The right 'stuff' - turning tool question - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-09-2012, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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The right 'stuff' - turning tool question

So I am turning 9" diameter smooth columns (5 feet long) out of laminated maple, and I have been using some really crappy gouges I bought used when I first purchased my lathe. It's time to upgrade, as I am sure these tools are pretty much junk, and even though I am getting nice smooth results in the end, I am sure there is a better, faster way.
I am thinking I should purchase a 2" HSS roughing gouge, but I don't know enough to be certain of this, as I've kind of self taught myself on the lathe and haven't done too many other pieces (did a trophy piece but took a while to get it right without taking too many chunks out)
Can anyone recommend the best tools for the job. I don't mind paying a bit more if the tools will last longer and stay sharp longer.
Also, what is the best tool to use after the roughing gouge - my column is straight, no taper, no design - so whatever will work best to keep my edge straight all the way the whole length. I have been using a 3/4" gouge to do this, and it takes some time.
Thanks for any help!
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-09-2012, 06:57 PM
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A "better, faster way" is probably not available -- "fast" and "good" seldom go together in my experience.

I don't think there's any real advantage to having a 2" spindle roughing gouge compared to a 1", for example THIS ONE from Penn State Industries. (They do make a 2" one, for double the price.)

Properly sharpened, one of these can leave a great finish -- almost as good as a skew. The key point is that it must be ground to a longer bevel than they typically arrive when you buy them. Shoot for a 25 to 30 degree bevel angle. (This information comes from Ernie Conover, I didn't make it up!)

With that long bevel, you get both a very clean cut and it follows a nice straight line as you ride the bevel the length of the column.

YMMV, IMHO, etc

Please visit my website, Fruit of the Lathe
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-09-2012, 09:17 PM
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I have a 1" spindle roughing gouge and a 2". I bought the 2" because a friend said it was the best thing for roughing out spindles. I never use it. It can be more grabby if your not careful. I can rough spindle just as fast with my 1". It's more about how you use it. I rough out spindles as close as possible and then switch to the skew. It's much easier to get long straight lines or long flowing curves with a skew.
Here is my video on how I use the spindle roughing gouge.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8YYYYA-6jQ
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post #4 of 4 Old 10-09-2012, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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THanks to both of you! John great video! You've got some skills :D
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