Practical Carriage Building
Compiled by M.T. Richardson, Vol.1. 1891
Hand Wood Turning
While the march of improvement has made metal turning by hand almost a rarity, hand turning for wood is almost as much in vogue as ever. Indeed the pattern makerówho must be one if the most skillful of woodworkersórelies wholly on hand tools in getting out his lathe work. Then too a very few cools will serve for wood turning, whereas for metal turning the variety is great. But these few tools require much skill and dexterity in their use.
Beginning with the gouge, shown in Fig. 60, it may be said that it is the custom to reduce the work in the lathe to nearly the required form by this tool, the finishing tools being, with one exception, simply scraping tools, and not, properly speaking, cutting tools. Hence it is evidently inadvisable to leave much for them to take off.
The manner of holding the gouge is shown in Fig. 61. One hand grasps the handle near the end, while the other grasps the gouge near the cutting pointóthat is to say, as near as the hand-rest will permit. It is, however, sometimes necessary to slightly vary the manner of holding, by passing the forefinger of one hand around the hand-rest, while the gouge is confined between the thumb and forefinger, thus gripping the gouge end to the rest.
This is advisable when turning a piece of work that is not completely round, as, for instance, tipping off the teeth of a gear wheel, in which case gripping the gouge to the hand- rest will steady it and prevent it from digging into the work.
The gouge is shown in Fig. 61 to be cutting from right to left. It will, however, cut equally well if used from left to right, in which case the position of the hands must be reversed, the left hand gripping the gouge near the cutting edge. In either case, however, the gouge is not held horizontally level, but is tilted to one side, the lower side being the cutting one; otherwise the tool would rip into the work. Fig. 62 shows, at B, the section of the tool and the tilt of the tool when cutting from right to left, while the tool at A shows the tilt when cutting from left to right. The reasons for this are as follows:
The face of the gouge, on its hollow side and near the cutting edge, receives the strain which is necessary to curl the shaving and force it out of the straight line but if the gouge is placed in the position shown in Fig. 62, at C, the whole of this strain would be upon the gouge, Lending to force it forward and into the cut, as denoted by the direction of the arrow, and as a consequence the gouge would run forward and dig into the work, in spite of all endeavors to prevent it.