“Gouge cuts”


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Established Member
5 Oct 2020
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Hi all

I’d like to replicate better the swanky details found on some “boutique” moulding planes - specifically the so called “gouge cuts” which I really don’t think are made using gouges these days. See the area in the circle in the pic below.

I’m pretty sure they aren’t made using a gouge, and I’ve tried using a round plane and it just ends up a mess. Rasp and file? Grades of sandpaper wrapped around a dowel?

Any ideas?


They are done with a gouge, but using a hand held scooping action at 45º across the edge, instead of whacking it with a mallet.
I’d be really interested to see how that works Adam. Im sure, given your carving background , that you know what you‘re talking about. But… it’s one of the final operations after a substantial amount of work to make a plane. So it would need to be deadly accurate and 100% reliable. Also, there are many different sizes of gouge cut that would need to be done For all the different sizes of plane.

Is there any more info available anywhere or a demo of how it is done?
Best avoided, otherwise there will be virtual bloodshed about stuff like - do I need a bevel on the inside of the gouge or not?
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What I will do though is show you the type of shaving that you should get from your gouge, or any edge tool for that matter.

A WARNING FOR THE CHILDREN: If you are of a numpty persuasion, please don't try this at home.

Definite gouge cut it's a twisting cut starting in one corner then finishing at the other. Starting from the top.
Definite gouge cut it's a twisting cut starting in one corner then finishing at the other. Starting from the top.

But is it? I reckon the gouge cut is put on to a 45 degree line *before* the cove is planed onto the shoulder. That gives the impression of a twisting cut when in fact it isn’t. Maybe.
Ok, here’s a moulding plane shoulder, a round plane and a nice sharp gouge. What lines should I draw and what cuts do people think I should make, in what order, to achieve the desired result 😎

The shoulder is a set distance so the width/ sweep of the gouge has significance. I will try a few this afternoon but even that shine shouts sharp gouge. One cut that's equally baffling is the one in the picture. Like a thumbprint. But if operated properly it's a simple cut.


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I’m sure it’s dead simple if you know what cut to make… I tried a few this morning but couldn’t seem to get it. Messes with my brain. Which is why I’m not a sculptor.

I think perhaps, that it’s a 45 deg gouge cut into the shoulder, the top of which is then planed off with the round. But maybe not, who knows.