8 Basic Wood Lathe Tools and Their Uses for Beginners

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It can be quite overwhelming for a beginner to navigate their way through the vast selection of tools woodworking has to offer. This article will cover the most common wood lathe tools and their uses.

Spindle Roughing Gouge

The roughing gouge is a must have in any woodturner’s arsenal. The main purpose of this tool is to rough wood down to a cylindrical shape. In most cases, it will be the first tool you use and it will be used in most of your projects.
The basic principle of operation is as follows. As you set your square or irregular on the spindle, your tool will begin hitting certain areas. As the knife progresses through the wood, it will cut away excess, until the blade lies on the wood at all times.

Presenting The Roughing Gouge To The Wood

Learning how to use the roughing gouge correctly is crucial for the expert and hobbyist alike. As mentioned above, this tool will set the foundation for your project. Follow the guidelines below to make sure you have the perfect form.

  1. Anchor – The tool must be anchored on the tool rest. The rest should be absorbing most of the force generated by the cutting.
  2. Bevel – The bevel is the shiny area under the tool. It should be facing the wood and positioned below the cutting point. The bevel is there to allow you to position your tool. It can touch the wood without cutting it.
  3. Cut – As you lower the tip of the Roughing Gouge, you will begin to cut. The more you angle your position, the bigger cuts you will make. Make sure to reposition your tool rest to avoid driving the tool into the wood.
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