Hook tool profiles

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Hook tool profiles

Postby oxenpull » Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:24 pm

Hello from the Finger Lakes of New York. I have just joined this forum and I am quite excited to benefit from the wealth of knowledge and opinion.
I am building a pole lathe for bowl turning after taking a class with Robin Wood at Northhouse Folk School in Minnesota this past June. So my question today, while
having been mentioned in this forum before, persists as an unresolved one. Under the skilled eyes of both Robin and Jarrod Stone Dahl, attendees were taught that a double bevel or an inside bevel
is the goal in a hook tool. I have seen them with an outside bevel as made by Ben Oxford. What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of different bevel profiles? Such as aggressiveness, control, surface etc.
Is this a issue that has any utility at all? Cheers.
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Re: Hook tool profiles

Postby dervishcarving » Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:12 pm

Hi. i do a bit of greenwood bowl turning when i have time and so i will try to answer this for you. hopefully others will join in and give opinions or correct me if i am wrong.
I use ben orford hooks and love them. I got the set of three tools, outside (double bevel), inside and inside-cranked
The outside bevel is what i use to start the bowl. It is great for removing nice slices of wood so its pretty quick and not overly likely to cacth )with practice or course). the downside is that it dosnt leave a great finish (although technique will help plus practice)
the inside bevel is a smaller diameter hook and hence removes less wood with each pass BUT it is far more precise and leaves a lovely surface. Once i have 'roughed out' with the outside bevel and i am happy with the shape i then use the inside bevel hook to give me a nice finish. its pretty 'catchy' though and so if you try to use it too aggressively OR if you try to use it to do more than just finish off it catches and digs in horribly (in my experience at least)
The cranked handle tool is great for finishing off in deeper bowls or for right at the base. I dont tend to use it that much i must say but then maybe i dont need it for bowls only 4 or 5 inches deep.
if you have the spare cash, get the set of 3 (they are often sold as a set and the third hooks is almost free), if you are wanting to get just one tool and see how you get on then buy the outside (double bevel) hook. you will get the techniques but maybe not a perfect finish. with a little more cash id go for the outside and inside tools together
ben orford has some great videos on his website including the essential lessons on how to sharpen your hooks. I tend to sharpen mine before i start a bowl and then half way through i sharpen again (say, after finishing the outside of the bowl). sharp hooks are a joy to use but blunt ones are horrible and just lead to frustration. 600 grit and 900 grit wet-and-dry type sandpaper and a flat stick are all you need so just keep a set of sharpening-sticks with you all the time
hope that helps
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Re: Hook tool profiles

Postby oxenpull » Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:39 pm

This all makes sense to me. After all the principles in bevel profile do not change regardless of the work rotating or being stationary. Outside bevels are far more "self regulating" ie less likely to drive into the work. While inside bevels "want" to dig. When you say the Orford outside bevel tool are a double bevel do you mean on either side like a double edge sward vs. both inside and out? In which case one can flip the tool. In it seems like an outside bevel is "quick" on the roughing end of things but leaves a ragged finish. When I use a chisel or a gouge on flat stock I often choice to place the bevel facing the work so that I do not "drive the tool" in to the material. So I am not sure way an inside bevel is inherently making a "cleaner" finish when it is more likely to dig in. Is keenness of edge more influential then bevel profile? Great discussion. I am so glade to be on this forum....
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Re: Hook tool profiles

Postby gavin » Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:19 pm

oxenpull wrote:What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of different bevel profiles? Such as aggressiveness, control, surface etc.
Is this a issue that has any utility at all?

Yes, it has utility.
It has far more utility when you get examples of different profiles and use them for yourself in your set up.
I urge you to do that. Either forge your own hooks, or buy a set of some reputable maker's hooks, such as Ben Orford. Once you get into forging they are quickly made. But you do need a forge, anvil, hammers and ideally a belt grinder. If you lack those things, getting friendly with someone who has is a real good idea, esp if you will take along your bowl-lathe to help him or her have a go too. Such an arrangement works better once you have already some hooks to bring as a starting point for discussion and experimentation.
Gavin Phillips

- teacher, demonstrator & supporter of greenwoodworking & human-powered turning
- Supplier of Fun & Confidence

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Re: Hook tool profiles

Postby Ian G » Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:51 pm

Hi Oxanpull, Interesting posting, I agree with Gavin that it is important to try out different hook types and profiles. When I started bowl turning many years ago I only had 2 hooks with outside bevels and with large open profiles. With constant practice I could remove a fair amount of wood when starting a bowl but with a bit of care with the smaller hook I could also finish the bowl surfaces off. I still use one of these old CI.Fall hooks to get a fine finish to my bowls. Saying all this, I did buy a couple of hooks with inside bevels and hated them and reground one of them to have an outside bevel...brilliant tool now. I had spent 5 out of 10+ years using outside bevelled tools and was just used to them. I did however buy a Ben Orford hook with an inside bevel last year and it was brilliant I found it to be a really nice hook and again could start and nearly finish a bowl with the same hook, using my old CI Fall to finish off. What helps I think is that Ben's hooks hold a good edge and with a quick lick with the very fine diamond stone this edge can be maintained. Just ordered another hook from Ben, he really makes amazing hooks. I'm having all my older tools re-made, theses will all have outside bevels with large open profiles.I think with trying out different types you'll find what suits you. I still like a mix with a slight biased towards outside bevels. Its all a good excuse for buying or making more tools.....I don't think you'll go wrong with a set of Ben's tools as a starting point.

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