Friday, January 12, 2018

Sharpen an Incannel Gouge - The Cheating Way

Bob Rosaieski often talks about the use of incannel gouges.  In November at a tool show I found two of them for sale and picked them up fairly cheap.
The two new (to me) incannel gouges ($30 for both)
Smaller one is approx. 7/8" wide, larger is 1 1/4" wide.  Don't know the "sweep"
but the smaller has diameter approx. 15/16", larger approx 1 3/4"
Smaller one is a Buck Brothers
Larger is Marples
I thought for a long time about how to sharpen them with the equipment I have, which mostly sharpens flat blades.  The following pics are from sharpening the Buck Bros. gouge.

I started by using the hand-crank grinder to create a flat one the end, removing any chips or unevenness.
End-on view, showing the flat created at the edge
Got it reasonably straight across - I don't think you want a curve on these gouges
Clamped the gouge in the vise at a 25° angle
A year or two ago I bought a cheap Dremel tool at a garage sale and hadn't used it for anything yet.  Here was my chance.
Grinding wheel, smaller fine grinding and polishing accessories
Holding the Dremel parallel to the bench gives me a 25° grind,
I followed up with the fine grinding and polishing
To polish the back, I used my diamond "stones", rocking the gouge as I traversed the stone.
Started at front of stone with far side of gouge contacting stone ...
... and as I pushed the gouge across the stone, I rocked it back so the near side was contacting the stone
After some work on the strop, I got a beautiful smooth back
Then I got back to the bevel, stropping on a piece of leather charged with honing compound, draped over a dowel rod.
Stropping the bevel
There was one issue with this method.  I sharpened the larger gouge first and when grinding the bevel, I just went side to side without changing the angle of presentation of the Dremel to the bevel.  Because of the curve of the gouge, this results in a smaller angle of sharpening at the sides and steeper at the center.  Notice in the picture below the uneven bevel on the larger gouge.
Note the curve at the base of the bevel on the large gouge
I don't have a picture of the smaller gouge's completed bevel.  When I ground it, I angled the Dremel towards the center of the gouge when working the outsides of the bevel.

I'd rather be doing this stuff freehand, but for now I have two sharp incannel gouges.  I wasn't sure about how and when I'd use these gouges, but I already found them handy when cleaning up an inside curve on a recent project.

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