Thompson Tools vs. other brands - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 03-27-2011, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thompson Tools vs. other brands

Those of you that own Thompson tools, what are your likes and dislikes of this brand vs. some of the other brands that you might own? Thought I might buy a couple of them at some point. Do they hold their edge any better than Sheffield steel? Thanks all.
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post #2 of 25 Old 03-27-2011, 10:38 PM
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Thompson Tools vs. other brands

Well,the good points are everything the bad points are,er,ah,let me think a bit now.ok got it,THERE AIN"T none hee hee. As for holding an egde longer,IMHO they hold one better than any others I have used,an I'm not talkin about the cheap ones either. I have 5 of em (I think)

God Bless all
Ken Ward
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post #3 of 25 Old 03-28-2011, 12:55 AM
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I just got one a few weeks ago and it's awesome...you won't be disappointed. I have Henry Taylor and Sorby bowl and spindle gouges and now a Thompson bowl gouge. So far I've turned 4 bowls with it, sharpening it only once since I've had it (if I were using my other gouges, I probably would have sharpened before and during each bowl). I've posted these before, but here are the first 3 I did with the new tool.
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That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #4 of 25 Old 03-28-2011, 10:11 AM
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Well I'm up to about 7 now I think. My 1/2" V bowl gouge is my my most used tool. I Love the 3/8" detail gouge which is probably my second most used tool. I don't have one of his rough out gouges yet because my original off brand tool is still good with lots of length. It's hard to justify $80 for a rough out gouge that will hold an edge longer when my old one seems to work fine, I just have to sharpen it frequently.
I don't like to work at turning, consequently I sharpen a lot. I rarely turn a bowl without sharpening at least once. With the thompson's you can go longer before having to force the tool. I will do that when roughing bowls but then I chastise myself when I notice I'm forcing the cut. Because of that it was hard to quantify the edge holding capability of the Thompson tools. I figured maybe twice as long but not the 4 time advertised. Then I had to turn some aluminum for an artist friend. I would have to sharpen my other gouges 3 or 4 times or more per item. The Thompson would get me completely through one and sometimes 2 items before I had to stop and sharpen. That was with the original gouge. Doug told me his new gouges are better because of superior heat treating. I just got it and have only used it for one bowl so it might be a while before I really find out how much better.
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post #5 of 25 Old 03-28-2011, 05:50 PM
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Headquarters in Sheffield England no longer means they make the steel there today. Some companies there still cut to length and put a bevel on tools.

I still like M2 HSS steel tools. I have had good luck with Crown, Henry Taylor,P&N, Sorby M2 HSS tools. Several years ago replaced Henry Taylor “skew with a new HT KRYO, ” skew. Do not like it as well as old HT M2 HSS ” Skew. Do not find it holds an edge longer. Have run across few folks that don’t like KRYO tools.

I do not currently own any Thompson tools right now but would like to. Have yet to run across a dissatisfied customer. Thompson has one of the best guarantees in the business

I like both his U and V style bowl gouges and think his prices certainly competitive with major tool brands. Feel the same way about his spindle gouges. I am comfortable making my own tool handles.

He is filling a niche once filled by Jerry Glaser. Glaser sold his company to Hitec Engineering, cannot find Glaser Hitec turning tools anywhere today. Thompson’s prices a lot cheaper.

If you are in need new turning tool give Thompson lathe tools a try.
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post #6 of 25 Old 03-28-2011, 06:30 PM
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I was given my first Thompson tool - a 1/2" V bowl gouge - this morning.

Turned my first bowl with it this afternoon. I found the bevel a bit steep to start the hollowing process so I used my PSI (Benjamin's Best) gouge for the first part of the inside, then switched back to the Thompson for leveling the bottom and blending the curve into the sides.

But it feels great, and it just went where I pointed it with no fuss.


Please visit my website, Fruit of the Lathe
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post #7 of 25 Old 03-29-2011, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks to you all for the feedback on these tools. I'll be ordering some soon and now I must decide which to go with. The u-gouge or the v-gouge or one of each? I've never used a detail gouge but it looks like a spindle gouge to me. Would that one be worth investing in also?
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post #8 of 25 Old 03-29-2011, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HLW View Post
Thanks to you all for the feedback on these tools. I'll be ordering some soon and now I must decide which to go with. The u-gouge or the v-gouge or one of each? I've never used a detail gouge but it looks like a spindle gouge to me. Would that one be worth investing in also?
I'm curious too. What's the different uses for the U-shaped vs. the V-Shaped gouge. Maybe it's been explained in another thread; I didn't do a search yet. since you eluded to wanting to know the differences, I thought I might as well ask here.
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post #9 of 25 Old 03-30-2011, 10:49 PM
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I doubt I will be able to explain it without photos but I'll try. The main difference is how thick the sides are. With a V shaped gouge you have a little more meat there. If you grind it properly the "wings" will have a blunter angle than a U shaped gouge. This blunter angle will hold an edge longer. When your really hogging wood off in a push cut the lower wing is really eating wood. This will dull an acute edge fairly quickly.
On the plus side for the U shaped gouge, the sharper angle of the wings will come in handy for some pull cuts. This will cut very clean. I use both types of gouges for different cuts.
People argue about chip ejection on the different flutes. You hae V shape, U shape and Super flute which is sort of inbetween the other two.
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post #10 of 25 Old 03-31-2011, 10:17 PM
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HL,
Doug is a member of our turning club so we get to see prototypes and sometimes are the guinea pigs for new tools. Doug is out to make the best tools possible and is one of the nicest guys you ever want to meet. I own a half dozen of his tools and would highly recommend them.
Mike Hawkins
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post #11 of 25 Old 03-31-2011, 11:58 PM
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HL,
Doug is a member of our turning club so we get to see prototypes and sometimes are the guinea pigs for new tools. Doug is out to make the best tools possible and is one of the nicest guys you ever want to meet. I own a half dozen of his tools and would highly recommend them.
Mike Hawkins
Now I'm really jealous.

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #12 of 25 Old 04-01-2011, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
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Questions for Mike (Firehawkmph) and John Lucas. Mike do you own one of Doug's "detail gouges"?
And John in one of your reply threads to my original question, you said you used the detail gouge quite often in your turnings. Do you use it mainly for final cuts? It looks similar to a spindle gouge to me and it's obvious I've never used one. Thanks to you both. Harold.
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post #13 of 25 Old 04-01-2011, 06:42 PM
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Hl,
Yes I do have one of Doug's detail gouges. It is similar to a spindle gouge but with a bit more metal supporting the tip. It lets you reach in a little farther without chattering.
Mike Hawkins
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post #14 of 25 Old 04-02-2011, 07:50 AM
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I have a 3/8 and 1/2" detail gouge and 1/2" spindle gouge. I use the detail gouges all the time. In fact I use my 1/2" V shaped bowl gouge and my 3/8" detail gouge for 90% of the work I do. I reach for the 1/2" detail when I have to hand the tool over the tool rest very far. The extra thickness of the detail gouges over the spindle gouges really reduces the vibration and chatter off the tool.
I grind my detail gouges using the same settings on my Wolverine jig as I do with my bowl gouge. The only difference is I put spacer block inthe V block of the Oneway jig. This raises the tool so it sharpens it at a steeper angle. I like my spindle gouges sharpened at 35 degrees.
These also have a smaller radius at the tip than the spindle gouge. This lets me reach into tighter places. I do find long planing cuts like cutting long tapers, to be easier with the spindle gouge or skew but just about everything else works better with the detail gouge. I will be posting a video on the next few days on turning a wine stopper using just the detail gouge. I'll try to post a link here as soon as I get it up.
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post #15 of 25 Old 04-02-2011, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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I hope to be ordering some of these tools soon. Right now we are in the middle of a complete kitchen re-do (such fun ) and I just finished building a "Murphy" bed for when we get visits from the granddaughter. All of my bowl turning has been put on the back burner for a while. Thanks again everyone for the info.
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post #16 of 25 Old 04-04-2011, 06:17 AM
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Doug Thompson is the best tool on the market at an affordable price. He stands behind the product. I have many brands of instruments and the only time I use it is not necessary when Thompson is that he simply does not have the pin gouges false I want to use.
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post #17 of 25 Old 04-04-2011, 07:21 AM
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I'm finishing the redo and clean up of a house including the living room floor. That came about right in the middle of putting a dormer on my house which is also almost done. When I get that done and the 12 bowls I have to finish I am going to start on a Murphy Bed. I need more room, need a place to store one of the mattres's from the other house, and need a place for people who visit to stay. I've been planning it for a while but now the need is there. I'd love to stay in the shop and turn but it's getting to the point that a lot of non turning projects are stacking up on me.
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post #18 of 25 Old 04-04-2011, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
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John it sure sounds like you haven't been using your Thompson in a while with all of your projects. I've always wanted to build a Murphy bed so I had a good excuse to try. I bought the hardware from Rockler and I was pleased with the results.Works great ! The company that makes the hardware has a web site it's www.wallbed.com.
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post #19 of 25 Old 04-04-2011, 10:41 AM
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thanks I was actually thinking about building my own hardware if I can find some plans to help me figure out the weights. I know the original beds didn't have gas springs and having to replace them in just about everything that has them, I'm not a fan of the gas springs.
I did get to use my Thompson gouges this weekend. I have a dozen bowls to get out and got started yesterday by turning 3. I'll post photos later today.
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post #20 of 25 Old 04-04-2011, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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John,I'm not a big fan of the gas springs either however, these are engineered for the size bed that you wish to build. The one I built was a twin size and each ram is rated at 150 psi. No more than this one will be raised and lowered I really don't expect any issues. I too couldn't find any plans for the spring beds.
Good luck on building your own hardware. Me thinks that is going to be a tough go. Calculating spring rate, how many to use on each side, the length of each and you had better have a very strong anchoring system for those bad boys.
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