Turning Archive

Riding the bevel

John K Jordan
>>>I see a lot of people using the term "ride the bevel" and then I watch them cut and they are nowhere near riding the bevel.

I was thinking about this just last night. I'm making a batch of finger tops for the kindergartners, most out of hard, fine-grained exotics. With a razor-sharp spindle gouge and very slow motion most of my cuts were glass-smooth and "needed" no sanding or maybe a bit of 800 or finer (just to give an idea of the type of cut happening).

I always work by feel but this time I started watching my gouge carefully. (instead of watching the profile as a good boy should!) At no point was the bevel in contact with the wood - to me it looked like there was always the tiniest sliver of a gap behind the tip of the spindle gouge.

This begs more careful examination, perhaps by a second person or with a hi-mag camera focused on the tip with a light underneath. My initial thinking is yes, I was riding the bevel but the bevel was probably about a 100th of a inch long, possibly the length of the micro curvature I put on the very edge by stropping/polishing.


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