Carbide tools

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Califo

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Sep 26, 2014
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Been looking at carbide tools for a while but they tend to be expensive. After reading more about them, I decided to make my own carbide finisher. It’s a 16mm carbide insert on a 1/2 steel rod. Made the handle from oak. The whole thing may have cost me $15. Works great. May not be the prettiest but my next one will be better.

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mecompco

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Great job! I have one ready that I just need to finish turning the handle (embarrassed to admit that I've been using w/o a handle for several months). They are pretty easy to make for a few dollars.
 

Stevej72

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Apr 30, 2006
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Billings, MT, USA.
Been looking at carbide tools for a while but they tend to be expensive. After reading more about them, I decided to make my own carbide finisher. It’s a 16mm carbide insert on a 1/2 steel rod. Made the handle from oak. The whole thing may have cost me $15. Works great. May not be the prettiest but my next one will be better.

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Thanks for sharing, I too, have been looking at the carbide tools and don't want to spend that kind of money for a handle. I will give this a try!
 

RProctor

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Jul 8, 2019
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Rialto, CA
How far into the handle did you put the rod? And if its a pretty good distance how did you drill the hole deep?
 

leehljp

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If you decide to make another or two, try one with a square rod. Doesn't hurt to have a bunch and sometimes the options increase possibilities and "feel".
 

RicklesssS

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Nov 19, 2018
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Oregon
Now that I've made a few of my own, (and painted the handles with "Unicorn Spit", to emulate the red and yellow Easy Wood Tools!)
I'm wondering if I should have used square stock set at an angle like the Pen State Industries "Carbide Magic", "Sorby 45 degree shear scrapers", and a few other manufacturers?
I set my carbides flat onto the square stock, so they are scrapers and not skew like cutters.
Wonder if more and more manufacturers will go to this design, to improve the cut finish?
Guess I'll have to make some more to compare.
AND use a negative rake cutter for the ultimate pen tool! ;>)
 

JimB

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Setting it on an angle does not make it a 'skew like cutter'. It makes it a shear scraper. In general, a shear scraper will give you a better finish than holding the tool straight. A HSS skew will give you the best finish.
 

leehljp

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Setting it on an angle does not make it a 'skew like cutter'. It makes it a shear scraper. In general, a shear scraper will give you a better finish than holding the tool straight. A HSS skew will give you the best finish.
Thanks Jim for clarifying the "skew like cutter" not being accurate. I just posted on another thread and used that specific term, although I knew it was not technically correct. Sometimes, it is easier to fudge a tad on explanations than to get into the technicalities and details. Most people don't go that deep. In general, I prefer "technically correct" but, I just get weary of explaining the details that creates more questions.

Some people are better at just driving an automobile with an automatic transmission than they are at trying to understand how an automatic transmission works! 😏
 

RicklesssS

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I just learned something valuable, thanks you two! I'm just getting into this, both the tool making and the turning...
Shear scraping is or is not a significant improvement over no shear, carbide scraping?
Or, put another way, is it not worth the hassle of making one with an angled shaft or expense of buying one over a regular Easy Wood tool?
Thanks!
 

JimB

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Thanks Jim for clarifying the "skew like cutter" not being accurate. I just posted on another thread and used that specific term, although I knew it was not technically correct. Sometimes, it is easier to fudge a tad on explanations than to get into the technicalities and details. Most people don't go that deep. In general, I prefer "technically correct" but, I just get weary of explaining the details that creates more questions.

Some people are better at just driving an automobile with an automatic transmission than they are at trying to understand how an automatic transmission works! 😏
Hank,
Usually I don’t bother correcting minor issues that I see on here but when it comes to shear scraping with carbide vs using a HSS skew I believe there is a big difference in results so I think it is important for people to realize they are not using a skew when they are using carbide regardless of the orientation of the tool. I do agree with you that not everything needs an explanation but (I don’t really know how a transmission works :) ) I think this is one of those times that knowing the difference is important because of the potential for better results.
 

JimB

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I just learned something valuable, thanks you two! I'm just getting into this, both the tool making and the turning...
Shear scraping is or is not a significant improvement over no shear, carbide scraping?
Or, put another way, is it not worth the hassle of making one with an angled shaft or expense of buying one over a regular Easy Wood tool?
Thanks!
Shear scraping with carbide on wood will improve your results. I don’t turn acrylics so I can’t speak to that. I don’t know if it worth the hassle or expense to make or buy one. That is a personal choice. For full disclosure, I own a set of EWT Carbide but I rarely use them. I also don’t turn a lot of pens any more. I use HSS because of the better (in my opinion) results and versatility.
 

leehljp

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Tunica, MS,
I just learned something valuable, thanks you two! I'm just getting into this, both the tool making and the turning...
Shear scraping is or is not a significant improvement over no shear, carbide scraping?
Or, put another way, is it not worth the hassle of making one with an angled shaft or expense of buying one over a regular Easy Wood tool?
Thanks!
I think Jim would be the best one to explain this. I don't have the Magic Bob/Easy Wood angled shear scraping.

Slightly off topic but related: My one complaint early on was the inclusion of a carbide insert cutter, whether round or radiused square or square, onto "round" shafts. Round shafts are more prone to catches, and weak & unsuspecting wrists will twist with the catches. Square shafts prevent this. Round shafts was my problem early on, at least round shafts at the point of resting on the tool rest. Square shafts add stability. Round shafts add flexibility.

Shear scraping: Jim says it gives a smoother cut than the flat scrapers. I don't know because I haven't used those. I think it might be to a point, and then after a certain point of skill, use and "feel," a flat scraper might be just as good. I have "honed" my skills simply from extended use. I can "feel" differences in textures of different woods and places in segments. That is just experience; Second, I needed SMOOOOOOTH finish without the use of sandpaper once about 11 years ago, and had no one to tell me how. It came by trial and error in one day. And since then, I have had baby's behind smooth cuts with a flat scraper.

IF I had spent that kind of time with an angled Shear Scraper, I am sure I would have thought the same about angled shear scraping. And it might have been better than I have now with a flat scraper. I don't know. Since I have learned to master the flat scraper in both sharpening and use, I am not going to change. BUT, IF I were just starting out, I would give both an equal shot in trying. It might be that in some cases one is better and in other cases the other might have the advantage. Knowing the best uses of both through experience would give you (or anyone) and advantage.

AND Lastly: Danny added in the negative rake above. From what I hear/read, it will greatly expand one's abilities. it is good to give all a try. Just don't wait until you are in your 70's to try them all. ;)
 
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