At Elmer's workshop I tried my hand out with a gouge on this rejected viola back I got from Tom Kennedy, viola maker in Oregon. Tom started it, and I took a few minutes to get the feel of a gouge in my hands. I had so much trouble making basic cuts towards the edge without nicking the corners.
I obviously need a lot of practice, as well as a decent gouge of my own. As Elmer said, you build a personal relationship with your tools. It's true, I have my favorites, like my good Japanese knife, that will always be my go-to even if I'm surrounded by knives (like whilst being chased down by angry thieves). Like it's one thing to loan out books, but another to loan out your tools. Maybe not as big a deal as loaning out your girlfriend, but close.
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