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Will a Thompson 5/8 handle hold a D-way 5/8 gouge

Breck Whitworth

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Hi guys,
I have a question that some of you I am sure can answer for me. I love the D-way unhandled 5/8 gouges diameter .631 shaft but my favorite handle is the Thompson 20" handle. will the 5/8 nose take one of these larger diameter shaft unhandled gouges? a standard 5/8 diameter stock is I believe .625 If the Thompson handle with the 5/8 nose will accept the d-way gouge wonderful but if it won't I need to know before ordering.
 
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No. I talked to Jimmy at Dway and Doug Thompson today. The Dway tools are a few thousandths over all the way down. Doug Thompson tools are turned down at the handle end. One example is a Thompson 1/2” bowl gouge is .515 and at the handle end turned down to .495 to fit the handle. The Dway 1/2” gouge will measure .512 all the way down. Jimmy told me I would have to sand or grind it down to make it fit.
 

Bill Boehme

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For what it's worth, Breck, I have the Robust ER25 "Make Your Own Handle" kit which includes four collets to fit ¼", ⅜", ½", and ⅝" tool shanks. I checked the fit on three ⅝" bowl gouges from Thompson, Robust, and D-Way. It works on all of them. In half-inch unhandled tools, I only have Thompson, but I'm sure that any of the others would fit.
 
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I just put dial calipers on the opening of my thompson 5/8" handle. It measured .653. My 5/8" thompson gouge is turned down at the end, but still fits in the handle if I insert it backwards. Its probably turned down to allow you to make a homemade handle with a common drill size.
 
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I don't have a 20" Thompson Handle in 5/8 ", but do have several 12" and 16" Thompson handles and they are bored 0.642 - 0.644 inches. I use Thompson, D-Way, Sorby, Carter and Son Tools and all will fit.
 
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I have 3 Thompson handles with the 5/8" nose, all three measure .631 to .633. All my 5/8 Thompson tools measure .625 at the machined down area. I do not own any D-Way 5/8" tools and you can bet that I would never own a ______ & son tool!
 
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I have 3 Thompson handles with the 5/8" nose, all three measure .631 to .633. All my 5/8 Thompson tools measure .625 at the machined down area. I do not own any D-Way 5/8" tools and you can bet that I would never own a ______ & son tool!
Why wouldn't you own a C&sun tool? The curious want to know.
 
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To quote Suitcase Simpson in the Jesse Stone movies "The answer is out there, all you have to do is look for it,". If I buy an M42 steel tool I'll buy it from D-Way, like Thompson Tools, who started their companies the right way.
 
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A friend of mine is a very experienced turner. He told me in his experience the Thompson tools stay sharp longer but he can’t get them as sharp as some other brands.
Their is some truth to that statement. It depends on the sharpening media, grit size, tool type, and a person's method. It also depends on a person's definition of sharp. I have m42 and cpm-10v (thompson) gouges. The m42 (& m2) seem to be a bit sharper off the wet sharpener wheel I use, and the finer I grade the wheel, the more difference there is. With honing on the leather wheel there seems to be more difference. It is most noticeable doing finer finish and detail cuts, but those super sharp edges don't last long and I rarely use them that sharp, it isn't really needed. As for length of time on edge lasts, I notice it most when roughing through large pieces with bark and inclusions. The cpm-10v holds up longer. For most work, I'm resharpening either steel for finish cuts before the edge is totally done anyway, so the cpm-10v advantage is minimal in that respect.

I don't have any scrapers. It would be interesting to test m42 and cpm-10v in scraping, since pm can't be burnished to form a burr. A burnished burr lasts a lot long than one off the grinder, at least with the m2 tools I have. Be interesting to test an m42 burnished hook vs a cpm-10v burr off the grinder. I use them to smooth and finish, not rough out like Robo.
 
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Yes the Dway tools will fit in the Thompson handles. I just got my order in the mail. The Dway 3/8” gouge fits the 3/8” Thompson handle perfect. The 3/4” negative rake scraper also fits the 1/2” handle.
 
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A friend of mine is a very experienced turner. He told me in his experience the Thompson tools stay sharp longer but he can’t get them as sharp as some other brands.
Rusty there was an article in the last two years in American Woodturner on powdered metals sharpening. It stated that the PM grain structure does not sharpen as well on stone wheels but CBN will break those grains and get it sharper. I do not know if that is the reason but my Thompson seem sharper since I started using CBN.
 
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Rusty there was an article in the last two years in American Woodturner on powdered metals sharpening. It stated that the PM grain structure does not sharpen as well on stone wheels but CBN will break those grains and get it sharper. I do not know if that is the reason but my Thompson seem sharper since I started using CBN.
My friend sharpens everything on CBN wheels. He has them on all of his grinders. He said he can get a Sorby gouge sharper than a Thompson on the same wheel. Enough that there is a noticeable difference while cutting.
 
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As far as I can tell, there is no difference between sharpness and/or edge holding abilities between the Thompson and D Way tools. This makes no difference between gouges and scrapers. Both will have a good burr off the wheel, and a better one if you burnish. I can even burnish a burr on the tantung, which is the cutting material on the Big Ugly tools. I did have one once, and not sure what happened to it, but I used some stellite on it, and that is the cutter material on the Woodcut coring blades. It also takes a nice burnished burr. I have heard that you can't burnish a burr on carbide. Since I don't have any of the flat carbide cutters in my shop, I can't say that I have attempted it, yet..... Both the tantung and the stellite can be honed to a very fine edge as well, and I am not talking about the diamond hones, I am talking about honing/polishing paste on leather. Some day, maybe, I might try to make a skew out of the tantung....

robo hippy
 
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Rusty said:
My friend sharpens everything on CBN wheels. He has them on all of his grinders. He said he can get a Sorby gouge sharper than a Thompson on the same wheel. Enough that there is a noticeable difference while cutting.
I can believe this statement. Doug Thompson is the only gouge maker that doesn’t polish the flutes of his gouges. How sharp would your pocket knife be if you only sharpened one edge?
I sharpen my Thompson gouges to 600 CBN and hand hone the flutes with a 600 grit Alan Lacer teardrop hone. The flutes are still a long way from being polished but they are getting better all the time.
 
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How long will that pocket knife stay sharp cutting a mile or two of wood? I sharpen all my turning tools with a 180 grit CBN wheel. I've used M2 steel. M2 with a coating and M42 (polished flutes they must have had because it is stated that Thompson tools are the only ones not polished in the flute). Well I'll state this - compared to all these other tools and steel there is nothing to compare to the Thompson tools when it comes to staying sharper longer and I have never seen that these polished flute leave a better finish in any cuts I have taken. There is so much more involved in getting a perfect surface than having a polished flute. You take a Nick Agar or Jimmy Clewes and they can use a sharpened tin can and they will get a better finished than 90% of folks using a polished flute. If a polished flute is your bag that is fine but a polished flute will in no way make you a better woodturner in itself.
 
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I sharpen my Thompson gouges to 600 CBN and hand hone the flutes with a 600 grit Alan Lacer teardrop hone. The flutes are still a long way from being polished but they are getting better all the time.

I travelled that road. My wet sharpener leather wheel goes way above 600 gr. I polished flutes and bevels to hi razor sharp levels. While there is some benefit when doing fine detail work (and my skew always gets honed on the wheel), the time and effort are wasted during the other 98% of the cutting. Using the burr off the wheel lasts longer and does just fine for the 98%.
 
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If the polishing process leaves a slight radius on the inside of the cutting edge you probably won't be happy with the performance. I have received a new spindle gouge that had a slight radius at the tip and it was very difficult to start a cut until I sharpened it back about 1/16 inch to remove the radiused edge.
I have tried Cratex Rubberized Abrasives and a die grinder for polishing the flute of a bowl gouge and it will radius the inside of the cutting edge so the radius needs to be removed. I have also tried the Alan Lacer teardrop hone and cannot say that I can tell any improvement in performance.
 
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If I was going to polish the flutes of my gouges, I would have to have several MDF wheels that were on a slow speed grinder, like the Tormek and clones, and a number of different honing compounds. Other than the skew chisel, I don't think we need carving chisel sharpness on our bowl gouges.

robo hippy
 

Breck Whitworth

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My friend sharpens everything on CBN wheels. He has them on all of his grinders. He said he can get a Sorby gouge sharper than a Thompson on the same wheel. Enough that there is a noticeable difference while cutting.
I own and have tried just about all the different gouges there are and I have admit I still love my 1/2 Sorby because it cuts better than most other gouges. It may be I learned on one. I do sharpen it each bowl but for the life of me it seems to slice through a bowl blank smoother and quicker than many of the others. I do use my Thompson gouges my d-way gouges also with no problems but if I have a choice I seem to go for the m2 Sorby gouge.
 
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How long will that pocket knife stay sharp cutting a mile or two of wood? I sharpen all my turning tools with a 180 grit CBN wheel. I've used M2 steel. M2 with a coating and M42 (polished flutes they must have had because it is stated that Thompson tools are the only ones not polished in the flute). Well I'll state this - compared to all these other tools and steel there is nothing to compare to the Thompson tools when it comes to staying sharper longer and I have never seen that these polished flute leave a better finish in any cuts I have taken. There is so much more involved in getting a perfect surface than having a polished flute. You take a Nick Agar or Jimmy Clewes and they can use a sharpened tin can and they will get a better finished than 90% of folks using a polished flute. If a polished flute is your bag that is fine but a polished flute will in no way make you a better woodturner in itself.
Hey Bill ease up! I’m not criticizing Thompson tools, I own a lot of them, I agree with you ( nothing I’ve used stays sharp longer than DT tools. All I said was that tools with a polished flute (from the tool maker) can be sharpened to a keener edge than a tool with an un polished flute no matter the steel or sharpening media.
 
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Tim not criticizing just trying to point out that there is so much more than single things that leads to better turning capabilities. I saw that you have and use Thompsons. Following the higher grit CBN sharpening that a few espoused early on that yes it got them sharper but that led to quicker dulling - more sharpening. Just so many things that wrap around woodturning. Tim did you drive that truck in your picture. I worked for GE and worked on the motorized wheels for the deep pit mining for 33 years. Terex Titan, Komatsu to name a few if memory serves me.
 
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This sounds like the old debate about a finer edge lasts longer because there are more teeth so they will go blunt more slowly and a coarser edge lasts longer because there are fewer teeth and they will go blunt more slowly. Been around a long time. It has always seemed to me that the finer the edge is, the quicker it goes dull when used for heavy roughing. Not sure which lasts longer when doing fine finish cuts. On some pieces, the coarser edge cuts more cleanly, and on some, the finer edge cuts more cleanly. Of course, on some pieces, you just have to go to the 80 grit gouge, or coarser....

robo hippy
 
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@Bill Blasic, I was teaching a rope rescue class in Beula, Montanana and the operator instructor was in the class! I mentioned that I would like drive a haul truck so he got the truck and I got to drive it to and from the different projects we were training on for three glorious days.
 
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