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View PhillipRCW's profile

Looking for wood carving gouge recommendations

by PhillipRCW
posted 10-12-2018 09:59 PM


14 replies so far

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

3419 posts in 3470 days


#1 posted 10-13-2018 02:55 AM

Depending on what you want the texture to look like, you can easily find the appropriate gouges at a reputable dealer. Expect to spend about $300 for the appropriate gouges (if you can buy them without buying the complete sets, which is doubtful), unless you want to make them yourself. In which case, you’ll spend enough time researching the techniques of metal working that it would be better to just go buy the tools up front. Been there, done that. I’ve spent over $2500 just on palm carving tools. It IS actually the easiest way to get that done. Fortunately I had 15 years over which to spread the cost.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1797 posts in 524 days


#2 posted 10-13-2018 03:29 PM

X2 @ “Depending on what you want the texture to look like”.

driftwood look, flowers, sheaves of wheat, barnwood, rocks, yada yada yada
once you have have an idea of your choice of textures, then you can purchase
just the tools that will provide you with those results.
and in 30 or so years, you will have a very nice set of carvers and stones worth
thousands of $$$$ to pass down to your grandkids.

if you stroll through Pinterest of carved textures, and pick some random examples
that you like, then the gallery can provide you with more accurate feedback.

.

.

-- Failure is proof that you at least tried ~ now, go do it again, and again, until you get it right --

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1402 posts in 3122 days


#3 posted 10-13-2018 03:37 PM

Carving gouges can be very expensive, like $35 to $50 per gouge for the top end. But you can get really good Chinese made gouges for around $20 each. If you are going to make a living doing this or have scads of money to get rid of, get the top end. If its for hobby use, you will do just fine with the $20 gouges. You can get them here: http://www.woodcarverssupply.com/Mastercarver-Sets/products/136/ Being cheap, I made my own set from black rough hand forged irons from China. The story is here: http://lumberjocks.com/Planeman40/projects The other way would be to buy used tools from eBay or this tool auction house: https://www.mjdtools.com/

Also, be aware that wood carving tools need to be razor sharp. The test is being able to easily shave the hair off your forearm. Also be aware even the best gouges need to be sharpened before use. To get sharpening supplies for gouges, look here: https://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/Arkansas-Stones-C96.aspx

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View ClaudeF's profile

ClaudeF

894 posts in 2068 days


#4 posted 10-13-2018 09:47 PM

Two sources of good gouges in the US are https://www.flexcut.com and https://www.woodcraft.com/search?q=carving+gouge&button=search

Woodcraft carries Pfeil, Ramelson, Flexcut, all of which will arrive carving sharp. They aren’t cheap, but the quality is good in all three. Go to the Woodcraft web site and sign up for their email updates. They frequently have 10-15% off sales and/or free shipping…

I own gouges from all three.

One further note: if you may want to texture backgrounds, look into leatherwork tools. I think Tandy Leather sells some.

Claude

-- https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

View PhillipRCW's profile

PhillipRCW

513 posts in 1626 days


#5 posted 10-13-2018 10:46 PM



Two sources of good gouges in the US are https://www.flexcut.com and https://www.woodcraft.com/search?q=carving+gouge&button=search

Woodcraft carries Pfeil, Ramelson, Flexcut, all of which will arrive carving sharp. They aren t cheap, but the quality is good in all three. Go to the Woodcraft web site and sign up for their email updates. They frequently have 10-15% off sales and/or free shipping…

I own gouges from all three.

One further note: if you may want to texture backgrounds, look into leatherwork tools. I think Tandy Leather sells some.

Claude

- ClaudeF

Why leather working tools vs carving gouges?

-- Phillip- Measure twice, cut onc.... Hey look, it's rustic.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3336 posts in 1748 days


#6 posted 10-14-2018 01:00 AM

If you are looking to carve a simple pattern, such as a vine with some small oval-ish leaves for example, a chip carving knife and a V-chisel might be all you need to experiment a little. If you really just want to create a texture, a single gouge may be all you need. A #6, 6 or 7mm gouge would be a good one to start with scoop out some texture. You can also look at using some carbide cutters with a Dremel to create texture.

For spoon carving there are some specific knives and gouges design just for that purpose.

EDIT: you might post your question in this formum topic. Ther are several guys who do lots of spoon carving there.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View ClaudeF's profile

ClaudeF

894 posts in 2068 days


#7 posted 10-14-2018 04:09 PM

Phillip: Here’s a photo by JJF that shows why leatherwork tools work well for background texturing.

Claude

-- https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3336 posts in 1748 days


#8 posted 10-15-2018 02:39 AM

I just watched a video by Sam Angelo where he used several different techniques for adding texture to a bowl including using some leather working tools.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

533 posts in 264 days


#9 posted 11-24-2018 09:23 PM

You might also consider selectively staining the background. To do this you need to seal the whole turning or at least the line between background and the pattern you want un-stained. Then use a gel stain on the background area. Experiment! This may be a technique you need to try on waste wood.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View MyChipCarving's profile

MyChipCarving

645 posts in 3486 days


#10 posted 11-26-2018 01:04 AM


But you can get really good Chinese made gouges for around $20 each. If you are going to make a living doing this or have scads of money to get rid of, get the top end. If its for hobby use, you will do just fine with the $20 gouges. You can get them here: http://www.woodcarverssupply.com/Mastercarver-Sets/products/136/
- Planeman40

I use these Mastercarver gouges and chisels and like them. They hold an edge well and do the job. I epoxied all of the handles in place and that made them so much better.

-- Marty, https://www.MyChipCarving.com, 866-444-6996

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10858 posts in 1847 days


#11 posted 11-26-2018 01:50 AM

Pfeil. All I’ve used. Have a starter set plus a couple. Not cheap but nice to use.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View 55woodbutcher's profile

55woodbutcher

11 posts in 187 days


#12 posted 11-26-2018 08:25 AM

All I have is Pfeil- 35 or 40 of them. They come ready to use, hold an edge for a looong time, and are corrosion resistant. Great tools, but I admit I am probably as much into collecting as using them. That said, I have seen lots of great work done with less expensive tools.

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

533 posts in 264 days


#13 posted 11-27-2018 06:51 PM

I also have an excessive number of Pfeil gouges, and I love the ones I use frequently. There are probably no manufacturers that offer more profiles (shapes) and sizes. Many require a separate learning curve for exactly how the use them and maintain them. Some can be used in multiple ways.

But remember, buying premium quality tools does not guarantee perfect results, Woodcarving involves many other factors to achieve excellence (and it may always seem just out of reach!)

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4549 posts in 4103 days


#14 posted 11-27-2018 08:32 PM

I got initially a 4 piece starter set of Pfeil mid size chisels from Woodcraft
One of the guys I train scouts with likes the Flexcut “Palm” gouges.
When I took a class the recommended set was the Chris Pye 7 piece set made by Auriou which are great.

https://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/store/item/AU-PYE1.XX/Chris_Pye_Carving_Tool_Sets
but the set is 289 (so 300 bucks as others mentioned)

Becauase Woodcraft is convenient, I have added over the past years, some specialty profiles like back bent spoon gouges, and some 3mm wide gouges.

I would be tempted to start with this: and then add/replace as you find what you like (and reach for all the time), and learn to sharpen and strop gouges.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

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