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Thread: Big roughing gouge

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    In the heart of Niagara
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    10

    Big roughing gouge

    Good day all,

    I am looking for the biggest roughing gouge that I can find. So far a 1-3/4" Pinnacle from Woodcraft is the biggest I have seen. Are there any others out there to look at?

    Cheers, Andrew

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Front Royal, Va.
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    1,480
    Since you gave the size as 1 3/4 I will assume you are looking for a spindle roughing gouge. I have a 2 inch one from Benjamin's Best. High Speed Steel and holds a really good edge on it.
    Tony

    "Soldier On"

  3. #3
    I have the same one as Tony.... it is a BEAST

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Eau claire, Wisconsin
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    3,084

    BB 2" is the ticket

    Ditto on the BB 2" HOG!!! It is inexpensive and it really hogs off the wood on logs and big spindles! Holds an edge very good for the price

    Have fun,

    Jeff
    To turn or not to turn that is the question: ........Of course the answer is...........TURN ,TURN,TURN!!!!
    Anyone "Fool" can know, The important thing is to Understand................Albert Einstein
    To follow blindly, is to never become a leader............................................ .....Unknown

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Wetter Washington
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    888
    3rd on the BB hog, it is huge
    Making sawdust mostly, sometimes I get something else, but that is more by accident then design.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2007
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    Fort Pierce, Florida
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    3,497
    +1 more on the BB. I have been told that this is definitely a case where bigger is better.
    Retired - when every day is Saturday (unless it's Sunday).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    317
    I have the 1 3/4" from Crown. Holds edge very well. Not Pro Pm- regular.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Englishtown, NJ
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    51
    This is five years after the original thread but I thought I'd toss it in for those who may have the same question and be looking at the old thread. One problem with roughing gouges is the sizing - we all know the spindle and bowl gouge differences (English vs. American - flute width vs. round stock diameter), but the roughing gouges seem to vary among the vendors as to the method of measurement. I posted a thread asking for a standard measure (either here of on the AAW forum) and got various answers.

    I finally bought the PSI BB 2", I had one of their smaller ones but couldn't figure out if it was 3/4" or 1" as I'd bought it years ago. The 2" BB roughing gouge is 2" outside width and about 1 5/8" between flutes. As the most general answer I got from my post seem to have the between flute measurement it seems that the BB 2" is about the same size as the 1 3/4" from others - but it also seems they are all approximate, unlike the round stock gouges. No problem, it works beautifully.

    One more comment on BB tools, good steel but not well ground or handled. Again, no problem, I regrind all my tools to my preferred shape. I have certain tools on which I spend money, I have many others where it is far better to buy the PSI BB. My two basic skews are M4 Alan Lacers, my basic detail and bowl gouges are Thompson's - both are a very high grade steel and sold unhandled. Everything else (except for some leftovers before I learned not to believe the ads) is BB. My scrapers and auxiliary gouges which I'm always reshaping as well as my roughing gouges - why grind away expensive steel when you know you will be reshaping the tool an number of times.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Mesa, Arizona
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    1,373
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Murphy View Post
    ...
    One more comment on BB tools, good steel but not well ground or handled. Again, no problem, I regrind all my tools to my preferred shape. I have certain tools on which I spend money, I have many others where it is far better to buy the PSI BB. My two basic skews are M4 Alan Lacers, my basic detail and bowl gouges are Thompson's - both are a very high grade steel and sold unhandled. Everything else (except for some leftovers before I learned not to believe the ads) is BB. My scrapers and auxiliary gouges which I'm always reshaping as well as my roughing gouges - why grind away expensive steel when you know you will be reshaping the tool an number of times.
    A few years ago my wife looked over my shoulder as I circled items in PSI's print catalog. (These weren't items I intended to buy. Just items I found interesting and planned on comparing with what was available from other vendors.) As a result, I got a bunch of BB tools for Christmas. Here's my observations on BB tools based on 10-12 I own:
    • The finish on the tools is very rough. Lots of machining marks left on the blade of the tool. The corners on tools made from flat bar stock, skews and scrapers, have not been softened. I have two sets of HF tools and the BB tools are, in general, rougher. One or two of the HF tools are as rough as the best of the BB. None of the BB tools are as well finished as the best of the HF tools. At one time I thought the roughness of the BB tools was just an appearance issue. It's not. It affects the tools' performance. The machining marks and sharp corners make the tools drag on the tool rest. The machining marks get filled with crud and make the tools harder to clean. The last time I sharpened my tools I spent a lot of time hand sanding the tools to both clean them and to soften the corners and reduce the machining marks.
    • The steel holds an edge fairly well, but there's a wide variance from one tool to the next. A couple of weeks ago, I cleaned out my shop and decided to sharpen all my tools. I use a Tormek, so I remove very little metal with each pass on the wheel. If all I'm doing is touching up an edge, once or twice across the wheel is all it takes. If I'm changing bevel angles or shape, it takes A LOT more time. (Usually, if I'm removing much metal, I use my Tormek jigs on my dry grinder. I didn't this time because the dry grinder is outside in my shop and Arizona summer temps were well over 100 degrees. I can use my Tormek inside the house in air conditioned comfort.) I chose to add a negative rake to all me scrapers and to change the bevel angle on all my skews. This gave me the chance to compare how long it takes to remove metal from the steel used by the various makers of the tools in my kit. I take this to be a fair proxy for the durability of an edge in actual turning. In descending order (with most durable first) here's how I rank things: Thompson, Hamlet and Henry Taylor, Serious Lathe Tools, HF and BB. The BB tools had the most variability from one tool to the next. There's a significant drop from Thompson to the other tools, which are all M2 steel (Serious tools are A1).
    • The BB flat bar stock tools (skews and scrapers) are thicker than those from HF. This should reduce vibration when extended over the tool rest.


    None of this is to suggest that BB tools are not a good value. They can be. Buyers just need to understand that BB's quality varies a good bit from one tool to the next (even when included in the same set) and that they may need to do a lot of hand work to smooth out the tools' rough edges.
    David Walser

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Midland MI
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    828
    I have the BB bowl gouge set, I have been very happy with it, I don't have enough money to buy the high end tools but the BB ones I have are better tools then I am user lol

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Green Valley, Az.
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    1,202
    Just to see what all the talk about BB tools was about I bought two of them. One, a small scraper was okay. It took and held an edge. The other, a roughing gouge, was so bad that I threw it in the trash in disgust. I really don't think it had been tempered. I'll stay with better tools.

  12. #12
    The only BB tools I find to be worth buying are the scrapers and the 2" roughing gouge. I don't use the roughing gouge much in the type of work I do, but I find it to be very functional and a good value as I use it so little. Touching up the edge when I need to use it is not an inconvenience. The scrapers, at about $17 each, are nice to have for re-grinding into various special use tools. I have a couple that are rounded on one side, left and right that I use to shear scrape, one that is ground to cut a 3/8" recess, one that will do an undercut dovetail, etc. they do require frequent sharpening during use, but again, they are special use tools that don't get a lot of mileage. Therefore, touching them up when used isn't an issue.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    "Brownsville", North Queensland, Australia.
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    289
    Quote Originally Posted by David Walser View Post
    they do require frequent sharpening during use, but again, they are special use tools that don't get a lot of mileage. Therefore, touching them up when used isn't an issue.
    We don't get BB here in Australia and don't normally see any of them, but we do see plenty of other generic brands in a similar price bracket. The general comments like David's above, Wallys "was so bad that I threw it in the trash in disgust. I really don't think it had been tempered." & particularly David's "Buyers just need to understand that BB's quality varies a good bit from one tool to the next" say a lot to me. I don’t understand that – if I pay good money I expect to get a useable tool. Quotes about a 100% waste of money come to mind IF you get the bad one. Worse still what if you get injured?

    If the QC is so bad that the manufacturer can not detect un-tempered tools & let them go through to sale I think I would steer well clear of that brand, no matter how many replacements they offer. Next is that if a brand is known for its economy I would be checking the tang length etc. Have they saved material there too?

    Poorly tempered steel in a tool, insufficient tang engagement in the handle, too small a ferrule, light handle etc are significant hazards that can create rather unfortunate and potentially quite dangerous mishaps.

    The OP asked about large roughing gouges and many have mentioned the BB 2" tanged spindle roughing gouge (SRG) is available. https://www.pennstateind.com/store/LX240.html

    Now if there is questionable QC from a manufacturer I doubt very much that I would purchase the brand myself and certainly would not trust the designed proportions of the tang or the handle for a BB 2" SRG as shown in the link. IF I was given a 2" SRG, first off it would want to know more about it before I put it into use. The BB would be un-handled to see just how long that tang is, how far it goes into the handle and the handle would be discarded immediately. IF the tang had sufficient length I would at least make a new handle that has a much larger ferrule, at least 1 & 1/4" or 32mm, and a decent hardwood handle. I would however never feel confident in that tool knowing that others have experienced poor QC issues.

    My preferences are for Hamlet SRG’s for standard SRG designs but I much prefer the P&N SRG’s with their solid milled tang. The P & N’s are very expensive compared to the BB but are a much safer tool IMO.

    It all gets back to risk management and balancing the best option for the purchaser, what is best for them and what risk they are prepared to accept.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Fort Pierce, Florida
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    3,497
    A recent thread asking about Sorby tools had a link to this report http://woodturninglearn.net/articles/ToolSteel.pdf where several brands were tested by an independent lab to determine the metallurgy involved and resultant hardness. While the article DOES NOT address newer powder metals it does discuss the fact that heat treatment of HSS is very critical and is often botched. Interestingly, they tested BB tools both from PSI and from e-bay with different results. Definitely a case of 'caveat emptor'.

    Another article I recently read discussed the sizing of gouges. In both the US and UK spindle gouges are measured by the diameter of the shaft, while in the US we also measure bowl gouges the same way, UK measures either by the flute width or by the distance from the outside of the shaft to the opposite inside of the flute. This latter measurement is the manner in which forged gouges (including SRGs) which are rolled from flat stock are typically measured and some bowl gouge manufacturers use it for machined gouges as well. Since we are now starting to see machined SRGs in the 1" range, we will need to get used to different measures there too, I guess.

    I own and have been satisfied with the BB 2" SRG. If I buy a smaller one, it will be either a D-Way or Thompson machined gouge.
    Retired - when every day is Saturday (unless it's Sunday).

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    835
    I just got the Crown - I think we would call it 1 1/4"? It's pretty nice and should last until I can afford the Thompson monster (I got to touch one at the symposium, ooohhh sweet!)

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