Fastest roughing method?

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Chasboy1

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Hi folks, I don’t know if this is in the library, but whatever search words I used didn’t bring up what I wanted. I find this happens in my Corvette forum as well.
A few questions regarding the thread topic:
  1. Is there a ‘fast’ way to bring down the size of a blank so I’m not constantly resharpening my tools just to get near the size of the pen I want to make? I have seen some turners on video who use various sanding machinery to rough the shape down to something closer to the final project.
  2. What other methods do people use?
  3. I’ve asked this before, but are the carbide tools worth the cost? I saw a young boy about 12 from Britain on YouTube who’s on his way to be a turning master. He made a bowl of using a ton of hair combs and resin, then turned it with a carbide tool. He was getting some serious material removal with that tool.
Thanks!!:biggrin:
 
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leehljp

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1. Every blank is different. I would caution about the idea of "fast", which is disastrous until lots of experience with different tools and wood/resin/segmenting is under the belt. In another post just a couple of days ago, someone (was it you?) mentioned several blowouts in drilling on the first batch of blanks. The cause to experienced users is obvious: speed and inexperience. On delicate blanks such as snakewood, some people drill the hole over a period of two or three days. (Minuscule Heat build up can cure cracking). Thin blanks don't have the wall integrity (strength) to hold its self together with fast drilling. Same thing happens with some blanks in trying to get them to size quickly.
Examples: Desert Iron is hard. Rushing it can ruin the edge of the tool, or potentially cause a blow out, while watching the blank develop into beautiful shape and color. Segmented blanks: Rushing will result in blowouts for sure. Some resins won't let you rush or chips will jump out. For me, there is as much enjoyment in the journey and what I see developing, or what I learn with a new segment or unusual wood/resin/material. It is fun to watch the blank develop while getting to the final turn.

I often do get mine "round" quickly in using Carbide and then switch to HSS.

1.B On occasion, I will run a blank ( hard desert iron wood) across my router table with 1/4 inch radius round over. Getting to size is best done with turning, stopping, measuring with calipers, turning again, measuring and going down to .005 below the size wanted and build back up with CA or other finish to the precise size of the center band or nib end or clip end. CA does have a thickness value on it, so, many people allow for that to get back up to size.

2. Other methods? In casting, some cast round blanks but I don't think anyone casts to size of finished blank. I mentioned using a router above.

3. I have three carbide tools and use them on occasion for rough turning on hard woods and resins. However, I change to HSS tools once rounded.

Woodpeckers, a very expensive and precision tool company (and well respected) as well as a few others have been advertising something along the lines of "nano" molecular/crystaline(?) carbide turning tools. Carbide by its nature has been difficult to get as sharpe as well as high quality HSS and similar tools. As much as people say that the carbides are as good as HSS, so far, I (and I know others) can feel the difference in well sharpened and honed HSS vs a new/good carbide. The newest carbides claim (insinuate) that they are as sharp as well tuned HSS. I haven't tried the latest such as Woodpeckers say, so I cannot compare.

That said, there are blanks, especially segmented cast or wood with aluminum/brass/copper in it in which sanding causes tremendous smearing and color changes in the surrounding wood. The only way around that - is to sharpen so sharp until it cuts so smoothly that sanding is not needed. A few people do this. No sanding needed, but fresh precision sharp is a necessity, and that doesn't take more than a literal few seconds to attain.

Back to your question: Carbide does not need sharpening (honing) every minute or so like HSS does. In general, Carbide works and exceeds production turning better than HSS for sure, and in my opinion the Carbides are worth it for what they do. Still, the HSS has its place. If nothing else for me, HSS is what I use to finish turning to size - as it eliminates sanding in some or many instances - such as segmenting.
 
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Charles- First off, thanks for the questions and I've answered what I can down below.



Hi folks, I don’t know if this is in the library, but whatever search words I used didn’t brin
A few questions regarding the thread topic:
  1. Is there a ‘fast’ way to bring down the size of a blank so I’m not constantly resharpening my tools just to get near the size of the pen I want to make? I have seen some turners on video who use various sanding machinery to rough the shape down to something closer to the final project.
  2. What other methods do people use?
  3. I’ve asked this before, but are the carbide tools worth the cost? I saw a young boy about 12 from Britain on YouTube who’s on his way to be a turning master. He made a bowl of using a ton of hair combs and resin, then turned it with a carbide tool. He was getting some serious material removal with that tool.
Thanks!!:biggrin:
1. If you're having to sharpen your lathe tools several times turning a single blank then that brings up some questions for me. How big is the blank? I turned 6 comfort pens yesterday and only honed my lathe tools one time between blanks number 6 and 7. So if you're having to "sharpen" your tools more often than that your either using very hard materials or your tools were really never sharp. You need to profile your tools, sharpen them and then keep them sharp, but not as often as you say your are, you're not doing something right with your tools. There is no "fast" way to turn down anything that I'm aware of. I take my time and depending on the wood species, it takes as long as it takes.

2. I'm not sure what the question is here. If your asking a sharpening question I know that there's a thread started here not long ago with a lot of expert advice. You might want to check it out.

3. I can't give you any information about carbide tools. I use HSS tools that I've had since I started turning 40 years ago. You need to find what your comfortable with, enjoy using and stick with those. You can turn nylon, like a comb, with HSS tools too.

Hope this helps a bit and I'm sure others will chime in too.
 

jttheclockman

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Hi folks, I don’t know if this is in the library, but whatever search words I used didn’t bring up what I wanted. I find this happens in my Corvette forum as well.
A few questions regarding the thread topic:
  1. Is there a ‘fast’ way to bring down the size of a blank so I’m not constantly resharpening my tools just to get near the size of the pen I want to make? I have seen some turners on video who use various sanding machinery to rough the shape down to something closer to the final project.
  2. What other methods do people use?
  3. I’ve asked this before, but are the carbide tools worth the cost? I saw a young boy about 12 from Britain on YouTube who’s on his way to be a turning master. He made a bowl of using a ton of hair combs and resin, then turned it with a carbide tool. He was getting some serious material removal with that tool.
Thanks!!:biggrin:
Charles have to say you ask some questions that are impossible to answer with direct answers. Here is another. Yes carbide can rough turn a blank quickly and I suggested carbide in your last set of questions. But so can a rough gouge, a skew, a parting tool, and any other sharp that is the key word sharp tool. Material being turned means a ton. Again not all materials turn the same and are prone to chip out or breakage thus you can not force turn them. Is carbide worth the money, absolutely every penny. A round cutter is a good place to start. Now the Bash has started there is and will be various sales I highly suggest you take advantage of. Sanding a blank will NOT get a blank turned down quickly. Yes taking the corners off can help beginners more-so when turning a blank round and is done with a sanding disc, bandsaw, tablesaw, scrollsaw, router and so forth. Many ways to do the same job. This is my point to you. We all find the method that works for us. I do not knock the corners off because that is what a lathe is for turn things round. I use carbide but also use HSS tools also. My skew is my favorite tool. Good luck.:):):)
 

Charlie_W

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Fastest stock removal?? For spindle turning, a peeling cut is the fastest.....but I would not do this cut on pen blanks as there is the possibility of the blank not surviving. If there is a void in the glue to the tube, that is a weak spot and an aggressive cut could cause that area to break out.
My go to tool for a peeling cut on spindle turnings (not pens) is a radius skew. The wing on a spindle roughing gouge will work too. Some will use a bowl gouge wing/ cutting tip as well. It all comes down to finding a tool with a sharp edge and using bevel support for control.

When I turn pens, my go to is a 1” spindle roughing gouge making planing cuts as does the skew. Many times I use the roughing gouge start to finish in pens.

When you say you need to sharpen often on one pen, I wonder if your tools are not HHS. Also, I do not know in what method you are using it. Scraping will dull any tool much faster.
I “sharpen” ( on the grinder ((CBN)) ) my HHS occasionally but hone frequently. If my chisels will shave the hair on my arm, I am satisfied they are sharp.

Carbide....I have a couple of carbide tools but use them very,very rarely.

Hope this helps
 

sbwertz

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Hi folks, I don’t know if this is in the library, but whatever search words I used didn’t bring up what I wanted. I find this happens in my Corvette forum as well.
A few questions regarding the thread topic:
  1. Is there a ‘fast’ way to bring down the size of a blank so I’m not constantly resharpening my tools just to get near the size of the pen I want to make? I have seen some turners on video who use various sanding machinery to rough the shape down to something closer to the final project.
  2. What other methods do people use?
  3. I’ve asked this before, but are the carbide tools worth the cost? I saw a young boy about 12 from Britain on YouTube who’s on his way to be a turning master. He made a bowl of using a ton of hair combs and resin, then turned it with a carbide tool. He was getting some serious material removal with that tool.
Thanks!!:biggrin:
If you are turning something big...like a peppermill or a bowl, or a big handle, you can take it to the bandsaw and saw off the corners to get it down to a reasonable size before you start turning it. For pen blanks, I take them to the belt sander (either the 4 inch belt/disk sander or the 1 inch vertical sander) and knock the corners off. That is not to speed up turning, but rather to prevent my blind students from getting their hands injured by flying corners on a spinning blank. But it will shorten the turning time and help prevent chipout when taking off the corners of a brittle blank.
 
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thewishman

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I use carbide and turn a wood blank to sanding size in less than two minutes, slightly slower for resin blanks. I turn 40+ barrels with each of four sides of a carbide insert.

Practice will greatly improve your speed.

Ed4copies demonstrated his techniques at the first MPG. He was ready to sand an acrylic blank in three fast passes.

This is Ed's member profile - he has links to his free videos here:

http://www.penturners.org/forum/member.php?u=1088
 

Charlie_W

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I use carbide and turn a wood blank to sanding size in less than two minutes, slightly slower for resin blanks. I turn 40+ barrels with each of four sides of a carbide insert.

Practice will greatly improve your speed.

Ed4copies demonstrated his techniques at the first MPG. He was ready to sand an acrylic blank in three fast passes.

This is Ed's member profile - he has links to his free videos here:

http://www.penturners.org/forum/member.php?u=1088
I remember Ed’s fast pen turning demo!!
 

Charlie_W

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I “sharpen” ( on the grinder ((CBN)) ) my HHS occasionally but hone frequently. If my chisels will shave the hair on my arm, I am satisfied they are sharp.
. . . Hope this helps
:good:

I should have said that. THAT delineates what sharp is to me. I haven't had that with carbide yet.
Hank....also there is a noticeable difference whether a sharp edge will just barely shave v/s an edge that will very easily shave with little to no resistance.:)
You can tell if the barber has a freshly sharpened straight razor by it’s cut/drag.

If I want to refine an edge even more on tools, knives, etc, I use an MDF wheel on my lathe with Tormek abrasive compound...and then followed by a leather strop and some green compound if I feel like it.
 

David350

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I make my turning time much faster and much more enjoyable by sanding down the corners using a disc sander attachment on my 60 year old ShopSmith. It saves so much time and frustration as a new turner.

When doing a slimline, I also started running 7/8 inch square blanks like the Rhino ones through my table saw with the fence set at 5/8 inch. Not only did it then save time, but the cutoff gave me an idea as to how opaque it was and if I needed to paint the tubes / inside the blanks...
 

Shock me

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Hank....also there is a noticeable difference whether a sharp edge will just barely shave v/s an edge that will very easily shave with little to no resistance.:)
You can tell if the barber has a freshly sharpened straight razor by it’s cut/drag.

If I want to refine an edge even more on tools, knives, etc, I use an MDF wheel on my lathe with Tormek abrasive compound...and then followed by a leather strop and some green compound if I feel like it.
Being an obsessive sharpener, I'm often looking for an edge that Sweeney Todd would be proud to use. Shaving hair is just the start- being able to whittle a hair, now you're getting close. No point in sharpening turning tools this far as the first contact with the blank will undo all that work, but my knives are insanely sharp. I use a Wicked Edge clamping system with a progression of stones starting at 100 grit and ending with a 0.1 micron diamond emulsion applied to a kangaroo leather strop.
 

RSQWhite

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This subject comes up over and over again. A few weeks ago another poster on this forum talked about “pounding
the corners off “. If we are pounding the corners off with ANY tool then there is something very wrong with what we are doing. To take a blank from square to round requires SHARP tools and proper cutting technique. Notice the word “cutting”learning the fundamentals of wood turning starts with “rubbing the bevel” loose bevel contact and we get a dig in tear out and any number of bad things.
That is easy to say but not so easy to learn. Start with this utube video and progress from there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfiE3l1vf74


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More4dan

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I have the advantage of a metal lathe and I use it as such to turn the blank round and most of the way to the final max barrel dimension. I then turn the final profile by hand. I even use the power feed as I get close to final OD. I can take precise depth cuts too with a very rigid cutting tool. I let my metal cutting HSS bit do the rough work and my sharp tools for the hand turning. For brittle blanks I do sand the corners off before turning. Even works for the dreaded inlace acrylester and TruStone blanks.

Danny


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Hubert H

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When you find something you like, after trying different tools - stick with it. Carbide tools are loved by many turners. Just a note: metallurgical engineers will all tell you it is impossible to get a carbide tool as sharp as a good HSS tool. However carbide tools are very efficient because they retain their cutting edge, even if not as sharp, longer than many other types of material. After all of that, for me it is hard to beat a VERY sharp HSS skew.
 

Chasboy1

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Thank you all for the responses. With so many replies, I can't remember who said what, but let me address a few things.
No, it was not me who posted about blowing up some blanks. The last time I DID do that was about 5 years ago attempting to turn black palm like any other wood. Eventually I made a beautiful shift knob but it eventually got weak and came apart from use.
I have a set of Disston lathe tools from 1954. I will see if there are any markings on them but I don't know if they are HSS.
My honing ability at this point is very limited. I have an old combo whetstone, a small Arkansas stone, my 50 year old grinder with it's original stones that I should have replaced years ago, and a variety of grits for my strip sander.
Without question the lack of sharpness has hindered material removal because I can't apply proper technique.
I think I'm learning that roughing with acrylics is a different ballgame. I used my belt sander with an aggressive grit to bring down the blank size because turning with questionable tool sharpness was getting tedious.
I did watch one of Dave Schwietzer's videos earlier and learned a lot-I think I need to learn how to sharpen properly with better equipment.
My regular wood chisel does shave hairs, so I know what I'm doing with that, but seems that lathe tools are much different especially applied to turning acrylics.
FWIW, all 10 of my first pens are now done. All as gifts to wife, kids and grandchildren.
Last question for now, are skews hollow ground?
 

Shock me

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Skews may be flat or hollow ground, whatever your preference. Mine are hollow ground but on a 10” wheel, the difference is very small. In practice, I strop frequently, and touch up on a diamond card between actual sharpenings so I suspect that over time the cutting edge itself is fairly flat ground until I go back to the wheel. I can’t say I notice much difference other than that which I attribute to a gradual loss of sharpness
 

donstephan

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Chasboy1
If your lathe tools are from 1954 they likely are carbon steel, which does not hold an edge nearly as long as HSS. It is likely you can find several Youtube videos describing how to distinguish CS and HSS from the generated sparks on a grinding wheel.

I would suggest you look for a turning group in your area, pens or woodturning. Many members are quite willing to help new members with issues and problems.
 

Charlie_W

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“Last question for now, are skews hollow ground?“

In addition to hollow and flat grinds on the faces of the skew, it can also be convex ground. Many times, a flat or convex ground skew is easier for beginners. A hollow ground skew has no “bevel” due to the concave surface from the grinder wheel. This makes the skew more grabby and prone to run backs.
With the flat or convex there is bevel support right behind the cutting edge.
Now....when you hone a hollow ground skew, the hone creates a flat bevel just behind the cutting edge and then becomes more user friendly.
This is not to be mistaken as the shape of the skew...angled versus radius edged.

I can take a pic tomorrow of my convex skew. It is also great for coves on spindle work.
 
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jttheclockman

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Just checked the chisels, nothing on them other than Disston, USA.
Are there any groups in NJ?
Must be about 10 of them. Google NJ woodturners clubs. If you want to do yourself a favor and really see what it all about, go to the woodworking show in Seacaucus March1 and meet the turning groups there. About 5 or 6 of them show up. Crafts supply USA use to show up and not sure if they still do. You can get some good show prices on tools so bring money.

The Woodworking Shows | New Jersey
 

tomas

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Hi folks, I don’t know if this is in the library, but whatever search words I used didn’t bring up what I wanted. I find this happens in my Corvette forum as well.
A few questions regarding the thread topic:
  1. Is there a ‘fast’ way to bring down the size of a blank so I’m not constantly resharpening my tools just to get near the size of the pen I want to make? I have seen some turners on video who use various sanding machinery to rough the shape down to something closer to the final project.
  2. What other methods do people use?
  3. I’ve asked this before, but are the carbide tools worth the cost? I saw a young boy about 12 from Britain on YouTube who’s on his way to be a turning master. He made a bowl of using a ton of hair combs and resin, then turned it with a carbide tool. He was getting some serious material removal with that tool.
Thanks!!:biggrin:
In my humble (but correct opinion), carbide tools are definitely worth it. My fastest way to get a blank to working size is to set the speed medium high and use the corner of a square (2" radius) carbide tool.

Good Turning,
Tomas
 

Herb G

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I sand off the corners with a belt sander. It works great on plastics & wood.
It saves a lot of time too because you don't have to have a lot of big chips smacking you in the face.

As you carbide tools, you can't go wrong with the ones Hanau sells on this forum. His tools are top notch, high quality, and work as well as the nosebleed expensive ones do at a fraction of the costs.
I like them so much, I bought a complete set & sold off my steel tools.
 

Chasboy1

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I sand off the corners with a belt sander. It works great on plastics & wood.
It saves a lot of time too because you don't have to have a lot of big chips smacking you in the face.

As you carbide tools, you can't go wrong with the ones Hanau sells on this forum. His tools are top notch, high quality, and work as well as the nosebleed expensive ones do at a fraction of the costs.
I like them so much, I bought a complete set & sold off my steel tools.
Herb, where do I find Mr. Hanau?
 

jttheclockman

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I sand off the corners with a belt sander. It works great on plastics & wood.
It saves a lot of time too because you don't have to have a lot of big chips smacking you in the face.

As you carbide tools, you can't go wrong with the ones Hanau sells on this forum. His tools are top notch, high quality, and work as well as the nosebleed expensive ones do at a fraction of the costs.
I like them so much, I bought a complete set & sold off my steel tools.
Herb, where do I find Mr. Hanau?
http://www.penturners.org/forum/f165/carbide-woodturning-tools-140763/
 

robutacion

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G'day,

I agree with Bryguy, loved by many and hated by some, the Flap Disc System is indeed a good way to remove most of the wood/resin from a pen blank, just follow my suggested instructions and you will surprise yourself.

As for the other questions you made, others have already talked about it.

Best of luck,
Cheers
George
 

Chasboy1

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As you carbide tools, you can't go wrong with the ones Hanau sells on this forum. His tools are top notch, high quality, and work as well as the nosebleed expensive ones do at a fraction of the costs.
I like them so much, I bought a complete set & sold off my steel tools.
Herb, where do I find Mr. Hanau?
When you state ‘complete set’ what exactly did you buy, and which would you recommend as a ‘starter”? Did you get enough handles/cutters/holders so you don’t have to do any cutter switching during a project?
 

Chasboy1

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Seems silly to worry about saving 4 seconds, if that, worrying about saving time. Why not
just enjoy the time and fun of making a nice pen!!
Phil, in my case the enjoyment during rough out is diminished because of the sharpness of my tools, which I’m actively trying to rectify.
 

jttheclockman

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I feel like I am repeating myself But I said to you that the round cutter is what you want and will do anything you ask it to do. from there the other cutters are icing on the cake depending what you are turning. A diamond point cutter is nothing but a skew. The flat cutter is nothing but a skew laid flat. Will they be important to pen turning only if you want to spend extra money. Carbide saves you sharpening HSS more often that is why it was invented for turners.

I do not know this vendor but from what I remember he sold the shaft and cutters and you made the handles. Maybe things changed. If you buy the square cutter you have to be aware of dig in with those because all edges are sharp. Many people have the arced cutter that has a slight curve to is to prevent the cut in or dig in or as they say in the turning world catch.

You also will want to learn the proper use of using them. Most people use as a scraper but more efficiently they can be used like any other cutting tool on edge. With the round cutter you can not go wrong. I do not know what size cutters he has but you want the larger ones. Not sure of the number.

If I had 2 tools to pick to do most turning especially pen turning, it would be the round carbide cutter and a good skew. if i had to narrow down to one tool it would be a good skew. If that tells you anything.
 
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JimB

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Seems silly to worry about saving 4 seconds, if that, worrying about saving time. Why not
just enjoy the time and fun of making a nice pen!!
Phil, in my case the enjoyment during rough out is diminished because of the sharpness of my tools, which I’m actively trying to rectify.
That isn’t what you originally asked about. There are numberous YouTube videos on sharpening or join your local turning club and they will help you. I have been a member of my local club for 10 years. I have taught many new members how to improve their tool profile and properly sharpen their tools.
 

Shock me

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And speaking of sharpening, you can easily resharpen your carbide on a 600 grit diamond card. Mostly ppl here recommend Trend, but I’ve had my non-Trend since before I read that and I haven’t had a reason to complain
 

jttheclockman

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Love my Trend set up. I always use to go to the grinder with my skew and come away with what I thought was a real sharp edge and it was. But since I use the diamond card now for honing it this is like night and day. Boy was I wrong about sharp. Now it is sharp. :):)
 
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brailsmt

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I bought a 3 piece set of Yufutool carbide tools from amazon when I first started. I got the round carbide, 4" rounded square, and a finishing diamond shape cutter. I first started using the round cutter for everything. Once I switched to mostly turning acrylics, I've gone to the square carbide tip and rarely use anything else from start to finish. By turning/angling the cutter you can vary how the tip cuts. If it is sharp, and I'm turning at 3000-ish RPM it roughs the blanks very quickly. If you are getting carbides, do yourself a favor and get a diamond sharpening card. You can resharpen the carbide insert and significantly improve the useful life of the carbide tip.
 
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