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post #1 of 3 Old 11-19-2011, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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Another sharpening question

How long should a gouge hold an edge?

I know there are a thousand variables so here's a common scenario in my shop: Starting with a 10"diameter x 6" green, chainsaw cut blank and a sharp 1/2 bowl gouge, bring blank into round and turn past all bark. Sharpen. Rough shape the form. True up the face and form tenon/glue surface. Sharpen. Final outside cut. Hollow out 90% of the inside. Sharpen. Final inside cuts.

In reality I use multiple tools instead of sharpening the same one but you get the point. Am I not getting a good edge or is it normal for it to dull that quickly? I'm using Thompson Tools and Benjamin's Best and really can't tell that much difference.
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post #2 of 3 Old 11-19-2011, 12:49 AM
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Your Doug Thompson should hold an edge a lot longer than the BB. I use Thompson, Henry Taylor and Sorby and the Thompson lasts about 4 times as long as the others for me (most of the time).

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #3 of 3 Old 11-19-2011, 07:02 AM
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I still have trouble telling the difference myself but it's because I stop and sharpen often like you do. The Thompson will hold a less than really sharp edge for a long time. When roughing bowls I don't sharpen very much and the Thompson will just keep on cutting.
When I am turning bowls to completion I can tell that I'm having to work at it or it's simply not cutting as clean so I sharpen. I have a Henry Taylor that I often keep sharp and will simply change to it and make my final passes. I've never actually done a test on really sharp tools to see which ones last the longest. I'm not sure how I would tell because it's such a fine line. Your cutting along and shaving are coming off and sometime down the line they just aren't as big or clean of a shaving and you stop and sharpen.
When I discovered that the thompsons would hold an edge longer was when I turned some aluminum. I would have to sharpen my other brand gouges 2 to 4 times to get through one piece. The Thompson would easily do one and sometimes 2 pieces before it had to be sharpened.
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