Now THAT’S a gouge.

2 1/2″ and 1″ gouges and 2″ skew (sharpened straight across). Note the lathe: 16″ by 10′ capacity.

Sounds like something Crocodile Dundee would have said if he was a wood turner. 🙂

My Grandfather was a wood turner and we had a huge lathe in the shop upstairs in our barn. I rescued it about 20 years ago. It’s now well over 100 years old and still operational, although I use it only rarely. I also have two gouges and a skew (sharpened straight across) that he used as well.

Recently I was contacted by email through the GVWG guild website  by Robert Walton of Robert Sorby Tools in England. He was searching for any magazines, periodicals and retail outlets in Canada that he didn’t have on his list. His list was obviously pretty complete because I couldn’t offer him anything he wasn’t already aware of. While I “had him on the line” I mentioned that I had some Sorby turning tools that were at least 100 years old. He said he would be interested in seeing them, so I sent him these and other photos showing him what I had (I am still amazed sometimes at our ability to communicate around the world like that).

I&H Sorby

He replied saying that he hoped that I wouldn’t be disappointed but that they weren’t actually Robert Sorby tools. They were in fact made by I&H Sorby who was actually another member of the Sorby family who also produced edge tools. They weren’t in business that long and were absorbed by Robert Sorby. How could I be disappointed since they were obviously relatively rare.

Robert was very kind and sent me a wee pamphlet on the history of the Sorby company the included a little bit about I&H Sorby. I am always in awe of old world countries and their rich history,  records of which predate the formation of our own country.

Big lathe, little lathe, big gouge.

A big thank you to Robert Walton of Robert Sorby Tools. I thought I would include this here for interest. The tools are displayed on my large lathe that I salvaged from the elements in a crumbling barn. The large gouge is also displayed on my Jet mini lathe just for perspective. I can assure you that it takes a real man to handle a real gouge like that. 🙂

As always, I welcome your comments.

About Ed Pretty

I am a professional woodturner, specializing in gallery work, commercial work, teaching and demonstrating. I have been turning since 1958, so... a long time. I use this site to present my work to the public at large and to let people know that I am available for teaching private lessons in woodturning. Wood turning is one of my passions (the other is motorcycle touring). It is my desire to pass on everything that I have learned over the years to others so that the craft of woodturning will grow.
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