Turning Gouge

As it is now, the piece may be just roughly rounded and out of balance. If turned at full speed, the wobbling and shaking would waste energy and could throw off the centering at the tail, enlarging it and making it run loose. You need to bring the whole length to a cylinder before doing anything else. This is turning, but not woodturning like you'll be doing once the piece is balanced.

A big gouge is the first tool applied to the wood. All turning gouges are sharpened with a flat bevel on the convex, outside edge, but their noses may be pointed or square across. Turning gouges for cutting coves need their rounded nose, but the roughing in gouge can be square across. This is often called a chair bodger's gouge after the fellows who work in the woods with their spring-pole lathes turning the legs for Windsor chairs.

Round the stock with a large gouge.

Any gouge is useless without the tool rest, the moveable fulcrum that makes turning a precise art instead of a crazy battle. One hand holds both the shaft of the gouge and the tool rest at the same time. The other hand holds the end of the gouge handle. The tool rest puts the fulcrum point a fraction of an inch from the spinning wood. Big movements on the end of the gouge handle become precise refinements at the cutting end.

The first sweeps down the spinning wood with the gouge may not look precise, but they are. The gouge has to gradually take off the outermost, eccentric wood without diving in and catching. It's a matter of depth control with your hand acting as the fence, sliding along the tool rest as it firmly grasps the gouge. The other hand keeps the gouge tilted over and presented to the wood at an oblique angle.

Gradually these sweeps along the entire length allow you to set the tool rest closer, and you can begin bringing sections down to a proper cylinder. Starting three inches from the right end, you sweep the wood off to the end. As the wood becomes rounder, you gradually use less and less of the tight depth control as the gouge's flat bevel rubs against more and more of the wood.

Let's now venture down into the micro world where the action is. The edge of the gouge is shearing off a shaving and pushing it up out of the way. The shaving resists this and pushes back, tending to push the edge deeper into the wood. The deeper it pushes the edge into the wood, the thicker the shaving and the harder it pushes. The force cascades and the edge digs in.

Counteracting this force is the bevel, rubbing its broad, flat face against the face of the wood already cut. The wood, however, is not a flat surface, it's a cylinder. It only contacts the flat bevel in a line—because that's what cylinders and flat surfaces do. Still, that line is enough to support the edge against the downward push of the shaving.

But what if the bevel is not flat? What if the turning gouge or chisel has been ground and sharpened with a secondary bevel, or any other manner of a rounded bevel. Now we have a round bevel riding on a cylinder—the intersection is a point and not a line. Our foundation is now too small to resist the shaving's downward push. Forces cascade, the gouge digs in.

But your gouge, ground and sharpened with a flat bevel, shears off a shaving that spirals up the channel of the gouge, flowing out over your hands onto the ground. When each three-inch section is done, you move along and round the next section until the whole piece is a smooth cylinder.

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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