Bowl Turning Tool List

Quantity

Size/Grade

Tool or Item

Comments

Tools:

 

 

 

1

1/2"

Deep Fluted Bowl Gouge

See footnote on steel below.

1

1/16" to 1/8"

Parting Tool (Cutoff Tool)

A diamond shape is better than rectangular.

1

4" to 6"

Calipers

Good for checking diameters and wall thicknesses, but don't rush and buy.

1

4" to 6"

Dividers

Size refers to length of legs and a small pair is better. Good for stepping off distances, but a ruler and a pencil will do the job fine.

1

1/2"

Round Nose Scraper

 

1

1/2"

*Spindle Gouge

(You will not use this tool much in this class so do not rush out and buy one) We will teach you how to put a correct fingernail grind on it so you can depart with a correctly sharpened tool.

Other Items:

1

 

Dust Mask

Very nice when sanding. Automotive paper masks are adequate but respirator is better.

1

1/4" or 3/8"

Electric Drill

Used for sanding bowls with sanding mandrels that we have available for loan. Corded is necessary for bowl sanding and cordless is worthless!

1

 

Face Shield

Optional, see safety glasses

1

 

Notebook

 

1

 

Pencil

 

1

Folding or 12" Steel

Ruler

 

1

 

Safety Glasses

You must have a minimum of safety glasses, Most prescription glasses are safety lenses, but need side shields to be true safety. If in doubt bring face shield to go over glasses.

2

60g to 80g

Sandpaper

Our current favorite is Norton 3X available at our local Woodcraft Store or selected home centers. Also good is Klingspore PS 33 in a B weight which is a stearated, open coat, aluminum oxide paper.

2

120g to 180g

Sandpaper

Our current favorite is Norton 3X available at our local Woodcraft Store or selected home centers. Also good is Klingspore PS 33 in a B weight which is a stearated, open coat, aluminum oxide paper.

2

220g

Sandpaper

Our current favorite is Norton 3X available at our local Woodcraft Store or selected home centers. Also good is Klingspore PS 33 in a B weight which is a stearated, open coat, aluminum oxide paper.

Nice to have but not Necessary:

1

 

 Automach reciprocating Carver

If you own one of these beauties bring it for it will make carving bowls ever so much fun. Do not bring rotary carving machines.

1

 

Carvers Mallet

For driving gouges.

1

5 to 9 sweep

Carving Gouges

This is for carving bowls. Gouges need to be at least 12mm wide but there is no upper limit on width.

1

1/4" or 3/8"

Deep Fluted Bowl Gouge

1/4" is the handier of the two

1

1" or wider

Dome Scraper

Good for final shaping of bowls

*We firmly believe that gouges are the most important tools in a turner's kit. Mastery of the spindle gouge is mastery of turning itself. We further believe that a gouge's shape, as well as how it is sharpened, is of vital importance. Not all gouges are created equal, and a badly made gouge will simply frustrate your learning process. Ernie’s favorite spindle gouge is what is called a detail gouge. A detail gouge is a spindle gouge with a very shallow flute, allowing it to be ground to a very long fingernail. Such gouges are available from three sources. The first is Glaser Hitec (http://www.glaserhitec.com). Doug Thompson makes a very nice Detail Gouge which is un-handled, so you will have to buy (or better make) a handle. Contact Doug Thompson at (440) 777-4505 or at http://www.thompsonlathetools.com. Finally Packard Woodworks has a line of very good detail gouges under their own brand. They are very reasonably priced and may viewed at this link. Packard also sells Glaser Hitec tools and many more turning accouterments. Ernie's commercial choice would be a Sorby ½” Spindle Gouge. Herry Taylor ’s spindle gouge has a deeper flute than a Sorby and cannot be ground to as long a fingernail. Do not pay extra for a fingernail grind as we will do that on the first day of the class.

Brand names that we have found to be reliable over the years are Hamlet, Sorby, Henry Taylor, Crown and Packard. Still higher quality tools are made  by Glaser Hitec and Doug Thompson. If you have tools please bring them, for often they will do fine. Do not be afraid to email or call to talk about your tools if you do not think your are adequate.

If you purchase new tools to bring with you we ask that you don not sharpen them before arrival. We spend the first couple of hours explaining the correct grind for each tool and teaching you to obtain that grind yourself.

Especially for gouges we recommend the purchase of HSS (High Speed Steel) tools. HSS will pay back dividends many times over and you turn faster because less time is spent grinding. Since you do not have to worry abut overheating HSS tools much of the worry is taken out of the sharpening process. It should be noted that some Glaser tools are not made from HSS but rather powdered metal technology steel that has superlative edge holding qualities. Some of these steels are not, however, high speed and care to not over heat during grinding should be exercised. Again wait until arrival to grind if in doubt.

The best preparation for this class is to read Ernie Conover's turning books all of which are published by Taunton Press. The textbook for the class is the 2nd edition of The Lathe Book and an autographed copy can be ordered from our store. Ernie's other turning books are Turning for Furniture and Turn a Bowl with Ernie Conover. Additionally watching Ernie's video tape Turning for Furniture is useful and it may also be ordered from our store via the web or phone.

© 2007 Ernie Conover