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Do I regrind a gouge or buy a new one for bottoming?

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RichardG

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I think I need a bowl gouge with a steeper angle as I always struggle to get a decent finish on the transition from the sides and onto the bottom of a bowl particularly when the sides are steep. I’m fairly certain it’s because I can’t keep the bevel rubbing using my current gouges which are ground to 45 degrees?

Do people generally have a specific gouge ground to say 60 degrees or higher just for this task? Currently I’m using scrapers to get the finish but the current bit of ash I’m turning has some odd grain which is proving hard to get a decent finish.

I’m loathed to regrind my current gouges and I wish I had a few older tools that I could experiment using different grinds to see what works before committing to buying something, what do others do?
 

Jacob

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Just try a different grind. I expect you'd get it sorted long before you needed to buy a replacement - and you need the practice!
An ordinary sliding bevel and a plastic protractor will do for measuring
 

Mark Hancock

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Just try a different grind. I expect you'd get it sorted long before you needed to buy a replacement - and you need the practice!
An ordinary sliding bevel and a plastic protractor will do for measuring
It was interesting seeing that turner's interpretation of the different grinds i.e. traditional, Irish, fingernail, 40-40. He forgot to mention Ellesworth and Celtic :)
 

BEE13

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I do have bowl and spindle gouges ground to different angles just for that sort of situation but they were all bought secondhand and fairly cheaply. They are mostly carbon steel, not HSS but that doesn't matter at all. It just means that you have to be more careful grinding.

Also, even with your current gouge/s I suggest that you relieve the heel with a secondary grind. That will enable you to deal with tight curves easier.

Brian
 

RichardG

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Thanks everyone for the thoughts and links, it seems that a second hand gouge is the way to go, I’ll keep an eye on Gumtree/eBay and try putting a post on the wanted section.

I did wonder about trying an Ellsworth type grind on one gouge with a steeper 55 front angle but with my current skill level I think I‘d rather keep my existing fingernail grinds all the same…

Ideal would be to able to borrow some and try different shapes, perhaps some of the local turning clubs will finally start up again this year?
 
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Dalboy

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I have 4 bowl gouges of the same size each with a different grind, I find it easy to just pick up the one needed for a certain cut. By grinding every time you want to do a different cut will soon wear a gouge down so it pays to have more than one.
Buy decent gouge even for a second one it will last a long time
 

RichardG

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I have 4 bowl gouges of the same size each with a different grind, I find it easy to just pick up the one needed for a certain cut. By grinding every time you want to do a different cut will soon wear a gouge down so it pays to have more than one.
Buy decent gouge even for a second one it will last a long time
So what’s your go to size? I current have a 1/4, 3/8 and a 1/2 that came with the lathe (all crown). Never used the 1/4 and tend to prefer the 1/2 at least when roughing out.
 

Dalboy

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My most used is the four 3/8" but if hogging out a large bowl will resort to my 1/2" gouges especially if they are deep and I need to overhang the tool rest for any reason.
 

Paul Hannaby

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Are you unable to keep the bevel rubbing because the 45° grind causes the shaft of the gouge to make contact with the rim of the bowl or is it because your technique needs honing? If the former, then yes, a gouge with a steeper bevel would help, if the latter, a different gouge may not help.

One alternative to a second gouge would be to make a small change to the bevel angle on your gouge, for example changing from 45° to 50° or somewhere near that. A few degrees difference may make enough difference to the position of the gouge to eliminate the problem without affecting how you used the tool.

I have a standard bowl gouge ground to 60° for use with deeper bowls and a bowl bottom gouge for tricky bowls which is ground at around 75°. Both have their uses but not with every bowl.
 

RichardG

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I do struggle with the transition from the side and then along the bottom to the centre, but on this particular bowl which is slightly deeper the shaft is definitely hitting the side, in the end I stoped the lathe, got a torch and tried to make the bevel rub all the way round and I couldn’t do it.

I’ll try regrinding one to 50 degrees, that’s not too much of a change.
 
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