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View Full Version : If I could only have one gouge



NeilS
3rd Jul 2019, 04:36 PM
As most of you probably know, I have and regularly use bowl gouges made by most of the major brands, with just a few exceptions. With some brands, and in particular with the late comers, their offerings just replicate what is already on offer in terms of steel and flute profile, so I have not bothered with trying those unless recommended by someone whose judgement I trust.

After using most makes of BG, and in most cases constantly for many years, it is my opinion there isn't much difference between them all. You can't go too far wrong if you go with any of the big name makers.

There are of course minor differences between them. Some are better at doing some things than others and as a result our tool racks eventually become crowded.

Occasionally I look at them all and think, if I could only have one of those gouges which one would I select?

Which way would I go? Without doubt, D-way, and probably with a 5/8" BG.

Dave makes his tools from M-42 cobalt high speed steel (heat treated to 66-68 HRC, which is way up there) and they come finished to the highest level of any tool that I have used. No additional polishing is need on the flutes! They give the best finishing cut of any tool in my tool rack and I like their versatile parabolic flute profile. IMO, they have only one very minor (and then only slight) downside; the M-42 doesn't hold its cutting edge just quite as long as V10 and that only shows up with the hardest and most abrasive woods we have here in Australia. I, like most of us, don't turn enough of that hard stuff to warrant a decision on that criteria alone. Overall it comfortably wins out as the one I would select if I could only have one bowl gouge.

I bought mine back in 2012 when the A$ was on parity with the US$, but we have to find half as much again at the current exchange rate, so not a cheap option and the shipping and import tax still have to go on top of that, but that is the case with all of the turning tools that are mostly imported now.

Anyone else have a D-way that they would like to express an opinion on?


As always...

artful bodger
3rd Jul 2019, 07:22 PM
Hi Neil.
Any chance of a few pictures of this gouge?. More the merrier, including a close up of the flute.
I have actually never heard of that brand.
The P&N ones are my go to ones however they are no longer available. I did stock up on them when I heard they were being discontinued though.
Thanks in advance.
Also I find that my bowl gouges, especially on larger bowls, just cannot match my big square sectioned scrapers that are made from old industrial files from my days in the foundry. Both for speed of removal of timber and for finish of cut.

NeilS
3rd Jul 2019, 09:06 PM
Any chance of a few pictures of this gouge?. More the merrier, including a close up of the flute.
I have actually never heard of that brand.

Here we are..


457374 457375


And below in comparison from left to right; Thompson, Ellsworth (made by Crown, I think), D-way and Henry Taylor.



457376

And, from top to bottom; Henry Taylor, D-way Thompson, Ellsworth (made by Crown, I think) and Thompson.



457377

That Henry Taylor® Kryo™ Superflute Bowl Gouge is also a very nice gouge, but is also super expensive.... : -(

I also prefer the flute profile on the D-way.

The Thompsons are great workhorses and their V10 or V15 steel holds a cutting edge for longer, but does not remain as sharp as D-way.

The Ellsworth is my first parabolic fluted bowl gouge, which produced the bevel grind I prefer and therefore an old favourite, but it gets edged out by the D-way on steel quality.


I find that my bowl gouges, especially on larger bowls, just cannot match my big square sectioned scrapers that are made from old industrial files from my days in the foundry. Both for speed of removal of timber and for finish of cut.

If I'm needing to quickly remove a lot of wood from a larger bowl I do that with a 3/4" or 1" bowl gouge. Having not trained as a pattern maker I doubt that I would do any better with a scraper... : ~}

NeilS
4th Jul 2019, 11:48 AM
The P&N ones are my go to ones however they are no longer available. I did stock up on them when I heard they were being discontinued though.


P&Ns were excellent value and they did M2 HSS as well as any. They did only go up to a max of 65HRC, so not as high and durable as the newer HSS hybrids, but none the less very good workhorses for the $s.

Their gouge flutes came with deep milling marks that were detrimental to forming and keeping a good edge, but with some effort the milling marks could be ground out and then properly polished so that they then performed well.

I bought a set of them when they first came out over 30 years ago and I still have most of them. However, I never did like the flute profile on their bowl gouges and moved those on when the 'Superflute' profiles started to become available here, but otherwise I still have most of my other P&Ns. I particularly like their big 32mm roughing gouge, which has a very sturdy milled tang that is never going to bend like some roughing gouges are more prone to do.

Skew ChiDAMN!!
4th Jul 2019, 12:08 PM
I've never had the opportunity to put a D-way thru it's paces enough to make up my mind about them. I don't believe a mere one or two sessions with a good tool is sufficient to form an opinion. (Bad tools, on t'other hand... it generally only takes me a few minutes to develop a dislike! :rolleyes: )

Personally I like the ol' P&Ns for hogging out and basic shaping, and my Thompsons for finishing cuts. If I had to choose between the two I'd go with a Thompson, 3/8 or 1/2" parabolic.

Now, if you'd like to donate a D-way to the cause, I could be persuaded to change my opinion... ;)

NeilS
4th Jul 2019, 01:54 PM
Now, if you'd like to donate a D-way to the cause, I could be persuaded to change my opinion... ;)



Slight problem there, Skew... I sleep with it under my pillow...:-

I'm thinking of putting an order in for some additional tools from D-way. The shipping to Australia is the killer with just one or two tools, but combining shipping can bring the cost down a bit if shared. If I go ahead I might be able to add a few extra tools to my package if anyone is interested.

A second and more qualified opinion: In a conversation I had with the woodturner who is in my opinion the best of my generation I was told that they consider Dave's tools the best since Jerry Glaser was making his tools. I won't mention that well known turner's name as the leading turners give their names to signature versions of particular brands as a source of income and it is not in their interest, or are they at liberty, to publicly endorse other brands. So, there is some advantage in being lesser turners; we can choose to use whatever tools we like the most...:)

hughie
4th Jul 2019, 03:38 PM
Slight problem there, Skew... I sleep with it under my pillow...:-

I'm thinking of putting an order in for some additional tools from D-way. The shipping to Australia is the killer with just one or two tools, but combining shipping can bring the cost down a bit if shared. If I go ahead I might be able to add a few extra tools to my package if anyone is interested.

A second and more qualified opinion: In a conversation I had with the woodturner who is in my opinion the best of my generation I was told that they consider Dave's tools the best since Jerry Glaser was making his tools. I won't mention that well known turner's name as the leading turners give their names to signature versions of particular brands as a source of income and it is not in their interest, or are they at liberty, to publicly endorse other brands. So, there is some advantage in being lesser turners; we can choose to use whatever tools we like the most...:)

I would be interested in being part of a bulk buy, so keep me in mind. Thanks

NeilS
4th Jul 2019, 06:23 PM
I would be interested in being part of a bulk buy, so keep me in mind. Thanks

Righty-o, Hughie.

However, I wasn't thinking along the lines of the Thompson bulk buy that Ern and I coordinated back in 2009 & 2010. That was understandably a bigger deal as we didn't have much beyond M2 tools available to us here back then. It was a similar situation with the diamond wheel group buy, in which case there were no reasonably priced options for CBN/Diamond wheels available here. That has changed.

What I'm offering to do is just to top up a parcel that I'm thinking of going ahead with with a few extra tools and you, Hughie, have first option on that. If anyone else wants to put up their hand please PM me. The cutoff will be when I have reached the parcel weight limit.

I don't want to turn this into a forum group buy. But, if anyone else would like to organise that, your welcome!

artful bodger
4th Jul 2019, 07:01 PM
[QUOTE=NeilS;2147278]P&Ns were excellent value and they did M2 HSS as well as any. They did only go up to a max of 65HRC, so not as high and durable as the newer HSS hybrids, but none the less very good workhorses for the $s.

Their gouge flutes came with deep milling marks that were detrimental to forming and keeping a good edge, but with some effort the milling marks could be ground out and then properly polished so that they then performed well.

I bought a set of them when they first came out over 30 years ago and I still have most of them. However, I never did like the flute profile on their bowl gouges and moved those on when the 'Superflute' profiles started to become available here, but otherwise I still have most of my other P&Ns. I particularly like their big 32mm roughing gouge, which has a very sturdy milled tang that is never going to bend like some roughing gouges are more prone to do.[END QUOTE]




I agree that the flute profile on the P&N's is a bit of a shocker and those ones you have do look much better. I generally don't bother honing the edges on my bowl gouges though, just grind em when they go dull, so it is not so much of an issue for me. Perhaps if I had better ones I would..haha.
It is interesting to see how you grind your gouges. I am not overly familiar with how other turners grind their gouges however of the turners gouges I have seen it seems there is a lot of variation in this regard.
If I absolutely had to choose just one gouge to keep it would be this one. There is no brand marking on it but I suspect it may be a P&N roughing gouge. I bought it from "Mosman Woodturning supplies" in Sydney in about 1980. The blade is an inch and a half wide and I'd imagine it has lost a few inches in length since purchase. This one I do hone and it is a brilliant item. Very sturdy, holds a great edge, almost better than a skew for turning cylinders and is good for veritable logs.
457449

For interests sake here is a picture of a few of my bowl scrapers made from old heavy duty industrial files.
Top one is 9/16ths of an inch square section
Middle one is 3/4 of an inch square section, and the bottom one is still waiting on the sidelines for when the second one wears out.
These are great to use on a powerful lathe, they are long and strong and can overhang the toolrest by a surprisingly long way when turning really deep bowls.
457450

NeilS
4th Jul 2019, 09:27 PM
I generally don't bother honing the edges on my bowl gouges though, just grind em when they go dull, so it is not so much of an issue for me. Perhaps if I had better ones I would..haha.



I never hone my bevels, just the flutes and only once, well the first inch or so to begin with. Like you, I also use my BGs straight off the diamond grinding wheel which is somewhere in the #280 range.



It is interesting to see how you grind your gouges. I am not overly familiar with how other turners grind their gouges however of the turners gouges I have seen it seems there is a lot of variation in this regard.

Yes, there are about as many grinds as there are turners.... :U

Mine is derived from the Irish (O'Niell-O'Donnell)/Ellsworth grinds. It just drifted to where it is now over time. I find it good for both the push and pull cut, as well as shear scraping with it rolled over and scraping on the bottom wing. I also drop the handle way down to do a shear slicing finishing 'cut' with the wing on the outside of bowls. As I turn my bowls outboard I have plenty of room to do that. So, those wings have some uses other than heavy hogging cuts.





If I absolutely had to choose just one gouge to keep it would be this one. There is no brand marking on it but I suspect it may be a P&N roughing gouge. I bought it from "Mosman Woodturning supplies" in Sydney in about 1980. The blade is an inch and a half wide and I'd imagine it has lost a few inches in length since purchase. This one I do hone and it is a brilliant item. Very sturdy, holds a great edge, almost better than a skew for turning cylinders and is good for veritable logs.



Yes, it is a roughing gouge but it predates P&N. If I was to guess I would say Sorby.



For interests sake here is a picture of a few of my bowl scrapers made from old heavy duty industrial files.
Top one is 9/16ths of an inch square section
Middle one is 3/4 of an inch square section, and the bottom one is still waiting on the sidelines for when the second one wears out.
These are great to use on a powerful lathe, they are long and strong and can overhang the toolrest by a surprisingly long way when turning really deep bowls.


Worth mentioning that those scrapers are at least 1/2" thick and some 3/4". Files used as scrapers are notorious for snapping. At those cross-sections that is less likely, but still possible and almost inevitable with standard flat files. Pattern makers are trained to use old files in this way, as you were Artful, but I discourage others from doing so. I know two pattern makers, both now in their eighties, and both tell me that they have had scrapers made from files snap on them. A small sample size I admit, but I'm sufficiently concerned to warn against it.

I suggest as a better option something like Hughie's Rip Snorter if you prefer to scrape. The one on the left...


457461

The shaft is stainless steel (any steel tubing will do) and the tip insert is a small length of square section HSS. The HSS tip is not very expensive (eg. here (https://mcjing.com.au/searchresult.aspx?keyword=METALTURNING%20/%20HSS%20TOOL%20BIT)), will maintain its edge for longer and will not fracture under normal use.