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Thread: Some Help Finding a Bottom Bowl Gouge

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    NJ
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    462

    Some Help Finding a Bottom Bowl Gouge

    I'm looking for a U-shaped gouge for working the inside of a bowl, 3/4 or 5/8. No one seems to have the Thompson. All I'm finding is the Ashley Harwood line and that's 250 bucks for steel and handle...a bit much but if I HAVE to. Not saying I'm not willing to pay for quality tools, just seems a bit much at +$100 to the oneway mastercut.
    "The reward of a thing well done is having done it." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Schenectady, NY
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    1,502
    Get an inexpensive gouge like Hamlet, Crown, Sorby, Packard, Apprentice, even Benjamin's Best and grind it to suit your needs. That's what probably most of us have done. Sure, Thompsons are the best, but you can do good work with other good tools.
    Happy and Safe Turning, Don


    Woodturners make the world go ROUND!

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    NJ
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    462
    Thanks for the help guys. However, the ones listed are all parabolic with the exception of the Thompson, which is out of stock. Looking for a U-Shaped gouge.

  5. #5
    Thompson does have U-shaped gouges in stock, but you would have to do some reshaping. I bet you would be grinding the Harwood gouge to a steeper angle too as it is supplied with a 50* bevel. My guess is a parabolic shape would work as well. The Ellsworth grind is 55*-60* at the nose and will reach the bottom of most bowls. Here's another "bottom feeder" if you must have a pre-ground U-shaped tool.

    https://carterandsontoolworks.com/pr...ped-bowl-gouge

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    NJ
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    Oh the Carter is perfect actually. I found it elsewhere but no handle. Didn't think to go to the manufacturer's site. M42 to boot. Thank you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Quorn United Kingdom
    Posts
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Lakewood, CO
    Posts
    800
    D-Way has a 3/4" U shape gouge on sale (with or without handle). https://d-waytools.com/3-4-bowl-goug...with-5-8-tang/

  9. #9
    I have several spindle detain gouges that I have ground for BOB tools, along with a number of others. I prefer a 70 degree bevel, and a very slight sweep to the nose, rather than square across, like this ). Ashley Harwood has one that she just came out with that is some what similar to the spindle detail gouges. I like Doug's fluteless gouges as well. They are for taking off very small shavings. I did one video just on them.

    robo hippy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    NJ
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    I went with the Carter and sons, direct from their site. I'm hopeful the handle feels nice... regardless, all the help is appreciated - thank you.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, TX
    Posts
    2,576
    For a dedicated bottom feeder you can make a wood handle and know that it is always ready and not be changing tools, and save some $$ to buy a better gouge or something in the future. This is a never ending process.

  12. #12
    I never liked their handles. My favorite handles are straight wood cylinders. The metal handles can be cold to the touch on cold days in the shop. Wood just feels better for me.

    robo hippy

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    462
    I went ahead and ordered the handle (although I share the same fear of a cold handle). Worst case, it's not that hard to turn a new handle.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    2,947
    As far as I am concerned, the bottom feeders and bottom gouges are purely snake oil. Just another way to sell a bowl gouge to support professional turners that hawk them at demos. A highly refined scraper does a perfect job, and then a shear scraper to transition from the bottom to the sides is how I do it. Been doing that for 35 years.

  15. #15
    Richard, I will disagree with you here. I have only been turning, mostly bowls, for about 25 years, can't remember when I started.... I do prefer a 40/40 grind for almost all of my outside bowl work, and the 40/40 for the inside walls, but it won't make it through the transition and across the bottom of most of what I do. This is makes a BOB tool a necessity for me. As far as scrapers, they CAN do a good job sweeping across the bottom of a bowl. Also, they CAN do a fair job in the transition and on the walls of a bowl. The NRS (negative rake scraper) does a better job though, but it is still a CAN situation. The thing is the wood has a lot to do with how well they perform. Pacific madrone cuts well with just about anything. Big leaf maple does not. I do love a good shear scrape with a burnished burr as my finish cut. With the BLM, some times I have to settle for a gouge finish cut as that is the option that leaves the best surface. I watched a turner making a lamp base in dried hard/sugar maple, and he used a scraper with the burr honed off and the bevel polished. It left a beautiful surface with almost undetectable tear out. Couldn't see it, but could feel it.

    Add to that, I almost never buy 'signature' tools. You pay extra for that signature. Part of why I never made or developed my own line of tools. The Big Ugly tool that I use was around for a long time before I picked it up. It may even be older than me...

    robo hippy

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