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Thread: Getting the most from your bowl gouge edge (Pics)

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Getting the most from your bowl gouge edge (Pics)

    Good morning all

    Recently I posted another short photo essay on a cut that I call the tangent cut. Here is it slightly modified for John Miliunas (and anyone else interested) regarding bowl gouge profiles and how to get the most out of one sharpening. I use a progression of cutting techniques that utilize different parts of the gouge, which allow me to cut longer with less trips to the grinder. The first picture below is from an article I posted last week.

    <img src= "http://www.enter.net/~ultradad/roughbowl04.jpg">

    The initial cut I use to rough the bowl is what I call the 45, 45, 45 cut. The flute is 45 degrees off vertical, and the handle is 45 degrees from level as well as trailing the cutting edge by 45 degrees. Please note that these angles are approximate, and not set in stone. This gives a very aggressive cut which will remove a lot of wood fast. The shavings are coming off the tool just past the tip. It does not always yield a smooth cut, especially on endgrain. This picture is from the article I did on roughing a bowl last week. Then I move on to what I call the tangent cut. This cut uses a different part of the edge, as well as a different presentation to the wood.

    <img src= "http://www.enter.net/~ultradad/tangentcut01.jpg">

    Here is an overview of the way the gouge is held. Keep in mind that I am standing back so that my turning muscle will not occlude the photo of the gouge. This is a trumpet shaped bowl, but the principle is the same regardless of the shape. The gouge is held at a very low angle, and is presented in such a way so that the long axis of the gouge is in line that contacts the wood at a tangent point of its surface. What that means in plain ole English is the force of the rotating wood is all directed down along the handle of the tool. This works very well for minimizing the dreaded catch. This is quite a different presentation than the initial cut, and allows a part of the edge further back from the tip to be used.

    <img src= "http://www.enter.net/~ultradad/tangentcut02.jpg">

    Here is a closeup of the tip of the gouge so you can see its presentation clearly. The bevel is rubbing, but the tool has not yet begun to cut. You can all see that I like a looong bevel.

    <img src= "http://www.enter.net/~ultradad/tangentcut03.jpg">

    Here is another closeup of the same presentation. You can see the bevel rubbing. This is how you start the cut, with the bevel rubbing, but not actually cutting the wood. The shaving will come off of the edge just past the tip. To begin cutting, the gouge is rotated about its long axis by a flick of the wrist until the bevel starts to cut. Within a certain arc you can vary the depth of cut by varying the rotation of the tool. If you turn it too far, the edge will dig in a bit and cause a groove, but usually not a drastic catch. To make the cut then, the tool is pulled along the surface in the direction the flute is pointing, keeping the entire tool in its current orientation! Failure to do so often results in large scary catches. The most frequent departure from the proper cut is to pull faster with the hand that is holding the handle of the gouge, causing it to pivot the tool so that the same edge is still cutting, but the tool has swung through almost 90 degrees, so that it is close to flat. At that point there is no support for the edge and the tool rolls into the wood biting off way more than it can chew, and you have a catch - a BIG one.

    <img src= "http://www.enter.net/~ultradad/tangentcut04.jpg">

    Here is a closeup testifying to the effectiveness of this cut.The surface to the right of the sharp corner has been cut with this cut. The other surface to the left has only been cut with the beginning roughing cut. This is a very effective cut that works well on removing tearout, smooths over wild grain, and generally saves money on sandpaper and blood pressure medication.

    There are yet two more cuts that can be used before a trip to the grinder, and they will often come in succession to the cuts described above.

    <img src= "http://www.enter.net/~ultradad/shearscrape01.jpg">

    This cut is called the shear scrape, and can use the long edge on the right side of the tool as well as the left, which has been used to this point. This cut is a light leveling cut designed to remove a very small amount of wood. It is good for getting rid of ridges that are left by other cuts, and sometimes will do a good job of removing tearout. In this picture, the tool is being used on the left edge. If the bowl were still attached to a faceplate at the top, the proper cutting direction would use the right edge. If the bowl is in the orientation shown above, it is usually because it has already been roughed, so the previous cuts would not have taken quite a toll on the tool yet. The cut is made with the tool flat, or parallel to the floor. Both edges touch, and then the top edge is rooled away just enough to get it away from the surface of the wood. If it rolls away too far, you will get a big catch and have to change your shorts.

    <img src= "http://www.enter.net/~ultradad/shearscrape03.jpg">

    Finally, there is what I call the vertical shear scrape. This is a tricky cut, but it is worth learning. It is the final reserve cut that is designed to remove tearout in the most contrary of blanks. It can also use either edge, again depending on which way the bowl is facing. The gouge is placed in a position similar to the tangent cut, but rolled over so that both sharp edges are touching the wood. The lead edge is then lifted just slightly to allow the trailing edge to start cutting. When used properly, the cut produces fine wispy shavings that many turners refer to as angelhair.

    By using these four cuts, just about any kind of wood can be smoothed to the point where it is ready for sanding without too much effort. Used in succession, they also allow for maximum use of a sharpened edge, and will prolong the life of the gouge as well as maximizing turning time over sharpening time. Good luck with it, and John, this may be more than you ever bargained for when you asked about steel!

    Bill

  2. #2
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    Bill,

    Thank you so very, VERY much for what truly is, "more than I bargained for" and a *bargain* it is! Get on with that video already! I see two major problems with the presentation: 1) I don't have a Poolewood. 2) You live too damn far away for me to see this personally! Seriously, that is a great presentation and explanation of your technique! It is greatly appreciated by me, as I'm sure it will be by others, as well. So, it looks as though I do need to find a different profile for the gouge, other than what I already have. Secondly, I have the basic Wolverine jig for sharpening. Should a guy add on the Fingernail jig, as well? I see that there's one now specific for the Ellsworth, which I think should fit with the Wolverine basic setup. Thanks again, Bill! Put me down as one of your first customers for the instructional video(s)!!!
    Cheers,
    John K. Miliunas

    Cannot find REALITY.SYS. Universe halted.
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  3. #3
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    Dido what John said. I am printing this out now to put down by the lathe for next time I do a bowl!

    Thanks!
    Sparky
    Sparky Paessler

  4. #4
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    Bill, thanks...that's an excellent exposť on various useful cutting techniques when using a side-grind gouge. (You'll have to do the "inside" cuts next... ) I'm really glad you're extending your knowledge to folks via this medium, especially for those who are not local enough to visit you in person. (But I highly recommend that they consider investing in the travel expenses to do so...live turning instruction is the absolute best way to learn quickly)

    John, you can use the Ellsworth grinding jig with the Wolverine arm, but you need to make a support that fits in the vee of the arm to properly raise the pivot point to the correct level for the jig. I have a design for this and will try to take pictures sometime this week and provide dimensions, etc. Rather than using double-stick tape as some folks do, I modified things to use wing-screws into threaded inserts to hold the block in place when in use, yet be easily and quickly removable so that the vee-arm can be used "normally" for other tools. You "can" use the Vari-Grind jig from OneWay for these gouges, but I've found that the dedicated jig is better and more consistance...at least in my experience.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
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    Bill,
    This is really helpful!!! I am just learning and I will go back and view these again and again!!!
    Thanks,
    "All great work starts with love .... then it is no longer work"

  6. #6
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    Just outside of Spring Green, Wisconsin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker
    Bill, thanks...that's an excellent exposť on various useful cutting techniques when using a side-grind gouge. (You'll have to do the "inside" cuts next... ) I'm really glad you're extending your knowledge to folks via this medium, especially for those who are not local enough to visit you in person. (But I highly recommend that they consider investing in the travel expenses to do so...live turning instruction is the absolute best way to learn quickly)

    John, you can use the Ellsworth grinding jig with the Wolverine arm, but you need to make a support that fits in the vee of the arm to properly raise the pivot point to the correct level for the jig. I have a design for this and will try to take pictures sometime this week and provide dimensions, etc. Rather than using double-stick tape as some folks do, I modified things to use wing-screws into threaded inserts to hold the block in place when in use, yet be easily and quickly removable so that the vee-arm can be used "normally" for other tools. You "can" use the Vari-Grind jig from OneWay for these gouges, but I've found that the dedicated jig is better and more consistance...at least in my experience.
    Jim, thanks for the additional info! A trip to 5-Barns would be awesome. Unfortunately, among other remodeling expenses, yesterday evening we found that we have a roof leak at one corner of the house! This is in addition to another area we found earlier on by a large picture window in the laundry room, which was obviously "patched up" in an effort to hide deeper damage. This Spring promises to be one repair after another, many of which were unexpected!

    In the meantime, if you could get that info on the Wolverine mod necessary for the Ellsworth jig, that would be awesome! It's less expensive than the Vari-Grind jig and I agree that, it's probably a better idea to use a jig more specific to the intended use, especially for what a guy pays for those specialized chisels!
    Cheers,
    John K. Miliunas

    Cannot find REALITY.SYS. Universe halted.
    60 grit is a turning tool, ain't it?
    SMC is totally supported by volunteers and your generosity! Please help if you can!
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  7. #7
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    John, homeownership is that way...sometimes things "happen". I thought this spring would only entail replacement of the bay window off the kitchen eating area, but it looks like the gutters are all going to need replaced, too. Strangly enough, we noticed a major problem when we returned home from the home show yesterday afternoon and a trip up the ladder confirmed "major issues". Sheesh!

    But start a "savings program" for training/training travel...a few bucks each month will add up quickly. I use ING Direct for that kind of thing and have the money automajically sucked out of the checking account at the beginning of each month.

    I'll get the info on using the Wolverine with the Ellsworth jig posted sometime this week...of course, right after promissing that, I committed to a day trip to KC, MO on Wednesday. Never a dull moment.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #8
    Where are the pics?

  9. #9
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    This thread is almost four years old. I'm not surprised the links are dead...

    - Keith
    "Listen, here's the thing. If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker. "

  10. #10
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    Russ....if you look at the "address" of the photos...they were stored at another site and have either been removed from the site or the site no longer exists.....

    That's why we prefer folks to upload their photos to the Creek so they are not removed.
    Ken

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    St Marys, West Virginia
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    Actually the photos are working fine for me. Just copy the web address and paste it in your browser bar, they show up fine.

    Kinda glad someone posted in this thread, otherwise I wouldnt have seen it being so old. Good tutorial!
    One good turn deserves another

  12. #12

    Here's the photos

    Here's the photos, maybe not in order........
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Chris Padilla; 05-07-2008 at 1:04 PM.

  13. #13
    I'd suggest buying Bill's video,"Turned Bowls Made Easy". It's the best $29.00 I've ever spent on turning.

    Tom

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Port Aransas, Texas
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    302

    can't get site up

    I've tried pasting the url's listed and keep getting "site not found". AM I too late?
    Gregg Feldstone

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Stow, OH
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    1,023
    Yes, unfortunately you are. Those pictures were posted in other sites and have been changed since then.
    Bill is a very good teacher in woodturning. He shared a lot of good information. He is no longer a member of this forum.
    You may want to visit his web site
    http://www.wonderfulwood.com/
    and see whether you can find the information, otherwise send him an email. I will bet he is willing to help you.

    He did demos for our Clubs and a bowl gouge clinic for our members. They were very informative and entertaining.

    Look up previous reply from Thomas Bennett of 3-11-08, he has posted the pictures.
    Last edited by Gordon Seto; 05-07-2008 at 8:31 AM.
    Gordon

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