On one of my rust hunts I picked up some gouges. One was a sizable gouge and I had to sharpen it up.
Like a plane blade, you need the back to be flat and then grind a bevel on the other. The odd part about this though is that the ‘back’ of the gouge is the internal curved part. The beveled side is the outside and can be got on a sharpening stone and there are some YouTube videos showing how to do this. I found out how to sharpen the inside in theory and gave it a go.
You can see the gouge in the photo below. It was badly pitted and super dull too.
I wrapped some really rough sandpaper (probably 80 grit) around a 1″ broom handle. I sharpened up the gouge by stroking it along the sandpaper until the pits got sanded away.
I then used progressively finer grits. You can see the gouge getting shinier as it progresses.
The final polish was done with chromium oxide on the bare broom handle.
The outside of the gouge was sharpened up like you’d do for a plane blade with sandpaper, stones and a strop.
With it sharpened up, I tried the gouge out on a scrap piece of oak.
So, after gouging out some wood, I gouged out some more. This took on the look of a spoon, so I cut around what I gouged out and sawed out a handle.
I whittled it down some more with a spoke-shave.
Some sanding and finishing it out and it kind of looks like a spoon. So, here it is with the newly-sharpened gouge. If nothing else, I learned something.
What to do with this newly-earned knowledge? Get my nephews crafting great art.
Well, they’re not interested in that so much as making guns. Here one of them is whittling a stick. To make it into a different kind of stick. Well, he got to use a spoke-shave. One of the others is looking on/supervising.
The little guy is sweeping.
She jumped right in gouging away. We tried first on cherry but switched to some poplar.
I finished out the spoon with some spoke-shaving and sanding. A lick with mineral oil finished it out.
I was happy to see this little spoon residing in the cutlery drawer in her house. Small victories!