bowl gouge angles

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Forum topic by Karda posted 03-13-2018 05:52 AM 259 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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997 posts in 486 days

03-13-2018 05:52 AM

My 1/2 inch bowl gouge has I thin a 65 degree angle. Iuse a belt sander with Ellsworth style fixed jig, 2” protruding from jig pivot 4 1/4 inches from belt. i am getting a 5/8s bowl gouge I want to use it for the bottom because they are heavier and i hear more stable. what angle should i use and what would be a better angle for the outside and how do you set them up on a belt sander thanks

7 replies so far

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1267 posts in 1662 days

#1 posted 03-13-2018 03:11 PM

Who are you buying the gouge from? If it happens to be a Thompson gouge, it will already be ground to what Doug considers to be a good grind. Just set up and duplicate it.
If it’s not a Thompson, experiment until you find an angle that you like. ............ Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View Wildwood's profile


2267 posts in 2067 days

#2 posted 03-13-2018 03:52 PM

Whole lot more depends upon design or style, depth of the bowl and your skill than just bevel angle on a bowl gouge.

Here is nice article & video. You can do the same bevels sharpening on a belt sander but that’s not in my wheel house.

-- Bill

View Karda's profile


997 posts in 486 days

#3 posted 03-13-2018 03:55 PM

I need a place to start, and how do i change angles with this kind of jig.

View gwilki's profile


192 posts in 1406 days

#4 posted 03-13-2018 05:22 PM

Many turners grind a “bottom of the bowl” gouge that has a much blunter angle than the gouge they use for the rest of the bowl. For me, my bowl gouge is between 55° and 60°. My bowl bottom gouge is between 75° and 80°.
Much depends on how steep your bowl is and how deep it is. If the bowl is deep and steep, you may not be able to keep the bevel on the wood if the angle is too acute. The handle of the gouge will be hitting the edge of the bowl.
As for how you change the angle with the type of jig your are using, you are limited to moving the pivot point of the jig closer and farther from the belt and changing the projection of the gouge from the jig.

-- Grant Wilkinson, Ottawa ON

View Karda's profile


997 posts in 486 days

#5 posted 03-13-2018 09:46 PM

Hi, the bowls I think I will do won’t be too deep and I’ll try to stay away fro steep sides. I started using carbide for deep work and many times I get a better surface than with a bowls gouge. i am going to get a larger gouge And want to use that for bottoms. I need angles to start with because what I do is cut a dowel the angle I want then put that in my jig and use that to set the pivot point for that angle. I’ll post a picture of my setupthanks for sharing now I have a place to start

View Lazyman's profile


1810 posts in 1320 days

#6 posted 03-13-2018 10:45 PM

If the bowl gouge comes with a traditional grind from the manufacturer, i would probably just stick with the bevel and angle it comes with. That is what I did with the Hurricane and Benjamin’s Best bowl gouges that I reserve for finishing the bottom of the bowl. With that approach, you won’t use the Irish/Ellsworth jig you show above. Instead, use a V-block and just roll it side-to-side in the V-groove. To keep the same angle just adjust your platform until matches the existing angle. You can usually do this just by eye, but if necessary, mark the bevel with a Sharpie or Magic Marker and manually move the belt with the bevel against the belt. When the you see that the area you marked has a stripe where it is completely free of the marker, you have the same angle. The setup I am talking about can be see at about 8 seconds into this video ( they probably cover in more detail later).

Note, if you don’t have a v-block, you can still do it by hand just being careful to keep the tool at 90 degrees to the belt as you roll it. It is basically the same technique used to sharpen a spindle roughing gouge.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Karda's profile


997 posts in 486 days

#7 posted 03-14-2018 03:37 AM

ok thanks for the suggestion, i saved the proedge video, good info there thanks

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