did a demo called gouges 101. In the demo I showed different gouges, how I sharpen them, and how I use them for a variety of cuts.
The slide show the difference in the tool profiles. most of it is copied from various sources.
In any event you can see the detail gouge has 2/3 of the bar under the flute while the spindle gouge has 1/3 of the flute under the flute.
I wasn’t sure what difference the flute made between the two, when you mentioned the 30 degree example, it clicked as to how pointy it can get from the same grind angle. That explained why I see folks reach for the detail gouge when working on finials for example.
What Al said. I have a ¼" spindle gouge with a bevel angle of 30° and a ⅜" spindle gouge with a bevel angle of about 35°. The ¼" spindle gouge is most useful for thin finials. The ⅜" spindle gouge is stiffer and used for handles, bottle stoppers, and other medium sized spindles. I have a ½" detail gouge with a bevel angle of 45°. I haven't used it much yet , but it is much sturdier than the other two gouges and would be useful for pommel cuts on table legs as well as details on face grain turnings.
So much depends on the bevel angle and the tool diameter and what kind of profile you grind on the tool that it is hard to make generalizations. And FWIW, the detail gouge is really just a sturdy spindle gouge. However, I would choose a spindle gouge for a finial rather than a detail gouge.
Al mentioned my one beef with the Detail gouge. I use my3/8" thompson detail constantly. It's my go to gouge. I also have the 1/2"Thompson and it's wonderful for hanging off the tool rest like I need to do with offcenter work and inside out turning. I also have a 1/2" thompson spindle gouge. For general spindle turning I love that tool. You can reach into tight places because it does have a fairly short bevel. The detail gouge has a long bevel which can sometimes get in the way. So they each have their place.
All good info above, here is a pic that shows the long bevel...(ignore the bowl gouge)
For drilling straight into end grain, a technique some use in box making, a spindle gouge is used because the flute is ground to the center of the bar, as opposed to a detail gouge which might only be ground 1/3, leaving the center of the bar to get in the way.
I use my 1/2" detail gouge to "drill" into boxes all the time. Never had a problem. In fact I like it because the tool is so thick it doesn't chatter at all when doing the rest of the hollowing of the box.
I'll have to give the detail gouge another try. The spindle gouge worked easier for me so I came to a maybe erroneous conclusion. I have made a few "D" drills where 1/2 the diameter of round bar stock is removed and then the end is sharpened like a scraper, looking straight at the end you see a "D" (easy to make, and good for long bores) If more then 1/2 dia. is removed, a wood "pin" is formed in the center of the hole, stopping the drill, if less then 1/2 dia. is removed the drill does not remove the center of the hole, stopping the drill. In my earlier pic, the center "1/2inch Doug Thompson spindle gouge" is my go to driller. It's probably the weird grind on the 3/8th spindle gouge that makes it no good for a drill...
I have a 3/8 spindle gouge and I was planning on getting few more items such as negative rake scraper and a skew. Which got me thinking about detail gouge and where would it fit.
The trick with drilling on the lathe with gouges is to start the point dead center. I can drill with my bowl gouges. The spindle gouge and especially my detail gouge drill easier because they have a more acute edge. My detail gouge also has a smaller rounded point that makes it push in easier.