CategoryAll posts under‘Tools‘

Glaser Hitec – gouges

  • by Corin Flood
  • February 12th, 2013

Production turning is all about efficiency, the fewer tools, adjustments and movements the more efficient and faster the process is. That includes adjusting the tool rest and changing tools. Having a stiff tool that can work safely further off the tool rest reduces the number of adjustments. Not a lot of tool manufacturers make 3/4″ gouges but a 3/4″ gouge is significantly stiffer than a 5/8″ gouge and makes working further off the tool rest safer. After looking around for 3/4″ gouges I came across Glaser Hitec gouges and promptly ordered a 3/4″ bowl gouge and a 3/4″ bowl bottoming gouge.

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The upper one above is the bottoming gouge (35″ overall with a 21 1/2″ handle and 13 1/2″ blade), the lower one is the bowl gouge (30 1/2″ overall with a 19 1/2″ handle and 11″ blade.

I double turn my production bowls, first green and then finishing after drying. The 3/4″ bowl gouge makes short work of the green rough turning, with fewer passes to get to the rough form, and the ability to work further off the tool rest – everything counts towards productivity. The shot in the handle works as promised damping tool vibration smoothing out the cut and reducing fatigue which is a bonus. A word of caution, don’t overshoot the centre when turning the inside. With a powerful lathe you can put a lot of pressure behind this gouge and remove a lot of material fast – always let up as you get to the centre, so the gouge doesn’t escape and hit the wrong side of the bowl.

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The bottoming gouge has proved to be the most outstanding of the pair. As a production turner I want near perfect surfaces, fair curves and no tear out before any sanding happens. Even with a 60° double bevel on a conventional bowl gouge I always seemed to end up with a scraper in hand for the final cut on the bottom of the bowl. Gone are the scrapers now – the bottoming gouge runs beautifully into to the bottom of the bowl. Even on smaller bowls it beats the alternatives. The thin profile of the cutting tip (at right) makes it easier to see what’s going on with the result that achieving fair curves in the transition from wall and across the bottom is quicker and cleaner. My production bowls are 4″ to 6″ deep so getting to the bottom requires reaching off the tool rest, the heft, blade length and stiffness of this tool make that possible. I find the gouge works best when it is held level, no drop on the handle. I grind the tool with a 60° bevel and no rake on the wings. A great tool, I am tempted to buy another one with a shorter handle; on smaller bowls the long handle is not necessary but the cut quality is.

These are not inexpensive tools but for me the investment was well worth it. I ordered mine through Glaser Hitec’s website here. They took a while to arrive but in the end I was happy with the customer service; Paulo Marin called me up to assure me they were on the way and so they were.

These gouges are a great addition to the rack!