Spindle gouges

The 'traditional' turner's tool, the spindle gouge is the workhorse of all but the dedicated bowl turner -and even most of those generally have one or two in their tool bags. Obviously, for spindle turning, such as chair legs, balusters and the like, the spindle gouge is the tool of choice. But as any experienced turner will tell you, they also find ready use for facing cuts, shallow hollowing, drilling, beading etc. and with a little judicious regrinding can also make very effective hollowing tools for box-making...

Spindle gouges generally have shallower flutes than bowl gouges and are consequently, size for size, not as rigid as bowl gouges, reflecting the lower loads that they have imposed upon them. This shallow fluting allows good shaving clearance whilst the fingernail profile to which these tools are normally ground ensures that the wings are well back from the workpiece, allowing maximum manoeuvrability in use. Traditional gouges were forged from flat stock but most current designs are machined from bar stock which leads to a more rigid tool and allows small size versions to be produced for use in tight curves.