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First Time Turning #3: If a bowl gouge is for bowls, then a spindle gouge is for...

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Blog entry by Copperjock posted 2313 days ago 1159 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Let's Talk about Gouges... 'cause nobody else is... Part 3 of First Time Turning series no next part

Great tips in the last blog entry, as it is, I was given the lathe and the tools, and there is definitely no bowl gouge included. As a matter of fact, I saw a similar set of lathe tools earlier today available for roughly $10. So, I’m first off not dealing with the high quality, heirloom edition of ANYTHING related to the lathe. It came from my dad’s shop, and it’s more than I had before, so I’m not disappointed by any means, just giving you an idea what I’m working with.

Bowl gouges are EXPENSIVE… especially at Woodcraft. Dang, I was ready to plunk down $20, but not $75. So the bowls, and the bowl gouge (and the chuck) will just have to wait. I’ve got a whole garage of other tools and projects that were already in the works before the lathe showed up.

A class would be great, and definitely accelerate the learning curve, but looking here at this weeks Woodcraft flyer, $110 for the class, required tools: 1/4 and 3/8 bowl gouges, 3/4 heavy duty bowl scraper, and parting/cutoff tool. Assuming you can grab those “cheap” at $50 each, we are into $300+. Let’s face it, I’m the foster parent, I didn’t adopt.

So what do you do with a simple china-made (of course, what isn’t) lathe, and a $10 set of turning tools. There has to be something. Well, I figured if a bowl gouge was necessary for the bowls, and what I have are spindle gouges, then I need to think of a spindle project.

So I made a tool handle out of oak.

It came out alright, functional for sure.

I have a better understanding of how “riding the bevel” works after this project. With cutting at the side grain, the spindle gouge works fine at this angle.

I should point out to those of you who commented in the last blog, the photos of the “tool angle” was an afterthought, and it wasn’t a “in-process” photo. I was done for the night, and wanted to get that included, so I just stuck it up next to the block… (we won’t be calling it a bowl for a while, I think.) Also it isn’t very clear in this picture, but the gouge is oriented with the groove side away from the block and the beveled side toward it. For the record, I’ve been setting the tool rest within about an inch of the work.

From the previous blog, I think I see conflicting thoughts on where the tool rest/cutting edge meets the stock, above, below or at the axis? On the tool handle, I wasn’t paying much attention, but it seems to me the cutting edge was above center slightly, the tool rest was definitely below, it has very limited adjustment, so I guess with this lathe, the tool rest “is where it is.”

One more observation rotating the handle to about 45 degrees then moving in that direction feels right and moves material. I would say I am still making a lot more dust than shavings, I don’t even know if that is significant.

-- All the test cuts in the world won't stop you from cutting the outside when you meant to cut the inside. doh!



1 comment so far

View rikkor's profile

rikkor

11295 posts in 2473 days


#1 posted 2313 days ago

I try to set the tool rest about 1/8 inch away, and move it back closer when it gets out to an inch.

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