Turning Archive

Subject:
For Example, What is a "Flute"

Don Stephan
It's hard to imagine a discussion about gouge use without the term "flute" but it's only in the last few months, when I was struggling to help another turner, that I stopped to think about the definition. I can't recall ever seeing "flute" defined with text and diagrams, and it's a basic concept used all the time.

Last month I started to think of a flute more specifically as the space removed when a gouge is made. This morning however I realized this removed or negative space is three dimensional and I think "flute" commonly is used to refer to a two dimensional shape, perhaps defined as the inner cross sectional profile of a gouge, whether spindle roughing, spindle, or bowl. I'm guessing that profile is a portion or arc of a circle on the various types of spindle gouge (roughing, spindle, detail, spindle detail), and the commonly mentioned U, V, and parabola for bowl gouges.

But this makes a "flute" a profile fixed in manufacturing of the gouge, so are then "open the flute" and "close the flute" inherently confusing terms because we cannot change the profile?

© 1998 - 2017 by Ellis Walentine. All rights reserved.
No parts of this web site may be reproduced in any form or by
any means without the written permission of the publisher.

WOODCENTRAL, P.O. BOX 493, SPRINGTOWN, PA 18081