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post #1 of 13 Old 05-27-2012, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thompson Lathe Tools!

Just had to share a little gloat, experience, show off a bit and give a thank you.

I asked John Lucas a while back what he would recommend for a first bowl gouge and he recommended a ½ inch from Thompson Lathe Tools. I ended up ordering a ½ inch V shaped and a ½ inch scraper.

I ordered them on a Friday afternoon and they were in my mailbox on Monday. Very fast shipping!

Once I got some handles made all I could say is “HOLLY COW”, what a difference from my HF set. They hold an edge so much longer. (How much longer I’m not real sure. I find myself going to the grinder just out of habit and they will cut off the same fine slivers that they did before I touched them up.)

Being my first bowl gouge I’m still learning the in’s and out’s and how to work it. I haven’t destroyed TOO many pieces yet, but I have to say “that sucker will cut some wood!”.

John thanks for the recommendation.

I ended up making my handles out of 1 inch solid aluminum round stock covered with some tubing I found at Home Depot.

Anyways, if anyone is looking for some quality chisels check out Thompson. I am more than happy.

Thompson Lathe Tools!-2imag0291.jpg

Thompson Lathe Tools!-1imag0290.jpg

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post #2 of 13 Old 05-27-2012, 08:02 PM
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I too just recently got a new Thompson at the reccomendation of others. I gut the 1/2" U and your right, that baby will cut some wood.

I also havnt completely learned how to use it yet. I attempted a smallish bowl after watching some Youtube videos. I got the outside shaped pretty good. Flipped it over and started holowing and it came off the lathe, twice!! I think the problem was my recess rather than my gouge technique but I have decided not to try a bowl again untill John Lucas posts a bowl guoge video!!

Nice handle by the way!!! I went with some maple but its a little on the light side. I may have to drill the other end of it and add some shot.

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post #3 of 13 Old 05-27-2012, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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After numerous catches and sending the one pictured below flying I ended up figuring out that I needed to lower the tool rest when working on the inside and raise it when working on the outside. I think there may be something to that whole "cut up hill" thing.

I never knew what a versatile tool it could be till I got it and started watching some videos to try and figure out how to work it. I too would like to see a video from John.

I love the thing but boy does it make me nervous working with it on something important.

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post #4 of 13 Old 05-27-2012, 09:39 PM
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I have lots of video's on youtube but haven't done on solely on the bowl gouge turning bowls. There is one showing the bowl gouge in use as an alternative to the roughing gouge.
I'm going to work on a bowl gouge video but it will be a month or so. Just too busy right now.
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post #5 of 13 Old 05-27-2012, 09:56 PM
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Count me as another Thompson tool lover -- 1/2" U bowl gouge and a spindle detail gouge. I still haven't figured out how to control the detail gouge, but I do ok with the bowl gouge.

For bowls -- try using a spigot (or "tenon") instead of a recess, I believe they are much more secure.

Turn a flat platform at the base of the tenon so the top surface of the jaws have a true surface to abut.

Make the diameter of the tenon the same as the internal diameter of your jaws when they are perfectly circular, (i.e. not when fully closed, and not when they are wide open either.)

Make the length of the tenon a bit shorter than the internal depth of the jaws, the tenon must not "bottom out" inside the jaws -- you want the top of the jaws in good contact with the flat, if the tenon is too long it prevents this from seating properly.

Clamp the jaws of the chuck around the tenon loosely, bring the tailstock up and use it to apply some pressure pushing the bowl blank against the chuck, then tighten down the jaws. (Then tighten a bit more, just for luck. )

Please visit my website, Fruit of the Lathe
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-27-2012, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmh View Post
I ended up making my handles out of 1 inch solid aluminum round stock covered with some tubing I found at Home Depot.
Nice handles ...

Please visit my website, Fruit of the Lathe
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post #7 of 13 Old 05-27-2012, 10:04 PM
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I too love my Thompson bowl gouge. I use 3 tools to turn bowls these days; the Thompson, a 1/2" skew (for cleaning up the tenon), and a Sorby heavy round nose scraper.

I also almost exclusively use a tenon, just seems more secure to me.

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #8 of 13 Old 05-27-2012, 10:45 PM
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The next one I try will be with a tenon. The reason for the recess was Teknatool was kind enough to send me one of thier chisels for cutting perfect recesses that match the angle of the jaws on my chuck. I just dont think I cut it deep enough. Thanks for the tips guys.

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post #9 of 13 Old 05-28-2012, 07:19 AM
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DMH tool rest height isn't all that critical and probably isn't your problem. It's probably the angle you using the tool. On this piece it appears that at least one catch was on the outside. That's a good indication that you weren't rubbing the bevel or possibly cutting with an unsupported edge.
This particular bowl is kind of straight sided with a flat bottom. In my opinion this is the hardest to turn on the inside. The reason is you can't rub the bevel of the tool at you go around the transition from the side to the bottom. It's simply too steep. What I do in this case is cut from the lip down to the transition point. Then I cut from the middle of the bowl out to the transition point. This way I can make sure I'm rubbing the bevel. It's still risky turning the transition area but if you take very light cuts you can get away with it.
Recess's are good but you have to make sure they are deep enough and have enough wood on the outside to support the pressure from the expanding jaws. I turn all my platters this way. I turn most bowls with a tenon because I'm going to remove it as I turn the bottom.
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post #10 of 13 Old 05-28-2012, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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John after reading your post a couple of times and thinking about it, you are right. I'm compensating for my bad angle by raising and lowering the tool rest. When that catch happened I was trying to come around (what would be) the top portion of the cup to the outside and It dug in. I need to concentrate on the bevel of the tool.

Also, what do you mean by "unsupported edge"?

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post #11 of 13 Old 05-29-2012, 09:10 AM
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Hard to describe in words. If you think of a rough out gouge as an example. It has a U shape. If the U is up and bottom of the U is on the tool rest and your cutting with the bottom that is a supported edge. Now if you keep the gouge in the same orientation and try to cut with the upper edge of the U it is unsupported and will try to roll over on you. Now if you tilt the U to the right and cut with the right side of the U then it will be supported by the tool rest and won't roll on you. Does that make sense? Hard to describe. I'll look at my videos and see if I have one that shows what I'm talking about.
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post #12 of 13 Old 05-29-2012, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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Got it. You described it perfect. Thank You!

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post #13 of 13 Old 05-29-2012, 07:21 PM
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So after watching Johns video a couple more times, I think I'm going to attempt another smallish bowl this weekend!!!! Still will be looking forward to a bowl guoge specific video!!

RRBrown, knottscott and many others were banned, they didn't just leave. They were banned for standing up to the new owners that are destroying this site. Come join us all at woodworking chat, the best new woodworking site on the net!!
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