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Old 03-08-2015, 06:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by edohmann View Post
Switching to carbide certainly made the hobby much more enjoyable for me.

This is a key statement, in my opinion. I think carbide tools are perfect for those just getting started, as they allow someone to focus on the actual turning, as opposed to also worrying about proper individual tool technique and sharpening skills.

It's wonderful if someone would like to take on all of that at once, but being able to jump straight into turning with carbide tools is also wonderful, and allows more people to enjoy the hobby.
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Old 03-09-2015, 10:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edohmann View Post
Switching to carbide certainly made the hobby much more enjoyable for me.

This is a key statement, in my opinion. I think carbide tools are perfect for those just getting started, as they allow someone to focus on the actual turning, as opposed to also worrying about proper individual tool technique and sharpening skills.

It's wonderful if someone would like to take on all of that at once, but being able to jump straight into turning with carbide tools is also wonderful, and allows more people to enjoy the hobby.
I totally agree. I'm new to any type of lathe work, and I started with traditional HSS tools. They were okay, but I had lots of issues and a steep learning curve. On a whim, I picked up a large Easy Woodworker roughing tool (square carbide) and a mini size round blade model. Wow, what a difference, I was quickly turning out perfect pens with no issues. I can go from a rough blank to a fully shaped pen in under 5 minutes with the Easy Woodworker tools. I know it's "cheating" to the purist, but I don't think I'll be going back to HSS chisels.
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Old 03-09-2015, 10:45 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I LOVE my Easy Wood carbide tools, wouldn't give them up for anything. They helped me make turning pens into a very enjoyable hobby, along with the wonderful folks here on this site who take the time to make videos and answer questions and share their knowledge without hesitation. Hats off to you, and YOU know who you are.

+1 for carbide

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Old 03-09-2015, 12:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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I mostly use HSS tools now. I do have a Woodchuck PenPro, and I like it for pens. But most of my work is bigger spindles -- tool handles, pepper mills, even a bunch of napkin rings for Christmas gifts. None of those would I want to make with a carbide tool. I have spent a lot of time trying to master the skew, and getting reasonably comfortable, and pretty good with it (I am not sure I will ever truly "master" it!). The finish of a carbide cut cannot compare to a final cut with a well-sharpened skew, in my opinion.

Both tools have there place, and I agree that for a beginner, the carbide tool is a good choice. But if you want to expand your turning, I really think you will be happier in the long run if you learn to use traditional turning tools. And there is no reason you cannot use both carbide and traditional HSS on the same project, finding a good balance between both.

Just my 3 cents (adjusted for inflation...)
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Old 03-09-2015, 01:27 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Another Sharpening Challenged Newbie

Moving into turning was an expansion of my woodworking hobby. I learned early on that I, like the individual who started this thread, have difficulty in sharpening anything. My chisels hanging on my workbench are a testament to my failed attempts.

When I decided to get into turning pens I made the decision that I would eat the cost of cutters and go with Easy Woodturning Carbides. As we know, dull tools are dangerous. Tools that you have no confidence in the edge are equally as dangerous even if they are sharp.

With carbide, I swap out the bad edge and keep on turning. Since I have never used HSS, I have no way to compare what I could do with HSS versus what I can do with carbide but I do know that I have been able to do anything I needed to do with carbide. Since I turn pens and stoppers my requirements are quite simple.

As for an answer to the original question. If you are going to focus on pens and stoppers and small items go with the mini tools for now. As you expand the items you turn and they get bigger then consider going to the midi tools. Use the money you save to buy some additional cutters. At least that is what I am doing.
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Old 03-09-2015, 01:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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I made the assertion that carbide is not only a scraper - but make shear cuts

The following video is done by a very accomplished turner -- but you can see the detail possible with skew cuts with a flat round carbide insert.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_PHDBLi-tA

The Hunter style round carbides - riding the bevel can do some special things too.


And Yes - I have a bucket of high speed steel and will not give up my skews
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Old 03-09-2015, 03:00 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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I started using HSS and struggled a lot. I could not get a good edge on the tool and had nothing but issues. Then I went to a round carbide and loved it and had a lot more success. But I had to sand a lot. Then I learned how to sharpen my tools. Finally got a good edge on a skew. And love using the skew. Basically can almost eliminate sanding now by using the skew. :) :)

But still have the carbide. and still use it sometimes for roughing and such.. but the Skew is my friend. :)
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Old 03-09-2015, 03:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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I use both carbide tools and hss tools on a regular basis. Since I make a variety of items (pens, bowls, stoppers, pendants, etc) there are times when I strictly use my hss tools. There are other times when I just use my carbide tools. And then there I times when I can't get a good finish cut on a bowl with my hss tool so I try the carbide (and vice versa).

I think there are plenty of uses for hss and carbide to have them both in the arsenal
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Old 03-09-2015, 08:14 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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John -- you said "Carbide cutters are nothing more than scrappers."

If you use them with the bevel riding as a shear cutter, they are something more. That is not how the instructions read for the flat cutters, but it works well for details. A bit tricky learning, and I suspect that is why the sellers do not advertise the use that way.
I agree. I use both hss gouges as well as carbide. I use the 3/4 inch gouge for rounding up blanks and carbide for general turning. The attached photo shows a 15mm carbide insert. It is mounted on a round half inch shaft. The round shaft allows the cutter to be used as kind of skew. I will be changing my ETW gouges over to round shafts. In addition the round tools slide across my tool rest more smoothly.
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Old 03-09-2015, 08:50 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenV View Post
John -- you said "Carbide cutters are nothing more than scrappers."

If you use them with the bevel riding as a shear cutter, they are something more. That is not how the instructions read for the flat cutters, but it works well for details. A bit tricky learning, and I suspect that is why the sellers do not advertise the use that way.
I agree. I use both hss gouges as well as carbide. I use the 3/4 inch gouge for rounding up blanks and carbide for general turning. The attached photo shows a 15mm carbide insert. It is mounted on a round half inch shaft. The round shaft allows the cutter to be used as kind of skew. I will be changing my ETW gouges over to round shafts. In addition the round tools slide across my tool rest more smoothly.



Happy turning to all and lets see those pens that all these carbide cutters are being used on.
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