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Old 09-08-2018, 02:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tool help

I just got my wife a new lathe. Which would be the ultimate tools for turning hybrid resin blanks for her. Would like to order her , her own tools.

Would scrapers be okay, or a certain brand of carbide tools.

Would be nice if tools could be multi function for her as she advances into bowls of boxes , etc.


But most important the tools must be best for resin.

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Old 09-08-2018, 02:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Just my personal opinion...

Any Tool + Right Technique = Good Results

Any Tool + Bad Technique = Bad Results

Learning to use tools correctly is way more important that what type of tool you use. Training / mentoring by more experienced turners is a faster way to learn than self trial and error. In person training / mentoring is best, but well produced videos are a close second.

Producing round cylinders of wood / resin for pens is not a demanding task. If that is all she would ever do, then pick a tool that you can find a highly regarded training video (or local mentor / instructor) for. If you don't have a setup for sharpening and don't want to rig something up, the replaceable carbide insert tools might be your best choice (but of limited value for advanced work at a later date).

if she aspires to be a more accomplished turner, then I would suggest acquiring a couple good quality HSS spindle / bowl gouges and the means to shape (infrequent) / sharpen (very frequent) them. Even more important is learning the correct techniques for the tools. With the correct technique you can turn any wood / resin for pens with no problem. Advancing to bowls, hollow forms and onward will be a natural progression.

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Old 09-08-2018, 02:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I felt that the ease of use, maintenance and easy learning curve of carbide tools did much to quickly lead to successes which encouraged me to keep putting in time to pen making.

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Old 09-08-2018, 02:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The `best` tool is best defined as one which a turner has had the most practice with and therefore feels most comfortable using it on a range of materials and in making a range of products . In other words , pick any tool and you will find someone who says that is the best . You are looking for a peak on the tool type distribution curve that I`m not sure exists . Sorry to be so helpful . I use carbide , for what it`s worth .
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Old 09-08-2018, 02:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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For hybrids (and most woods now), I typically use carbide to get real close then finish by scraping with a HSS skew. Normal sequence is:
Magical Skew from T Shadow ( with 15 mm round cutter to round the blank & take off some meat
3/8" square rougher from John Austin (hanau on the forums, to within a few mm
3/8" finisher with 12 mm round cutter within really close
HSS skew as a scraper to finish--on the non-wood portion, really have to keep it moving pretty quickly and not let the tool get too hot.

No affiliation with either vendor, just a satisfied customer. That's my story, and what works for me.
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Old 09-08-2018, 02:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Different forms of scrapers are used in bowl turning, and most carbide tools/blades are scrapers by their form or nature. I am not proficient with skews although I have spent hours (whole days practicing) trying off and on over years and watching different videos. So I stay with the scrapers. Scrapers do not do well with soft woods though and a very fine touch/feel with scrapers are necessary there. For bowl turning, they do use different tools but if you don't have them and don't know that you can't make a bowl without them, then you can and you can get proficient with what you have. HOWEVER, once you get new tool dedicated to specific cuts, you might wonder what took you so long.

The best advice I have received and that I can give is: Don't try to make the end product your goal at first. Spend a day or two or three wasting wood practicing with a tool in different angles and presentations. Go for the feel or feedback. Learn the feedback from the tool on different kinds of wood or material. Learn the feel of cutting end-cuts, cross grain, knots, voids, hard wood, soft wood, etc. Once this is learned, letting one's end vision direct the outcome becomes easier as the focus can be on the shape and grain, and you know what to expect from your tools.
Hank Lee

Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

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Old 09-08-2018, 05:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi Glenn.

I strongly recommend carbide tools for your wife.

Since you are in Canada (and BC in particular), have a look at this 3 piece carbide set sold by Lee Valley. . Great value, in my opinion, and you get a set of 3 extra replacement cutters along with the 3 tools, all for $149 CDN. . LV currently has free shipping for over $40. . Or pick up in store if you are near one. . (Vancouver, Coquitlam, Victoria, Kelowna). . I bought 2 sets a couple years ago and use them for all types of pen blanks including hybrid resin blanks. . Am very happy with them.

Set of Three Carbide-Tipped Turning Tools - Lee Valley Tools

Kids rule the world !!! .... eventually if not already !

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Old 09-08-2018, 06:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Does she already know how to turn? Do you turn and have your own tools she can try and decide which she prefers? If she is looking to branch out to other types of turning I say a good quality HHS bowl gouge, skew and parting too. Learn to you them well and the principles behind the different cuts and then expand on the accumulation of tools.
Mr Vic

Keep the shiny side up and the greasy side down.......

President Pikes Peak Woodturners - AAW Chapter
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Old 09-08-2018, 08:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Assuming she is new to turning I would start her with a round carbide. That will work for roughing and do an okay job at finishing. Personally I use a skew for just about everything, but that definitely has a learning curve.
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Old 09-09-2018, 08:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Well, I also suggest carbide tipped tools, tools sharpening and correct sharpening equipment is an extra expense and a headache most beginners prefer to go without but, one of the very important details about turning tools is that the length of the tool has a lot to do with what the turner wants to turn, in resume, for turning pens and small objects the shorter tools are ideal, however, for turning medium to large bows and anything that requires some "reach" shorter tools are not ideal, longer shaft tools are more suitable and if I had the choice between these 2 types, I would go with the longer tools, you can then do everything with them.

Best of luck,

"Don't give others what you don't like for yourself"


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