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Ray Lee

Which gouge to get?

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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...

I have no experience with Dastra gouges myself, but I remember reading in an article somewhere that Guy Rabut uses them for scroll carving. So I guess they can't be that bad........

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All these are great suggestions. Whatever you decide make sure to have an EASY method to quickly hone your gouges. Each and every time I pick up a different gouge to do some work, I always sharpen (hone) it with this:

http://www.grizzly.com/products/8-Razor-Sharp-System/G5937

And, yes, I too do the razor test on some hair.

I mount the wheels on an inexpensive 6" tool post grinder also from Grizzly. You do not need an 8" grinder if you raise the grinder above the table or have a floor mount stand. I got a cheap stand from an import supplier.

I use Flexcut interchangeable gouges either for their power chisel or inserted in a handle for delicate work. I have more shapes and sizes than I care to list.

Mike

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"I suspected that, but one has to start somewhere..."

Of course! And it's good to ask! This forum is incredible, one learns so much and the participants are so helpful! I just meant to say that the choice of gouges might not be as critical as you think. A skilled luthier is probably able to make a violin with two suitable gouges only. But it's nice to have more choice.

"I notice that your gouges have bigger sweep..."

Well, that depends on the maker of the gouges. Sweep #5 of maker A might be tighter than that of maker B. Actually, I thought the sweep could be to small but now I find sweep 5 quite suitable.

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Would like to start to practise to carve my first scroll. Currently, I am using very 3 cheap gouges for practising on carving top wood. Found this set Grizzly gouge http://www.amazon.com/Grizzly-G7957-Japane...46&sr=8-2on amazon. Will this gouge set be enough for scroll carving. The quality of the gouge is not main priority at point.

Dean

That looks like a very good set and excellent value for money. I wish I could order these but they won't ship to the UK :)

You might want to supplement the set with a narrow, tighter sweep gouge for cutting the eye.

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Found this set Grizzly gouge http://www.amazon.com/Grizzly-G7957-Japane...46&sr=8-2on amazon. Will this gouge set be enough for scroll carving. The quality of the gouge is not main priority at point.

Wow, 6 japanese gouges for $67! I wonder what more experienced folks here will say... They look as if they were meant to be hit by a mallet, but is it really a problem? :) I think I want this set too! :)

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They look very similar to the ones I bought about twenty years ago, I took off the metal ring and cut the handles a bit shorter for comfort, I narrowed my original ten gouges down to a set of five (plus one old English one I use for finishing the eye on a violin/viola scroll) that I use for everything.

They are great gouges and the only small issue I have with them is that they are quite thick, so if I didn’t have my old English one I would need to grind the Japanese one quite a bit thinner for getting into the very end of the eye cleanly on a violin and viola scroll.

Neil.

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That looks like a very good set and excellent value for money. I wish I could order these but they won't ship to the UK :)

It turns out he doesn't ship to Canada either... So, we are in the same boat :)

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It turns out he doesn't ship to Canada either... So, we are in the same boat :)

Actually, I just checked: the "grizzly.com" website says they do deal with international orders, even though the amazon.com marketplace link for grizzly says not.

I sent them an email to enquire.

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The gouges you use depend on what you find comfortale to work with, how much you can spend, and what ype of tool you prefer.

Advising you what to buy is like telling a photographer what camera to get.

I use many different gouges for different jobs.

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All these are great suggestions. Whatever you decide make sure to have an EASY method to quickly hone your gouges. Each and every time I pick up a different gouge to do some work, I always sharpen (hone) it with this:

http://www.grizzly.com/products/8-Razor-Sharp-System/G5937

And, yes, I too do the razor test on some hair.

I mount the wheels on an inexpensive 6" tool post grinder also from Grizzly. You do not need an 8" grinder if you raise the grinder above the table or have a floor mount stand. I got a cheap stand from an import supplier.

I use Flexcut interchangeable gouges either for their power chisel or inserted in a handle for delicate work. I have more shapes and sizes than I care to list.Mike

I like the paper wheels as well Mike, so you might find this link informative.

Paper Wheel Use

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It turns out he doesn't ship to Canada either... So, we are in the same boat :)

I think all you need someone with a U.S. mailing address to forward them to you.

Do you have a relative or friend who has an American address?

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As regards the Grizzly gouges, here are a few thoughts...

- they are described as Quality steel + Japanese oak. No mention of Made in Japan. Compare to the chisels where the country of manufacture (Japan) is clearly stated.

- Assuming they are Japanese, these makers are usually very careful in tailoring the properties of the materials to the intended use. In other words, a chisel that has a heavy metal ferrule is made to be struck and the steel composition may not be ideal for a long-lasting fine edge.

- Even if you modify the handle, it may feel awkward and oversized for scroll work - unless you attempt to follow my example (unfinished)...

post-24474-1213654388_thumb.jpg

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I think all you need someone with a U.S. mailing address to forward them to you.

Do you have a relative or friend who has an American address?

I do have some, but not close enough for me to ask of such a favour. Also, it might be a little more complicated, because in many cases online stores ship only to the address at which the credit card is registered. Apparently, in case of Grizzly, they can ship to a border location (I live relatively close to the border, so I could go and get the stuff), but the order has to be a minimum of $200 not counting shipping.

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- Even if you modify the handle, it may feel awkward and oversized for scroll work - unless you attempt to follow my example (unfinished)...

And who is going to play on this violin? :)

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As regards the Grizzly gouges, here are a few thoughts...

- they are described as Quality steel + Japanese oak. No mention of Made in Japan. Compare to the chisels where the country of manufacture (Japan) is clearly stated.

- Assuming they are Japanese, these makers are usually very careful in tailoring the properties of the materials to the intended use. In other words, a chisel that has a heavy metal ferrule is made to be struck and the steel composition may not be ideal for a long-lasting fine edge.

- Even if you modify the handle, it may feel awkward and oversized for scroll work - unless you attempt to follow my example (unfinished)...

Almost all Japanese gouges and the oire nomi style chisels have these ferrules. Their presence is no indication whatsoever of the nature or quality of steel used for the blades .

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I guess the question to ask is whether the ferruled beauties are being used as a Japanese woodworker would. My comment regarding steel composition related to the relative hardness/softness/lamination etc of the steel - it was not a comment, necessarily, on 'quality'.

There are extensive varieties of delicate Japanese carving steels that are more appropriate for scroll-work.

They are usually fitted with a long thin and light handle (no ferrule) which provides balance, but is not used for leverage. Unfortunately, I have not seen these in Western catalogues.

I will add a photo of a few examples by an apprentice Japanese toolmaker - the master was way too expensive.

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If there are a number of people interested, I have a contact in the U.S. that I can have these shipped to and then forwarded to your address; I would like to do this as a one time order so I'm not bothering my friend with this a number of times. Anyone?

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If there are a number of people interested, I have a contact in the U.S. that I can have these shipped to and then forwarded to your address; I would like to do this as a one time order so I'm not bothering my friend with this a number of times. Anyone?

Bill, thank you for offering your help! Do you or your friend have a PayPal account? I am not decided yet, mainly because the price seems to be too good to be true... I doubt anything can be made in Japan at this price... On the other, hand they may be good enough for a beginner regardless of where they were actually made...

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Bill, thank you for offering your help! Do you or your friend have a PayPal account? I am not decided yet, mainly because the price seems to be too good to be true... I doubt anything can be made in Japan at this price... On the other, hand they may be good enough for a beginner regardless of where they were actually made...

What I have done in the past is pay by Western Union or Postal Money order, Direct deposit etc, and then have the item shipped to my friend in Georgia who then re-sends it to me. it's kind of a roundabout method, but it works. What I can't understand is why some US merchants are reluctant to ship to Canada even with NAFTA. What I could do is take orders so I know how many to order up, I'll pay for them and then you can pay me by money order, cheque or whatever. I wouldn't mind a set of these for myself, so it's no more trouple to order multiples than one set.

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There are extensive varieties of delicate Japanese carving steels that are more appropriate for scroll-work.

They are usually fitted with a long thin and light handle (no ferrule) which provides balance, but is not used for leverage. Unfortunately, I have not seen these in Western catalogues.

I will add a photo of a few examples by an apprentice Japanese toolmaker - the master was way too expensive.

Dick offers this type of japanese carving tools. One gouge is about 45 to 55 Euro.

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What I have done in the past is pay by Western Union or Postal Money order, Direct deposit etc, and then have the item shipped to my friend in Georgia who then re-sends it to me. it's kind of a roundabout method, but it works.

The question is whether it will be worth the effort and wait time considering all the fees involved...

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As you can see from the attached photo, these Japanese gouges are very light, but sufficiently large to handle scroll work.

They are quite unlike the set sold by Dick.

ps - When I bought them in Japan, the steels and handles were sold separately.

post-24474-1213744401_thumb.jpg

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As you can see from the attached photo, these Japanese gouges are very light, but sufficiently large to handle scroll work.

They are quite unlike the set sold by Dick.

That's true, I didn't know you meant those, Janito.

I was thinking about the japanese light carving gouges / violin maker's gouges with drop shaped handles. They are also sold as a set (for about 950 Euro) but it's not the cheap set of small japanese carving tools.

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