Mallet ‘powered ‘ gouges

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DrPhill

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Hi all,
A recent carving nudged me into using a gouge an mallet for some of the rough shaping. I liked the technique and was thinking of getting a set of gouges to use for my next carving.
Doe any one here have some opinions that they can share?
I want a set that will arrive sharp - some cheaper ones online are ‘good once reground’. I am not sure that I am skilled enough to do that, especially with curved profile edges.
I am happy to pay for quality, and would like a set of curved and v gouges down to the smallest practical size (3mm?).
There are some very nice, very expensive ones out there and some shoddy stuff too.
Any opinions or info would be welcome.
 

Adam W.

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Pfeil gouges and a Wood is Good polyurethane mallet, so good I have two of them. You can get it all from Classic Hand Tools in Ipswich.
 
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JohnPW

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There's Henry Taylor and Ashley Iles, both UK made using power hammer forging.
 

Adam W.

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You said that "I want a set that will arrive sharp - some cheaper ones online are ‘good once reground’. I am not sure that I am skilled enough to do that, especially with curved profile edges."

Hence my recommending Pfeil. Ashley Iles are made to be finished by the user and have a steep bevel which some think is too thick and chunky.

But if you want to deal with a nice British company and don't mind fettling your gouges, go with Iles.
 

DrPhill

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You said that "I want a set that will arrive sharp - some cheaper ones online are ‘good once reground’. I am not sure that I am skilled enough to do that, especially with curved profile edges."

Hence my recommending Pfeil. Ashley Iles are made to be finished by the user and have a steep bevel which some think is too thick and chunky.

But if you want to deal with a nice British company and don't mind fettling your gouges, go with Iles.
Thank you Adam for clarifying. I had seen the Ashley Iles gouges, and liked the look a lot... but having to regrind them before use would put me off. Pfeil sound good and I will check them out....
 

DrPhill

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Looking at Pfeil... are there any opinions on medium v full size tools? Are they all malletable? I have hand carving tools, so I want to make sure they will withstand impact.
I have a classic looking beech wood mallet - I may want something different in the future but I suspect that it will do for now.
Am I being irrational wanting to start with sharp tools? Keeping edges sharp is something I am used to with my carving tools. Properly shaping a profile seems a lot harder. Though I may have to learn eventually.

Sorry to sound clueless (though there is a reason for that) and thanks for the help....
 

okeydokey

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A point to note for Ashley Isles is that if you ever muck up the profile of a gouge they will re-sharpen/grind back to factory spec for a quite reasonable amount (about £2 each rings a bell)- they have done a set for me when I bought some used that must have been reground by an elephant wearing welders goggles.

BTW look at their website - Production Process videos - well worth a few minutes of your time.
 
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DrPhill

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Any Ashley Isles gouges I've bought have been ready to use, all I've had to do is the normal stropping during use.
Interesting. I do like the look of them (not what I should go by but there is precious little else to go on web-shopping) and I do like the idea of buying British. Bit pricey but whats an end-of-year bonus for?
 

DrPhill

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A point to note for Ashley Isles is that if you ever muck up the profile of a gouge they will re-sharpen/grind back to factory spec for a quite reasonable amount (about £2 each rings a bell)- they have done a set for me when I bought some used that must have been reground by an elephant wearing welders goggles.

BTW look at their website - Production Process videos - well worth a few minutes of your time.
I like the sound of that - very much so.
 

Adam W.

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Ashley Isles tools also have a lifetime guarantee, which works, as they replaced one of my inhereted gouges from the late 60's and re handled the new one with the old boxwood handle.

They are a nice company to use, that's for sure and you won't be dissappointed with the service.

I use lots of Pfeil and Ashley Isles gouges , but some don't like the heavy Isles gouges and say they are clunky, but I've got big hands and I like them.

You should get the full sized Pfeil gouges if you go for them.
 
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Having been taught by a master carver using Pfeil gouges, I’ve built a collection of my own (full size). I’ve not seen the need to tune them up on arrival and have used them ‘straight out of the box’ so to speak. The supplier I use (and who have the largest range at very reasonable prices) are G & S Timber in Penrith Hardwood Timber Merchants & Hand Tool Supplier | G & S. I tend to use three main mallets (all vintage), one beech and two lignum vitae
 

DrPhill

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Thanks to all, I have made a purchase. In the end I chose Ashley Iles because they are UK based and offer regrinding at reasonable cost which frees me from worrying that I may not have enough skill. The advert says they come sharp enough to use, so that is another worry gone.
Another part of my wood butchering journey begins soon.
 
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