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Bowl Gouge Shapes and Manufacturers (Read 327 times)
 
Don Stephan
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Bowl Gouge Shapes and Manufacturers
Jul 16th, 2017 at 1:59pm
 
A few years ago I learned about "bottom feeder" grinds for the bottom of bowls, and saw a suggestion that U shaped gouges might work better on the sides of bowls and V shaped as bottom feeders.  A quick search on the Internet did not confirm, but I think the third basic flute shape is called parabolic.

I had a 1/2" (bar) parabolic (?) bowl gouge from I think Sorby that worked extremely well for me, but bought U and V 5/8 or 3/4" (bar) gouges from a different manufacturer that sold them unhandled, thinking that all U gouges are basically the same.

The U gouge always has been harder to use, quick to grab and chatter, and when I noticed it was getting short I decided to order this larger size twin  of my 1/2" gouge (from the manufacturer of my 1/2" gouge) to see if the larger twi would work better for me than my soon to wear out 3/4" U.

A couple weeks ago when my U was again not making a smooth cut I decided to break out the new bigger parabolic (?) and it was making a smoother cut than the same sized U.  I've used the two side by side a few more times with the same result every time.

So the problem for ALL turners, new and experienced - in the same size (bar or flute width) one can find three different shapes, U, V, and parabolic (?).  Often, one can find the same or similar metal, size, and shape from different manufacturers.

So I'm wondering, would otherwise identical gouges with different shapes from the same manufacturer behave differently in a turner's hands?  Would identical gouges from different manufacturers behave differently in a turner's hands?  If so, it would seem we all have to have one of each shape from each different manufacturer to compare and contrast to find the sweetest to use.

Until each manufacturer came out with an improved design of their gouges.
Hmmmmm.
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« Last Edit: Jul 16th, 2017 at 2:06pm by Don Stephan »  
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Ed Weber
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Re: Bowl Gouge Shapes and Manufacturers
Reply #1 - Jul 16th, 2017 at 6:46pm
 
In my experience,
I do find that I need (for my personal preference) to sharpen different brands slightly differently due to the proprietary nature of the flute shapes.

Every manufacture has their own geometry for what they consider a U,V and parabolic flute shape.
All three have their supporters. I find that each one has it's pro's and con's, excelling in certain areas and not in others. This brings me to sharpening.
While a U shaped gouge from manufacturer A,B, & C may all be different, some of the differences can be mitigated with sharpening.
So, for example,
If brand A's V fluted gouge is too aggressive when making certain cuts, it can be sharpened to a different profile to make it less so. Changing the grind angle on the nose and/or wing can have a significant effect on a tools cutting ability, though this is going to be different for everyone. This is why I don't care what grind anyone else uses. The turner, the flute shape and the grind are all variables in the equation. Change any one of them and it changes all of them.
JMO
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robo_hippy
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Re: Bowl Gouge Shapes and Manufacturers
Reply #2 - Jul 17th, 2017 at 9:51am
 
This could be a thing where if you have different flute designs and identical grinds, they will cut some what differently. For me, the more open fluted designs work better when held more level handled, and flutes rolled almost all the way over and you tend to cut more with the nose rather than the wing. More V flutes tend to work better cutting more with the wings because the nose had a smaller sweet spot. Not positive, but a hands on session would help me understand what is going on. My U flutes tend to work better with a 45/45 grind. Doug's V works better with a more swept back grind. The parabolic flutes work fairly well with the 45/45, or a swept back grind. Personally, I don't have any use for the swept back gouges...

For my BOB tools, I had several. One favorite is an old Craft Supplies gouge with pretty much a half round flute. Very little sweep, and 70 degree bevel. I also use a spindle detail gouge with a very shallow flute and almost no sweep. Then last is a fluteless gouge from Doug Thompson. Some times one works when the others won't. That appears to be a 'just because' reason...

robo hippy
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Ed Weber
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Re: Bowl Gouge Shapes and Manufacturers
Reply #3 - Jul 17th, 2017 at 10:20am
 
robo_hippy wrote on Jul 17th, 2017 at 9:51am:
This could be a thing where if you have different flute designs and identical grinds, they will cut some what differently.


Exactly
It also applies the other way around as well, the same flute geometry with different grinds will also cut differently.
I agree with Reed's conclusions about the shapes and their 'preferred" (for lack of a better word) uses.
You can't change the inherent characteristic of the gouges geometry but you can alter their behavior "to a degree" by changing the grind. Modifying parts of the profile like, easing the nose angle and/or change the wing sweep can help to lessen the differences between the three shapes but no matter what you do you can't make a U cut like a V and so on.
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robert baccus
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Re: Bowl Gouge Shapes and Manufacturers
Reply #4 - Jul 18th, 2017 at 10:46pm
 
All good advice above.  I think the U flutes cut better for nose cuts--the V flutes are better for irish grind cuts and the parabolic flutes are an attempt to do both.  Of course the sharpening grind can be adjusted for each of these.
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