Wood Lathe Gouge Technique

Wood Lathe Gouge Technique

General description

A gouge is a type of chisel that is usually used in wood turning and sculpture. It is used to carve small elements and pieces. Unlike chisel its blade is not flat and has a U-shaped or V-shaped cross-section. You can buy a set of quality wood lathe turning tools here.

Parts of a gouge

The shank

Simply speaking the shank is the blade of a gouge. The shank is attached to the handle. Depending on the purpose of a tool the shank can be attached to the handle by two methods –socket or tang.

The socket

The socket is a type of connection when the shank has an iron socket and a wooden handle is inserted into it. This type of connection is firmer than the tang connection and is usually used to take pounding from the mallet. The firmer gouge is a good example of a tool with this type of connection.

The tang

The tang connection is the opposite to the socket one. This time the shank is inserted into the handle. Sometimes bolsters or shoulders are used to prevent the tang from splitting the wooden handle. Ferrules are also can come in handy when preventing splitting.

The flute

The flute is the thing that gives that special shape to the shank and the tool in general. It differs for different types of gouges.

The bevel

The bevel is the tip of the shank. The part that makes contact. The cutting edge is made of the intersection between the bevel and the flute.

Types of gouges

There are several types of wood lathe gouges that differ greatly in terms of purpose and application. The problem is that each gouge manufacturer has its own system of curvature degree classification. Below you’ll find the common types of gouges without deep classification.

Roughing Gouge



How to use a Roughing Gouge

A wide deep U-shaped tool with a long shank and a long tanged handle. It has several purposes:

  • Removing the bark from the piece of wood.
  • Quickly turning square shaped objects into cylinders of natural wood.
  • Making simple wood carvings.
To use it as a scraper simply hold the tool horizontally on the center line. The tool rest is usually pressed close to the wood. Before you start it is recommended to spin the wood by hand to ensure that it doesn’t runs into the rest. Don’t forget to wear a face protection.

Spindle Gouge



How to use a Spindle Gouge

A narrow deep U-shaped tool with a shorter shank and a long tanged handle. It has several purposes:

  • Shaping spindles
  • Roughing out material in tight areas
  • Making beads and coves
The tool rest should be positioned so that when you engage the tool its cutting edge would be placed at the center or slightly above the center of the spindle. The tool is supposed to be anchored on the rest. The bevel touches the surface of the wood and slides on it. So, to make the cut you need to raise the handle during the process to engage the cutting edge.

Bowl Gouge



How to use a Bowl Gouge

A U-shaped tool with the deepest flute, a long shank and a long tanged handle. It has several purposes:

  • Rapid roughing out of excessive wood
  • Turning hollows for bowls
The height of the rest is supposed so that the cutting edge of the tool would be place right above the center of the spindle. The gouge moves from the center to periphery to create the primary. Then you work on periphery to create the rounded shape. The angle of the tool is 90 degrees to prevent the rough cutting.

Wood Turning – Beginners Guide – The Bowl Gouge

How to Use a Spindle Roughing Gouge

How to Use a Spindle Gouge

Check out these article about wood lathe tools: Best Wood Lathe Skew ChiselBest Wood Lathe Spiralling ToolBest Wood Lathe Texturing ToolBest Wood Lathe Forming ToolBest Wood Lathe Beading ToolBest Wood Lathe Chatter ToolBest wood lathe hollowing toolBest wood lathe parting toolBest wood lathe Scraper tool, & Best Wood Lathe Captive Ring Tool.


WOODTURNING TOOLS – GOUGES http://www.technologystudent.com/equip1/wturning4.html

Doc Green’s Woodturning Site http://www.docgreenwoodturner.com/gouges1.html

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