Around the Woods

A Course in Woodturning
by Milton and Wohlers; 1919


The gouge used in wood turning is beveled on the outside and is ground so that the nose is approximately semi-circular in shape. The tool is a combination of the round nose chisel and the ordinary gouge. The bevel should extend well around to the ends so that the cutting edge extends to each side. This is necessary to avoid the abrupt corners which would be present if the nose were left straight across as in the ordinary wood-working gouge. In making shearing cuts the round nose permits the tool to be rolled to the side to avoid scraping the work. The length of the bevel should be about twice the thickness of the blade at the point where the sharpening begins.

The sharpening of a gouge for turning is rather difficult for the average student. The ordinary gouge which has a square nose may be beveled by merely turning it half way around and back again. In working out the round nose of a gouge for wood turning, it is necessary that the handle be swung from one side to the other while, at the same time, the chisel is revolved to cut the bevel evenly. It is sometimes necessary to allow some pupils to use the side of the emery wheel in sharpening the gouge. This kind of grinding, however, does not leave the tool hollow ground as when the face of the wheel is used.

To complete the sharpening the rough edge is worked smooth on a slip stone, the cross section of which is wedge-shaped and the edges of which are rounded. The toe and heel of the beveled side of the gouge are brought into contact with the flat side of the stone. As the sharpening proceeds the wire edge is worked to the inside of the gouge. The rounded edge of the stone is then placed inside the gouge and is worked back and forth until the rough edge disappears. Great care must be taken not to bevel the inside of the gouge when whetting with the round edges of the stone, as the result will be the same as with an ordinary chisel or plane bit.

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