I borrowed a set of gouges for woodcarving from a friend. He said
they were old. When I tried them out on some scrap wood, they seemed
dull compared to my chisels. They were well polished, as if they had
been honed. Anyway, which side of the gouge should be sharpened? The
inside edge, or the outside edge???
These look like they were honed on the outside edge, and I touched
them up a tad on the stone and they seemed to work better. But I
think they should be sharpened on the inside edge, leaving the outside
surface flat, like the back of a chisel.
What is correct??? And will I need to get one of those small
curved stones if I want to sharpen them?
Thanks for any help or comments.....
Sharpening can be a very particular thing for some people (like me).
You better make sure your friend is aware you might do such a thing to
his iron while its in your hands. Especially since you don't seem to
have the particular expertise (no disrespetc intended). For me, it
would feel like a violation.
In-cannel (inside-bevel) and Out-cannel (outside-bevel) are both avail;
depending on the type of carving being done.
I would presume the old gouges already have a bevel, keep it. Sharpen
it like you would any edge; flatten the non-bevel side and hone the bevel.
_Get Leonard Lee's "The Complete Guide to Sharpening."_
Carving gouges' bevel are usually out cannel.
Pattern makers gouges' bevel are usually in cannel.
Firmer gouges' bevel can be either.
In usual practice people tend to sharpen tools the way they come to
them. When tools come to them, the bevel is on the correct side even if
it may not be the best angle. People don't often know that you have to
hone in cannel and strop gouges.
Assuming they're carving gouges: If you reground any of my set the way
you're thinking of doing, I'd expect you to replace them.
As it is, you'd be screwing with the bevel the rounding of the bevel and
the profile, all of which have evolved to suit my hands.
If I were the kind of person to loan tools, I would never expect someone
I'd loaned my gouges to, to touch them to a grindstone let alone regrind
them to a completely different spec.. To not put too fine a point on the
issue. It would about ruin my month and possibly the friendship.
It's likely that all you need is a slipstone, honing compund and a
If your friend seems dismayed or distraught when you return them, do
offer some significant restitution.
I have talked to my friend about sharpening and he is good with
it. They are out-cannel, and I will not change that. All that being
said, the gouges have some rust, and he never uses them. I'm getting
to that point that I know more about them than he does!
But Thanks to all for the info. Now I'll have to get a set for me.
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