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Thread: Continental style spindle gouge - any users with thoughts?

  1. #1
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    Continental style spindle gouge - any users with thoughts?

    I am working on a larger, endgrain piece, and shaping it with a bowl gouge doesn't seem to be giving me as good a surface as my 1/2" spindle gouge - because of the grain and direction of cut necessary in parts of the piece, I am sure. Got me thinking about the gouge that Rude Osolnik used, which I understand from Jamie Donaldson is referred to as a Continental style gouge. Seems it would be nice for long sweeping curves on endgrain vase style pieces. Any users? Any thoughts? Sources?

  2. #2
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    I have two that came with my red handled HF set and never have gotten much use out of them. They do seem at their best when doing long sweeping curves. I have not done any long end grain vases but have used them when shaping tool handles and they seem to work well on those. Better than a regular spindle gouge or a SRG, I thought. But I don't make that many tool handles so they don't get much use at all.
    God is great and life is good!

  3. #3
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    I found this http://www.intertoolsonline.co.uk/prod.php?prod=2074 with a quick search...maybe it will get you started.
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears combat boots

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    Jim, I saw that listing when I was cruising around about this topic. The Sorby seems to be the only company producing this creature. They are available, at The Best Things, but I just hate the thought of paying $85, plus shipping, for an M2 HSS gouge. I realize, though, that the 1 3/8" width makes it more expensive. If I get some good comments from users, perhaps that might be a purchase!

    Mike, I don't think the HF 3/4" spindle gouge is the same profile. I have that tool, as well, but the Continental gouge seems to be more shallow in the flute. I would also want a wider tool than 3/4". Thanks, though.

  5. #5
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    John, they are also refered to as 'German' spindle gouges, though 'continental' as opposed to 'english' is probably truer from my searches. Packard also makes and sells some
    100192-img.jpg

    I have the two from the HF set and use them for spindle work where I need large curves. since they are forged (with a tang) I don't think i would want to use them for faceplate work.
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  6. #6
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    I've had a Henry Taylor 1/2" Continental Gouge for roughly 10 years. My understanding is that it qualified as among the "forged" gouges. It was sold at the time by The Cutting Edge, but they are apparently not in the turning tool business any longer. I probably asked that same question on this forum that many years ago and went ahead and bought one. I use mine a lot and frankly think it suits me well for outside shapes on smaller hollow forms or for boxes. I also use it as a smaller roughing gouge. In fact, I might tend to grab this tool for just about everything. I tried sharpening this with long wings ala my spindle gouges but reverted back to just a 45 degree angle and fingernail profile. I think we all tend to find comfort levels with certain tools and this one fits mine.
    Last edited by Charles Bjorgen; 04-14-2012 at 1:27 PM.

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    I have a Glaser one. I haven't used it much but when I have, it really works well. I know you're not a big Glaser fan but who knows, you might like it.
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  8. #8
    John - I have a couple of these and use them a lot for the reason that you need one, and for spindle turning. They are especially beneficial for long sweeping shapes on balusters and newel posts etc. They don't do well on cross grain wood, however.

    As others have stated, some cheaper gouges resemble them, but the steel is too thick and they don't perform well. I grind the bevel to 35 degrees or a tad less and they produce shavings much like a skew. Any more obtuse, and you'll find yourself exerting too much downward pressure to achieve a cut which will leave you with a poor finish, and in the case of thinner work, ribbing

  9. #9
    John,

    George Hatfield a well know Australian spindle turner uses one extensively. He is probably the best production spindle turner I have ever seen do a demonstration. He can use it as a skew a gouge you name it is a fabulous tool in the hands of a master.

    Alan

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    It may be worth your while to have a chat with Doug Thompson and see what he can grind for you...lot better than M2 steel!
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  11. #11
    I have a big one, and a small one, and use them mostly for high shear angle finish cuts on bowls and some on spindles, though I don't do many spindles. I tried the Eli Avesera convex grind on a skew and found that to work well, and also, the larger fluteless gouge from Doug Thompson will do the same cuts. I have thought about taking a detail gouge and grinding the nose to a ) profile for doing the same cuts. It should work. Having the wider profile, ) instead of C shape really helps for the shear angle and more cutting surface/sweet spot, especially when doing longer sweeping cuts. If there is a concave surface, relieving the bevel like we do on bowl gouges helps. A good tool, and I am surprised that there are not more of them made. Maybe we should all talk to Doug about making another tool. 1 inch wide would be a good size.

    robo hippy

  12. #12
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    Doug Thompson has what he calls a Shallow Detail Gouge with a flute depth of only 20 percent of the shaft diameter. I've wondered if this approximates a Continental?
    http://www.thompsonlathetools.com/tooltype.asp?TYPE=SD

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    Reed, I may shoot Doug an email. While most of the ones I see referenced were forged, so long as the wall thickness is uniform, and the flute profile is correct, milled should work fine. And, I do like the idea of having V10 steel.

    Bill, I did check the Glaser site, and they just list "spindle" gouges, and from the pics, it appears they do not have a consistent wall thickness. That would be expected in a regular spindle gouge, but the Continental is a bit different animal, I think. Although, the 1" Glaser does look like a very nice tool.

  14. #14
    I have and use a variety of these tools from Sorby and from Henry Taylor. They are terrific tools which give a fantastic finished surface. The bevel I have on mine are long which helps the finish but also makes the tools very grabby. I find I need to concentrate when I use these tools. The pay off is a very clean cut but I can only keep up that level of concentration for a few minutes at a time. I also find that level of concentration to be exhausting. 15 minutes with these tools is like half an hour of more with a bowl gouge. The more I use the tools the easier it is to use the tools. If I take a week off from these tools it takes a while to get comfortable with them again.

    SDC10013.JPGSDC10013-001.JPG That is 1 1/4"(32mm), 3/4"(19mm), 1/2"(15mm), 5/16"(8mm)
    Last edited by Richard Allen; 04-14-2012 at 4:06 PM.
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  15. #15
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    Richard, the ones I have seen have a fingernail grind to them, but yours appear to be ground flat on the face - am I seeing that correctly? Just wonder if that affects the "handling" ease of the tool?

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