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Safe Starting with a Gouge

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Keep the Bevel in Contact

Keep the Bevel in Contact

Keep the bevel in contact
Much to the surprise of many woodturners, the best results happen when both the cutting edge and the tool's bevel contact the wood at the same time. When the tool's bevel is flat against the wood, the edge makes a clean cut and the depth of cut is controlled by the tool. Raising the handle creates a deeper cut because the bevel no longer controls its depth.

Practice locating this bevel-controlled position. And keep the suggestions below in mind. You'll find woodturning becomes safer, easier, faster, and produces better results.

  • Always wear a face shield. It will protect your from flying chips or other objects imbedded in the wood (especially green wood).
  • Before you turn the lathe on, check its speed setting. Out-of-round pieces generally require slow speeds, such as 800 rpm. For later shaping cuts, speed up the lathe to 1,500 rpm.
  • For better tool stability, position the tool rest within 1/2" of the workpiece. To test for clearance, rotate the work by hand with the lathe turned off.


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