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Old 02-16-2009, 12:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Bowl vs Spindle Gouges

Maybe I am a little dense or just don't read enough but I am having trouble seeing the difference between a bowl gouge and a spindle gouge and why they can't be used interchangeably.

The bowl gouge looks to have deeper flutes but how does that help. I have been doing my bowls inside with a round nose scraper and seems to work. What say you bowl turning pundits?
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Old 02-16-2009, 01:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I'm not really 100% sure on this but I believe the flute of the spindle gouge is more open and is more likely to get a catch.
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Old 02-16-2009, 01:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Actually if you are talking about true spindle gouges - often refered to as detail gouges, there are some small differences - spindle gouges are a bit shallower to make beads and coves easier. But you can often use a bowl gouge as a spindle gouge.

Now if you are talking about Spindle roughing gouges there are a number of differences. An SRG is may by rolling out sheet steel - very deep with high corners. If gives you a lot of area to rough out spindles - if sharp it can come close to a final cut in the right hands.

That form makes it very difficult to use safely inside a bowl. The high corners like to wander into the wood and the bevel is a bit too radical. If you get a catch (and you will) the tool will get slammed onto the rest with a lot of twisting force. This puts enough pressure on the tang entering the handle that it will eventually break. Now comes the horror movie - when the tool breaks it has a knack for flipping up in the air, dropping back onto the work and getting fired at whatever rpm the lathe is running at right at your most vulneralble parts (anything that isn't covered with kevlar).

The other downside is that SRGs don't give you the full range of cuts you can get from a bowl gauge.

Usually at this point some doofus shows up and announces that if you know what you are doing you can use an SRG on a bowl. Sure, but maybe one in a 100 turners can concentrate on avoiding all the things that can go wrong for longer than it takes to wonder where the stupid cat went.

Marc
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Old 02-16-2009, 02:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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In my experience true bowl gouges are a lot bigger (diameter/length). The steel is more rounded allowing you to roll it over easier on the rest. It may sounds crazy, but I believe there is less flex with a bowl gouge as you have more and more tool hanging over the rest and into the whirling blank. My first bowl was turned with a spindle gouge and was a terrifying experience. I know use both round nose bowl gouge, and a fingernail grind bowl gouge, with a scraper just for finishing cuts. Feels much safer, and the shavings are nice and spiral-like. Try it and you might like it!
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Old 02-16-2009, 02:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The issue is that the spindle gouge is not meant for end-grain hollowing, as it may catch...when the happens, the spindle gouge is more likely to break, resulting in more danger than if one were using the proper tool...
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Old 02-16-2009, 03:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcruby View Post
Actually if you are talking about true spindle gouges - often refered to as detail gouges, there are some small differences - spindle gouges are a bit shallower to make beads and coves easier. But you can often use a bowl gouge as a spindle gouge.

Now if you are talking about Spindle roughing gouges there are a number of differences. An SRG is may by rolling out sheet steel - very deep with high corners. If gives you a lot of area to rough out spindles - if sharp it can come close to a final cut in the right hands.

That form makes it very difficult to use safely inside a bowl. The high corners like to wander into the wood and the bevel is a bit too radical. If you get a catch (and you will) the tool will get slammed onto the rest with a lot of twisting force. This puts enough pressure on the tang entering the wood that it will eventually break. Now comes the horror movie - when the tool breaks it has a knack for flipping up in the air, dropping back onto the work and getting fired at whatever rpm the lathe is running at right at your most vulneralble parts (anything that isn't covered with kevlar).

The other downside is that SRGs don't give you the full range of cuts you can get from a bowl gauge.

Usually at this point some doofus shows up and announces that if you know what you are doing you can use an SRG on a bowl. Sure, but maybe one in a 100 turners can concentrate on avoiding all the things that can go wrong for longer than it takes to wonder where the stupid cat went.

Marc
Or it will break your tool rest... which is another fun activity, ducking and covering when pieces of cast metal begin to fly in various directions in and around the shop.. DAMHIKT... primary reason why I have followed JimB's line of thought and gone to doing bowls with a bowl gouge. I do not and have not ever used a roughing gouge on the inside of a bowl, my catch was with a scraper in a Zebrawood bowl and I still haven't found all of the parts of the tool rest. I have used them to round the outside surface. And I find a spindle gouge/detail gouge to be a little too agressive for my taste on the inside of a bowl.

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Old 02-16-2009, 03:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbatzi01 View Post
In my experience true bowl gouges are a lot bigger (diameter/length). The steel is more rounded allowing you to roll it over easier on the rest. It may sounds crazy, but I believe there is less flex with a bowl gouge as you have more and more tool hanging over the rest and into the whirling blank. My first bowl was turned with a spindle gouge and was a terrifying experience. I know use both round nose bowl gouge, and a fingernail grind bowl gouge, with a scraper just for finishing cuts. Feels much safer, and the shavings are nice and spiral-like. Try it and you might like it!
I don't know where I saw it but there is a chart somewhere that tells you how far you can extend a bowl gouge over the tool rest based on the diameter of the gouge. I believe I saw it in a catalog like CSUSA or one of the others. I can't seem to find it now.
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Old 02-16-2009, 03:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Spindle gouges are often shallower, and have a more acute angle on the bevel - so that you can roll them over and get into tight places to make beads and such.

Bowl gouges have deeper flutes, and usually a steeper angle on the bevel so that you can rub the bevel inside of a bowl without having to decline the tool so much.
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Click on e-book for beginners: http://www.turningtools.co.uk/index.html
Its quite an informative site and good for reference.
regards, Bill
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