Turning Archive 2007

Thompson gouges

john lucas
>I have given the thompson gouges the acid test in the last few days. I turned a solid brass spindle for a client and and then turned the brass ferrule for a tool handle and I was still able to turn the tool handle. I know I couldn't do that with my HSS tools without at least 2 sharpenings.

Today I worked with a beginning turner. His son had given him a laminated Baltic birch blank and wanted a vase turned out of it. I put him on the lathe with the half inch Thompson tool. He turned the whole outside portion with that tool without stopping to sharpen. Anyone who has turned plywood knows that it's hard on the tool edge.

I mentioned earlier that I didn't think they were as sharp as the HSS tools. Right off the grinder they don't seem to be but I started touching the edge up with a fine diamond hone and they cut just as clean as the HSS. Takes a little longer to do this but the benefit of a clean cutting tool with an edge that lasts longer is worth it.

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