Review - Ellsworth Bowl Gouge - www.onlinetoolreviews.com

Hi all, we have just posted a review of the Ellsworth Signature bowl gouge online at http://www.onlinetoolreviews.com/reviews/crownellsworthbowlgouge.htm
Quite a nice tool if you are a keen bowl turner!
Hope it helps!
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Regards,

Dean Bielanowski
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wrote:

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wrote:

A very good review on the Ellsworth gouge. I'll comment on a couple of things. You said that prior to using the bowl gouge a roughing gouge might be used. As was stated in a recent article in American Wooturner, using a roughing gouge on a facegrain bowl is a dangerous practice. The tang is very weak on the roughing gouge and I have seen several that were broken in use. The PM roughing gouge is an exception. The roughing gouge was designed for spindle turning.
When sharpening the Ellsworth gouge, to retain the original grind, it is best to use the jig that Ellsworth designed.
Wally Dickerman
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You said that prior to using the bowl gouge a roughing gouge

Sorry, Wally, it's a case of knowing what you're doing. Until the advent of cylindrical "bowl" gouges about 30 years ago, all work was done with gouges similar to the "roughing" gouge. Obvious that it isn't inherently unsafe, and equally obvious that some people don't take time to think or learn how to use it safely before they write articles that we should have a hearty laugh at.
Nice thing about the roughing gouge is that it has a very long and generous sweet spot, ground, as it is, with the same bevel angle all the way around.
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: Sorry, Wally, it's a case of knowing what you're doing.
Rest assured, he does.
Wally's a top drawer bowl turner, who's been turning since most of us here were born.
And he's right about roughing gouges.
    -- Andy barss
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Andrew Barss wrote:

I have to agree.
http://www.woodturningdesign.com/showcase/wally_dickerman.shtml
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Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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I agree with you george in that in the hands of an expert the roughing gouge can be used safely in bowl turning. I know of at least two full time turners who use one regularly. Problem is that in the hands of an inexperienced turner, using the roughing gouge on a rough out-of-round blank is looking for disaster. With the very wide flute a huge catch is possible. I've seen roughing gouges that were bent almost double and were broken clear out of the handle. The small tang just won't handle it. The bowl gouge will do the job well and safely.
George, I was turning bowls 60 years ago and I know the tools that we had to use then. I believe that appearance of the bowl gouge around 1980 has a lot to do with the huge increase in the popluarity of woodturning. Turning became much easier and safer.
Wally Dickerman
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Ya gotta remember that George recommends new turners to use roughing gouges to hollow out bowls, so take his comments with a huge grain of salt. Tony Manella ndd1"at"prolog.net (remove "at") http://home.ptd.net/~ndd1 / Lehigh Valley Woodturners

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"TonyM" <tonym.le"at"comcast.net> wrote in message

You must have someone else in mind. I advocate the use of broad gouges for shaping _convex_ portions. Guess I at least know enough to read....
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I agree with Wally on the use of the roughing gouge for face grain turning; however, I've known several very experienced turners who do use the roughing gouge to turn bowls, one such is Soren Berger. I saw Soren turn a bowl from start to finish with only a two inch roughing gouge. However, because the tang is weak on the roughing gouge, I do not recommend that people use it on bowls.
The Ellsworth Grind bowl gouge is an ideal tool to use for turning bowls. And Wally is correct if you are using regular grinders, it is best to use the Ellsworth jig to sharpen them. Tormek has come out with settings for their wet grinding system to grind the Ellsworth Grind on a bowl gouge. Therefore, I use the Tormek exclusively to grind my bowl gouges. They are sharper and the edge seems to last longer. I published an article in More Woodturning a couple of years ago on how to do the Ellsworth Grind on the Tormek. If anyone is interested, I can look up the specific issue containing the article.
Fred Holder <http://www.fholder.com
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Hi Wally,
I'm curious about this statement. I have a Wolverine system, and with the Vari-grind jig I've been able to maintain the grind on my Ellsworth gouge precisely enough to believe that I haven't changed it significantly. Functionally it seems to work identically to that time when I first bought the gouge and honed the edge by hand.
I'd be interested in your observations about this. Thanx.
Max
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One issue I have is that without an Ellsworth gouge to use as a model, how does one select the proper setting for the Vari-grind? The directions for adjusting the angle are sparse, IMHO.
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I have the Wolverine system. I also had trouble getting the settings on the Vari Grind to work properly. I found that it was difficult to get the angle exact AND that the pivot rod on the Vari Grind was not the right length. I took a class from David Ellsworth a few years ago and brought my grinder and Wolverine along to see what he thought. We ended up making a small block that fits in the Wolverine cradle and lifts the jig so that we could get the proper dimension. And I scrapped the Vari Grind and started using the jig made by Ellsworth. Now the recommended dimensions are easy to achieve. This is an address to a PDF document that tells exaclty how to set up your grinder and jig to get the best results for anyone that is interested. The closer you get to the exact dimensions the better the gouge works.
http://www2.woodcraft.com/pdf/77B61.pdf
Good Luck Ted

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Ted,
When I first set up my Wolverine Vari-grind jig to sharpen my Ellsworth gouge, I watched carefully for any multi-faceting of surfaces, which would indicate that I wasn't putting the same angles on the tool as the original Ellsworth. To my pleasant surprise, there was literally no variation from the original. I haven't had the opportunity to compare my Vari-grind jig with an Ellsworth jig, but I can't believe they could be much different, considering the results I've obtained. At the very least I can't believe there would be justification for spending another $45 for an Ellsworth jig. My two cents worth.
Max
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I had a similar experience but not with a commercial jig.
When I first started turning I went to Darrell's site and made two or three jigs for different size gouges. Right price, quick to make very effective but the angle is fixed between the gouge holding block and the pivot rod. After some time I decided that I would move up and make a metal jig so I could vary this angle and try different grinds.
Eventual after some drilling, sawing, tapping, filing and cursing I had a jig. Not pretty but functional.
First thing to do was to set it up to reproduce my existing grind (I had made the pivot leg the same length as my existing jigs). A little bit of adjustment to the length of the gouge protruding from the jig and I had the same bevel angle and when I swung the gouge from side to side the grind followed the existing grind. There is nothing like the feeling of success. I pulled a muscle patting myself on the back.
Next I decided to change the angle on the jig and vary the grind on the wings. I quite liked the bevel angle I had so I changed the length of gouge sticking out of the jig to get the same bevel angle.
Ready to go. Ellsworth here I come.
Guess what. I had exactly the same grind as previously.
Hmmm. What's going on. Have I moved to a parallel universe. A quick look in the waste bin convinced me I hadn't. None of the lamp shades had transformed themselves into bowls and moved to the display shelf.
Back to the drawing board.
I come to this conclusion.
It doesn't matter at what angle you set the jig. Just adjust the length of gouge to get the bevel angle you want. The wing angle is set once you have decided the bevel angle. You can change the wing profile by grinding more or less.
BillR
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Hey guys, thought I'd share an idea I saw recently. The grinding wheel changes the angle as it wears down and the sliding arm (VariGrind) can be different one grinder to another.
Simple answer was to do the initial grind and then take a piece of thin plywood or whatever, cut it roughly into a crescent shape, put one end into the sliding arm stop, place the other end alongside the grinding wheel, and then trace the outline of the wheel. Cutout that shape. Then whenever duplicating the grind put the one end into the arm and then slide it to match the pattern to the wheel.
TomNie
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writes:

Bruce,
I use the following settings on my Wolverine to maintain my Ellsworth gouge: (8" grinding wheels)
1) extend the V-arm 8.5" from the base to the inside surface of the endplate 2) extend the tip of the gouge 3.25" from the Vari-grind jig 3) set the Vari-grind jig's support arm at the third notch from the top.
Hope that's helpful.
Max
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Thanks!!!
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Packard Woodworks sells a sample gouge ground to the same angles as the Ellsworth. It's about 6 inches long and has no handle. It works great with the wolverine system. Over time as the wheels wear down the angles change alot. When I first got my sample, I was surprised to see how far off my angles were.
LB
Bruce Barnett wrote:

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