Roughing Gouges - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 06-05-2011, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Roughing Gouges

I've got a roughing gouge that came in the starter set that I bought from Grizzly a couple years ago, and I seem to have grown out of it. Or the turning that I want to do has grown out of it.

What can someone tell me about a decent roughing gouge for making bowls and jars? Most of the roughing gouges in the usual vendor catalogs say "not for use on bowls."

I think I want a big honkin roughing gouge like this one. (Maybe not the super-expensive cryogenic one, but something this size.)

What say ye?
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-05-2011, 10:11 PM
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Roughing gouges should not be used on bowls (unless you're very experienced and even then I wouldn't want to risk it). Get yourself a good quality bowl gouge 3/8 or 1/2 inch, like a Thompson.

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #3 of 13 Old 06-05-2011, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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I have a nice Sorby bowl gouge.

I guess I should clarify that I want to use it to round the blank once I get it mounted. I get them reasonably round on the bandsaw, but when I mount it on the lathe, it's usually not perfectly centered, so I figured I'd use the roughing gouge to finish making it round before I start shaping it.

Roughing gouges should never be used on a bowl blank?
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post #4 of 13 Old 06-05-2011, 10:32 PM
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I'm with sawdust. No roughing gouges on bowls. If you are using the roughing gouge for material removal, like you would for raw, rough timbers maybe you could use it in that situation. Not sure. I have the same kit from grizzly and I no longer use the roughing gouge either. I use my Ellsworth bowl gouge for just about everything. That $ could be better spent on other tools. You could buy a couple of really nice Thompson tools. Or an Ellsworth bowl gouge. Hollowing tools. Etc..... That's what I would do. Not on the roughing gouge. Just my opinion.
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post #5 of 13 Old 06-05-2011, 10:39 PM
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Most of the people that I've learned from say absolutely never use a roughing gouge on a bowl. THey have started calling them SPINDLE roughing gouges. There are some experienced turners on other forums that say it's ok, if you know what you're doing. What I've been told is the tool is not strong enough for the grain orientation common to bowls and you may get a catch that may even break the tool.

I use a big heavy bowl gouge to smooth out my blanks; I too don't get them cut perfectly round on the bandsaw. Good sharp gouge with light cutas and it's round in no time.

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #6 of 13 Old 06-06-2011, 10:02 AM
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About the quickest way I know of to get a good catch and ruin a tool is to use a roughing gouge on a bowl. I've seen it happen too many times.
The best tool for roughing a bowl from out of round to round is a bowl gouge or possibly one of the new Easywoodtools. I still prefer a 5/8" bowl gouge for roughing.
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post #7 of 13 Old 06-06-2011, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Alrightythen! It sounds pretty unanimous.

Maybe I'll look into a larger bowl gouge, then. I've got a 3/8" Sorby.

Thanks guys!
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post #8 of 13 Old 06-06-2011, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b00kemdano View Post
Alrightythen! It sounds pretty unanimous.

Maybe I'll look into a larger bowl gouge, then. I've got a 3/8" Sorby.

Thanks guys!
Do you have a jig for sharpening your bowl gouge? IMHO, that would be money well spent (even though I built my own )

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post #9 of 13 Old 06-06-2011, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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I don't have a jig, but I've gotten pretty good at freehanding it.

...I think....
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-06-2011, 08:53 PM
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Dano, The problem with using a roughing gouge on a bowl blank (even when you are shaping the outside) is the way the grain is oriented, you are going to get tremendous tear-out when the end grain fibers come around. A roughing gouge just does not do this well. It will lift the fibers and although it technically may not be a catch it will be an exhilarating tear-out. Don't ask me how I know.

A bowl gouge used to shape the outside of a bowl blank will leave you with a lot smoother surface and ultimately better control.

My two cents.
John
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post #11 of 13 Old 06-07-2011, 10:12 AM
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Dano,
go to Bill Grumbines' site and watch his bowl turning video. When I first started turning bowls, I too thought you had to true the blank up first with a roughing gouge, just making it into a cylinder. All this does is beat the hell out of your arms and shoulders. If you watch Bill's video, you'll see he starts from the center of the piece at the tailstock end, and using a bowl gouge, does a pull cut in a arc shape to start shaping up the blank. You are doing two things at once. You are starting the shape of the outside of the bowl, and you are truing up the blank at the same time, without beating yourself or your tools up. 1/2" or 5/8" bowl gouge works well.
Mike Hawkins
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post #12 of 13 Old 06-07-2011, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawkmph View Post
Dano,
go to Bill Grumbines' site and watch his bowl turning video. When I first started turning bowls, I too thought you had to true the blank up first with a roughing gouge, just making it into a cylinder. All this does is beat the hell out of your arms and shoulders. If you watch Bill's video, you'll see he starts from the center of the piece at the tailstock end, and using a bowl gouge, does a pull cut in a arc shape to start shaping up the blank. You are doing two things at once. You are starting the shape of the outside of the bowl, and you are truing up the blank at the same time, without beating yourself or your tools up. 1/2" or 5/8" bowl gouge works well.
Mike Hawkins
Went to this site Bill Grumbines' site and could not find video with out ordering same.
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post #13 of 13 Old 06-07-2011, 04:20 PM
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Bill does sell his video's but they are worth it. He does an excellent job of answering all the questions you might have about turning a bowl. His tool skills are good and he explains them well.
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