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How do I build a gouge for a lathe? Answered

I recently built a spring pole lathe and I have not been able to turn any thing yet due to my lack of tools. The cheap set I ordered turned out to be small, flimsy, and arrived broken, they are being returned for a refund. I need a good gouge but dont want to spend 20 bucks for the tool when the whole lathe cost 14 bucks. I was thinking of taking a steel electrical EMS pipe and cutting it in half. Then sharpening the inside edge with a file. Would this work? Is there a better way of doing this or do I just need to go ahead and but the 20 dollar gouge for Harbor Freight.


You obviously can make one because people do HOWEVER you need the right materials and the right tools to do so.

The tools needs to be made from tool steel with a high carbon content - An old car spring mad do the trick.

You will need to be able to grind it. No way round that I am sorry - However you could do it with a file if you shape the edge before you temper the tool. (harden the edge) .

You need to do a LOT of research before you can expect to be successful as well as a lot of practice with the lathe.


may help

You could probably make this Oland Tool without a bench grinder. I bet you could use a smooth rock to shape the blade. And the blade is already clamped in a nice big handle so you could just find a big rock and shape the cutting edge on that.

The Dremel clones at Harbor Freight are pretty affordable, and might be worth considering instead of buying the gouge there, if you're gonna buy something anyway.

Thanks for the best answer. - In the end you make the right decision. The lathe cost virtually nothing so a small investment in tools will perhaps bring you a rewarding hobby/trade.

No problem, the was more to see if its worth investing in a lathe, for now Im going to borrow one to see if it even works.

Well, you COULD forge one out of a piece of spring steel.

THat would work but it will dull VERY quickly.   It is not even hard steel let alone tool steel.

THe tool from Harbor Freight is not going to be the best quality, but it will probably be useable.  Or you might bet lucky and it turn out nice.

I found some scrap in my garage and tried it and it got bent in about 10 seconds, do you know is home depot or lowes sells any cheap ones

Do you know of any where to buy them other than online?

I'm sure that "somewhere on earth" they are sold and you're in luck since your profile says that is where you are.

In what area would you like to shop?