Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Baxter, Tennessee
It's hard to describe in words. It's called rubbing the bevel and not using an unsupported cutting edge. The bottom of the tool where you grind it to sharpen is called the bevel. You should always start a cut buy placing the tool on the wood at such an angle that the bevel is touching the wood but the cutting edge isn't. Then move the tool handle until the cutting edge starts making a cut. This gives you control of the cut.
An unusupported edge is also hard to describe. Imagine the bowl gouge as a U. If you are cutting with the U in this configuration and you are cutting with the bottom of the U, the tool rest is under this bottom area and the cutting edge is supported by the tool rest. Now suppose you rotate the gouge slightly so the left upper edge of the U is doing the cutting. This is an unsupported area and the wood will try to pull it down so the gouge twists, bang you get a catch.
To avoid the above condition rotate the flute toward the right when you are cutting the interior of a bowl. You will now be cutting with the lower portion of the u and it is directlly supported by the tool rest.
As you turn down toward toward center of the bowl it is still important to keep the bevel rubbing. Anytime you have just the cutting edge in the wood without the bevel rubbing on the wood you get a catch.