It can be flat, oval, or round. Has two bevels. Gives the highest possible quality of cut when properly used. Cuts side grain, end grain, face grain; cuts beads, coves. Used only for cutting on the outside of objects.
As the name implies, is used to rough out the shape: remove rough edges and bring to round shape. Is capable of very refined and delicate work when properly used. Has a very deep U-shape compared to other gouges. Use only on the outside work.
CAUTION: NEVER use this tool when doing face work... it is for spindle work only. When the cutting surface encounters end grain (when doing face work, this happens twice each revolution), the tool will have a tendency to self-feed and "catch"... if you are lucky, all that happens is a big "THUNK!!", the wood flies off the lathe, and you have a bent tool. If you are less fortunate, you will break something... and quite possibly hurt yourself. USE THE BEVEL!!
An excellent tool for forming beads, coves and fancy work on spindles. Can also ve used inside of forms, such as boxes, goblets, small bowls, etc. Is used for fine detail/decorative works as well. The flute is quite shallow, and he cutting edge may be "square" (continental/traditional grind) or "irish" (fingernail/swept back grind). The traditional grind gives a high quality finish cut; the "fingernail" allows you to cut deeper/steeper and to use the wings as form of scraper. USE THE BEVEL!!
Probably on of the oldest turning tools around, we are constantly finding new uses and shapes. THIS TOOL DOES NOT HAVE A BEVEL. When you use a scraper, it is imperative that the handle always be at or above the centerline. If you attempt to use this tool like a gouge (rub the bevel as you cut), you are guaranteed to have an immediate, and serious problem. This angle, which looks similar to a bevel, is not; it is instead a RELIEF, and should NEVER contact the wood. The scraper cuts by using a very fine burr on the top edge, and is an extremely efficient tool.
Scrapers take many forms as to the shape of their tips, but they all cut the same. The tips can be round, half-round, square, pointed; other shapes too numerous to mention here are available for very specific purposes. Scrapers can be used either outside or inside of your work, and for stock removal as well as final finishing cuts. Scrapers are equally at home on spindles or bowls, and a good turner will come to love them.
It has a deep flute (compared to a spindle gouge), usually longer than a spindle gouge, and can be used inside and outside. Designed for face work, it can also be used on spindle work if needed. Gives very fine, controlled cuts when properly used by riding the bevel. Coarser cuts for rapid stock removal result when used in a scraping cut (fingernail grind only). When ground with the traditional continental profile, this gouge produces a beautiful finishing cut, but is difficult for some to use on the inside of a bowl. The fingernail (Irish) profile, with its swept-back wings, is very versatile, both inside and out, and can give a beautiful finishing cut as well, It is said that the British introduced the gouge to North America... and the American show them how to use it.
They are a recent development for turners, and all are forms of scrapers. What is unique to each type is the shape of the cutter, the shape of the holder, and the degree of the control afforded the user. Some use a small laser to indicate the relative (or exact) location of the cutting tip; quite often only experience and intuition are the only indicators.