Forging carving gouges ?

Hi -
I'm looking for pointers on forging wood carving gouges. I
have the Larson book which has a lot of good info, but
doesn't cover gouges, and I've looked at Weyger's book which
has examples of making a gouge, but only his conical profile
What I would really like to do is make gouges to match the
Sheffield list, and that have forged bolsters. I do have
the capability to machine a swage block. Finding some
additional instruction or examples would save me a lot of
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Glowell, I hope you know what you are getting into. If you do not have any forging skills, particularly tool forging this is a tough place to start as a LOT of control will be required to get anything worthwhile. Swages could certainly help with shaping gouges. Allow for oversized forgings as a lot of material will be lost when cold working, heat treating and final finishing. Good luck dude.
Glen G.
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Glen G.
Hi Glen,
I've been forging as a hobbiest for about three years now. Mostly decorative stuff, and the CABA exercises including forge welding, and some simple heat treating - cold chisels and paring knives from O-1.
I agree that it's major challenge moving into tool making, which is why I'm trying to do as much research up front as I can. I'm just not finding much on the web, or in the few books that I have. I've seen some references that Weygers' book may have more relevant stuff than I remember.
Thanks for the encouragement and suggestions.
Cheers, Gary
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Glowell, I have a copy of the Weygers book but i was always more impressed with the illustrations than the information contained. It sounds like you have a good start and are ready to dive in. It sounds like you understand the basics of heat treatment? If I were you I would make a few flat chisels first to practice forming the shoulders and tangs. Personally, I favor W-1 or W-2 over O-1. Both are great steels, it's just that O-1 is more finicky during forging. It has a tendency to crack if you forge it a little to hot or a little to cold. The "W" series steels are much more forgiving and perform just as well in a finished tool. My other suggestion is that you forge the working end of chisels 15% -20% oversize. Allow PLENTY of material for cold working so you can get through the forging scale and still have a tool left. Also, if you try to harden a tool with a very thin cutting edge you run the risk of a failed heat treatment. It is a pain to grind after a tool is hardened but sometimes this is the best way. I don't think there are a great many good books on this subject. In the end the truth reveals itself at the forge.
Forge ahead, Glen
Reply to
Glen G.
Forging woodworking tools is far beyond my own experience, but I have done some reading and attended some demonstrations that are relevant to the subject.
If I were planning to start such a project, I would use Weyger's book as a jumping off point. I'd start by trying to do exactly the gouge he describes, and not varying that one whit.
One demonstrator (sorry, I don't remember who) showed using a flea-market claw hammer to make a handled gouge - like a cooper's tool. He did this to avoid the work of making the eye. He cut off the claws and worked the head to the shape he wanted.
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Bruce Freeman

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