New turning tools ahead

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PoppyTee

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
24
Location
Alabama
When I got into turning last year I did not know what to buy for turning tools. I opted for an economical set of carbide tools and they have performed as expected until recently. I replaced the carbide tips and things got a little better but have decreased all of a sudden. I currently use the square to round out the blank and the round tipped tool to take down to bushings.

I'm looking at getting a HSS gouge and skew but don't have hundreds of dollars to spend on each. What would be your suggestion of each for me to consider? Or, would you suggest a higher quality carbide set?
 
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ed4copies

Local Chapter Manager
Joined
Mar 25, 2005
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23,903
Location
Racine, WI, USA.
IF you have not turned with a gouge or a skew, I would suggest an inexpensive set to make sure you like the change (there will be a learning curve!!) Benjamin's Best is the tool I use, Exotics handles them, they are from Penn State. The skew I use is the 3/4" oval, costs less than $20.
I also have a 1" roughing gouge, about the same cost, I believe. They are HSS and sharpen nicely, although a little more often than my Sorby, which cost about 4 times as much.
 

lorbay

Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2009
Messages
3,233
Location
BC. Canada
Buy yourself a good spindle roughing gouge at least 1” diameter, a 1/2” bowl gouge and a 3/8” spindle gouge and they will take you a long way.
Lin
 

mmayo

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2013
Messages
1,412
Location
Tehachapi, CA
Learn on harbor freight tools, not to turn but to sharpen. When you can get a perfect edge on the HF tool. Buy good ones. I held off for years buying good HSS tools until my sharpening got up to speed (I was sharpening challenged). The learning curve can be long though very worth it. I have the wolverine system and a slow speed Rikon grinder. I blacked out the cutting edge with a large marker. I adjusted the distance between the wheel and the end of the tool carefully until and even metal stripe was made in the blackened surface as the wheel is gently rotated. Now is the key!! Make a stick to exactly fit between the front of the grinder to the flat part of the Wolverine. I have several labeled with the tool like 1” roughing gouge or 1/2 cryogenic skew. If I move the tool holder out, insert the correct stick and snug it up, tighten - I’m ready to sharpen. If I’m gentle and smooth I am rewarded with a really sharp cutting edge. The roughing gouge I now have is an expensive one with excellent tool steel. I can get several pens, especially wood, from on sharpening. If it cuts less well I head back for five seconds of sharpening and get back to turning. I still have the HF tools though they are used for skut work like cleaning a sanding disk’s adhesive off.

I have lots of Carbide tools and lots of Carbide chips for them. The use them often. The skew is unmatched for tough burls and getting a smooth finish. Typically a blank sees my request ugh omg gouge, 2” radius carbide and a final smoothing using the skew.

Best of luck as you progress.
 

Jonkou

Member
Joined
May 1, 2020
Messages
63
Location
Alton Bay, NH
Recommend M2 HSS from a reputable manufacturer. If cost is a factor Packard Woodworks has a signature brand made by Hamlet that is very good quality, moderately priced to learn on yet will serve you well for the life of the tool. A 3/4” rolled edge skew and spindle roughing gouge will get you turning pens. A spindle gouge, bowl gouge, round nose and square end scrapers sized commensurate with what you turn, and a diamond parting tool will complete your basic set and allow you to complete most things. Larger/smaller turnings need larger/smaller tools. As your skills improve you can add to your tool arsenal as needed.
Any accomplished Turner can complete a piece using any given comparable tool. With that said, every member on this site has an opinion based on their experiences and what is best for them. Join a turning club in your area and ask lots of questions, try different tools, techniques and equipment til you find something you’re comfortable with. Consider taking formal lessons. Practice often to develop your own style but remain open to exploring new ideas. Happy turning.
 

TonyL

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Joined
Mar 9, 2014
Messages
7,603
Location
Alpharetta, GA 30004
I would also start with BB from Ed.


Stone Mountain are similar quality.

 

RobS

Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2016
Messages
612
Location
Carlsbad, CA
Bejamin's Best is a great starter tool, and if you truly flub the sharpening, it is not that painful.

I have the roughing gouge, and it has been fantastic.
 

tiggere

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2019
Messages
63
Location
NC
Its shelling out money for the slow speed grinder and the sharpening jig that hurts...at least it is a one time only purchase

This is why I have stayed with carbide...you can get a flat diamond stone and resharpen the carbide to extend the life a little more...I will eventually go down the HHS/M2 tool path as well but just don't forget its not just the tool you need...

Edited to add:

The Rikon slow speed grinder goes on sale all the time...around $100...you can use the wheels that come on it or upgrade to CBN wheels which are anywhere from $100 to $300...the benefit of the CBN is they wont cup from use like the stock wheels will...you will have to dress the stock wheels from time to time...
 
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