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Doug Sanders

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A comment by Toscano made me wonder something. V-gouges seem to be the most problematic chisel type in my box in terms of shaping, sharpening, and cutting ability.

This might be difficult without a diagram, but here goes:

Should the two blade planes that make up the V lean forward, backward or perpendicular to the gutter of the V when the gouge is looked at from the side?



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That's a good question.

The angle shouldn't really affect the geometry of the cut.

It will affect the angle at which the blade attacks the wood though.

In that sense the more acute the angle the more the gouge will slice than push. Which I suppose is good. It will also make the point prone to chipping though.


So... I leave my v-gouges either perpendicular or slightly acute.

And having said that, I've seen others that go for an obtuse angle...


So, as in most things in life, there is no straight answer.

And as in most things in life, you should do as you please.

Well, within limits. :lol:



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A v-gouge with the wings forward will cut the surface wood before it cuts the wood at the bottom of the cut. This relieves the wood and brings out a cleaner cut on the bottom. This works well on hard woods. Gouges with vertical wings cut all depths at the same time. This geometry works OK with soft woods.

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  • 11 months later...

I was reading old posts and saw this about v tools. Thought I would add my comments. I use two different sharpening on v tools. For long lines or cuts that have to go across and against grain the tool is sharpened with the wings forward and a longer bevel. This shears the wood and the longer bevel decreases the amount of cutting edge in contact with the wood. This decreases the pressure on the fibers of the wood so you can actually cut aginst the grain and still end up with a clean cut. I carve softer woods so this approach may be problamatic in hard woods. The other drawback to this type of sharpening is when the end of the cut butts up to a raised surface, the wings are forward so the bottom of the cut has to be cleaned up with a skew chisel.

My v tool with the 90 degree sharpening is used for roughing out or layout work and cuts that go with the grain. In some cases reversing the cut has to be done to cut two smooth sides.

Sharpening with the wings back towards the handles has always caused problems for me. The center of the v does not cut but crushes the wood. I am sure there is some physics involved.

Hope this helps. It is wonderful to have such a wealth of information readily available. More than one problem of mine has been solved reading this forum.

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