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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    345

    Default riding the bevel

    a question from an inexperienced turner with too much time to think........

    if you can ride a good bev does it matter what tool you use?
    does it make a difference if you use a bowl gouge or a skew?
    If you leave a nice smooth surface does it matter how you got there?
    Aren't we always talking about cutting or slicing with an edge of the tool?
    Ultimately isn't an edge more or less the same if it's nice and sharp?

    All those questions in one, sorry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    2,269

    Default

    I answered some of the questions in the quote below.

    Quote Originally Posted by brainstrust View Post
    a question from an inexperienced turner with too much time to think........

    if you can ride a good bev does it matter what tool you use?

    does it make a difference if you use a bowl gouge or a skew? Bowl gouges are stronger & can be used on spindles. Using a skew on the inside of the bowl may leave part of the skew stuck in your face. Using a shallow spindle gouge on a bowl is more likely to break it.

    If you leave a nice smooth surface does it matter how you got there? No as long as it is safe.

    Aren't we always talking about cutting or slicing with an edge of the tool? With skews and gouges, yes. With scrapers sharpened with a burr, taking a fine skim cut with shavings thinner than tissue paper, not really.

    Ultimately isn't an edge more or less the same if it's nice and sharp? This discussion has been going on for years. Skew edge and scraper edge are quite different.

    All those questions in one, sorry
    It comes down to whatever you work out that gives you the result you want in a reasonably efficient manner. If you are making ball bats or rolling pins, a spindle roughing gouge and skew will give the best result in the least time.

    If you are making bowls, a bowl gouge with whatever grind you are comfortable with and a heavy curved scraper will make bowls. See Robo Hippy YouTube videos for using scrapers start to finish.

    Do some research on bowl gouge grinds. I find the Ellsworth swept back grind too aggressive for my comfort. I have slightly swept back grinds and straight across - classic or bottom feeder grinds. They all work, everyone has to find their own way that is comfortable.

    Richard Raffan is one of my favorite instructors. I have several of his books along with other turners. An hour or two of instruction will save days or weeks of trial and error. Follow that with 20 - 30 hours of making bowls or spindles, and you will have a good start.

    Do not succumb to this or that Famous Turner tool will make you an instant expert turner. A 1/2 inch high speed steel bowl gouge, a HSS heavy scraper, and 40 - 50 hours in front of a lathe, not more than 2 hours at a time will make you competent.

    Paul
    So much timber, so little time.

    Paul

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Oberon, NSW
    Age
    59
    Posts
    12,741

    Default

    I would say that the main reason to 'ride the bevel' is to give the tool good support behind the cutting edge so it's less likely to grab and dig in.

    It's a safety thing... that's where the tool is most well-behaved. Knowing how far you can safely go "off the bevel" is a matter of experience, but I can tell you here and now the answer is "not far."

    Unless you've rolled the tool so far off the bevel that you're no longer cutting with it, you're scraping. But that's a different kettle of fish altogether.

    As to what tool you use, Paul has covered that.

    The reason that different profile tools are used for different 'tasks' is their shape predisposes them to be easily used and safely that way. eg. You wouldn't use a skew to hollow a bowl... it just won't safely do concave cuts. At all. Well... not unless you include removing large chunks (of both blank and tool steel) as 'hollowing.' But it excels at convex cuts.

    You shouldn't use a roughing gouge to shape the outside of bowls, not because it can't but because under certain conditions it can cause some seriously nasty damage to you, the blank and the toolrest, if not the lathe.

    Ditto for almost every type of turning tool. They are each good in one area, a bad idea for other tasks.
    I may be weird, but I'm saving up to become eccentric.

    - Andy Mc (AKA "Ghost who posts." )

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Adelaide Hills, South Australia
    Posts
    3,071

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Skew ChiDAMN!! View Post

    You shouldn't use a roughing gouge to shape the outside of bowls, not because it can't but because under certain conditions it can cause some seriously nasty damage to you, the blank and the toolrest, if not the lathe.
    Or the inside!

    I may have a slightly different conversation with a very experienced bowl turner off-forum but here is my on-forum contribution.

    A spindle roughing gouge works well cutting along the grain, as in spindle turning. There are few areas on a bowl blank where you are just cutting along the grain. One area is in the very inside bottom of bowls and thus the introduction of "bottom feeding" bowl gouges (just a different grind).

    As most of a bowl is an equal mix of side and end grain the best tool for the job is (funnily enough) a bowl gouge. They have been specifically designed for bowl turning and do an excellent job of it.

    Besides the difference in flute profile and grind, the single biggest issue with using a SRG on anything else than a spindle is that they have been made quite large for spindle work as they take a relatively conservative cut when working along the grain and the larger size gets the roughing down job done quicker. Most turners can handle that.

    However, a bowl gouge of the same size would take a very large and aggressive cut!

    My limit is a 1" BG with a very long and heavy handle.

    There is no way I would go bigger.

    Stay safe!
    Stay sharp!

    Neil



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