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Raffan Bowl Roughing Gouge (Read 278 times)
 
Don Stephan
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Raffan Bowl Roughing Gouge
Nov 1st, 2017 at 3:19pm
 
(In my first attempt at this discussion, I incorrectly referred to the tool as a "Raffan spindle roughing gouge" instead of the correct "Raffan bowl roughing gouge."  It is milled from a solid round bar like a typical spindle gouge, and is NOT a spindle roughing gouge.  My apologies and your tolerance of my error is appreciated.)

Looking for a gently used Raffan bowl roughing gouge made by Henry Taylor.  According to the manufacturer, it has been discontinued for a year or more, Craft Supplies has no more in inventory, and Packard Tools apparently never carried it.  It looks like a typical spindle gouge, but is milled from a round 9/16" bar which apparently gives it more stiffness than a 1/2" bar spindle gouge.  I've been using a Thompson Tools 1/2" bar spindle gouge and feel like it's flexing and bouncing - I'm gripping the bar tighter and pressing down on the tool rest harder, and too often not getting rapid smooth stock removal.

For me, this discontinued Henry Taylor 9/16" bar tool gave much better results during both pull and push cuts on the outside of green wood bowls than I can achieve with a 1/2" bar or 5/8" bar bowl gouge.

Raffan's bowl roughing gouge does not clog during pull cuts but can take light or heavy shavings.  And using a push cut, I can make a much fairer curve on the outside of a bowl with Raffan's bowl roughing gouge than I can with my 1/2" bar bowl gouge, and I've tried different bevel angles on them.

Perhaps one or more readers bought this Raffan bowl roughing gouge but didn't use it and would be willing to sell.  I'd very much like to get one or three as I'm not going to be able to retire for at least another five years.
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John Grace
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Re: Raffan Bowl Roughing Gouge
Reply #1 - Nov 1st, 2017 at 4:53pm
 
Don...You'll need to post this in the 'classified' forum.

That said, you may have better luck on the Sawmill Creek web site's classified forum.  I belong to both of these forums and SMC's sees quite a bit more traffic than this one, in my opinion.

Good luck in your search...I must say I'm now intrigued by what one looks like.

John
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Ed Weber
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Re: Raffan Bowl Roughing Gouge
Reply #2 - Nov 1st, 2017 at 9:51pm
 
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Mike Mills
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Re: Raffan Bowl Roughing Gouge
Reply #3 - Nov 2nd, 2017 at 6:49am
 
Ed may have hit upon the answer.  Remember, UK made BOWL gouges are sized different than other bowl gouges.  In general most sellers (who state the difference) indicates that a UK bowl gouge is 1/8" larger in diameter than a US bowl gouge.  So a 3/8 UK is about the same size as a US 1/2.
This shows how the UK measure their bowl gouges compared to the US.
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Re: Raffan Bowl Roughing Gouge
Reply #4 - Nov 2nd, 2017 at 4:42pm
 
Well, I don't like M2 any more. I had not used any in some years, staying with only M42 (D Way, and others), or V10 (Thompson Tools). Tried an M2 gouge and it went dull very fast.. Carter and Son are carrying a Mike Mahoney signature parabolic flute gouge, which is M42. Not sure about other tool companies. Oneway possibly, P and N possibly. You could be like me and do all of your roughing with scrapers...... Then gouges only for finish cuts... I know, not for every one.

If your tool is chattering or vibrating, you are most likely hanging out too far off the tool rest...

robo hippy
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Don Stephan
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Re: Raffan Bowl Roughing Gouge
Reply #5 - Nov 2nd, 2017 at 6:59pm
 
Love the graphic showing difference between UK and US on bowl gouge sizes.

The Raffan bowl roughing gouge was in fact a spindle gouge, not a spindle roughing gouge or a bowl gouge.  For comparison purposes, I took a picture today of a number of my gouges.  Starting from the left: 
1) a Sorby 1/2" bar bowl gouge;
2) a Henry Taylor (HT)/Craft Supplies 9/16" bar Raffan bowl roughing gouge;
3) another HT/CS 9/16" bar Raffan bowl roughing gouge;
4) a HT/CS 1/2" bar Raffan back hollowing gouge;
5) a 1/2" bar Thompson spindle gouge;
6) a HT/CS 1/2" bar spindle gouge; and
7)  a HT #HS7 1/2" bar spindle gouge

From the end, same gouges in same order


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« Last Edit: Nov 2nd, 2017 at 7:05pm by Don Stephan »  
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Don Stephan
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Re: Raffan Bowl Roughing Gouge
Reply #6 - Nov 2nd, 2017 at 7:14pm
 
Craft Supplies still carries Henry Taylor signature Raffan spindle gouge, Raffan grain hollowing (back hollowing) gouge, and a Raffan bowl gouge.  Until this tool was discontinued by Henry Taylor last year there was a fourth gouge, the Raffan bowl roughing gouge.  To my untrained eye, the bowl roughing gouge and back hollowing gouge are basically spindle gouges, but I don't know if there was slight changes to the profiles so that the bowl roughing (spindle) gouge and back hollowing (spindle) gouge each was more effective at the intended specialty applications.  The bowl roughing gouge is a true 9/16" bar, but I don't know how much difference that would make.

While looking into all this last week I found a Raffan bowl roughing (spindle) gouge I had put away, so I will be using it for shaping the outside of green bowls, as long as it lasts.   I have been using the Thompson spindle gouge on the outside of green bowls, and I feel like I have to maintain a tighter grip on it for pull cuts, even with the tool rest as close as 1/2" to the blank.
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« Last Edit: Nov 2nd, 2017 at 7:16pm by Don Stephan »  
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Don Stephan
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Re: Raffan Bowl Roughing Gouge
Reply #7 - Nov 7th, 2017 at 7:48pm
 
Turning some green cherry bowls today provided an opportunity to experiment and study a bit an outside pull cut with several different spindle gouges.

After getting all the bark out of the way, I noticed with the 9/16" bar Raffan bowl roughing (spindle) gouge that the shaving coming off the left wing smoothly followed the inside of the flute until it came out at the right wing.

Making the same cut on the same wood using a 1/2" bar spindle gouge from a small manufacturer, the shaving went across the middle of the flute.  This is the gouge I purchased as a substitute for the Raffan bowl roughing gouge, and it has never worked as smoothly as the Raffan.

Then I decided to try a couple other spindle gouges I have, one a 1/2" bar Henry Taylor HS7 with a burgundy handle, and the other a 1/2" bar "Craft USA made by Henry Taylor."  On both the shaving came off the left wing and closely followed the inside surface of the flute, just like on the 9/16" bar Raffan gouge (made by Henry Taylor).  Both of these 1/2" bar spindle gouges worked just as well as the Raffan signature 9/16" bar gouge.

It was fascinating to watch the path of the shaving coming off the left wing of the four spindle gouges, and the results were the same each of perhaps 20 different tests over six bowls.

I do not believe in any way there is anything wrong with the gouge that didn't perform well on these pull cuts - it gives excellent results every time on more traditional spindle gouge push cuts.  I think there is more metal at the bottom of the flute, so it simply has a slightly different internal shape.

Thanks to everyone who chimed in.  This has been an extremely interesting educational experience.
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