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Thread: Bowl gouge: 30 degree - 35 degree bevel angle???

  1. #1
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    Bowl gouge: 30 degree - 35 degree bevel angle???

    Hello, still learning. I have been making deep, steep walled hollow forms lately because I want to try making 2 piece goblets.

    What does anyone think about making one of my bowl gouges have a smaller bevel angle, in order to ride the steep wall down to the bottom?

    I find myself having to swing the handle far over the lathe bed in order to get the bevel to ride down the steep wall.

    I guess I want to know:

    1 - Will this accomplish what I think (allow steeper walls to be cut while riding the bevel?
    2 - how having a steep bevel will affect the gouge's presentation to the wood grains?
    2 - Which wing configuration should be used? Is the one pictured dangerous for what I want to use it for?

    Can I turn "traditional" side grain goblets? Or do they have to be end grain? I want to two part them, so the cup can be "traditional" side grain, and the stem will be spindle turned.

    **Added an image from Tormek manual, showing the grind I wish to create."

    Regards,
    Hank
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Henry Neufeld; 03-11-2018 at 7:19 PM. Reason: Added picture from Tormek

  2. #2
    Ask 10 different turners the same question, and you will get at least 12 different answers.... The 30 to 35 degree bevel angles are generally used as 'detail' or spindle detail gouges. They are good for turning beads and coves on bowls, and generally getting into tight spaces, so more for detail work. So, on bowls they generally are too pointy for any kind of roughing, and not very good on the inside. You can drop the handle for cuts on the outside of the bowl and cut with the wing. I use two primary grinds on my gouges for the inside of the bowl. For going down the inside wall to the transition area, I like about a 45/45 grind, which is done by hand on a platform. 45 degree bevel angle and you sweep and roll the handle about 45 degrees to the sides. Some prefer a 40/40, which is a bit pointy for me. To get through the transition and across the bottom, I prefer a 70 degree bevel with almost no wing, and I grind at least half of the heel off. this makes it easier to control, and the rounded heel won't leave bruise marks in the wood. The swept back type gouges have long wings which are great for high shear angle cuts on the outsides of the bowl, and for some roughing. They have a 60 degree bevel most of the time. I don't like them for the insides of bowls, or at least for going down the walls. I find the 60 degree bevel a bit blunt for any heavy roughing, but the swept back gouge is the go to tool for a lot of turners, but I don't use them at all. You can go from rim to the bottom in one pass as long as the bowl isn't too deep, and it doesn't move too much as you rough out the inside. Many variations.

    As for end grain goblets, frequently, a scraper is used, more in the lines of the hollow form tools, which have small tips, but that can vary with how big and deep you are going. The finish cut with a gouge would require a more rounded wing shape rather than straight, and be more of a scraping cut rather than a bevel rubbing cut. The finish cut would be from rim to the center with a push, and from the bottom center to the middle with a pull cut so you can follow or cut with the grain rather than up hill against the grain. A negative rake scraper does a really nice job here too.

    You might be able to turn the bell or bowl part of the goblet out of side grain, but if you try to turn the stem out of side grain, it will split across the grain. Pretty much impossible. It isn't difficult to turn a 2 piece goblet. Leave a tenon on the goblet bell bottom, and a mortice on the top of the stem, and fit together. I can't think of any specific goblet videos up, but there must be some. I have a bunch of bowl turning videos up...

    robo hippy

  3. #3
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    Hello Reed! I watch your videos all the time, and though this is the first time we have interacted, you have been a huge help to me learning to turn both through your vids and posts on many different forums. I am young (28) so I still have a lot to experiment with, practice, etc. I always appreciate the in depth responses you give.

    I have managed to open the can of worms regarding grind style when I got my first bowl gouge, and needed to put a grind on it that was better suited for rouging. (It came with a wingless fingernail grind at 45 deg, a crown 1/2" flute). Now it has a 45 degree grind, with mildly swept, very convex wings. I think I like the very convex wing shape, but I cannot say why. If anyone can tell me what that means in terms of presenting to the wood, I would appreciate it.

    Anyways, I definitely understand it is a preference and comfort thing, and that any of the accepted grinds will work if presented right. The grind only changes how you present for the most part correct?

    I do not wish to make the transition from the wall to the bottom, as I have a gouge that can do that fine, my 45 deg. 1/2"

    What I am looking for, is a grind that will allow me to make that rim to bottom push cut with the hand more behind the line of the cut than you would achieve on a 45 deg. bevel. With the 45 degree, one has to swing back over the bed, that is fine for sweeping bowls, as the sweeping motion is comfortable from here.

    It does not work for me so much with steep walled, less sweep at the bottom forms, as I am not making an arc with the gouge as much as I am pushing back towards the base in an almost straight line.

    I think this picture will describe what I am talking about. I drew them myself.

    Thanks for your time, as that is a craftsman's biggest investment.

    Regards,
    Hank
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Henry Neufeld; 03-11-2018 at 11:42 PM.

  4. #4
    Okay, that looks more like a shot glass. For me, a finish cut would be a pull cut from the bottom up so you are cutting with the grain rather than a push cut where you are cutting against the grain. Less tear out that way. Reverse on the outside, but from rim to bottom for cleanest cuts. It can be done against the grain, but you generally don't get as good of a surface.

    robo hippy

  5. #5
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    Henry I think I understand what you are wanting to do, but I would say there are better tools for doing that. A 30 degree bevel on a bowl gouge is going to be really aggressive. But also depending on how deep of goblet/hollow form/whatever you are making, a bowl gouge can only extend off the tool rest just so far before you get vibration and start losing the cut. A bigger tool like a 5/8" bowl gouge will let you reach farther of course, but we're still only talking a few inches before you get vibration. Like Reed said, a scraper or hollowing tool is a better choice for deep or steep forms.

    I use a 45 degree bowl gouge for the top of a bowl, 55 degree for farther down, and 60 degree for the bottom. I think a 70 degree bottom bowl gouge is fine for more closed forms, but for a regular bowl it's a little too blunt for me. With that angle in order to maintain bevel contact you end up pulling or dragging it across the bottom instead of pushing it.

    As for a "very convex wing", I prefer a "very slight convex" instead. This allows me to shear scrape with more of a gentle sweeping edge instead of a small part of the edge. Also a very convex wing could contact the wood before the tip and cause a catch. This can happen if you leave steps as you hollow.

  6. #6
    First of all, I think you will have better results turning both the goblet and pedestal in end grain orientation. That said, then Reed is correct that your drawing represents a cut against the grain. That would not be the case if you turn the cup of the goblet in face grain orientation, but it still is not going to be an easy cut IMO.

    Using a flat top box rest and a scraper would seem to be the most efficient method while using endgrain orientation. Some initial hollowing can be done with a 45* fingernail grind on a spindle gouge using a sweeping pull cut from center out.
    Last edited by John Keeton; 03-12-2018 at 12:08 PM.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reed Gray View Post
    ...For me, a finish cut would be a pull cut from the bottom up so you are cutting with the grain rather than a push cut where you are cutting against the grain. ...
    Seems like it would still be cutting with the grain if the bowl of the goblet had the grain running across the axis as Henry asked about in his first post. (like a typical face-turned bowl) I agree that the usual end grain goblets (to be clear to other readers, with the grain running down the length of the lathe) are best pulled for a finish cut. For that cut I use either a Hunter tool, a scraper with a side grind, a NRS, or a small scraper on a Sorby multi tool (depending on the wood).

    I haven't tried it but pushing a deep cut with a 30-deg bevel might be challenging.

    Hank, I didn't see if anyone answered but yes, you can turn a goblet (cup, box, coffee scoop, or anything) with either end or side grain. I find the end grain easier to hollow where the ID is small since I can usually just push a scraper straight into the end grain. This is a little handbell ornament cut in half to show the wall and construction - I hollow these with a diamond parting tool - it's extremely quick! Then smooth the insides with a pull shear scrape with a Hunter tool or the wing of a spindle gouge:

    bells_cutaway_IMG_5169.jpg

    The reason people use side grain for boxes is the lid won't fit as the wood moves with the season. For a goblet/mug/scoop/vase this wouldn't matter. An end grain goblet might be easier to cut cleanly without tearout for some woods since you are not cutting directly across the end grain twice a revolution.

    BTW, I also turn these Beads of Courage lidded boxes/bowls in face orientation, with the grain running across. The fit on the lid isn't problem here since I use a wide taper instead of a close fit on the lid:

    BOC_A_CU_IMG_5374.jpg

    Edit: I see that by the time I posted this Sir Keeton had already addressed the grain orientation question. That's what I get for starting reply then running out to feed the chickens before finishing.

    JKJ
    Last edited by John K Jordan; 03-12-2018 at 12:30 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    Seems like it would still be cutting with the grain if the bowl of the goblet had the grain running across the axis as Henry asked about in his first post. (like a typical face-turned bowl) I agree that the usual end grain goblets (to be clear to other readers, with the grain running down the length of the lathe) are best pulled for a finish cut. For that cut I use either a Hunter tool, a scraper with a side grind, a NRS, or a small scraper on a Sorby multi tool (depending on the wood).

    I haven't tried it but pushing a deep cut with a 30-deg bevel might be challenging.

    Hank, I didn't see if anyone answered but yes, you can turn a goblet (cup, box, coffee scoop, or anything) with either end or side grain. I find the end grain easier to hollow where the ID is small since I can usually just push a scraper straight into the end grain. This is a little handbell ornament cut in half to show the wall and construction - I hollow these with a diamond parting tool - it's extremely quick! Then smooth the insides with a pull shear scrape with a Hunter tool or the wing of a spindle gouge:


    JKJ
    John - which Hunter tool do you use for these cuts?

    Thanks

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Goetzke View Post
    John - which Hunter tool do you use for these cuts?

    Thanks
    I might use a different one depending on the wood and the situation, but I'm afraid I don't keep up with what works the best where. I think I usually use one with a tapered shaft which is a little sturdier than a non-tapered shaft. If the piece is a little larger I like the swan-necked one I think he calls the Badger since it has both a tapered shaft and the cutter is angled to the left making it very easy to control. But I've also used others - I keep several on the rack and sometimes try more than one and use the one that gives the best result in that case.

    For small closed forms (like ornaments and small vessels) I have a set of three small tapered tools, one straight and two swan-necked - one or another of these usually works very well inside nearly any end grain turning: http://huntertoolsystems.com/product-category/taper/ Mark StLeger said he likes these too and even sells them.

    I'll have to try to pay better attention the next time. A student is working on a lidded box that has a closed form, the opening narrower than the body so the next time she comes maybe we can try several and I'll write down the favorites. I think I'll make one too on the other lathe.

    For the inside of very thin things like the rim of the little bell ornament I tend to scrape with the wing of a 3/8" spindle gouge (I use Thompson's) and hold my finger against the finished outside to control any vibration/chatter. But one of the Hunter tools is much better for the curve at the bottom of the hollow and much of the way up the inside. I'll try to pay more attention to that too the next time I make them. Unfortunately, it may be a while - I like to make the bells in batches and I still have to make handles and assemble most of these:

    bells_only_IMG_5176.jpg

    BTW, the bells of the ornaments are actually extremely easy to make, far quicker than turning and fitting the handle and clapper. I did a demo on them a few years ago which was fun, maybe I'll do another one this year.

    bell_demo_small_IMG_0406.jpg bell_demo_small_IMG_0416.jpg

    JKJ

  10. #10
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    Well ideally you would use a Hunter tapered hook tool. In this tool the cutter is mounted so that you can ride the bevel and pull the cutter toward you. It's a little tricky to use until you get used to it but will leave perfectly clean sides that require almost no sanding. You would need a tool rest that reaches in to use this tool to it's best advantage.
    http://huntertoolsystems.com/product/1-tapered-hook-tool-no-handle/





  11. #11
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    Here is a video showing 2 different Hunter tools for back cutting or cutting from the bottom to the top on an end grain vessel.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0v7-HMuCvvM&t=35s

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnC Lucas View Post
    Well ideally you would use a Hunter tapered hook tool. In this tool the cutter is mounted so that you can ride the bevel and pull the cutter toward you. It's a little tricky to use until you get used to it but will leave perfectly clean sides that require almost no sanding. You would need a tool rest that reaches in to use this tool to it's best advantage.
    http://huntertoolsystems.com/product/1-tapered-hook-tool-no-handle/
    I think that's the one I use the most on the inside. Probably because you told me to.

  13. #13
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    Henry, like someone said, lots of different opinions and answers.

    The comments on end grain vessels are correct. Using a bowl gouge is not impossible on an end grain vessel, but you would be cutting directly against the grain in this case.

    For face grain vessels, I like the idea of a steeply ground gouge. 30 degrees might be a little steep but I use a 35 degree gouge on face grain bowls all the time. If I'm making a round bottom bowl with a closed rim (similar to a calabash shape) the first cut is actually going away from the center and then swinging back towards the center. Starting that cut with a 35 degree gouge is a great way to go. You won't be able to get much curve out of it, but if you are going straight like the drawing, I see no reason not to do this. By going to 35 degrees you will have a nice long bevel to help keep the cut straight. Additionally if you roll the flute up, you will be using more of the side of the gouge and that will bring the handle even closer to you and the line of the cut.

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  14. #14
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    Hello all! Lots of replies! First, I apologize for my absence. The weather got nice outside, which means I had to get back on a reno job that had been on hold over the winter. I usually try to respond more promptly. I will say, that I experimented with a 45 degree grind, and I like it. But I will get comfortable with it before trying out the 30-35 that I speak of. I had a chance to go to the local chapter AAW meetup, but they had wrapped up early. Still managed to speak with Brian, the President, and got some names of people I can contact for lessons, something I am definitely planning on doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reed Gray View Post
    Okay, that looks more like a shot glass. For me, a finish cut would be a pull cut from the bottom up so you are cutting with the grain rather than a push cut where you are cutting against the grain. Less tear out that way. Reverse on the outside, but from rim to bottom for cleanest cuts. It can be done against the grain, but you generally don't get as good of a surface.

    robo hippy
    Haha! Well yeah, It's a bad drawing! I just have this idea of a non-functional live edge goblet type thing. More of an art piece. I am an experimenter, but I realize I need to learn the basics before I can really try things. I am getting there, and was competent with bevels, tool presentation, how tools cut, etc before wood turning became an interest. So that gave me a head start. The first lathe tool I owned and learned was a skew chisel. It is my favorite tool, and honestly the most simple in terms of how it cuts. IMO of course. Just trying to give you an idea of where I stand...a little advanced from beginner, but never had formal lessons on the basics. Thanks for your comments as always.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Scott View Post
    A bigger tool like a 5/8" bowl gouge will let you reach farther of course, but we're still only talking a few inches before you get vibration. Like Reed said, a scraper or hollowing tool is a better choice for deep or steep forms. [...] As for a "very convex wing", I prefer a "very slight convex" instead. This allows me to shear scrape with more of a gentle sweeping edge instead of a small part of the edge. Also a very convex wing could contact the wood before the tip and cause a catch. This can happen if you leave steps as you hollow.
    Thank you for your advice Pat. I admit, I don't know a lot yet, but in ways my mind does understand things conceptually. This was just an idea I had. I'll try it eventually. For now I think I will get into scrapers a bit more. They just seem so brutal and aggressive to the poor wood! I am already re-grinding my bowl gouge to have less convex. I decided it was getting in the way more than doing anything I needed specifically (whatever that is?! lol!)

    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    I haven't tried it but pushing a deep cut with a 30-deg bevel might be challenging.

    Hank, I didn't see if anyone answered but yes, you can turn a goblet (cup, box, coffee scoop, or anything) with either end or side grain.


    The reason people use side grain for boxes is the lid won't fit as the wood moves with the season. For a goblet/mug/scoop/vase this wouldn't matter. An end grain goblet might be easier to cut cleanly without tearout for some woods since you are not cutting directly across the end grain twice a revolution.

    JKJ
    Thanks for your Reply John. The reason I ask about the side grain, is because I specifically want to make a live edge "goblet." It is not really a goblet in function, just in form similarity. I have weird visions. I am starting to agree that the bowl gouge grind I have envisioned may work as I think, but will indeed be aggressive and difficult. I think I will definitely try it when I have some more experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    I might use a different one depending on the wood and the situation, but I'm afraid I don't keep up with what works the best where. I think I usually use one with a tapered shaft which is a little sturdier than a non-tapered shaft. If the piece is a little larger I like the swan-necked one I think he calls the Badger since it has both a tapered shaft and the cutter is angled to the left making it very easy to control. But I've also used others - I keep several on the rack and sometimes try more than one and use the one that gives the best result in that case.

    JKJ
    Thank you for all of your insights! I think I might try that angled hunter tool. My current and only scraper is a carbide scraper, the EWT and it can only be held flat, with the cutter perpendicular.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Keeton View Post
    First of all, I think you will have better results turning both the goblet and pedestal in end grain orientation. That said, then Reed is correct that your drawing represents a cut against the grain. That would not be the case if you turn the cup of the goblet in face grain orientation, but it still is not going to be an easy cut IMO.

    Using a flat top box rest and a scraper would seem to be the most efficient method while using endgrain orientation. Some initial hollowing can be done with a 45* fingernail grind on a spindle gouge using a sweeping pull cut from center out.
    Yeah... I understand. I specifically want a live edge though. This may be a project that will have to wait until I have some more skill or money for more appropriate tools. I want to get into scraping. I agree that might be my best option.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnC Lucas View Post
    Well ideally you would use a Hunter tapered hook tool. In this tool the cutter is mounted so that you can ride the bevel and pull the cutter toward you. It's a little tricky to use until you get used to it but will leave perfectly clean sides that require almost no sanding. You would need a tool rest that reaches in to use this tool to it's best advantage.
    http://huntertoolsystems.com/product/1-tapered-hook-tool-no-handle/
    I am definitely going to check that out. Will need to budget for that, but it seems that it would definitely perform the function I need.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Beaver View Post
    Henry, like someone said, lots of different opinions and answers.

    The comments on end grain vessels are correct. Using a bowl gouge is not impossible on an end grain vessel, but you would be cutting directly against the grain in this case.

    For face grain vessels, I like the idea of a steeply ground gouge. 30 degrees might be a little steep but I use a 35 degree gouge on face grain bowls all the time. If I'm making a round bottom bowl with a closed rim (similar to a calabash shape) the first cut is actually going away from the center and then swinging back towards the center. Starting that cut with a 35 degree gouge is a great way to go. You won't be able to get much curve out of it, but if you are going straight like the drawing, I see no reason not to do this. By going to 35 degrees you will have a nice long bevel to help keep the cut straight. Additionally if you roll the flute up, you will be using more of the side of the gouge and that will bring the handle even closer to you and the line of the cut.
    John, you understand EXACTLY what I mean. Thank's for your reinforcement of the idea by sharing that you do a similar thing. I am still not sure if I will be comfortable with it, but I guess there is only one way to find out. I usually make a depth cut with a forstner bit about 1/2" depth back from where I want my actual bottom to be. For these steep forms, I was thinking it would be very fast an efficient to clear that steep area out with a gouge as I described. I did not think about the longer bevel...I like that a lot!
    Last edited by Henry Neufeld; 03-21-2018 at 1:51 PM. Reason: clarity

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