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Nestorvass

Roughing out with planes instead of gouges

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2 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

If your gouge is sharp, the spruce takes very little effort to carve with any gouge. It cuts so easily that you can find you cut too much off if not careful!
The back is another matter, and it is here you will see the benefit of using your body weight. I don't use all of mine, just brace the gouge against my hip and lean forward.

I've also seen people using their shoulders as well, bracing the end of the handle on the right shoulder (for right handed people) and then push to make the cut.

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What you will find best will depend on your body size, and especially the height of the bench.
I have a lower work space where I do the roughing, and for me this is great. If I used my main bench, it would be too high for me, and I'd have to brace against my chest, which personally I don't like as much.

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1 hour ago, Nestorvass said:

Mr. Burgess is this the gouge you are using now for roughing out?

No. I tried one once and found that the thin metal shaft flexed far to much for my taste.

My handle is a length of hollow brass tubing, with lead inside to add mass to help it carry through the tough spots.

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31 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

No. I tried one once and found that the thin metal shaft flexed far to much for my taste.

My handle is a length of hollow brass tubing, with lead inside to add mass to help it carry through the tough spots.

Thats a very smart idea. Makes the no lathe problem go away. And how do you attach the actual gouge to the brass tube? Wooden bushings at the ends of the tube?

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54 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

No. I tried one once and found that the thin metal shaft flexed far to much for my taste.

My handle is a length of hollow brass tubing, with lead inside to add mass to help it carry through the tough spots.

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Fake image? where are all the shavings/cutting 

We all know worksops doesn't look like that

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Peter K-G said:

Fake image? Where are all the shavings/cutting 

We all know workshops doesn't look like that.

Maybe on that day it was tidied up because the photographer was coming.

Looks a lot more realistic than workshops featured in The Strad, with Turkish rugs, antique furniture and alabaster busts of Beethoven all over the place.

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2 hours ago, Bodacious Cowboy said:

You don't put your body weight on the handle. You brace your arm against your body and push on that. It's not uncomfortable at all.

 

... unless you have multiple wrist fractures and carpal tunnel syndrom.  I have a padded disc that I use to push on the end of a gouge with my shoulder or chest to avoid wrist stress.

If you have no wrist problems, I don't think it's a big deal either way how you do the external arching on spruce.  Maybe you could save a few minutes using the monster gouge first, but what's a few minutes.  For hollowing out, I can't imagine using anything other than a gouge to take out all that material.  Oh... except for CNC, but I haven't gotten there yet for the hollowing operation.

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Here are my roughing gouges. All are socket gouges bought on ebay, cleaned up, and fit and epoxied to the handle, then reinforced with cord and epoxy. The handles are pre-fab railing components from big box hardware, a few bucks each. The one on the left in my go to tool. Got me through several cellos. They are straighter than the pictures make them look.

Keep in mind, a sturdy, immovable bench is just as important as the gouge.

IMG_1555.thumb.jpeg.23172a8b9e392cffbeea4ad7c3abbbdb.jpeg

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Planes are OK on spruce to do the whole job but gouges work better on maple for me. It's interesting how the YouTube guys always shows their handiwork on spruce but rarely on maple! You can cut spruce with a sharp spoon if that floats your boat.

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15 minutes ago, arglebargle said:

Here are my roughing gouges. All are socket gouges bought on ebay, cleaned up, and fit and epoxied to the handle, then reinforced with cord and epoxy. The handles are pre-fab railing components from big box hardware, a few bucks each. The one on the left in my go to tool. Got me through several cellos. They are straighter than the pictures make them look.

Keep in mind, a sturdy, immovable bench is just as important as the gouge.

IMG_1555.thumb.jpeg.23172a8b9e392cffbeea4ad7c3abbbdb.jpeg

Those look very nice. I bought my own gouges from ebay. Some nice sheffield made ones. Can't go wrong with old steel. Thankfully I've got the workbench part figured out. I use  an old european workbench. Its like 2 meters long and extremely heavy. It doesn't move at all unless I want it to.

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2 hours ago, Nestorvass said:

And how do you attach the actual gouge to the brass tube? Wooden bushings at the ends of the tube?

Yes, he just has a plug of hardwood in the tube into which the forged tang of the gouge is pressed.

Mine is brazed onto a steel shaft.

That is indeed how David's shop normally looks.  He tends to sweep the shavings and chips into a pile on the other side of the room.  I've been there a few times.

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2 hours ago, Nestorvass said:

Thats a very smart idea. Makes the no lathe problem go away. And how do you attach the actual gouge to the brass tube? Wooden bushings at the ends of the tube?

Yes, wooden dowel epoxied into the end.

1 hour ago, Peter K-G said:

Fake image? where are all the shavings/cutting. We all know worksops doesn't look like that.

 

Is this better? ;)  (After planing cello ribs)

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2 hours ago, Mark Norfleet said:

 

That is indeed how David's shop normally looks.  He tends to sweep the shavings and chips into a pile on the other side of the room.  I've been there a few times.

Mark helps me whenever I glue a cello top on. We go like hell and do it in one shot. I do sometimes clean up a little bit before he gets there, to reduce distractions and tripping hazards. And stray wood debris which finds it way into the joint doesn't make for the ideal joint. :D

Gluing a cello top on successfully in one shot isn't the easiest thing, so we spend some time assessing the situation after he arrives, what could possibly go wrong, and whether I've forgotten anything.

Mo' shavings, just for kicks:

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Back to the original OP question, I believe the roughing plane used successfully by Peter Westerlund works so well because it is super sharp, and has a low blade angle.  He also has perfected the technique, after so many instruments.  I was certainly impressed.

It is custom made, and if you want one you can ask him for the source.  I understand that the tool maker has a waiting list.  And such a custom tool will be expensive; wish I could afford one!  

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37 minutes ago, violinsRus said:

Back to the original OP question, I believe the roughing plane used successfully by Peter Westerlund works so well because it is super sharp, and has a low blade angle.  He also has perfected the technique, after so many instruments.  I was certainly impressed.

It is custom made, and if you want one you can ask him for the source.  I understand that the tool maker has a waiting list.  And such a custom tool will be expensive; wish I could afford one!  

I have found a roughing gouge to be much faster for removing bulk wood, particularly on cellos. Imagine using one of those small one-handed planes to hollow out the inside of a cello plate!

I do use a large two-handed and rounded wooden scrub plane for taking off a little more, on cellos, after I have finished with the roughing gouge. A plane will pretty much remove a pre-detmeined amount of wood with each pass, which a gouge will not, unless wielded by a highly skilled operator, or "gougemeister"  :D

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I've been told many times by folks whe know more than I do to use the tool that removes most material most effectively at any stage. I've seen folks hollowing plates with fingerplanes from the start and it always looked weird especially thinking about how fingers and wrist will get hurt after some time doing that (not counting cumulative damage to hands after few years/decades of doing that). I don't own a gouge as large as Gougemeister Burgess, but for my mandolins smaller size is ok and I brace my elbow below my rib (bone) and keep forearm in straight line with the gouge so I use the body movement most effectively. Most important is using the big muscles to do the work (right leg and upper body motion) and mostly use wrists to navigate the blade through the cut. Even with this the wrists get their share of load and will need rest. I found that I can equally well work with left hand (and mirroring the whole posture) for this roughing as the big muscles provide much more control to the cuts so I change sides after each 1/4 of work.

I just made me a new wooden convex plane with 25mm wide blade (made of old file) that works great for smoothing after the gouge. Saves a lot of time before I change to small fingerplane and scrapers.

IF I were to use plane from start to end I would look at chnese or japanese carvers at the big factories - they often use just planes but these are much larger than we are used to and with wooden handles so you can pull with your both hands. Of course it requires good workholding method so you can change direction easily.

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3 hours ago, violinsRus said:

I believe the roughing plane used successfully by Peter Westerlund works so well because it is super sharp, and has a low blade angle.

I wouldn't use low-angle plane for maple. Too much risk of pulling big chunks of maple.

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Gouge : more efficient and faster in roughing, more versatile because it can remove both a lot and very little wood, but more difficult to control and you can make big mistakes with only one wrong shot if you are a beginner (but everyone has made some to learn:)). Allows better visibility because you see the cutting edge and where it cuts.

Fingerplane : significantly slower in roughing, but easier to control and less risk of making big mistakes with one shot, but you can always go wrong by insisting too much in the wrong place. Less visibility of the cut, because the body of the plane covers the cutting edge, especially if you use larger ones to remove material faster.

Moreover, using the gouge is like sculpting, much more fun in my opinionB)

PS : Do whatever you like, we don't know what old makers used, so no one can ever tell you "but Stradivari didn't do that!!":lol:

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2 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

Moreover, using the gouge is like sculpting, much more fun in my opinionB)

On a related note, I use a 50mm wide, fairly flat gouge and take very light, slicing cuts when I get closer to what I want.  There's very little need for fingerplanes, although there are some spots where they work better.

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12 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

Moreover, using the gouge is like sculpting, much more fun in my opinionB)

More seriously, apart from the fun, in my opinion a plus from the gouge is that it allows you to get much more information about the material you are using, such as the direction of the fiber in the various places, ease of splitting, hardness and strength of the wood, etc., based on the sensations of penetration during the cut and the sound produced when cutting. These sensations can influence, for example, subtle variations in the arching shape in order to optimize them for the piece of wood you are using. I know, this requires a lot of experience, but it is an aspect that should not be underestimated. This is one of the reasons why I feel it is not wasted time to do the work completely by hand from the beginning and without shortcuts for roughing (power tools), and I have the impression that the gouge is much more sensitive than planes and fingerplanes on the perception of these aspects.

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15 hours ago, HoGo said:

I wouldn't use low-angle plane for maple. Too much risk of pulling big chunks of maple.

So are we saying that a low-angle plane is more likely to pull out chunks than a gouge?  I would think a gouge is an equally low angle..

 

19 hours ago, David Burgess said:

I have found a roughing gouge to be much faster for removing bulk wood, particularly on cellos. Imagine using one of those small one-handed planes to hollow out the inside of a cello plate!

Yes David, I can see the benefits of the gouge for bulk removal, and that is what I use.  But I did find the hand-plane video mentioned very impressive.  And as you say, the plane is naturally depth-limiting, and also levels off bumps, which is probably necessary after rough gouging, at least for most makers.

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15 minutes ago, violinsRus said:

So are we saying that a low-angle plane is more likely to pull out chunks than a gouge?  I would think a gouge is an equally low angle..

From my experience cutting action of gouge is very different from action of plane.

As Davide Sora described, you can actually see exact spot you are cutting with gouge and continually adjust angle or twist the gouge edge for cleanest cuts (you can see the cuts in one of the pics above - with perfect technique and sharp gouge the gouge cuts are almost glass smooth on maple). With plane you don't see the spot and it's the sole versus roughly scarred surface that dictates angle of fixed FLAT blade (the edge is curved but blade is flat - very different from curved blade of gouge).

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55 minutes ago, HoGo said:

and continually adjust angle or twist the gouge edge for cleanest cuts (you can see the cuts in one of the pics above - with perfect technique and sharp gouge the gouge cuts are almost glass smooth on maple).

OK, I can understand that, you can get a good shearing action with the gouge by angling and rotating as you cut.  

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On 9/5/2020 at 4:16 PM, Nestorvass said:

 This technique looks of unorthodox and I was really curious to see what the rest of the MN members think about it? 

It appears his plate was pretty close to where he needs to be thickness and height wise.  

I looked for a video 18 or 19 to see how much leveling he did before the smaller planes were used - no luck.

When you start just try matching your wood removal to a cross arching template.  Some start by working the edge down first and then bring the arch down to the outer areas.

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