Bowl gouge

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodturning forum

Forum topic by Mark posted 07-08-2015 03:27 PM 1269 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mark's profile


984 posts in 2213 days

07-08-2015 03:27 PM

For Fathers Day I received a Sheffield Layland 1/2” bowl gouge. I thought it looked kinda big so I matched it up to my nearly depleted ,el cheapo 1/2 gouge (that I bought as a set) and ya it’s a fair bit bigger. It has 1/2” stamped on the shaft, but the micrometer says 5/8. So the question is. When did 5/8 become 1/2 ? Not a huge deal but now I’ll have to get a 3/8” gouge to replace my old 1/2?????

-- Mark

6 replies so far

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 1415 days

#1 posted 07-08-2015 03:47 PM

I seem to recall being told that a bowl gouge (maybe all gouges) are measured on the ID of the gouge not the OD.

Ron Brown, a friend of mine, will usually answer these types of questions. Here is his e-mail that I got from his web site:

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View hairy's profile


2783 posts in 3771 days

#2 posted 07-08-2015 07:33 PM

British measure the width of the flute.

Americans measure the diameter of the steel.

-- My reality check bounced...

View LeeMills's profile


629 posts in 1540 days

#3 posted 07-08-2015 08:36 PM

Dang those Brits. :) Always make it so easy.
It doesn’t matter as long as your know; especially when you start to order additional tools. Then you may end up with a smaller, the same, or a larger size than you want.
Some other UK manufacturers are Sorby, Hamlet, Crown, Asley Iles, and more. The Woodworking Store (Hurricane) list both on their specs, Packard tells you but not on every page (Packards are made by Hamlet).
They are “about” 1/8 larger than the US and are measured from flute to outside diameter. Blue would be US, red would be UK.

So be careful when you order. You have a 1/2UK (5/8US) If you want smaller you will have to order a 3/8UK (1/2US). Don’t ask me why I know. :(

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

View Wildwood's profile


2529 posts in 2373 days

#4 posted 07-08-2015 09:26 PM

If go to this link states made from 5/8” bar stock.

If look at Packard Woodworks brand (Hamlet) & Crown bowl gouges they say;
“The bowl gouges are sized like the English bowl gouges, with the diameter of steel used being 1/8” larger than the size listed.”

I still use a Crown 5/8” bowl gouge that only has about 1 ½” left on the flutes and cannot part with it even thought bought a Thompson 5/8” bowl gouge to replace it.

Think you will enjoy your new tool for hogging out wood and finish cuts.

Good luck with you new tool!

-- Bill

View Mark's profile


984 posts in 2213 days

#5 posted 07-08-2015 10:23 PM

Thank for ” clearing that up” gents. Bill if yer still there. I figured the 5/8 would be great for “hogging out enormous chunks of wood, but I hadn’t thought of it as finishing tool.

-- Mark

View Wildwood's profile


2529 posts in 2373 days

#6 posted 07-09-2015 12:35 PM

Mark, while 5/8” and bigger gouge excels at removing material with aggressive cuts. You can be aggressive with a sharp tool without forcing the cut. When you slow the cut down and take a less aggressive cut can produce an off the tool finish.

Now lathe speed, sharp tool, how you hold the tool and stance, and use your body movement and wood on the lathe has a lot to do with final results. Yes, bevel angle and bowl design also important but that comes with experience. JMHO, size of the gouge does not really matter turning a bowl it’s all about technique.

-- Bill

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics