1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. ATTENTION FORUM MEMBERS!

    Guest, if you have not yet updated your forum bookmark to a secure log in connection, please delete your unsecure book and add the following secure bookmark: https://www.aawforum.org/community/index.php

    You can dismiss this notice by clicking the X in the upper right of the notice box.

    Dismiss Notice

Bowl gouge. Size? Grind?

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Charlie Harley, Oct 6, 2006.

  1. Charlie Harley

    Charlie Harley

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Messages:
    116
    Location (City & State):
    Cincinnati, OH
    What gouge do most folks use for working bowls? How big are your typical bowls?

    How big is it? And please define your sizes as either distance across the flute or diameter of the bar stock.

    What grind do you use? How do you get that grind? Pictures would be helpful here.

    All help is gladly accepted.
     
  2. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    6,430
    Location (City & State):
    Lakeland, Florida
    Home Page:
    The bowls most folks like to buy are 12" - 14" in diameter.

    The Bowl gouge used by most professional bowl maker is 1/2" (flute) 5/8" bar with swept back wings similar to the ellsworth grind. Ellsworth jig makes it easy. The wolverine yeilds something close.

    This tool and spindle gouge is all you need to turn functional bowls.

    If you have a smaller lathe a 3/8" (flute) 1/2 bar is a better choice.
    since it is less likely to bog down the motor and is easier to control and actually produces a better surface.

    I use the 1/2" gouge for most of the bowl turning. I also use a 1/4 inch bowl gouge with a traditional grind for finish cuts.

    Happy Turining,
    Al
     
  3. S. Clark

    S. Clark

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    201
    Location (City & State):
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Home Page:
    For smaller bowls up to maybe 7†or 8†diameter I use a 5/8†gouge. For larger bowls up to 14†or 15†I use a ½â€Â. I just purchased (and haven’t yet used) a monster 1†gouge too. I rough turned a 24†diameter bowl and found that it would be a benefit to hog more wood out faster, hence the big brother. The measurements I’ve provided are the bar stock. There is a variation in flute shape from brand to brand. I’m not sure that it really matters once you get the feel of whatever you choose. I like the Sorby’s because their handle design feels good in my hand.

    I hand grind using a flat tool rest set to around 40 degrees. For the sides of deep narrow forms, 30 degrees is even better. I sweep the wings well back. I prefer the hand grind because I can produce a constant bevel angle around the entire tool profile. Use of a grinding jig creates a different angle at the side of the tool verses the tip of the tool. But again it is whatever you develop a feel for using. When you are practiced with one and you pick up the other, it feels odd. I also knock off the heel at the front bevel, effectively shortening the working bevel, with a secondary grind. This allows the gouge to make tighter turns around the interior bottom profile (a trick I got from Stuart Batty). Once you learn to hand grind, it saves you so much time and you’ll find that you will sharpen more frequently as you work.
     
  4. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Messages:
    7,267
    Location (City & State):
    Cookeville TN USA
    Most of my bowls are from 8" to 14" with the vast majority of those in the 12 and under range. I like a 1/2" shaft (3/8 flute) size gouge. I have bigger and smaller but this is by far the ones I reach for the most.
    I have 4 different grinds. All but one are knockoffs of the Ellsworth grind with either longer wings or steeper nose bevel. I've been using the Stewart Batty grind a lot lately. Mostly just to learn it's good and bad points.
     
  5. Griesbach

    Griesbach

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    390
    Location (City & State):
    Oshkosh, WI
    My bowls are from 3 to 16 inches in dia. with most being from 6 to 12 inches.

    I have a number of gouges from the 5/8" PM with the Ellsworth grind, a 1/4" PM with a steep bevel and swept wings, and a number of Sorby's ( two 3/8" and two 1/2") with forms of the fingernail, Irish, Celtic...(pick your term) grinds. I like them all and use them all as the application requires.
     
  6. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,540
    There's the answer. Bigger work will allow, but not demand use of larger gouges. I find that smaller stuff involves steeper entry angles, so the wings of the smaller gouges are ground back proportionately less than the larger, and the noses a bit steeper. I've got a 1" that fears no overhang, and three more down to 1/4 flute width, all ground differently.

    Not sure if others do it, but the right side of mine are ground about 20% longer than the left, because I use the left side for hogging center out, which involves a shallower angle than hogging rim in.

    The turner who determines how you grind your gouge should be you. Once you've got your stance and clearances set, modify the grind so it works at a comfortable elbow angle. No sense trying to chase angles that work well on lathe X on your Y just because you saw turner Z using them. Grind the way that works you the least. I cut on a Delta toolrest for years, which, as you know, is slanted at a particular angle rather than round. I had my gouges adapted so they would lay on the rest and present the edge at proper finnese angle.
     
  7. PapaDoc

    PapaDoc

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Messages:
    124
    Location (City & State):
    Atlanta, Georgia
    I think the answer is whatever works best for you. I use a 1/2 in. a good bit but recently a more experienced turner convinced me that a 3/8 gave better control. There are so many different sizes....I once got this "Texas" tool thinking bigger is better. Works fine but most times more than I need. Also different flute shapes. The fun is to play with lots and sees what you likes.
     
  8. Martin Braun

    Martin Braun

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Messages:
    170
    Location (City & State):
    Phoenix, AZ
    >>from 2" up to 12"
    >>I use a 1/2" flute bowl gouge for roughing, a 3/8" flute for final cuts on the outside & inside walls. I use a 1/2" flute bowl gouge with "factory grind" for the bottom inside.
    >>I don't have any pics, but the 1/2" bowl gouge for roughing is "Irish grind" style with swept back wings about 1" long, and a 40' bevel in the front. My definition of bevel angle is from the flute to the bevel (other's use from 90' to the flute to the bevel). Takes a lot of wood off very quickly with little effort. I just chuck up the bowl blank between centers, and come in from the tailstock side with the flute facing towards the headstock and the bevel pointing where I want to go. The thing one shouldn't do is present the cutting edge so you're digging into the grain (flute faceup and attacking the wood perpendicular to the lathe as if you're roughing spindle work).
    Note that Mouse is not advocating that type of approach for bowl work - he presents the cutting edge of the continental style gouges in a similar manner as I present the cutting edge of the bowl gouge, though the angle of the tool to the axis of the lathe is obviously different, and the tool rest is in a different orientation as well. There's been discussions a plenty on this in this and a couple other forums, and I will leave it at that.

    The 3/8" has swept back wings, don't know how long, but 40' bevel again. The 1/2" flute with factory grind has a bevel much steeper - maybe 60'? I use the Wolverine extra large platform to set the bevel angle, but the rest of the movement is all by hand to get the wings, etc. needed.

    Lastly, these are all methods that I have observed in classes & demos, and I have selected those I have found work well for me. I'm not an original :D
     
  9. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Messages:
    203
    Location (City & State):
    Derby, Kansas, USA
    Bowls and Gouges

    I turn bowls from 4 - 18 inches mostly in the 6 - 12 inch range.

    The size of the bowl isn't really as important as the part of the bowl or maybe the curve at the point you are cutting.

    I have a 3/8 Crown a 3/8 Master cut. I picked up at SWAT a 1/2 inch Henry Taylor Kryo and and 1/2 inch Irish Grind. I have a deep flute 3/8 crown that seems more like a 1/4 inch.

    The first two have a standard grind about 40 - 45 degrees. The other end of the mastercut has the same grind with more blunt angle 50 - 60 degrees. They work best on the inside right at the curve from the wall to the bottom. The last crown also has this grind. The Kryo has the standard grind. Close to what the factory ground it to.

    I use the master cut standard to rough out my blank to round and rough the outside bottom. The mastercut with the handle is too heavy for a lot of places, but works wonderfully for damping the air / cut bump stuff. The Kryo seems to do well on the rough shaping and hogging out. So does the Irish. I use the first 3/8 crown (HSS) as a finish cut.

    The deep flute 3/8 that is more like a quarter inch is a jack of all trades. It does well on leveling and cutting in the recess or spigot for the chuck. It will clean up some tearout here and there.

    As has been said - develop your own setup - custom for you, your lathe and your handling.

    BTW: So far I like the handle on the Crown HSS better than the HT or the Crown Pro PM lines.

    John :)
     
  10. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,540
    Sort of like the cylinder versus flute size info, the grind angle has a couple of common measures. I am assuming this is the included angle?

    Then there are those who make their flute more a V versus U, which throws the imitative grind info off as well.

    Then the question - is the cryo a carbon steel or alloy steel tool? I'm not clear on how a process used to alter the crystalline form of carbon steel would necessarily translate to alloy stuff, which already has a different one.
     
  11. Richard Baker

    Richard Baker RIP

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Messages:
    882
    Location (City & State):
    Wimberley, Texas
  12. woodwish

    woodwish

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Messages:
    370
    Location (City & State):
    Lynn Haven, FL
    Richard,

    Thanks for that link. I was turning some walnut yesterday and somehow knocked a pretty good chunk out the edge of my favorite bowl gouge. I finished with another smaller one instead of tackling a major regrind last night. After looking at the photos I think I have been grinding my bowl gouge too much like a spindle gouge, the angle is way too much. I intend to print out some of these and keep handy as I regrind. I also use the Tru-Grind system so I need to readjust my settings on there, which is different from using the Wolverine system. Still thinking about a Tormek or the newer Jet model that looks very similar, they are a little cheaper right now.
     
  13. Richard Baker

    Richard Baker RIP

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Messages:
    882
    Location (City & State):
    Wimberley, Texas
    Woodwish,
    You're welcome. Some good pictures so we can see how the big boys do it. Sounds like your gouge might have been awfully pointy or sharply ground. From what I read, the included angle for most bowl gouges is in the range of 45 to maybe 65 degrees, with lots of different strokes for different folks, different woods, different projects, etc. Apparently spindle gouges tend to have smaller (sharper) included angles. I'm still learning and adjusting my home made jig, practicing and learning on an inexpensive set of gouges. Touching up my one Sorby exactly as it was ground at the factory, for now.
     
  14. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,540
    Of course, I'm not doctrinaire about gouge names ;) , but the longer bevel fosters a better peel, which is why gouges and other tools used along the grain make better cuts that way. For cutting across the grain it's more poke that counts, which demands a bit sturdier edge, since it's referenced mostly perpendicular to the cut rather than at a skewed angle.

    Then there's the paradoxical beading tool. Mine is about a 2:1 bevel (length/thickness) or more, making it a great planing tool, great at beading in close quarters without bruising the grain, yet cuts across end grain like butter. Demands a handy stone to touch up a fragile edge, but worth it.

    It is grabby, but it can prevent bruises like the one blending the redwood vase into the neck above.
     
  15. dkulze

    dkulze

    Joined:
    May 29, 2004
    Messages:
    995
    Location (City & State):
    billerica, ma
    I use a 3/8, a 1/2, and a modified Irish/ellsworth grind just like everyone else. My suggestion would be to grab someone who knows how to put a rollover grind on a bowl gouge (that's what all those variously named grinds are) and get them to help you set up your grinding rig. At that point, stick with what you get for a good while. You'll develop techinques that match the grind and will, eventually, get a sense of what you might want to have different (this will take a few weeks to a few years but be patient, you'll know when it happens).

    The most important part of all of this is to get a nice, consistant grind going so that you can learn how to work with it and progress with your skills till it's time to change. Past that, the details of which one to start out with are pretty much personal (does it give you major problems?), practical (is it easy to reproduce with your sharpening rig), and, I'd guess, academic(ain't no one grind that's "the best").

    Have fun,
    dietrich
     

Share This Page