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Just bought one and was messing around with it. It's not as easy as it looks. :)
 

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Yeah, I'll get it figured out. Time to start making the move from ewt's to hss tools.
 

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Just bought one and was messing around with it. It's not as easy as it looks. :)
No it isnt!! I have a 1/2" Thompson that I bought a year or so ago that I still cant use. I think most of my problem is that the tool is so big, I cant get the proper angles on my mini lathe without hitting the lathe bed with the tool handle.
 

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I can definitely see where it will be useful hogging out material on bowls and platters (made a coaster today) but I have the fingernail profile and I've seen people using them for detail work and that isn't working. Lol
 

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a 1/2" thompson is my most used tool by far. Not sure why your having trouble on your mini lathe. I am on my 4th mini lathe and still using the same gouge. Of course I use it mostly on my big lathe. Take a photo showing me why you have the problem and I'll try to answer it. Could be either you grind or how you use the tool.
I plan to do a Bowl gouge demo this spring. Just haven't had time to work out all the details so I can teach it properly and everyone will hopefully learn how to use one,
This is the closest video I have to using a bowl gouge for now. hope you can pick up on some hints. Although I'm not showing a bowl gouge, the videos on turning a cove, turning a wine stopper, and the Hunter Osprey tools cover similar turning techniques as far as rubbing the bevel and guiding the tool.
 

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I watched that last night and it helped. It will just take some practice for me. I've been messing with the skew a little too.
 

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a 1/2" thompson is my most used tool by far. Not sure why your having trouble on your mini lathe. I am on my 4th mini lathe and still using the same gouge. Of course I use it mostly on my big lathe. Take a photo showing me why you have the problem and I'll try to answer it. Could be either you grind or how you use the tool.
I plan to do a Bowl gouge demo this spring. Just haven't had time to work out all the details so I can teach it properly and everyone will hopefully learn how to use one,
This is the closest video I have to using a bowl gouge for now. hope you can pick up on some hints. Although I'm not showing a bowl gouge, the videos on turning a cove, turning a wine stopper, and the Hunter Osprey tools cover similar turning techniques as far as rubbing the bevel and guiding the tool.
Roughing Gouge Alternative - YouTube
Ive been waiting for a bowl gouge video from you. Your videos are so good and I learn alot from them.

Ill try to get down to the shop and take some pics in the next day or so of how Im using the tool and post them up. Ill start a new thread and maybe you can help me.

The grind on the tool is the way it came from Thompson. I havnt messed with anything.
 

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The grind from Doug is excellent and pretty much the same thing I use except I add a secondary bevel below the first one. This is simply to reduce the size of the main bevel which helps it track inside a bowl on the concave surface, and also reduces the friction on regular cuts which helps me "feel" the cut better.
 

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BassBlaster said:
No it isnt!! I have a 1/2" Thompson that I bought a year or so ago that I still cant use. I think most of my problem is that the tool is so big, I cant get the proper angles on my mini lathe without hitting the lathe bed with the tool handle.
Without looking at what and how you do my first thought is perhaps the tool rest is too low.

Also a fingernail grind, especially a long grind cannot make the transition from wall to base of bowl unless it is a shallow bowl. To make that transition you would be better off with a traditional grind. That is straight like a roughing gouge.

A production turner for whom I have great respect says there are 3 basic grinds.

Lady fingernail - long
Thumbnail - short
Traditional - straight

Each one can reach and do different things. Find your favourite bowl gouge and you may find you want one of each grind.

There was a Woodturning magazine earlier in the year that illustrated the different angles you can cut with different grinds. If I can find it again I will post it
 

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Just bought one and was messing around with it. It's not as easy as it looks. :)
What type of cut are you trying to make?

I use 2 main cuts with a bowl gouge:

1) scraping pull-cut ... gouge turned on its side so it's almost a C shape, the flute pointing towards the workpiece (bottom lip slightly closer to the blank than the top lip). Start with the cutting tip where the tailstock is supporting the blank, move it gently into the wood till it starts scraping, then pull the tip away from the center axis.

2) bevel-rubbing push-cut ... twist the gouge so the flute is aiming about 10 o'clock (if you're cutting towards the headstock) or 2 o'clock (if you're cutting towards the tailstock). Bring the tip up to the edge of the spinning blank and let it rest gently for a few seconds ... you need to create a ledge that the bevel can move onto, otherwise when you push the gouge into the wood it'll skid off and cut a screwthread across the face of the blank. When the ledge exists, you can start the real cut by gently pushing the tool so the bevel rides on the area it just cut -- kind of like clearing snow off the driveway.
 

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duncsuss said:
What type of cut are you trying to make? I use 2 main cuts with a bowl gouge: 1) scraping pull-cut ... gouge turned on its side so it's almost a C shape, the flute pointing towards the workpiece (bottom lip slightly closer to the blank than the top lip). Start with the cutting tip where the tailstock is supporting the blank, move it gently into the wood till it starts scraping, then pull the tip away from the center axis. 2) bevel-rubbing push-cut ... twist the gouge so the flute is aiming about 10 o'clock (if you're cutting towards the headstock) or 2 o'clock (if you're cutting towards the tailstock). Bring the tip up to the edge of the spinning blank and let it rest gently for a few seconds ... you need to create a ledge that the bevel can move onto, otherwise when you push the gouge into the wood it'll skid off and cut a screwthread across the face of the blank. When the ledge exists, you can start the real cut by gently pushing the tool so the bevel rides on the area it just cut -- kind of like clearing snow off the driveway.
Thanks for the tips. I'll practice that.
 
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