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(Another) Scroll Gouge Thread


David Rosales
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I recently ordered a set of Karlsson scroll gouges. At the advice of a fellow Maestronet member, I took the Karlsson sweep table and laid it over a scroll template to see which ones would be the most useful for that particular template. I thought the following gouges fit the bill:

5-10mm

7-10mm

9-12mm

19-20mm

2046762201_Karlssonsweeptable.thumb.jpg.d7f20eba49d04bd9f8a5a8bca443972d.jpg

I already submitted an order. But, after looking at my list, I realized that the two smallest gouges I ordered have the same radius, just a different length. Should I change the order before they start production and switch the 5-10mm for the 4-6mm instead? Would that make the set more useful?

 

Also, if anyone else has been looking for it, here's the Karlsson set that @JacksonMaberry ordered a few years ago:
 

 

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Yes, I'd change your order if you can.

Also, keep in mind that when cutting a scroll, you will need a larger radius than that of the scroll outline template for cutting those parts, and a smaller radius than that of the scroll for cutting the concave parts like the fluting. Otherwise the edges of the gouge will tend to dig in. (I've had that happen many times when I picked up the wrong gounge)

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2 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Yes, I'd change your order if you can.

Also, keep in mind that when cutting a scroll, you will need a larger radius than that of the scroll outline template for cutting those parts, and a smaller radius than that of the scroll for cutting the concave parts like the fluting. Otherwise the edges of the gouge will tend to dig in. (I've had that happen many times when I picked up the wrong gounge)

Much appreciated!

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I just measured my smaller gouges because their sweep numbers don't relate to radii.  They are 3.75mm, 8mm & 12mm.  I have managed with those three together with a flat gouge for scrolls.  The 3.75mm only does the last 1/4 turn near the eye but is good for fluting the narrow part of the volute.  A 4mm would be pretty useful.  It would be nice to have something I between the 3.75 & the 8mm but not critical. 

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9 minutes ago, David Stiles said:

I just measured my smaller gouges because their sweep numbers don't relate to radii.  They are 3.75mm, 8mm & 12mm.  I have managed with those three together with a flat gouge for scrolls.  The 3.75mm only does the last 1/4 turn near the eye but is good for fluting the narrow part of the volute.  A 4mm would be pretty useful.  It would be nice to have something I between the 3.75 & the 8mm but not critical. 

Having a perfect little gouge for the last cuts into the eye may seem self indulgent to some, but it sure is nice and I make no apologies! Good on you, we have to treat ourselves.

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9 minutes ago, David Stiles said:

I just measured my smaller gouges because their sweep numbers don't relate to radii.  They are 3.75mm, 6.5mm & 8mm.  I have managed with those three together with a flat gouge for scrolls.  The 3.75mm only does the last 1/4 turn near the eye but is good for fluting the narrow part of the volute.  A 4mm would be pretty useful.  

Thanks David S. That is super helpful. I did contact H. Karlsson and asked  for the 4-6 in place of the 5-10 after all. They were very easy to work with. 

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3 minutes ago, David Rosales said:

Thanks David S. That is super helpful. I did contact H. Karlsson and asked  for the 4-6 in place of the 5-10 after all. They were very easy to work with. 

Sounds like a good plan.  Please note that I edited my measurements after you read my post.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

I thought I'd add a few of the other popular gouge threads here for easy reference:

From Maestro Darnton

From Maestro Luis Claudio Manfio

From Maestro Davide Sora

Here is a list recommended by Maestros Chris Johnson and Roy Courtnall in their The Art of Violin Making:

  • #6/7 
  • #8/8 
  • #5/10 
  • #7/10 
  • #7/13
  • #5/16 
  • #6/20
  • #5/25
  • Incannel cornerblock gouge 13-15 mm radius (no sweep given)

Maestro Brian Derber in his The Manual of Violin Making, only makes the following recommendations:

#5 30mm (plate gouge)

#7 10mm (channel gouge)

#8 20-22 mm incannel (cornerblock gouge)

#9 6mm incannel (peg box gouge)

For the scrolls he simply recommends buying a set (either mass-produced or handmade) in the #6 or #7 sweep range. He prefers #7 sweep.

 

Hope this helps others. 

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They are great gouges, I have six of them. They come razor sharp and ready to use (which is always a plus). They hold their edge for a very long time and the low bevel angle with which they come sharpened (20 degrees or so) is perfect for the task, especially when you are cutting end grain side of the scroll vertical walls. Also they are very light and you can use work with them for a long periods time without feeling any wrist pain. Their short handles also help with that a lot.

Money well spent :)

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  • 2 months later...

I found a blacksmith on Etsy doing business as ForgedToolsNaumov. I think he's based out of Ukraine and might be a good alternative to Hans Karlsson. I haven't used his gouges but the advantage is he's willing to do custom orders, so you can get a set exactly to your specifications. 

 

https://www.etsy.com/listing/1068798481/wood-carving-gouge-wood-carving-tools?click_key=9e9448ed15d84e63b88968da6a162f85efdf262f%3A1068798481&click_sum=a5b5cc8c&ref=shop_home_active_16&frs=1&crt=1&sts=1&variation0=2195573155

 

This is a video of the forging process:

 

https://youtu.be/MpTDOoeH1wA

 
 
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Glad you wrote about this forge. I have recently received a large roughing gouge of theirs. The steel appears to be very nice, though I need to torture it more to be certain. In any case, apparently scrap Russkie tanks are not bad forge stock. 

The overall workmanship is just not the equal of the Karlsson forge, and the fit and finish is well below theirs. Whereas a Karlsson gouge can be expected to be set up more or less perfectly (with respect to the flatness of the important surfaces especially), this is not at all the case on the gouge I received. However, we are talking two very different price points here, and in a situation where your time is more plentiful than your cash, then the hours spent preparing the UKR gouge will be worth the investment. 

I would therefore recommend this forge with caveats, though not unreservedly. 

 

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