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Ray Lee

Which gouge to get?

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You don't need too many gouges to make violins and celli... I use about 6 of them... Bissolotti says that a maker needs no more than 5 sgorbie (gouges) and 3 scalpelli (chisels) to make a violin, and I think he is right. Give a look in your tool rack: their handle state will say you the ones you really use.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
MANFIO
You don't need too

many gouges to make violins and celli... I use about 6 of them...

Bissolotti says that a maker needs no more than 5 sgorbie (gouges)

and 3 scalpelli (chisels) to make a violin, and I think he is

right. Give a look in your tool rack: their handle state will say

you the ones you really use.

Can you give the sweep and size of the 6 you use?

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Hi NewNewbie!

I have the following gouges:

Stubai 18 milimeters sweep 6, fish tail (I use this quite a lot in scroll carving and in the scoop on the C bouts), with a big mushroom handle

Stubai 30 milimeters sweep 4, fish tail, with a big mushroom handle

Stubai 6 milimeters, sweep 6, fish tail, with a small mushroom handle

Stubai 30 milimeters, sweep 3, fish tail, long, strong handle (rarely used)

Stubai 36 milimeters, sweep 5, fish tail, long, strong handle

Goldenberg (French), 6 milimeters, paralell, perhaps sweep 8, for the last stroke on the eye of the scroll

Japanese "ori nomi" (gouge), 10 milimeters, paralell, sweep 8 (I think), that I use quite a lot in scroll carving and in the channel over the purfling.

Japanese "ori nomi" (gouge), 4.5 milimeters, small, all steel, parallel, sweep 8 (I think), that I use on the corners over the purfling mitre.

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Hi NewNewbie!

<BR>

<BR>I have the following gouges:

<BR>

<BR>Stubai 18 milimeters sweep 6, fish tail (I use this quite a lot in scroll carving and in the scoop on the C bouts), with a big mushroom handle

<BR>

<BR>Stubai 30 milimeters sweep 4, fish tail, with a big mushroom handle

<BR>

<BR>Stubai 6 milimeters, sweep 6, fish tail, with a small mushroom handle

<BR>

<BR>Stubai 30 milimeters, sweep 3, fish tail, long, strong handle (rarely used)

<BR>

<BR>Stubai 36 milimeters, sweep 5, fish tail, long, strong handle

<BR>

<BR>Goldenberg (French), 6 milimeters, paralell, perhaps sweep 8, for the last stroke on the eye of the scroll

<BR>

<BR>Japanese "ori nomi" (gouge), 10 milimeters, paralell, sweep 8 (I think), that I use quite a lot in scroll carving and in the channel over the purfling.

<BR>

<BR>Japanese "ori nomi" (gouge), 4.5 milimeters, small, all steel, parallel, sweep 8 (I think), that I use on the corners over the purfling mitre.

Hi Manifo,

I hope it is OK to continue an old thread... Out of these six, which ones do you use on violins and which are only for celli? Also, are they all out-channel? I am a little bit frustrated with how expensive these tools are... so I am trying to find some used on ebay, but it's hard to do not really knowing what's needed, what's desirable and what to avoid...

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Hi! I'll use them all for violins, violas and celli.

I recently added this one to my collection

http://japanwoodworker.com/product.asp?pf_id=07.070.130

and I love it.

As price is concerned, the final result of your work will depend on the quality of your tools, as well as your ability to sharpening and using them. They will serve you many many years.

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Hi! I'll use them all for violins, violas and celli.

I recently added this one to my collection

http://japanwoodworker.com/product.asp?pf_id=07.070.130

and I love it.

As price is concerned, the final result of your work will depend on the quality of your tools, as well as your ability to sharpening and using them. They will serve you many many years.

That gouge is absolutely superb. I have used it for roughing out as well as for fine work and it works equally well on both maple and spruce. It may be pricey but it is worth the money. Just be aware that the steel is very, I mean very hard so it is a bit of a challenge to get an edge on the tool. When I sharpened it I was using a stone that was too hard so I think if you are going to use the Japanese tools you probably are going to have to use the Japanese stones, they are softer so they work for the higher Rockwell hardness in the steel.

Another thing I have done is use a swiss gouge for roughing out but first I removed the handle and put a long one on like the above Japanese gouge. A bit cheaper.

Best of Luck

Frank Strazza

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As price is concerned, the final result of your work will depend on the quality of your tools, as well as your ability to sharpening and using them. They will serve you many many years.

Yeah, I know, but what's the minimum set, which will get me going?

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I have several Pfeil gouges and find them very good! IMO, they hold a good edge. Moreover, the prices are really fair considerably lower than most japanese gouges. Recently I talked to a professional wood carver who uses Pfeil toolls exclusively. He shares my opinion on Pfeil tools. Additionally, I have some japanese strikig chisels. It's the cheapest handmade line by the japanese smith/firm "Iyoroi" sold by Dick (one chisel is about 20 to 25 Euro). These tools are outstanding, too.

Hence, I can recommend both Pfeil and japanese, but Pfeil will probably be cheaper...

Hope this helps!

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I have several Pfeil gouges and find them very good! IMO, they hold a good edge. Moreover, the prices are really fair considerably lower than most japanese gouges. Recently I talked to a professional wood carver who uses Pfeil toolls exclusively. He shares my opinion on Pfeil tools. Additionally, I have some japanese strikig chisels.

I am still confused with the variety of the sizes and shapes as well as with the price range... Pfeil has a set of violin gouges, but they look quite differently from what I understand most of people use. Also, they are in-channel and most of people seem to be using out-channel. Which ones are you using?

Lee Valley has some cheap gouges. I've already bought a 10 mm one. Is it worth getting this whole set or are they not any good? It would be great if someone could explain IN DETAIL at which stage of work which gouge should be used and how. If I knew exactly what I need I could search on ebay, etc... At the moment I am lost. I simply don't have a budget to do this selection by trial and error method... I think I have grossly underestimated the initial investment required :)

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I am pleased to find that I still agree with myself regarding gouge comments - and it is even better that others share some of my experiences.

Having given a good opinion on Pfiel gouges, I would not recommend the in-canneled violin making gouges. You will find their use rather limited.

The outer-beveled gouges have a much greater multi-tasking utility.

The Darnton list gives you the most useful sizes. Having said that, my advice would be to buy a couple and see how you get on with a particular manufacturer.

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The Lee Valley gouges you mention are not best suited for instrument making. They are of heavy construction and meant to be struck by a mallet.

Buy a few good tools and avoid the allure of matching sets. My best tools are unmatched old English chisels and gouges.

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The Lee Valley gouges you mention are not best suited for instrument making. They are of heavy construction and meant to be struck by a mallet.

Buy a few good tools and avoid the allure of matching sets. My best tools are unmatched old English chisels and gouges.

These are probably better suited to our purposes:

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=...130&p=58812

Lee Valley also has some nice Japanese carving sets they don't show on the website Lee Valley #44D10.05; they are great for scroll work and hold an excellent edge. They also have a nice stubby fishtail gouge with a good sweep for edgework around the purfling and works well for undercutting on the scroll part #81D09.01.

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The Darnton list gives you the most useful sizes. Having said that, my advice would be to buy a couple and see how you get on with a particular manufacturer.

OK, here is the Darnton's list:

one inch #3 gouge

3/4 inch #5

1/2 inch #2

3/8 inch #6

Could someone attach a link with an image or a description or a link to a specific product to each of these please ? :)

Thanks.

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I bought a set of English Butcher and a Barton gouge of ebay for about $40. These look to be from about the turn of the last century from all the info I can find on them. They hold a good edge and even though the sweep which is about a #11 isn't the best for finishing work, they are well suited for roughing out the plates.

Keep an eye out on ebay because one mans garage sale junk is anothers valued treasure.

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I though I would add a photo of the large roughing gouges that I use by Herr Scharwaechter.

I posted them in the previous version of the Forum software and they have probably disappeared.

post-24474-1213471176_thumb.jpg

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Could someone attach a link with an image or a description or a link to a specific product to each of these please ? :)

Thanks.

Is that :) as in, you're exasperated with us? B)

1" = 25.4 mm, so that would be #61U03.25 in the #3 Hirsch gouges

3/4" = 19.5 mm, so that would be #61U05.20 in the #5 Hirsch gouges

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=...4&cat=1,130

Here's a 3/8" #6:

http://japanwoodworker.com/product.asp?s=J...p;dept_id=12702

.5" - 12.7 mm, there's a 12 mm #2 on this page:

http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=1338

:)

Oh, it's useful to have a few sweep charts so you can make comparisons:

Pfeil:

http://www.woodcarvingsupply.com/page01.htm#Gouges

This place sells both Dastra and Two Cherries:

http://www.diefenbacher.com/Sweeps.htm

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Andres has handed the info on a plate to ease some frustration.

One the other hand, perhaps one could argue that there is learning in the process of background research.

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Is that :) as in, you're exasperated with us? :)

Not at all! Andres, thanks a lot!!! This is really useful to me and probably to other beginners. With regards to giving me an easy answer, I don't agree. If there was no substantial amount of money involved in this learning process I would have never asked...

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I though I would add a photo of the large roughing gouges that I use by Herr Scharwaechter.

I posted them in the previous version of the Forum software and they have probably disappeared.

Thanks a lot, Janito! They look very similar. How wide are they? Is the sweep different?

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Hi mbmsv!

I have the regular carving gouges of Pfeil. As far as I know, the inside ground violin gouges are for holloing back and front, only.

I have the following gouges:

- 25 mm, 20 mm and 16 mm, all sweep #5. I use these for rough arching

- 10mm #7 to flute in the edge/purfling region and for other tight places...

- 8mm #8 (I think) for the scroll

- 25 mm #7 long bent for roughing out back and front

I think you coul omit the 20mm #5 and would still have a fairly complete set. I'm just building my first fiddle and chose these gouges according to the books of Johnson & Courtnall and Juliet Barker. Therefore, this is not an advise of an experieced luthier :)

Others might use different gouges. I think it's merely a matter of what you are used to.

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By the way: Someone mentioned the German firm "Dastra". I have one inside ground 18 mm #8 Dastra gouge to shape the blocks. However, I cannot recommend Dastra. The steel is far softer than Pfeil's and doesn't hold a good edge. The professional carver I mentioned earlier agrees with me...

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Others might use different gouges. I think it's merely a matter of what you are used to.

I suspected that, but one has to start somewhere... I notice that your gouges have bigger sweep...

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