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Discussion Starter #1
Have had my lathe a few years but my projects never required it's use. Now I am gaining interest in this tool and exploring, a steep learning curve.

Seems the 3/4" gouge is a fabulous tool, my recent efforts is taking rough blanks, 8-10" in diameter and getting them round and turned to size.

Was at a Lee Valley store and see they sell a 1 1/2" gouge ................... my heart went so fast!!!! $125 Seems a little steep for such a tool, or?

So, is a large gouge a useful and important tool and any other sources for a gouge this size?

I also found round nosed scrapers to work pretty good also.

your thoughts and recommendations please.
 

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I gave my 3/4" gouge away. As far as bowl gouges go I think a 5/8" gouge is as big as you need to go. I can take off 1/2" or more of wood in a single pass with this thing. I couldn't take off any more with the 3/4 and it's weight just wore me out when turning for a full day.
I also have a large rough out gouge that I thought would make things go faster. I never use it. my 3/4 removes wood just about as fast and is much easier on my.
I have a 3" skew. I thought it would solve some problems on larger turnings. it didn't. I use the 1 1/4" skew almost exclusively.
I guess I'm a sucker for large tools. I just bought a spindle gouge that is 2 1/2" wide. I'm hoping it will sort of do the same things a rough out and spindle gouge will do. That will speed up some larger projects. Based on past experiences I probably just wasted money but it will be fun to play with.
 

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John,
Ditto on the overly large tools. They make nice wall hangers. Seriously, unless you have a specific need for a large tool, stick with what works and is comfortable.
Mike Hawkins;)
 

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4Woodturning
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i agree with above. there is really not much use for a large gouges. 1/2" bowl gouge is my choice. good luck.
 

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Sydney, Australia
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I have a 3/4 and use it mainly on the tough Aussie hard woods for roughing out after I bent a 3/8 P&N. The rest of the time 1/2 is just fine.
 

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I have found that using a larger skew has reduced by catches since the area that is cutting is larger and more centered on the piece of wood.
 

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I found the opposite. I've been using a skew for a long time. I bought a larger skew since I had a project for a bunch of spindles that were 6" in diameter. I thought it would reduce the chances for a catch. Not so. The bigger skew takes such a large bite and it will try to self feed so you have to control it. The smaller skew (1 1/4) is much easier to control on the larger pieces but you do have to keep the cut away from the upper half of the skew.
When I do my skew demo I use all sorts of things from pocket knives, draw knives, hatchets, etc. If your on the bevel they all work but the larger the bite the more it wants to pull itself into the wood.
 

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When I said bigger, I meant for me. I now use a 1'' skew instead of a 1/2" skew. The one inch had made a bigger difference. I don't know about much bigger then that.
 

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I have an 2" roughing gouge and love it. One of the things I enjoy turning is rolling pins. The average diameter of a finished one is about 2". I find that I am able to get the blanks rounded faster and more uniform with my big gouge than I can with a smaller one. The one I have I got from Penn State, and it only cost me $42. Money well spent IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
2" gouge or larger? Also scrapers from Xinjiang.

A 2" gouge? sounds great ....... how large do they make gouges?? I just might have to part with $42 ...........

While traveling in Xinjiang, China in 2008, and exploring Kashi, I wandered to an area where tools were forged specifically for wood lathe users. Lathe tools seem to follow one pattern, round head scrapers with the cutting edge much wider then the shank with sharp sharp corners. I purchased two of them, one a "normal" sized scraper with a head about 1.25" wide and the second with a 4" wide cutting edge.

Did not have any success with either tool however since I am just starting out on the wood lathe, there is much to be learned. I did watch the professionals using these tools and was very impressed with the production rate and the varieties made from one tool.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
2" gouge ordered

Thanks for all the info. I submitted an order for the 2" gouge this morning and it should arrive next week. Now just starting to read up on the 4 jaw bowl chucks ..... and Robust lathes, and old Conover lathes and ....... when does all this end?? :)
 

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Just remember a rough out gouge is not to be used on a bowl. You will get a big catch and bend the tang or even break it. Rough out gouges were designed for spindles. An experienced turner can use a rough out gouge on a bowl but you will find extremely few turners who do.
I have both 2" and 1" rough out gouge and the 2" one sits on the shelf. I do several people who swear by the bigger tool it just doesn't work for me. I can rough out a spindle in nothing flat with either tool.
 

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Just remember a rough out gouge is not to be used on a bowl. You will get a big catch and bend the tang or even break it. Rough out gouges were designed for spindles. An experienced turner can use a rough out gouge on a bowl but you will find extremely few turners who do.
I have both 2" and 1" rough out gouge and the 2" one sits on the shelf. I do several people who swear by the bigger tool it just doesn't work for me. I can rough out a spindle in nothing flat with either tool.
Yup I agree, I only use mine on the outside and too only get a very rough shape. Basically to turn off the lumps and knobs and give a rudimentary shape some where near to what I am looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Received the 2" gouge yesterday and been playing with it on a big peice of ceder. Like any new tool, requires some time to learn. I think it can be a valuable tool once the learning curve has been climbed. The gouge is circular, not parabolic, not sure if large gouges come in a parabolic shape. Seems to catch easily but also has the potential to make some deep cuts once I learn proper control.

Will need to try some of the rough birch and maple sitting in the wood pile.
 

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It definitely will take some time to get used to, but once you get the hang of it you will find it very useful. I sure do like mine.
 
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