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Why Carter and Son's super-gouges are worth the hype

Those who shop with The ToolPost for woodworking tools on a regular basis know how much we care about quality, to the point that we are happy to source them from the furthest corners of the world. Well OK, maybe Seattle in the good old US of A wouldn't quite qualify as the furthest corner of the globe from our own Didcot showroom, but these tools have nonetheless made a very long journey from there to Oxfordshire.

That's because we have recently reached a new distribution agreement for a line of super-gouges from the company, making us the European representatives of these products. The wood turning tools of Carter and Son Toolworks can be described as truly premium. The history of this esteemed family-owned firm can be traced back to Paul Carter's discovery of a love of wood turning after taking a class for the first time as a 10-year old.

Spending much of his early childhood around his Dad's engineering firm, and therefore coming in close contact with metal in his formative years, Paul soon began to learn wood turning's ins and outs - but there was one problem. He found himself doing a huge amount of sharpening, and after being informed by his supremely experienced metallurgist father that he was using tools made from a less durable grade of steel, Paul was soon inspired to create a much better quality tool for himself.

A lot of diligence and effort was required to make Paul's dream a reality, but a reality it most certainly became, in large part thanks to his use of only the very best material - M42 High Speed Steel. Not only is this metal precision-machined to create these tools' exceptional form, but it is subsequently heat treated to 68HRC, before being ground to a razor-sharp edge. That edge is one that retains its astonishing sharpness for a simply extraordinary period of time, even under the most intense pressure.  Paul coupled his superb new tools with a handle made of aircraft grade aluminium, styled for maximum comfort and having as near a perfect balance as we have ever felt. The blades are secured in the handles with set screws and, showing the pride in product and attention to detail typical of Carter & Son Toolworks, the blades even feature flats machined to receive the bearing points of the screws, eliminating the risk of burring on the shaft and consequent jamming of the tool in the handle.

In the words of one turner we spoke to: "When I first used this tool, it was the sharpest gouge I had ever used: after using it for three days, it is still the sharpest gouge I have ever used." Such words typically spoken in reference to these truly staggering bowl and spindle gouges, which are now available in an assortment of sizes from The ToolPost, both online and in our showroom.

Editor's Note: The ToolPost ( is represented by the search engine advertising and digital marketing specialists Jumping Spider Media. Please direct all press queries to Louise Byrne. Email: or call: +44 (0)20 3070 1959 / +34 952 783 637.

1997-2010 P. Hemsley.  The information on this website is the copyright property of Peter Hemsley.  Coeur du Bois and The ToolPost are trading styles of Peter Hemsley.  Whilst reasonable efforts are made to ensure the accuracy of information presented, no liability can be accepted for errors in this information nor for contingencies arising therefrom.  If you are inexperienced in any aspect of woodworking, we would strongly counsel that you take a course of formal instruction before commencing to practice