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Woodturner101
11th Nov 2013, 08:56 PM
I have a set of HSS tools lent to me by my Grandad which is fine for turning spindle work but I am buying a new lathe in the next couple of days that has a scroll chuck and I would like to try and turn some bowls but I don't have a bowl gouge and my roughing gouge isn't adequete for roughing out big pieces of timber, so what is the best bowl gouge and roughing gouge suitable for turning 400mm diameter pieces that doesn't cost an arm and a leg?

Cheers
Bailey

RETIRED
11th Nov 2013, 09:10 PM
My choice for starters would be a 3/8 (1/2" shaft) Robert Sorby with a mild sweep back grind.

Do not use a spindle roughing gouge on bowls. Why you don't use a Spindle Roughing Gouge on bowls. (http://www.woodworkforums.com/vbtube_show.php?tubeid=68&sti=Why-you-dont-use-a-Spindle-Roughing-Gouge-on-bowls)

Woodturner101
11th Nov 2013, 09:19 PM
Don't worry I have seen the video before, when I first got my small lathe I tried to use one to hollow a bowl out but after that experience I didn't try again, but I do need a decent sized spindle roughing gouge for spindle work and roughing the outside of blanks also where is the best place to purchase the bowl gouge you mentioned?

powderpost
11th Nov 2013, 09:49 PM
My choice for starters would be a 3/8 (1/2" shaft) Robert Sorby with a mild sweep back grind.

Do not use a spindle roughing gouge on bowls. Why you don't use a Spindle Roughing Gouge on bowls. (http://www.woodworkforums.com/vbtube_show.php?tubeid=68&sti=Why-you-dont-use-a-Spindle-Roughing-Gouge-on-bowls)

Plus a 30mm wide and thick round nose scraper.
Jim

Hermit
11th Nov 2013, 10:29 PM
..... but I do need a decent sized spindle roughing gouge for spindle work and roughing the outside of blanks

As I understood 's video, you shouldn't even use a spindle roughing gouge for roughing the outside of bowl blanks. Only for items with grain parallel to the bed.

I'm a beginner, though, so perhaps or someone else could confirm this.

I'm in the same position and am waiting until I get a decent bowl gouge later this week before trying any 'faceplate' turning. That video was enough for me. :D

Pat
12th Nov 2013, 04:43 AM
Spindle Roughing Gouges are, for me, only used on spindles, ie between centres with grain parallel to the bed. As the name implies, it is to rough the blank from square (or roughly square) section to cylindrical. With practice, you can obtain a good finish, which makes the piece easier to work with.

Personally I prefer P&N tools :;

brendan stemp
12th Nov 2013, 08:16 AM
The Woodfast turning tools represent great value for money. I have trialled them and while there are better tools out there, which may hold an edge for a little bit longer, I think their tools are very accepatable. They have a good range and are well worth considering. Especially for roughing gouges when comparing prices. See link below.

Woodfast Machinery Co. (Aust.) Pty. Ltd. - (http://www.woodfast.com.au/index.php?p=1_18)

Paul39
12th Nov 2013, 11:07 AM
Woodturner 101,

As advised above a 1/2 inch diameter (some call it a 3/8 inch) bowl gouge and a heavy scraper is all you need. Long and strong in both cases.

The bowl gouge can be used as a roughing gouge for spindles.

You will also need a grinder and jigs for grinding the bowl gouge. I prefer a slow speed, 1725 rpm here - 1400 rpm in AU, grinder, and 8 inch wheel. There is much discussion on this forum about sharpening. Do some research before you rush out and buy the "ultimate solution".

I use: Wolverine Grinding Jig (http://www.oneway.ca/sharpening/grind_jig.htm) and: Wolverine Vari-Grind Attachment (http://www.oneway.ca/sharpening/vari-grind.htm)
because they came with the used lathe I bought. There are others.

There is also much discussion about brand of tool. A decent high speed steel bowl gouge, well sharpened, good technique, and 100 hours of practice will make nice bowls.

I have Crown, Thompson, generic Sheffield, and Chinese high speed steel bowl gouges. The ability to stay sharp is about the same with all of them. The Chinese took more time to hone the inside smooth than the others. I do a little tuning on all my tools, bought or home made.

I have a set of 8 Chinese turning tools I bought used for $20. The handles are small, the tools are rather short and the steel admits to "China", I assume carbon steel. I use the skew when I am working close to the chuck or drive center and often will do the whole spindle. As I sharpen frequently by giving it a few swipes on sandpaper on the bed of the lathe, it cuts as well as my Henry Taylor, which is also frequently sharpened the same way.

Take any advice about the "only way" to do something with a grain of salt. There are many paths to the same place.

Look up Robo Hippy's utube videos on making bowls with scrapers.

You would save time and frustration if you were to get some instruction on turning and sharpening. Each hour of instruction will save you about 10 hours of trial and error.

If you join a men's shed you will be exposed to different lathes, tools, and techniques. Adopt what works for you.

Welcome to the addiction.

Skew ChiDAMN!!
12th Nov 2013, 11:33 AM
My choice for starters would be a 3/8 (1/2" shaft) Robert Sorby with a mild sweep back grind.

Ayup. A 1/2" bowl gouge is a great starter. (For what it's worth, the 3/8" measurement is the width of the flute and comes about 'cos some mfrs sort their wares by flute size, others by OD. Just to make life "simple" for us. :rolleyes:)

But, , I'm sorta stumped as to why you suggest Robert Sorby? I'm definitely not a fan of 'newer' RS tools. (The old RS carbon steel, now that's a different matter! :wink:)

Unhandled P&N's are cheaper - well... the last time I looked, anyway - and IMHO better steel. Admittedly the quality control seems to be a bit slipshod and the flute surfaces often need a good dressing before their first use. But that's a one-off process and the reslt often gives the equivalent of a tool worth twice as much.

(I'm thinking "cheap first gouge" here. What's a li'l elbow-grease when $$$ are tight, right? :-)

Maybe suggested Sorby because of the flute profile/cross-section? It seems that every Mfr. has their own ideas of how deep/wide/profiled the curve of the flute may be in relation to the bar stock and this can make a HUGE difference in both usage & ease of sharpening. Esp. for a first-timer.

Paul39
12th Nov 2013, 12:01 PM
Skew,

I had some Christmas "crazy money" some years ago and went to buy my first bowl gouge. I went to a place that had Crown & Robert Sorby. I went with the Crown because it was less expensive and looked about equal.

Still are: Crown 3/8" Bowl Gouge 241 | Klingspor's Woodworking Shop (http://www.woodworkingshop.com/product/cn00241/)

*Sorby Bowl Gouge 3/8" (842LH) | Klingspor's Woodworking Shop (http://www.woodworkingshop.com/product/s84245/)

RETIRED
12th Nov 2013, 01:09 PM
Ayup. A 1/2" bowl gouge is a great starter. (For what it's worth, the 3/8" measurement is the width of the flute and comes about 'cos some mfrs sort their wares by flute size, others by OD. Just to make life "simple" for us. :rolleyes:)

But, , I'm sorta stumped as to why you suggest Robert Sorby? I'm definitely not a fan of 'newer' RS tools. (The old RS carbon steel, now that's a different matter! :wink:)

Unhandled P&N's are cheaper - well... the last time I looked, anyway - and IMHO better steel. Admittedly the quality control seems to be a bit slipshod and the flute surfaces often need a good dressing before their first use. But that's a one-off process and the reslt often gives the equivalent of a tool worth twice as much.

(I'm thinking "cheap first gouge" here. What's a li'l elbow-grease when $$$ are tight, right? :-)

Maybe suggested Sorby because of the flute profile/cross-section? It seems that every Mfr. has their own ideas of how deep/wide/profiled the curve of the flute may be in relation to the bar stock and this can make a HUGE difference in both usage & ease of sharpening. Esp. for a first-timer.My first choice is Henry Taylor but they are expensive and hard to find out here.

Yes Skew, you are right, it is the flute shape. The parabolic shape is easier to sharpen, clears shavings well and can be used on spindles. The P&N 3/8 (1/2") is a pig to sharpen easily and in my opinion too narrow in the flute but in certain circumstance is very useful because of its strength when overhanging the rest.

Woodturner 101 asked for a good all round, general purpose bowl gouge and IMO the Sorby fits the bill, there are cheap Chinese variations but I don't bother with them generally.

A good scraper as others have suggested is also a must.

Woodturner 101, I am coming to Sydney in the next couple of weeks. If you want some help, I would only be too happy to come around.

Woodturner101
12th Nov 2013, 08:57 PM
Thanks for the help and others, I will probably go with a Robert Sorby Bowl gouge or P & N and once my Bank account recovers from my recent wood turning purchases I will get a decent size scraper, Also do I actually need a sharpening jig? because I have just been sharpening my gouges,scrapers and skews freehand on the grinder.

Paul39
13th Nov 2013, 10:43 AM
Thanks for the help and others, I will probably go with a Robert Sorby Bowl gouge or P & N and once my Bank account recovers from my recent wood turning purchases I will get a decent size scraper, Also do I actually need a sharpening jig? because I have just been sharpening my gouges,scrapers and skews freehand on the grinder.

My first turning tools were a bench chisel and screwdriver sharpened on a belt sander.

I sharpen the home made Bedan type tools and scrapers using the platform, and rest the skew on the edge of the platform.

I like the repeatability of using the varigrind jig and I can get the bowl gouge sharp with just a bit of metal taken off.

I have a 5/8 bowl gouge with a long fat handle that is about 3 feet long and awkward to swing using the varigrind. I do that free hand using the edge of the platform. I do not get as nice a swept back profile with that.

You might try sharpening free hand and see how you do. There are plans and instructions on making grinding jigs. Do a search on the internet.

I highly recommend for instruction. He has many years of experience as a professional turner. Many on this forum have praised his teaching ability.

In the photo below the tool at the top is my favorite scraper. It is a 2 X 12 X 3/8 inch thick high speed steel planer blade. I got four for $15 at an auction. The others are screwdrivers ground for making a recess or spigot to grab with a chuck, the home made Bedan type tools, and a scraper made from a lawn mower blade. It is used for roughing bowls made from dirty roots and stumps with imbedded dirt, stones, nails, and wire.

Skew ChiDAMN!!
13th Nov 2013, 11:17 AM
Scrapers, skews and the like are the simplest to sharpen and - unless you're making an unusual profile - are generally easily sharpened freehand.

Gouges, both spindle & bowl, take a bit more practice & control, but are also easily done freehand when the profile is more or less "straight across."

Where a good sharpening jig becomes an advantage is when the profile becomes more complicated: such as the swept-back wings on bowl gouges. This is where most people run into difficulties... but with a properly set up jig, these grinds are a breeze to make, are replicable and waste a minimum of tool steel.


As you may realise, I sharpen all my tools freehand except for these complex grinds; for those I use the Teknatool "Fingernail" jig. (http://www.carbatec.com.au/teknatool-fingernail-jig_c22176) (Actually, I use their old orig. jig, sold before they "specialised it" to become part of their sharpening station suite. :rolleyes:)

The few gouges I use on it have the correct settings (for the jig) punched into the handle, so when they go to the grinder it's just a few seconds to reset the jig appropriately for that tool and make a quick pass or two. :2tsup:


Do you need a sharpening jig? No. Should one be on your wish list? IMHO, yes. Once you move into the fancier grinds, most definitely! :D

NeilS
16th Nov 2013, 10:24 AM
Also do I actually need a sharpening jig?


For bowl gouges:

If you are a Richard Raffan, I'd say definitely no.

If you are Brendan Stemp, who turns on most days, likewise, no.

If you are Robo Hippy, who has told us he mostly uses scrapers anyway, no.

But, if you are like most of us, I would suggest you do so, at least to begin with.

DO get a very experienced bowl turner to configure the jig for your gouge.

Jig settings are specific to the flute profile to create the desired grind.

I like Doug Thompson's maxim (http://www.woodworkforums.com/f8/sharpening-thompson-gouges-129773/#post1261060) on matched flute:grind profiles.

Sharpen your gouge with a jig for your first 1,000 bowls.

After that, you will know if freehand is for you.


If the cost of a jig is an issue, you can make your own.

This (http://www.aroundthewoods.com/sharpening04.html) simple bowl gouge sharpening jig would do the job for me.

And, if you are into metal work, this one (http://www.harderwoods.com/gougejigdoc.html) is a bit more like the commercial ones.

Beedeejay
17th Nov 2013, 12:25 AM
Woodturner 101, I am coming to Sydney in the next couple of weeks. If you want some help, I would only be too happy to come around.


After spending the day with back in May at the GC woodturners. I strongly recommend taking up this offer. It isn't something that you will get the chance for very often but it is something that you take so much from,
It would definitely be worth your while
Cheers Ben

Woodturner101
17th Nov 2013, 12:34 PM
Thanks for the offer , I will probably go to the forum get together on the 24th with one of my mates who is also interested in wood turning although I have a party I am going to the night before so if I'm not to exhausted I will go.

Woodturner101
18th Dec 2013, 12:00 PM
Just a quick question, what are peoples thoughts on the GPW deluxe sharpening jig? I have tried to go without a sharpening jig for a while now but I can't seem to get a good edge on my bowl gouge and GPW is the closest place that sells a jig.

RETIRED
18th Dec 2013, 12:18 PM
Excellent. It look like a copy(?) of the oneway system which I use.

Woodturner101
18th Dec 2013, 12:25 PM
great I will see if I can get it today. It doesn't appear to have a arm for doing bowl gouges with an ellsworth grind though, so where would I buy one of those?

Hermit
18th Dec 2013, 12:38 PM
great I will see if I can get it today. It doesn't appear to have a arm for doing bowl gouges with an ellsworth grind though, so where would I buy one of those?

Possibly here: CWS Store - Woodcut Tru Grind Tool Holder Only | Carroll's Woodcraft Supplies (http://cws.au.com/shop/item/tru-grind-tool-holder-only)

Hermit
18th Dec 2013, 12:54 PM
I just read through the pdf instructions for the GPW deluxe jig, (pic attached), and it appears to already include an arm for fingernail grinds, the 'side-grind' attachment:

297732

Paul39
18th Dec 2013, 12:58 PM
Just a quick question, what are peoples thoughts on the GPW deluxe sharpening jig? I have tried to go without a sharpening jig for a while now but I can't seem to get a good edge on my bowl gouge and GPW is the closest place that sells a jig.

If you have all these bits: https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQOIOLpB5X1_qzn5ze4m-IU0JLZ1znr2dcCSghXp_jsFIX4WIk1

You can do an Ellsworth grind by adjusting the jig and the extension of the tool in front of the jig.

You might want to do a milder grind - swept back or Irish grind, and get some practice before you go to the Ellsworth.

The Ellsworth can be quite aggressive and if you are not used to how fast and deep it cuts on the inside of a bowl, it can get exciting. As in the bowl going off to the farther parts of the shed, hopefully missing your head on the way.

At the least you can get a very deep spiral trench.

The fingernail grind here: http://www.d-waytools.com/images/tools-gouges/bowl-gouge-lg.jpg

is as much as I'm comfortable with. I have one about half way between the fingernail and the bottom feeder for the inside bottoms of bowls.

In exchange for tuning a lathe, I was given a used Thompson 5/8 inch (actual size of tool) bowl gouge with an Ellsworth grind. I had been doing bowls about 3 years so I had a go with it. It was too much, too fast for me. With successive sharpenings I eased it back to the fingernail grind. I've been doing bowls about 6 years now and am more comfortable with the fingernail grind and a blunter one for the inside bottom.