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thompson 5/8 bowl gouge

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Forum topic by cdaniels posted 03-19-2016 03:26 AM 1121 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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cdaniels

1311 posts in 968 days


03-19-2016 03:26 AM

I started out turning like a lot of people with a set of benjamins best tools. that was about a year, 3 lathes and a lot of money ago. Now I just bought a thompson V flute 5/8” bowl gouge and I cannot do a dang thing with it, can’t even get a blank round. the thing just makes a mess and catches and bounces off the wood and makes uneven cuts. I’m sure this is due to me since so many know thompson tools to be among the best but I can take my benjamins best bowl gouge and turn spaghetti strings like butter. is there some sort of technique to using a larger gouge than a 1/2” that i’m used to or am I just not sharpening right? I use the oneway and wolverine and matched the gouge to the factory grind, most of my other bowl gouges are between 45-50 degrees because I can’t quite get comfortable with a 60 for some reason. any ideas?

-- Jesus was a carpenter... I'm just saying


21 replies so far

View loiblb's profile

loiblb

109 posts in 523 days


#1 posted 03-19-2016 04:10 AM

I’m sort of in the same point in turning. I’m looking at my first Thompson tool maybe a skew now, not sure what size I need. I just bought a 3/4” Robert Sorby roughing gouge and keep the grind the same as it came. It has JUST been a big problem for me to use.
I hope/guess it’s just my skill level needs more work.

View jeff's profile

jeff

989 posts in 2932 days


#2 posted 03-19-2016 06:02 AM

Sounds like you have the sharpening down because you have success with your BB tools-so it doesn’t sound like a poor turning technique ect.Maybe the Thompsons do not take a sharp edge with the type of wheel on your grinder because of the harder steel in the Thompson tool-Im guessing at this though.I have a set of Thompsons and BB bowl gouges and use CBN wheels-they both come off the grinder equally sharp.My bowl gouges all have traditional 60 degree bevels on them.Maybe find a turning club in your area or an experienced turner to help?.

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2410 posts in 1981 days


#3 posted 03-19-2016 11:56 AM

I looked up that gouge, a rather acute back grind on the sides. If it is catching on the front, I’d try and roll it a little to use the sides.
Also, I have seen a few guys knock off a little at the very back bevel of the V, so if you do roll it over, it doesn’t hit the back of the bevel and catch.
Here’s a Cap Eddie video showing how people grind the back differently that the factory.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yA9V4s8vqEQ

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View gwilki's profile

gwilki

121 posts in 940 days


#4 posted 03-19-2016 03:04 PM

cdaniels: Did you have the problem right off the bat? Doug sends his tools sharpened and ready to go, unlike other makers. If you had the problem with Doug’s grind, I would suggest that you call Doug. He is a great guy to talk to and I know that he will get you through is.

I have his 5/8” V and use it a lot. One thing that I have found with Doug’s tools is that it takes a few more passes on the grinder to get a good edge on them than it takes with tools with softer metals.

-- Grant Wilkinson, Ottawa ON

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1887 posts in 1601 days


#5 posted 03-19-2016 03:53 PM

You do not need CBN wheel to sharpen Doug Thompson tools! Doug said as much in one of his sharpening videos.

http://thompsonlathetools.com/sharpening/

You now own the gouge go ahead and put a 45 degree bevel on your new gouge. You do not say if have an optional wolverine Vari grind jig. If don’t have one need to get one. Also get yourself something to measure bevel angle if don’t have one.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/General-Tools-Steel-Protractor-17/100349259?MERCH=REC-_-PIPHorizontal1_rr-_-203219287-_-100349259-_-N

John likes sweep back wings on his bowl gouges (Ellsworth Irish, side grind). He also likes double bevel on some bowl gouges.

http://www.woodcentral.com/woodworking/forum/turning.pl/page/2/md/read/id/492597/sbj/my-thompson-gouge-is-getting-too-short/

Had no problem hogging wood with my 5/8” U shape Thompson gouge but did have a problem making finishing cuts at first. Not a problem anymore!

My wolverine Vari grind jig does not have notches and instructions are different than what Doug tells you and put out by Oneway today. I use 2” verus 1 3/4” when inserting my tool in the jig.

Bowl turners often have more than one gouge and use different bevel angle for different style bowls. Have two ½” gouges one with fingernail & one with swept back wings grind both work well and each has different bevel angle. Use a fingernail grind with same angle came with on the 5/8” gouge.

If go to Wood Central tool grind page will folk with just one gouge & and others with more than one gouge.

http://www.woodcentral.com/newforum/grinds.shtml

I like bout U & V shape bowl gouges and cannot say which is better other they both work well. Takes skill to turn a complete bowl start to finish with 5/8” gouge and bigger. So having a smaller gouge might be better for most folks.

-- Bill

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3130 days


#6 posted 03-20-2016 12:03 AM

Give Doug Thompson a call … he is easy to reach via phone (or email, or Facebook), and is very helpful. He wants his tools to work for you.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7934 posts in 1847 days


#7 posted 03-20-2016 01:53 AM

Had the same exact issue with my first bowl gouge, you’ll get used to it.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View cdaniels's profile

cdaniels

1311 posts in 968 days


#8 posted 03-20-2016 05:44 AM

kept trying some more today with it, sharpened it up and roughed a little more out, hard birdseye maple isn’t easy but I think i’ll try again tomorrow on a fresh piece. thanks for all the replies i’ll keep trying it out.

-- Jesus was a carpenter... I'm just saying

View HapHazzard's profile

HapHazzard

92 posts in 335 days


#9 posted 03-20-2016 09:08 PM

Bear in mind that the steel he uses (AISI A11), is not a high-speed steel. It’s a very tough, A-series, cold-work tool steel, with very good hardness and wear-resistance, but don’t get it hot! If anything more than a quick pass on the grinder is required, I strongly recommend using a wet grinder.

-- Unix programmers never die; they just > /dev/null

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TheDane

4997 posts in 3130 days


#10 posted 03-20-2016 10:50 PM

... hard birdseye maple isn’t easy …

You can say that again! Birdseye Maple, IMHO, is highly susceptible to tear-out. Even good sharp tools can grab the swirling grain and tear it out in a heartbeat.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View cdaniels's profile

cdaniels

1311 posts in 968 days


#11 posted 03-21-2016 04:58 AM

I think it’s my technique, every now and then I get shavings with a gouge that peel off like ribbon, takes no effort whatsoever and relaxes everything, but 98% of the time I feel like i’m white knuckle brawling with the wood. going to chalk it up to being a beginner and not using the right technique.

-- Jesus was a carpenter... I'm just saying

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7934 posts in 1847 days


#12 posted 03-21-2016 06:00 AM

I’m impressed with your willingness to use birdseye for gouge practice. Lay the tool over on it’s side, let the bevel rub a bit and slowly lift the back of the tool until you are cutting.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View HapHazzard's profile

HapHazzard

92 posts in 335 days


#13 posted 03-21-2016 09:44 AM

I’ve experienced those white knuckles too. I’ve found it only makes things worse if I try to keep turning when I feel that way. I get way too nervous and way too focussed on correcting the damage I’ve caused instead of my technique. It helps to turn off the lathe, check the edge on the tool I’m using, and either work on something else for a while or go have a beer.

-- Unix programmers never die; they just > /dev/null

View cdaniels's profile

cdaniels

1311 posts in 968 days


#14 posted 03-21-2016 03:12 PM

This is what my bb looks like off the grinder, does it look about right?

-- Jesus was a carpenter... I'm just saying

View gwilki's profile

gwilki

121 posts in 940 days


#15 posted 03-21-2016 06:21 PM

That looks perfect.

What cut is giving you a problem – push cut, pull cut – both? The only cut that this profile may not be good for is inside a bowl, transitioning from the side to the bottom. The hard heel on this grind will cause the tool to lift from the bottom surface. If that is your problem, you can soften the heel free hand on the grinder. Otherwise the angle seems good and the sweep is perfect.

-- Grant Wilkinson, Ottawa ON

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