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How to Use Wood Lathe Chisels

There are various types of wood lathe chisels available, and these tools all aim at giving the perfect finishing touch to your piece. But, notwithstanding their similar goal, wood lathe chisels functions differently.

Some provide your stock with a smooth surface through scraping or cutting. Just knowing how these lathes function does not do any piece justice because it is easy to understand the theory.  But, knowing the method of use can be difficult. It only takes surfing the internet to know how wood lathe chisels but how do you use these tools?

In this work, we’ve grouped the wood lathe chisels into two categories: spindle turning and faceplate turning. Spindle turning is carried out on projects like pepper miles and pens that are between centerlines. On the other hand, Faceplate work gets its fame on wooden bowls.

If you are looking to get into woodturning and you are looking for the best beginner wood lathe chisels then do not worry we have reviewed the best for you in a handy guide.

Spindle Turning Wood lathe chisels

1.   Skew Chisels

Skew chisels serve various uses in woodwork. However, a skew gets its name from its ability to give a glassy cut to a stock. To use this chisel, try raising your tool rest to touch the wood in a flat position. Go for a skew chisel with a size of 1.2inch and cut using the middle part of the blade. Try not to use the pointy edge of the blade because it may likely harm you.  Then, use your bevel to cut on the wood. It gives the workpiece a scrapping feel than a cutting outcome.

One thing to put in mind is that your skew’s edge should always touch the wood. Preferably at an angle of 45 degrees above the center of your wood. Also, avoid placing it in one position. Make sure that the skew moves from one end of your workpiece to the other.

2.   Spindle Rough Gouge

A lot of people tend to use various kinds of tools to roughen the surface of their pieces. But, this should not be so because it does not give the desired outcome. If you intend to rough-out the surface of your stock, the spindle rough gouge is the best go-to equipment for you.

To use this tool, first, check to make sure that the tool rest lays in a position where it can properly support your roughing gouge. Then, taking the bevel of the tool face the handle upwards and cut. It is necessary to start cutting from the upper part to the lower part of the stock because it helps you achieve the perfect for your project. Also, make sure to stand in a position that enables you to move the whole body while cutting instead of focusing on arm strength.

A good spindle roughing gouge size is about 7/8inch. This tool does not only serve well on small stocks but works perfectly for both medium and heavy-duty roughing work. Another thing to note when using this tool is that it does not work well for any faceplate work. Using this equipment on wooden bowls can significantly cause harm.

3.   Spindle Gouge

A lot of people mistake this tool to be the same as the spindle roughing gouge. However, they are not. Although both have the same method of using spindle gouge is a bit smaller than its roughing counterpart. What this tool does is fix unique details like coves and beads on your workpiece to beautify it.

To create these unique shapes, decide on the location. It could be on the bottom part or top of the piece. After deciding the location, move the tool along the tool rest, and as the wood rotates, the tool will start cutting out a shape. A good size for a spindle gouge will be about 1/2inch. Although small, this stool does not just cut out shapes but also makes your work detailed.

4.   Parting tool

As the name suggests, the work of this tool is to part wood. Even with its chief use for parting woods, it is best to part halfway through your work and uses a saw for the rest. But, make sure to turn off the lathe before using a saw. Using just a parting tool may take time will not look pretty. To do this, it is best to know the dimension you wish to cut and the position you want to use. When this is apparent to you, it becomes easy to cut down to the dept using caterpillars as a measuring unit.

Most wood lathe chisels used for spindle turning employ the bevel for cutting. But, unlike them, parting tools do not require this process. All you need do is place the tool on the tool rest and watch it cut out a decent shape. Though, it will not give you a nice finishing. Apart from this, you would want to go for a parting tool with about 1/8inch to tackle large projects.

The Faceplate Turning Tools

·      Bowl Gouge

The bowl gouge is also known as the powerhouse because it has a large channel or flute which goes deeper than that of the spindle gouge. However, they are much thinner than the spindle gouge. This tool can effectively shape bowls and any other hollowed dish shapes. Also, it works as a bottom feeder for designing both the interior and outer parts of a bowl.

It is used similarly to a spindle gouge for cutting shapes while acting as a balance for the chuck. To use this tool, place its cutting edge on the point where the bevel will rub if the wooden bowl extends farther. Then, start cutting towards the center.

Bowl gouges come in two types: The U and V-shaped bowl gouge. Many woodturners often use the U-shaped bowl gouges to reach the bottom of the bowl by making smooth cuts in it. Meanwhile, the V-shaped bowl gouge comes with a fingernail grind to both rough-out, finish and add details to the hollowed items like cups and bowls.

If you are considering getting a bowl gouge make sure to choose either from the 1/2inch or 5/8inch for larger items and a smaller 1/2inch bowl gouge for added details. Also, make sure to go for one that strong blade gotten from high-speed steel.

·      Scrapper

The scrapper is the final finishing tool that works to leave your surface smooth by scraping instead of cutting. But, to get this result, ensure that the scraper keeps working properly, and the surface stays smooth, you will need to keep the burr sharp.  If you have a mark on your piece left by a bowl gouge, a scrapper perfectly removes this mark.

To use this tool, hold it facing downward and ensure that the scrapper touches the center part of the wood. Also when held in a downward position, the handle needs to be higher than the tool at an angle of 30 degrees from the tool rest. The best size to use will be a 1inch scrapper tool because it is a versatile tool and provides durability.

An example of a scraper is the round nose scraper, also known as a bowl scraper. With this tool, it becomes possible to get rid of any residual marks on your workpiece. It is perfect for smoothing the outer parts of a bowl, boxes, and flat surfaces.

Wrapping Up

Wood lathe chisels are versatile tools that help you create a masterpiece from bare wood. They can be used for spindle turning or faceplate turning. To expertly use these tools, it is necessary to know how they work. With this article, it will be easy for you to master its craft.