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Thread: Bowl gouge vs Spindle gouge

  1. #1
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    Default Bowl gouge vs Spindle gouge

    I have several spindle gouges and even more bowl gouges
    Whenever I am starting a project be it spindle or bowl I always reach for
    the bowl gouge, peppermills/bowl gouge, egg cups/bowl gouge mallets/bowl gouge and of course the skew only when I have to , so what is the big difference between the 2 gouges? I know the flute is not as deep with a spindle gouge but other than that does one have an advantage over the other? If so I don't see it...
    Ron

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bowl gouge vs Spindle gouge

    The reason a bowl gouge was invented is because bowls tend to require a longer unsupported section when turning the inside of the bowl. The deep flute of a bowl gouge makes it stronger than a spindle gouge. Using a spindle gouge to hollow out a bowl could easily get you a bent spindle gouge.
    I'd say the biggest other difference is just to standard grind. A 'standard' spindle gouge has a fingernail grind, whereas a 'standard' bowl gouge has a flat-across grind. If you grind them the same they do a very similar job, but the bowl gouge, having high wings, can be ground in ways that the spindle gouge can only dream of - allowing it to cut with the wings using an Ellesworth grind / Irish grind / whatever.
    Mike in Orangeville, ON
    http://ifonlyyouwood.blogspot.com/

    SPCHT

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Bowl gouge vs Spindle gouge

    Ron - a good history of he evolution of the bowl gouge is at http://www.customwooddesign.com/turn...olution-3.html
    As to Mike's comment about strength - compared to an old stamped spindle gouge, a bowl gouge may be stronger but a modern milled spindle gouge has more metal at the bottom of the more shallow U than a bowl gouge. Just measured a few of mine. A Oneway 1/2" spindle gouge has 5/16" at base. P&N 5/8 bowl gouge has 3/16" at base and Hamlett ASP 2060 bowl gouge has 1/4" at base. A bowl gouge with proper grind allows the use of the side ground wings. Many people use bowl gouges for spindle work. The wings give the same cutting effect as a skew. Spindle gouges are Ok on the exterior of bowls or for rim & base cuts, but a bowl gouge is superior for the interior. You should always be aiming for a slicing cut and a spindle gouge will not always give you that in the interior of a bowl. I have three different bowl gouge grinds I use routinely. Am currently looking at some of Cindy Drozda's DVDs and she has uses some pointy grinds on bowl gouges for work on boxes & finials. Use what ever you like, but use safely. Wood is dumb. It will never tell anyone how you made the cut. Quote attributed to Kurt Hertzog.
    Edit - sorry took away the laugh for the day.
    Last edited by Mike Brazeau; 10-22-2009 at 09:38 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bowl gouge vs Spindle gouge

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brazeau View Post
    Ron - a good history of he evolution of the bowl gouge is at http://www.customwooddesign.com/turn...olution-3.html
    As to Mike's comment about strength - compared to an old stamped spindle gouge, a bowl gouge may be stronger but a modern milled spindle gouge has more metal at the bottom of the more shallow U than a bowl gouge. Just measured a few of mine. A Oneway 1/2" spindle gouge has 5/16" at base. P&N 5/8 bowl gouge has 3/16" at base and Hamlett ASP 2060 bowl gouge has 1/4" at base. A bowl gouge with proper grind allows the use of the side ground wings. Many people use bowl gouges for spindle work. The wings give the same cutting effect as a skew. Spindle gouges are Ok on the exterior of owls or for rim & base cuts, but a bowl gouge is superior for the interior. You should always be aiming for a slicing cut and a spindle gouge will not always give you that in the interior of a bowl. I have three different bowl gouge grinds I use routinely. Am currently looking at some of Cindy Drozda's DVDs and she has uses some pointy grinds on bowl gouges for work on boxes & finials. Use what ever you like, but use safely. Wood is dumb. It will never tell anyone how you made the cut. Quote attributed to Kurt Hertzog.
    Man...That's gotta leave an awful mess on you lathe.

    I think your comparison of thickness at the bottom of the flute might be a little misleading. A fair comparison would be the same size bowl and spindle gouge made by the same company. ie...1/2" spindle V 1/2 bowl both made by P&N.
    Some spindle gouges are very thick with a very shallow flute. These are know as detail gouges. I have two here with about 3/8" of steel under the shallow (1/8") flute. I guess that would be a 1/2" detail gouge. I also have a pair of 1/4" detail gouges and the flute is only about 1/16". Most of my other spindle gouges are the forged type.

    Suffice to say you can use a bowl gouge to do spindles but you are limited to how much bowl turning you can do with a spindle gouge simply because they aren't as robust.

    FWIW
    J.P. Rap Mount Hope Ont.
    Carpe Ductum (Seize The Tape)


    "In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. Elwood P. Dowd

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Bowl gouge vs Spindle gouge

    From J.P.'s reply

    Spindle gouges are Ok on the exterior of owls or for rim & base cuts,

    Man...That's gotta leave an awful mess on you lathe


    You guys just made my day; I needed a good laugh.

    Bob

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bowl gouge vs Spindle gouge

    Glad I could be of service.
    J.P. Rap Mount Hope Ont.
    Carpe Ductum (Seize The Tape)


    "In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. Elwood P. Dowd

  7. #7

    Default Re: Bowl gouge vs Spindle gouge

    Have you ever tried rolling a bead with a bowl gouge? Say no more.

  8. #8
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    just what you thought :^')

    Default Re: Bowl gouge vs Spindle gouge

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron F View Post
    I have several spindle gouges and even more bowl gouges
    Whenever I am starting a project be it spindle or bowl I always reach for
    the bowl gouge, peppermills/bowl gouge, egg cups/bowl gouge mallets/bowl gouge and of course the skew only when I have to , so what is the big difference between the 2 gouges? I know the flute is not as deep with a spindle gouge but other than that does one have an advantage over the other? If so I don't see it...
    Ron
    He Ron, I use the Bowl gouge also on spindle turning, sometimes, as it works a lot like the spindle roughing gouge.
    However if you need two beads next to each other or some other steep narrow cut, you can not do that with a bowl gouge.
    As for the metal thickness and shape, a spindle gouge isn't used with a long overhang normally, so you don't need those high sides for strength like a bowl gouge does have/need.
    The thicker metal in the bottom of the spindle gouge does give you a longer and acute bevel for cutting with the sides of the nose, bowl gouge wont give you this, so yes there are reasons to use a spindle gouge rather than a bowl gouge, and both do have some overlapping uses, but they are two different animals

    Have fun and take care
    Leo Van Der Loo

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