Reply by bigJohninvegas

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Posted on need bowl gouge comparison

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648 posts in 1917 days

#1 posted 10-28-2018 05:15 PM

Hi Karda, I was given a set of Hurricane tools, and was not impressed. I do have a couple of ben best spindle gouges that I bought to make beading tools out of. But never used it as a spindle gouge. When I was gifted the set of Hurricane tools I had already been using Sorby and Thompson tools. Huge difference in how long the tools stay sharp.
I started out with a set of Sorby tools about 5 years ago. And I still use all of them except the bowl gouge.
You were smart to start with that cheap ben best bowl gouge. I ruined that Sorby gouge pretty quick learning to sharpen it. I met Jimmy Clewes almost as soon as I started turning. (Lucky me we live in the same city), and he introduced me to Thompson tools. Night and day difference in quality.
Most of my Thompson tools are the Jimmy Clewes signature line, and I bought all of them From Jimmy here in town. That is just convenient for me since I can just go pick them up with no mail order to deal with.
But you can order from Doug thompsons site as well. Ask questions about the different signature lines. There are different shapes to the flute. U or V shape and depth. I only used what Jimmy sells.
I bought that first 1/2” bowl gouge back in 2015, and it has a little life left in it, but I did just pick up another last spring. I also use both 3/8” bowl and spindle gouge, a parting tool, and the box scraper. All of which are orignals that I bought several years back now. I will most likely wear out another 1/2” bowl gouge before any of the others. It is a go to gouge for me.
Lately I have been spending all most of my time trying to do hollow forms. Failing at it I should say, And am experimenting with carbide. I do prefer to do all I can with HSS gouges. What I learned 1st.
But I purchased a Mike Jackofsky hollow pro tool back in 2015. And have since picked up the Mate tool that Jimmy sells.
This has my gouges lasting longer too, as I spend a fair amount of time fiddling around with carbide.
One last bit, While I like Thompson tools, I was told early on by several that any of the HSS Sheffield steel tools were good quality, and that they all come from the same steel plant in England. Sorby, Crown, Henry Taylor, etc.
Since that was pointed out to me, Crown for example has released a Powdered metal line like what Doug Thompson tools are made of. No idea where Crown sources that from.
good luck

-- John

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