View Full Version : P&N TOOLS

15th Aug 2004, 08:54 AM
My local 2nd hand shop has a #2-7piece boxed set of P&N turning tools
all tools have had very little use
25mm Roughing gouge,8-10MM Bowl,8-10mm Spindle,1 Skew and 1
Parting tool
Would this be a good buy for $190


15th Aug 2004, 10:50 AM
Personally I am a Hamlet man and have never used P&N. I am not sure what the exact shape of their gouges are. The other tools you list are not hitec, so as long as it is good quality HSS they should do. If the shape is close to the TJ-6 boxed turning tools that are being sold, grab a box of 6 of those, only $84-00 from CTec in Perth for the month of August.

15th Aug 2004, 11:41 AM
I suggest you hurry back for the P & N tools!
They are very good quality and Australian made products.
I have purchased many brands (all HSS) & P & N is the preffered tool I reach for. Also sounds like a good mix of what you'll need to turn with.
Eg: a 25mm roughing gouge if sharpened nicely will be a very efficient tool.
Good luck.
Regards Sandman. :)

15th Aug 2004, 06:18 PM
I used to demonstrate turning tools for P&N, buy them they will beat the crep out of those cheap hss things.......

Don Nethercott
15th Aug 2004, 09:13 PM
To buy new these would cost about $375 (refer Carrolls Woodcraft Supplies www.cws.au.com)
As already mentioned they are Australian made.
All my tools except 1 are P&N and they are great to use.

Always worth bargaining with most second hand dealers. While $199 is a good price offer him $150 and see if he will bargain. You never know your luck.

Another suggestion - If you are not sure of the value of goods, do a Google search (in Australia) and try and find out their new value.

Best of luck

15th Aug 2004, 10:16 PM
I agree with the others. Good product & cheap. Grab them quick at that price before someone beats you to it.


16th Aug 2004, 01:11 PM
I use mostly P&N and have been very happy. Be aware that the flute of their bowl gouge is a bit more "U" shaped than some of the fashionable flute shapes available (eg Glaser; Supaflute". This gives a tendency for the 'wings' to develop a concave profile with some grind styles. This has to be compensated for when grinding, but having recognised the tendency, I do not find it difficult to compensate.

In particular, P&N are long tools, with long flutes, compared with the overseas makers. As such they last a long time, making them good value.


16th Aug 2004, 05:55 PM
Just take a close look at the flutes of the roughing, bowl and spindle gouge. They are not usually finished all that well but you can improve that with a slipstone and some elbow grease; some however have been known to have defects that can't be honed out.

I think the steel is as good as Taylor and maybe better than Sorby.

17th Aug 2004, 12:00 PM

I have in general been happy with the physical finish of P&N. What I will concede is that aesthetically they leave a bit to be desired. Their dark "natural" finish compares poorly with the shiny, polished Sorby/Hamlet etc, and the tendency to stain your hands black especially when turning tannin rich timbers like oak, willow etc is a nuisance.

When it comes down to it though, do you want to look at your tools, or turn with them?


17th Aug 2004, 01:50 PM
I agree Alastair.

I have four P&N bowl gouges and use them a lot. And it's good to support local manufacture. But if I had a limited budget I'd go for a 3/8 Taylor superflute for bowls everytime, because of the better flute shape and the effective dual radius allowing both heavy and fine cuts with the one tool.

My advice to Darrel to check the flutes was mainly about defects; my sometime turning teacher shelled out for a P&N roughing gouge to find a groove in the flute that couldn't be honed out. Just something to look out for when buying a second-hand set.

BTW You can do some of your own polishing of the shanks with a wheel and coarse honing compound.

17th Aug 2004, 09:00 PM
RSSER have you tried the P&N 16mm Supa Gouge, I find it very good am about to start on my second one.

Don Nethercott
17th Aug 2004, 10:34 PM
Anywhere on the web I can get more info about the P&N 16mm Supa Gouge, particularly graphics that might show its shape.

Unfortunalely my "local" woodturning shop is 300km away so I can't drop in for a look.
There is a picture on Carrolls site but it doesn't show up very well.

I gather you use the supa gouge for turning the inside of bowls?

I have a normal P&N bowl gouge and for the life on me I cannot use it.

I do all my bowls with the spindle gouge and half round?? scraper. Maybe something like the supa gouge will be easier to use.

I know I need to find someone to show me how to use a bowl gouge but there is no club in this area and no one I know who could show me. (Any experts out there in the Grafton area???)


18th Aug 2004, 07:33 AM
Barry - sure have. Use it as my bowl 'roughing gouge' ;-} Sure moves some timber when turning green doesn't it.

Don: when you 'get it' finally you'll wonder how you missed it! Raffan has a book called Turning Bowls that you should be able to buy mail-order; he also has a general book on turning that's almost as good. Good $60 investments. There are also videos around. I learned bowl turning from Darlow's intro book but I like Raffan better.

If you can do one with a spindle gounge you already have the skills. Only thing I can suggest is that you approach the bowl with the flute side towards the centre, the lower flute edge parallel to the face of the bowl with the handled dropped so the bevel is actually closer to the wood, and as was discussed earlier, move the bevel onto the wood til it rubs and then raise the handle slowly while pulling it back a bit til the flute edge starts to bite.

Easier to demo than to describe!

18th Aug 2004, 12:11 PM

RSSER states it as well as can be done without demonstrating.

I also turned all my bowls with a spindle gouge for several years, cutting down the side on the bevel, and transferring to a shear scrape across the bottom, using the tip of the tool. I also found my early attempts with a bowl gouge uncomfortable and of limited success. I made my first bowl gouge from spring steel rod from a car suspension, cutting the flute with a steel cutting disc in an angle grinder. Crude as it was, as I grasped the technique, what was significant was the rate at which one could remove wood roughing out, while still retaining control.
Roughing out a green Jacaranda blank10" in diameter, should take only 4-5 minutes, and leave you with a profile that would only need truing up after the blank has dried.

Incidentally, that home made gouge has been replaced by a P&N, but it was claimed by a mate of mine who is learning, and is now rehandled, and back in productive use.


18th Aug 2004, 08:21 PM
Don, yes I use the Supa Gouge for turning the inside of the bowls, no I don't know of where you would get more info on it. Basicly the flute is rounder, more a u than a v. Don't know who could help you up there, Pat Johnson has gone OS, maybe contact the fellows at the wood shop at Ulmarra, don't know the name of the shop but they should be able to put you in touch with any local turners.

18th Aug 2004, 08:25 PM
RSSER, yes they sure can remove a lot of timber in a hurry, I usually use it for finishing cuts too. I also use the 16mm spindle gouge for rough turning the outside of bowls. Great tools.

Don Nethercott
18th Aug 2004, 08:51 PM
Thanks folks for all the advice.

Wouldn't you know it, I was in the Ulmarra Woodshop at lunchtime today - didn't thing of asking about local woodturners. Will drop in and ask next time I go through there.

Meanwhile I will try and "translate" the instructions you have given. I have some of Raffans books - I'll have another look at them.


E. maculata
18th Aug 2004, 09:07 PM
Hello Don, Grafton has a very healthy woodworking community, including a vibrant club, and if memory serves me, their annual show is coming up soon at the Grafton showgrounds. Worth trying the local contact number. :D

2nd Sep 2004, 09:46 AM
Is it possible for someone to post closeup photos of the profiles they use on their tools? It would be interesting to see the variation in grinds and what the tools are actually used for.

2nd Sep 2004, 01:00 PM
Is it possible for someone to post closeup photos of the profiles they use on their tools? It would be interesting to see the variation in grinds and what the tools are actually used for.

Various grinds here

Tool Profiles (http://www.woodcentral.com/newforum/grinds.shtml)

2nd Sep 2004, 06:41 PM
Thanks sprog, just the ticket.
I can experiment with a few of those.

3rd Sep 2004, 02:43 AM
I bought the usual set with my lathe in a package - my first purchase was an unhandled P&N 6mm bowl gouge. The outer cylinder was not concentric with the inner ellipse. On contacting the supplier, I was sent a replacement - no questions asked.
I can tell you that once you become accustomed to the use of such a gouge that you will have ribbons of material coming off that will make you swoon. Green or dry, a good bowl gouge in it's place is a tool no-one should be afraid of using.
I'm up at Tweed so if you want a demo, I'd be more than pleased to meet you. PM me any time - I'm at home other than kids school delivery/pickup times.


3rd Sep 2004, 11:58 AM
Adrian and Sprog

A word of caution.

The profiles shown are fairly radical (ie ground back further on the side). As such, they will cut aggressively, and it may be better to start with a less extreme version, and work up. That way you can feel your way along. In addition, while you can go from a straight grind to a side grind easily, without losing tool length (just grind the sides back further) the reverse is not true, and you will lose a lot of steel in the process.

The extreme grinds tend to be those used by the most experienced bowl turners. I am using a side grind, but it is similar to the most conservative of those shown. (ie top profile Joel Hunnicutt), and I have used it now for 2 years, without the inclination to go further. It was an order of magnitude improvement on the straight grind. I might look at the next level soon.

Further, maintaining the side grinds with reproducible bevel angles is also more difficult that most realise. As such, and also to maintain a good fingernail grind on your detail gouge, I would suggest buying or making a grinding jig alng the lines of the well known Unijig. Many threads here on that subject.

Once I get my digital camera, I will happily post pictures of my homebuilt jig, and the grinds produced on it.


3rd Sep 2004, 12:31 PM
I posted a link to profiles, I do not necessarily recommend or denounce them.
Do with them as you wish!

Little Festo
3rd Sep 2004, 03:03 PM
Darryl, did you buy those tools??


3rd Sep 2004, 03:14 PM
I know I need to find someone to show me how to use a bowl gouge but there is no club in this area and no one I know who could show me. (Any experts out there in the Grafton area???)


I use P&N 6 & 8mm bowl gouges with great satisfaction. I get shavings that will clog the DC - almost like wire wool. :D

Any time you are up this way let me know and I'll give you a demo and try out so you can get a feel for it. All these descriptions are difficult to understand at best - the feel of it coming off burns on the mind. They will also give you a cut that really only needs a little scraping once you get the hang of it. A rotary sander is usually my next tool - not the powered type though.
My underlying thought when using one is let the bevel guide you where you want to go - though that is probably true for all tools on the lathe. :rolleyes:

7th Sep 2004, 10:16 PM
A word of caution.

The profiles shown are fairly radical (ie ground back further on the side). As such, they will cut aggressively, and it may be better to start with a less extreme version, and work up.


Bear in mind too the long fine flute edges such grinds produce - they don't last too long on hard woods or woods with high silica content.

I now only use fingernail grinds on my spindle gouges.

7th Sep 2004, 11:04 PM
Hi Peter

Yes I did buy the tools but I could not beat him down on the price as they had just been put on the shelf
Sorry about the late reply have been away for a week


Terry Porter
22nd Sep 2004, 01:40 AM
Hi. Can anyone give me a web, or e-mail, or real address for P & N as I can't find them just browsing

Many Thanks


22nd Sep 2004, 09:00 AM


Not sure they supply direct. Do a Google on Garry Pye woodturning or Carrolls Woodcraft eg. PM me if you have no luck.

Terry Porter
22nd Sep 2004, 06:34 PM
Thanks Ern, thats very helpful