Of lathe hand tools the first to be considered, as also the first to be used, is the gouge. It is used for reducing the stock to be turned, from a rough or rectangular shape to a cylindrical form, 'preparatory to smoothing and finishing. It is ground and beveled on the back or convex side, and the shape of the catting edge should be of the same curvature as the inside, or upper side, of the tool. Gouges are made in all sizes, one of which is illustrated in Fig. 92; but for the pattern maker's use four gouges, ranging from ¼ inch to 1¼ inches, will be found sufficient for all purposes.
Before using the gouge, and indeed any lathe-cutting tool, the workman should take care to see that the tool rest has been elevated above the center line of the lathe centers, from ¼ inch for small work to 1 inch or more for large work. The position of the gouge, when in use, is horizontal and at about a right angle to the tool rest. It should not, however, be laid on.the rest so as to use only the extreme point of the tool, but should bo tilted over, first to one side and then to the other, so as to bring all parts of the cutting edge, successively, in contact with the wood that is being turned.
The gouge may be used by the beginner without hesitation, as in no position, whether tilted or on its back, will it catch or rip into the wood. The tool should be held firmly by the extreme end of the handle, in the right hand, while the left hand rests against the tool rest, the blade of the tool being grasped lightly with the fingers, and pissing through and under the left hand while resting on the tool rest.
The turning gouge, being curved, can bo used only as a roughing-down tool or for turning out hollows, and cannot be used for finishing. It will not make a straight, true, or smooth surface. For this purpose, in common and ornamental turning, the skew chisel, one size of which is shown in Fig. 93, is used. This form of chisel is made in all sizes from 1/8 inch to 2½ inches in width, but, unlike the gouge, requires considerable practice and skill for its successful use.
The skew chisel is held slightly tilted so that while the short edge of the blade touches the tool rest, the long edge will be slightly above the rest, so that the long corner of the skew point extends up and well over the cylinder which is being smoothed, thus preventing the long skew point from catching and tearing into the work. All the cutting must be done with the short part of the skew edge, say one-half inch only of the cutting edge, the tool resting not only on the tool rest, but resting also firmly on the cylinder that is being turned, just as a plane rests on a board while cutting and removing the shavings from its surface. The right position for this tool is hard to obtain at first, and can be acquired only by patient and continued practice. In no case, however, should the skew chisel be held flat on the tool rest, or used as a scraper, this not being allowable or good practice either in common or in ornamental turning. One skew chisel each of the ¼-inch, ½-inch, 1-inch, and l½-inch sizes will be found sufficient for all ordinary work.
While the skew chisel works with great rapidity and does smooth and very satisfactory work in all kinds of ornamental turning, the dimensions obtained with this tool are not so accurate for pattern work as those obtained by the regular pattern maker's scraping tools. These tools, whatever may be the shape of the points or cutting edges, are all flat like the skew chisel, and are ground or beveled on one side only. Indeed there is no better wide scraping tool for large surfaces than a common firmer chisel after it has been worn 6hort so as to be free from vibration.
Scraping tools are made in many forms and shapes, and are ground by the workman to suit the requirements of his work. A few of the many shapes in common use are illustrated in Fig. 94. These tools should be ground with a very short bevel, and must be sharpened much oftener than a cutting tool. The revolving wood, passing at right angles to the sharp edge wears it away more quickly than it can a cutting tool, for the latter is also worn away on the slanting side of the bevel.
A very necessary tool for all kinds of wood turning is the parting or cutting-off tool, shown in Fig. 95. This is used as a scraping tool for cutting recesses in the work and for cutting off finished work from the face-plate, and will also be found useful for many other purposes.