Woodturning - Spindle gouge techniques

Jim Wallace

Corporate Member
I watched this video last night - sorry it took so long. I just want to point out that Rafan says at the beginning that he is making this video to show that you can turn a bowl with a spindle gouge because so many people say it can’t be done. He doesn’t say that this is his preferred tool, or that it’s the best tool for the job. He’s just showing that there aren’t any rules here.

Also please note that he’s making a 20 cm (7”) bowl here and doesn’t tell us what wood he’s using.

I am not dissing Richard Rafan, he has been a huge influence on my work. I think the most important lesson is in the presentation of the cutting edge (he mentions 45 degrees several times) whatever tool is in hand, and in the proper use of the bevel: the bevel should gently guide the cut and the pressure should be down on the tool rest to minimize vibration, not pressing the bevel into the work.


Corporate Member
RR has admitted in many of his videos (ones I have purchased, not this round of YT videos that he was a production turner... time was money.
he warns (after he moves his tool rest while the lathe is running) not to move the rest while the lathe is running but that "old habits are hard to break"
There is a couple guys on IG that I watch who have mentioned many times, "I could use (this or that tool) but that it can be more efficient to use the one in your hand.

For "us" hobbyist turners (yes, I know not everyone falls into that group) it is better to learn to use the best tool for the job.

I am pretty sure I have a curved tool rest... (in a drawer or on a shelf somewhere) and I have made a mental note when I get the lathe running again that it is one of the first things I am going to dust off (after the lathe and the tools) as a potentially safer method of work... from what I have learned in this thread...
I suspected that RR was a production turner. After watching some of his videos on YouTube, it appeared that his background was getting the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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