In Part 7 of the HB Hobby Tansu I used a gouge to cut-in the radius corners of the inset handles. A couple of people asked about gouges and which ones I use. I own a grand total of two full-size carving gouges and they are the only ones I’ve ever used. So this is by no means any type of comparative review on gouges, just my impressions with what I have.
Both of these are made by Pfeil. A swiss company known for their carving tools and quality steel. The smaller of the two gouges I have owned for several years. It’s an 18mm #7 sweep and it has proved quite useful over the years. The larger is a 35mm #7 sweep that I purchased fairly recently. It was acquired specifically for hollowing the seat on Paul Sellers’ bench stool project presented in Masterclasses.
These are out-cannal gouges, the bevel is on the backside of the tool.
This makes them true carving gouges as well as easy to sharpen. It takes a little practice but the bevel can be sharpened and stropped with the same setup that you use for chisels and plane irons. The only additional requirement is a scrap of wood with its edge rounded over. Add a little buffing compound and strop the inner radius of the gouge. There is well done sharpening video over on Woodworking Masterclasses. It’s free to watch but you will need to become a registered member.
The photo below shows the max depth of cut and the resulting trough.
Like I said, these are the only gouges that I have ever used, but I’ve sharpened a fair bit of steel. The steel in these tools is very good. It’s easy to sharpen and holds an edge well. Would I buy these again? Yep, I have no complaints. For what I do most of the smaller gouge sees much more action. But having the larger one has proved to be handy as well.
Not a wealth of information, I know. But it’s what I can offer and hope that it helps in some way.