Restoring woodworking gouges: project 2 part 2

Here is the Thos Ibbotson gouge John restored. It’s an old one and well used but it has cobs of good life in it yet. The handle is sound and will last him for a lifetime and that’s the whole point about these articles. Take a little time, develop some restoration savvy and another tool is save from the landfill and the damp cellar. Waste not want not.



Imagine how many spoons John will make with this gouge and for just a few shillings. Sorry, pence. I would that I had had such opportunities as a lad. Back then no one threw anything like this away. I can hear Merlin Bates now saying, “Fill yer boots lads, these are good tools.” Merlin was one of the men I apprenticed under as a boy in Stockport a few decades back. Now there was a man who could handle a saw.


  1. Paul Sellers on 20 March 2013 at 10:17 am

    You could always make a hex handled replacement with a 1″ chisel and a plane. Drill an undersize hole, heat the tangue and burn it on until almost seated and then tap it home for the last half inch.

    • Ed on 20 March 2013 at 12:28 pm

      Thanks- will try that. Burning in is unfamiliar to me: Will the flame from a gas cooking stove be hot enough to heat the tang or do I need a torch?

      Are there some gouges that are meant for by-hand only, no hammering? How would you recognize one?

      • Paul Sellers on 20 March 2013 at 2:49 pm

        The stove should be fine. I’ve done it that way. Remember to work safely. Don’t go too deep with the burning. Torch would be easier. Safety is an issue all around too.
        yes, there are some gouge techniques that rely on only hand pressure and this is usually governed by how you shape the bevel of the tool being used, shallow bevels are usually used for hand pressure only, whereas steeper bevels, 30+ are for tap-carving with a mallet or chisel hammer. Look also at the bolster where the chisel meets the handle. This does what the name implies and is usually there to accommodate hammer or mallet blows.