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Can this be used as a bowl gouge?

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Forum topic by Andybb posted 09-18-2019 01:11 AM 543 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Andybb

2112 posts in 1116 days


09-18-2019 01:11 AM

I use carbides for making pens but I want to try my hand at a bowl without spending $ on another tool that I may never use again. I have the $80 HF HSS chisel set collecting dust somewhere and am wondering if either of the spindle gouges can be used as or ground so it can be used as a bowl gouge? The little one looks a lot like a bowl gouge but it isn’t listed as such.

Seems like a bowl gouge has a steeper angle and more edge on the sides. Seems like grinding one of the spindle gouges would accomplish the same (similar) thing.

Or should I save myself the aggravation and buy a Benjamin’s Best for $20.

-- Andy - Seattle USA


15 replies so far

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Nubsnstubs

1619 posts in 2243 days


#1 posted 09-18-2019 01:47 AM

I used a 1/2 Craftsman spindle gouge with an Ellsworth grind for years as a bowl gouge. I actually wore it out. Now, it’s just a short piece of steel in a handle…...try it, and until you get your first catch, look for issues with it. After the first catch, judge it by how long it took to get the catch. If it was right away, don’t use it anymore…...... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

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Andybb

2112 posts in 1116 days


#2 posted 09-18-2019 01:52 AM

Cool. Thanks. So try and duplicate this or one of the other grinds using a spindle gouge?

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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ibewjon

1007 posts in 3306 days


#3 posted 09-18-2019 03:07 AM

I thought spindle gouges were not strong enough to use as a bowl gouge. I turn many bows l with carbide, both round and square, or slightly radiuses.

It is a black walnut cheese and cracker tray, with a depressed area to hold the crackers. It is crotchwood from the former firewood pile.

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Aj2

2497 posts in 2311 days


#4 posted 09-18-2019 03:10 AM

I would call that a Irish grind. It’s a good profile for the sides of a bowl inside and out.
I have one like that for the sides of bowls inside and out and a steeper bowl gouge for inside the bottom of a bowl.
You should try it.

Good Luck

-- Aj

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Andybb

2112 posts in 1116 days


#5 posted 09-18-2019 03:49 AM


I thought spindle gouges were not strong enough to use as a bowl gouge. I turn many bows l with carbide, both round and square, or slightly radiuses.

- ibewjon

Well, it’ll be small bowl as my lathe is a vintage 11” model. My carbide tools are for making pens. Not the really small tools but the mid-sized ones from Rockler. I’ll just have to experiment but it all seems do-able. I’ve got some walnut burl that really wants to be a bowl.

As always, I love this site.

Thanks.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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OSU55

2408 posts in 2502 days


#6 posted 09-18-2019 12:07 PM

A bowl gouge has a much different flute shape vs a spindle gouge (much deeper), which aids in various cuts for bowls. A spindle gouge will cut wood but not the same as a bowl gouge, ie it will not give you the same behavior/experience as a bowl gouge, and will start to chatter when extended much over the tool rest. Typically a bowl gouge will have a 45-65 deg bevel, and a spindle 30-45 deg. For 1-2 bowls why not, but if you find you want to make more spend the $25 or so for a bens best. I use 5/8” and 3/8” sizes, 5/8” most of the time, even smaller 4-5” size bowls.

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Jim Jakosh

23387 posts in 3618 days


#7 posted 09-18-2019 12:13 PM

Hi Andy. In a set like that they usually put spindle gouges and that little one looks like it might be one too. It is too small to see the end. The reason for the shape of the bowl gouge is to give you a good sized bevel to ride on to support the cut and not dig in (catch). Carbide tools will work but they are all scrapers. You have 4 cuts on a bowl gouge and when you are into some real rough end grain, the sheer scrape cuts can take away most if not all of that roughness so you don’t sand your arm off trying to make it smooth.

The bowl gouge is the first tool I teach the kids on at school. I show them the 4 cuts and I have seen only a few use the sheer scrape, but I like to see they are learning when they do that. We have scrapers too but I leave those for finishing cuts.

You can buy gouges at all different prices. The ones made from M42 HSS are the best and hold the edge the longest but they are also the most expensive. I use Benjamiin’s Best from Penn State and they work great. I have 3 5/8” gouges ready all the time so I don’t have to stop for sharpening during a piece very often. I have found them to be the best for the money spent. I also bought some of their 3/8” Bedans and I’ll use one for hogging out the center of a bowl or a variety of things. I don’t know if they sell them any more. I saw one at Woodcraft for about $60 and the one at Penn State was $31

On your small lathe I would get a 1/2” bowl gouge for sure and maybe a 1/4 or 3/8” too. I use all of mine on my mini lathe at time. If you have enough power on that 11” lathe you can do some pretty good sizes pieces. My Mini is an 8” Harbor Freight ( I used it for traveling) and it is way underpowered. A 4” piece will stall it!

cheers,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I love this site too!!........................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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Wildwood

2743 posts in 2647 days


#8 posted 09-18-2019 12:38 PM

Don’t know deep want to go into bowl want to turn but that $20 bowl gouge will serve you well. Bowl turning can become addictive so using proper tool a must. Your carbide tools might also work well too. Yes a spindle gouge can and will work on shallow bowls but not design to reach too far over the tool rest.

Ellsworth, Irish, and side ground all the same thing! There are other names used too for same grind!

Other than Ellsworth grind some bowl turners use finger nail, and square grinds on their bowl gouges. I use both fingernail & side on my bowls gouges, square grind mostly used in Europe. See page 11 bevel angles which work better with different style bowls.

http://s12166.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Woodturning_Notes.pdf

-- Bill

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Dustin

698 posts in 1253 days


#9 posted 09-18-2019 01:53 PM

Andy, I’ve got that same set and can say that even if I reground it, I wouldn’t feel safe using that tool as a bowl gouge. I think you’d be best suited with the inexpensive Benjamin’s Best you mentioned. It will not only be safer, but a more enjoyable experience that will let you know if bowl turning is something you’d like to pursue further.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

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Andybb

2112 posts in 1116 days


#10 posted 09-18-2019 06:58 PM

Based on the last few responses I’m thinking that $20 (plus $8.95 for shipping) for a proper tool is well worth the investment. As I have said a thousand times, having the right tool makes all the difference in the world. Headed to the PSI site to order.

I’m sure there are a ton of tutorial vids out there but if anyone has a recommendation for a good one please let me know.

Thanks all.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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ibewjon

1007 posts in 3306 days


#11 posted 09-18-2019 07:40 PM

I am very happy with the carbide tools, and easy wood tools also has tools with curved necks for vases and other under cuts. And no sharpening, just rotate the cutter a bit. I know the purists out there hate carbide, but I do not have a sharpening set up at this time, and then comes the learning curve for sharpening.

View Eric's profile

Eric

108 posts in 750 days


#12 posted 09-19-2019 10:26 PM

Back in the eighties when I turned my first bowl, spindle gouges were called “gouges” in the marketplace because there weren’t two kinds of gouges sold. We made bowls with spindle gouges safely.

Sometime in the early 90s I got a Sorby bowl gouge and Sorby precision chuck. That was the cat’s ass back then, Woodcraft’s most advanced bowl turn kit! (Still using both today)

OP, use a faceplate and a spindle gouge.

-- Eric

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Andybb

2112 posts in 1116 days


#13 posted 09-19-2019 10:31 PM



Back in the eighties when I turned my first bowl, spindle gouges were called “gouges” in the marketplace because there weren t two kinds of gouges sold. We made bowls with spindle gouges safely.

Sometime in the early 90s I got a Sorby bowl gouge and Sorby precision chuck. That was the cat s ass back then, Woodcraft s most advanced bowl turn kit! (Still using both today)

OP, use a faceplate and a spindle gouge.

- Eric

LOL Too late now. Benjamin’s Best $20 bowl gouge on the way. As I was going to sleep last night I got that buyers remorse that I always get thinking that my carbides and spindle gouges would have been just fine. Oh well. :-)

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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ibewjon

1007 posts in 3306 days


#14 posted 09-19-2019 10:39 PM

Try the carbide. You won’t be sorry, especially for roughing.

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OSU55

2408 posts in 2502 days


#15 posted 09-20-2019 12:07 PM

For videos youtube Lyle Jamieson. Stuart Batty is very good but you dont want to start with his 40/40 gouge.

Btw how do you plan to grind a bowl gouge? How do you grind your spindle gouges? I do NOT recommend starting with a traditional grind. One with the wings ground back at least some is easier to control and a lot less likely to catch. 60-65 deg bevel is a good place to start – higher bevel angle is less aggressive so easier to control, and get around the corner in the bottom. Initially go for sweeping radius sides and bottom. Initially most of us make the sides too straight and the bottom too flat.

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