"shallow-flute bowl gouge" = "spindle gouge" ? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 03-09-2011, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Question "shallow-flute bowl gouge" = "spindle gouge" ?

I have "how to turn bowls" books (Raffan and O'Donnell) that recommend having both deep and shallow flute bowl gouges, each being better suited to certain operations according to these authors.

Everywhere I've looked to buy tools, "bowl gouge" means "deep flute". The only gouges I can find with shallow flutes are being sold as "spindle gouges".

Are they the same thing? If not, can you point me in the direction of a "shallow flute bowl gouge" please?

Follow-up questions: if I have one of each type, what bevel angle would you recommend for each?

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post #2 of 21 Old 03-09-2011, 06:34 PM
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theres U shape an V shape never heard of a shallow bowl gouge. spindle gouge would be very dangerous to use on the inside of a bowl b/c they dont have much steel so they can break on bowls so dont do that.
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post #3 of 21 Old 03-09-2011, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by momomo6789 View Post
theres U shape an V shape never heard of a shallow bowl gouge. spindle gouge would be very dangerous to use on the inside of a bowl b/c they dont have much steel so they can break on bowls so dont do that.
Thanks -- from the photos in those books, the shallow flute is more u-shaped and the deep flute more v-shaped.

The spindle gouges I've seen for sale (for example, THIS ONE) look far from puny -- nothing like the roughing gouges, which appear to be a piece of flat steel bent into a curve.

Can you point me in the direction of a U shaped bowl gouge?

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post #4 of 21 Old 03-09-2011, 06:54 PM
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I have one of Raffin's books and it it he said (IF I remember correctly) that he uses a (cheaper) spindle gouge (shallow flute) to start a bowl (outside) and then uses the more expensive bowl gouge (deep flute) for hollowing out the inside. I'm guessing if this is what he wrote that he keeps the tool rest close to the blank so it's like your turning a spindle.
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post #5 of 21 Old 03-09-2011, 08:03 PM
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Here's a great bit of info from CraftSuppliesUSA.
http://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/store/article/42?Args=

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #6 of 21 Old 03-09-2011, 08:29 PM
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I just took a bowl turning class on Monday and the instructor said the difference between the "U" and the "V" deep or shallow is how the chips are taken away, with the "U" expelling the chip or shaving much faster. He may not have said it exactly that way but that is what I understood. He also was very enlightening on how to sharpen your bowl gouges.
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post #7 of 21 Old 03-09-2011, 10:17 PM
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Well it all gets quite confusing. First of all there are U shapes, V shapes and Superflute shapes which is an odd sort of U shape. I personally prefer the V shape. I have never had a problem with shavings flying out. The V shape has more mass to the wings so the grind it not as thin an edge and it therefore holds an edge longer. But since i use Thompson tools I can't really tell the difference in edge holding capability.
OK here's where it gets interesting. Doug Thompson's spindle gouge and Detail gouge are made from the same size rod as the bowl gouges. The difference in the 3 is the difference in the depth of flute. The bowl is deep (either V or U) The detail gouge is very shallow and the spindle gouge is not as deep as the bowl gouge but a larger diameter mill is used to cut it so the flute shape is flatter.
The old style spindle gouges were stamped or hammered into shape and the steel was much thinner than the bowl gouges. Think of it as a skew that is formed into a curve.
Now as far as using a spindle gouge on a bowl. I would not recommend it however It depends mostly on the grind at the tip. If you have ground the spindle gouge and bowl gouge to the same grind angle they will both cut the same. The spindle gouge is thinner and you can't hang it over the tool rest as far. Typically spindle gouges are ground to a much sharper angle than a bowl gouge. This is why they are dangerous to use on a bowl.
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post #8 of 21 Old 03-09-2011, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john lucas View Post
Well it all gets quite confusing
Past tense, John -- it got confusing, that's why I'm asking all these questions
Quote:
First of all there are U shapes, V shapes and Superflute shapes which is an odd sort of U shape.
Following you so far ...
Quote:
I personally prefer the V shape. I have never had a problem with shavings flying out.
Still following you ...
Quote:
The V shape has more mass to the wings ... Doug Thompson's spindle gouge and Detail gouge are made from the same size rod as the bowl gouges.
Okay, I'm lost. If the rod is the same diameter, doesn't cutting a shallow U leave behind more mass than cutting a deep V?
Quote:
The difference in the 3 is the difference in the depth of flute. The bowl is deep (either V or U) The detail gouge is very shallow ...
Wouldn't this mean the detail gouge has a lot more metal left behind than the bowl gouge? Meaning it's a stronger tool?
Quote:
Typically spindle gouges are ground to a much sharper angle than a bowl gouge. This is why they are dangerous to use on a bowl.
What angle would you recommend for a bowl gouge? And for a spindle gouge?

My bowl gouge is currently ground with about 45 degrees bevel at the nose (I can't say for certain that it stays at 45 degrees all the way round the wings). If I increase the angle, will it make it easier for me to get a smooth transition from sides to bottom? What's the trade off if I do that?

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post #9 of 21 Old 03-10-2011, 07:07 AM
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TOOL GRINDS LIBRARY
http://www.woodcentral.com/newforum/grinds.shtml


How do you measure bevel angle? This little homemade angle checker works for all spindle and bowl turning tools. The bevel angle that works for you is the one you need to maintain.


Take two school protractors, widen that little hole in the middle stick little bolt and put nut on it. You now have a circle, when you open the circle, you can measure and bevel angle in degrees.


http://www.ossmann.com/protractor/conventional-protractor.pdf


Open the protractors rest one edge in the flute of the tool, open and slide other edge until rest on bevel angle of the tool, do not leave a gap. Where ever that 0 to 180 degree line rest is the bevel angle of your tool.


If you chose to make this gem, do not bother me with questions, if you cannot make it work. Figure it out it is just that simple.


I have four bowl gouges with different bevel angles which may change a degree or two after re-sharpening. I use both fingernail and side grind like both U and V style bowl gouges. Have a bunch of 3/8” & ½” spindle all with different bevel angles. Some of those spindle gouges do not have much of a flute left so do not worry about bevel angle.
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post #10 of 21 Old 03-10-2011, 07:35 AM
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Duncan I was tired last night so i probably didn't write as clear as I should have. When I said the V gouge has more mass to the wings In my mind I was comparing it to the U. When you grind a U gouge with a swept back grind it's easy to get really thin wings. This makes them sharper so I use that to my benefit when doing some pull cuts on difficult woods. Since the V is thicker by shape the grind is a little more blunt. This holds and edge longer and more closely matches the grind angle at the tip. For this reason I prefer it for general overall bowl work.
Without going back and reading my info on the detail vs bowl gouge I certainly meant to say that it is stronger. There is simply more metal there. I use that to my advantage when doing inside-out turnings. You can't have the tool rest close on these turnings and the detail gouge has really made a difference.
Bowl gouge grind angles vary widely. If you go to the tool grinds library at woodcentral you will see the variety. Without seeing your bowls it's hard to answer about the transition area. What the tip angle does is change where your handle will be in relation to the wood. If you do really steep sided bowls you won't be able to rub the bevel all the way to the bottom with a shallow grind angle. I have one gouge that I grind at about 70 degrees or so. This allows me to cut the bottom of very deep narrow bowls. I may not be able to cut the rim with it if the bowl closes in at the top because the handle would hit the far side of the bowl. For that I would use a shallower grind however that won't go all the way to the bottom.
If you do nothing but very shallow bowls that look more like platters then you could easily use a gouge with a 35 degree angle. For most people a grind of 45 to 55 is about right for most bowls.
Now here's where it get's tricky. I just like get's :) If you have a bowl with sides that change to the bottom rather abruptly (this is what I call a transition area) then you need a grind around the 50 degree range but you also have to learn to rotate the flute (usually up) so that the bevel keeps rubbing through this area. If the side vs bottom change is really abrupt you might have to cut the bottom from center out and sides from rim down and then gently feather the cut where the two meet. That's why I prefer to keep my bowls a continuous arc if possible.
There is an awful lot to learn about bowl gouges and how they work. Every turner does it a little different and they all work. It's just a matter of learning how to stay on the bevel to control the cut.
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post #11 of 21 Old 03-10-2011, 08:54 AM
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As an interested observer, I say, "Thanks, John"!

Lots of good info...
As a beginning turner, I'm finding that some stuff can be done with nearly any tool, just technique changes.

Part of my learning curve is choosing the best tool for the job.

I've gotten to the point that I can remove alot of material, fairly smoothly, with a sharp, cheap bowl gouge that came as part of a set of dull, cheap tools.

p

...ever notice how "I'm sorry" and "I apologize" mean the same thing, unless you are at a funeral..?
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post #12 of 21 Old 03-10-2011, 09:13 AM
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Duncan If you go to the tool grinds library mentioned above the first gouge is the Ellsworth gouge. It has a sort of modified V flute. If you look at the thickness of the edge in the wings you will see what I'm talking about when concerning the V shape having a thicker edge.
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post #13 of 21 Old 03-10-2011, 09:23 AM
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The V shape has more mass to the wings ... Doug Thompson's spindle gouge and Detail gouge are made from the same size rod as the bowl gouges.

Okay, I'm lost. If the rod is the same diameter, doesn't cutting a shallow U leave behind more mass than cutting a deep V?

As an experiment, take a spindle and mark two sections ½" width and cut ½" deep. Cut one with a V cut and cut the other as a U (cove shaped bottom). The V cut will leave more wood (mass) on the spindle. The "U" also typically have straight sides going down to the curve which removes even more mass.

Quote:
The difference in the 3 is the difference in the depth of flute. The bowl is deep (either V or U) The detail gouge is very shallow ...

Wouldn't this mean the detail gouge has a lot more metal left behind than the bowl gouge? Meaning it's a stronger tool?
Take a look at Duncan’s link…."The spindle gouges I've seen for sale (for example, THIS ONE)"

The diameter where the flute is formed is cut/ground down. I measured my Sorby spindle gouge and found. Diameter is ½" (8/16"), the width at the flute is still 8/16" HOWEVER, the thickness (top of the flute to the bottom of the shaft) is only 5/16". 3/16" or almost half of the of the tool had been ground away prior to shaping the profile.

Hope I didn't make it more confusing.
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post #14 of 21 Old 03-10-2011, 11:19 AM
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Doug's spindle gouge is ground different than his detail gouge. The spindle gouge is more of a U shaped bowl gouge with the top half of the U ground away. I'm guessing here but the U shaped bowl gouge is probably ground with a 3/8" diameter radiused cutter. The spindle and detail gouges are ground with a cutter with a much larger radius, maybe 3/4". consequently on the spindle gouge about half the metal is cut away similar to the Sorby gouge in your link. The detail gouge on the other hand has the same flute as the spindle gouge but only the very top of the gouge is ground so you have a huge amount of steel left underneath.
I just checked Doug's website. The spindle gouge is ground down 50% the detail gouge is ground 30%. Maybe that will help. It's hard to tell in his photos. If I shot both of mine side by side it would be really obvious. I'll try to do that later tonight if I get home early enough.
I know it's hard to understand without photos. Here's the link to Doug's website. http://www.thompsonlathetools.com/
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post #15 of 21 Old 03-10-2011, 02:36 PM
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This link may help in Diagram B showing the straight-on end profile.
http://www.woodturningdesign.com/askdale/14/14.shtml
The same link will maybe answer your question on bevel length/angle in Diagram A.
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post #16 of 21 Old 03-10-2011, 04:33 PM
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Excellent post. I had forgotten about that article. If and when my son helps me with a website I plan to post things like that to help explain the why's and wherefore's of different tools. Since I love playing with them so much.
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post #17 of 21 Old 03-10-2011, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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thank you, thank you ...

Thanks to everyone who has posted with guidance and links -- it feels like the fog is slowly lifting!

Now I have evidence to prove that I need to go buy another tool

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post #18 of 21 Old 03-10-2011, 05:52 PM
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Now I have evidence to prove that I need to go buy another tool
Now you only have to pull off a tofur or a couple of wuttenbuts.
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post #19 of 21 Old 03-10-2011, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Now you only have to pull off a tofur or a couple of wuttenbuts.
¿Que?

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post #20 of 21 Old 03-10-2011, 09:53 PM
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Sorry, I should have looked at your location. The kitchen drawers in my house are full of them.
Just local pronunciation as in ….. Well, it wuttenbut $$ (wasn’t but) or ….They were on sale tofur $$ (two for), especially when you don’t need even one.
I believe ten wuttenbuts or twofurs for my bride (without a remark by me) must be worth at least one wuttenbut tool regardless of the price.
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