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Bowl gouge - which size

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Jon C

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i Need to get a bowl gouge and I’m unsure whether to get a 3/8 or 1/2. I’m m getting a few bench tools from classic hand tools so thought I’d include a Hamlet gouge. I’m aware manufacturers measure there gouges differently, so any help would be appreciated.

I’m got an Axminster mini lathe so I’m limited to small bowls. I’d imagine 3/8 would be better?
Thanks
 

That would work

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Many people would say 1/2".... that's all I use almost all the time. But if you are doing small only then yes 3/8 would be perfect.
 

That would work

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Phil Pascoe":1wn8brbg said:
For small bowls, a 3/8" or even a 1/4" would be better than a 1/2".
I wouldn't recommend a 1/4" to begin with. They may be useful for detailing but they are more difficult to use for hollowing because they are less stiff so are more likely to vibrate.
 

kevinlightfoot

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I reach for the 3/8 most of the time and I have been turning for nearly 40 years.Bigger gouges if used to their limit need a more powerful motor and if ground with a swept back edge will easily stall a motor less than one hp,if you are inexperienced and your post suggests this I would definitely go for the 3/8 .
 

Jon C

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Thanks guys. You reaffirmed what I was originally thinking, 3/8.
Kevin, I’m definitely inexperienced. I’ve turned about 4 bowls, and that was 20 years ago. I’ve only just got back into turning this February and it’s been spindle work only.
 

CHJ

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Just be aware of the various brand dimensioning conventions:_
gouge2.jpg


Some Brands dimension like this:-
gouge.jpg


My Go-To Gouges are nominally 1/2" (actual12.75-13mm eqv.) stock with varying flute dimensions dependant on brand.
 

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Jon C

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I emailed classic hand tools last night and just got a reply. Hamlet bowl gouge measurement is the flute size, so 3/8” is a 1/2” . As CHJ said. Ideal for what I need at the moment
 
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