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By Stigmorgan
I was wondering if anyone here has any experience in making their own basic cutting tools, I have very little money at the minute so want to make my own tools, I have several breaker points and chisels left over from my time working on building sites, I figure these will be good candidates for cutting / grinding into basic gouges and chisels. This way I can afford to buy a good chuck as I only have a face plate with my lathe.
By That would work
Old files make excellent scrapers, especially big flat files... grind some of the teeth off to make it better to hold (or wrap tape round it) and grind the end to a scraper profile.
I have also had some success making hollowing tools made from round silver steel bar by bending the last 30mm or so as required.
I would add also that you can do a lot of turning with a small number of tools... a 3/4 spindle gouge, a 1/2 bowl gouge and a 1/2 scew will do a lot of work.
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By Phil Pascoe
#1317947 ... 396&sr=8-3
You can probably find cheaper. These make good cheap skew chisels.
If you use files, they need tempering or else they are liable to shatter and are dangerous.
I have made good enough hollowing tools from broken hss drill bits ground and inset in BMS bar.
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That would work wrote:Old files make excellent scrapers, especially big flat files... grind some of the teeth off to make it better to hold (or wrap tape round it) and grind the end to a scraper profile.

An extremely dangerous practice unless properly heat treated* to remove the brittleness.
If one shatters due to a catch the chance of a piece embedding somewhere in the operators body is not a risk worth taking.

This is what can happen with a correctly made Turning tool if misused A brittle file is likely to shatter anywhere along its length and the tang even if not hardened is not designed to take the loads if you should get a catch and may bend.

* Heat treat to Cherry to Light Red and quench. (750-850 Deg. C)
Polish to bright finish.
Heat to Brown - Brown Purple along its whole length and quench. (250-260 Deg. C)
Fully inspect for any signs of stress cracking whilst used as a file or during heat treatment.
By lurker
I would not contemplate using a file.
If you are that hard up just find another hobby.

Phil's suggestion is a good one as a start point.
By Stigmorgan
I have no intention of using a file, as I said in my original post I plan to use breaker points and chisels, these are designed to take a beating and are around 15mm thick so should be fine in that respect.
By That would work
The idea that a heavy file could break while being used as a scraper (which by definition is used lightly) is used is unlikely to say the least. I am fully aware of heat treatments etc etc and yes the file could be annealed and re heat treated if you think that's really necessary. I've used heavy hand files to make plain scrapers a lot, and why not? I'm not especially "hard up" but do enjoy reusing materials etc as do most craftspeople. And besides the OP was asking for ideas to work economically?
By That would work
Mmm... catches are caused (usually) as a result of poor or incorrect bevel contact. Scrapers cut on their very top edge with a trailing attitude and clearance underneath.
By Inspector
The breaker points and chisels will work just like lots of other scrounged materials , eg the files already mentioned. I have a farriers rasp my father modified for a special purpose he use on the lathe. They may not hold an edge as well or be brittle like a file but if you want to spend the time making them they will work. People have used screwdrivers and Allen keys too. I've even heard the story of accomplished turners (from one) using an axe during a demonstration to show that it is the understanding of cutting and not a tool that gets the job done. While you are at it keep your eyes peeled for turning tools people are selling here and locally. They sometimes go cheap.

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By Lazurus
While there is a place for made tools - usually special or one off applications I would advocate the basic gouges from a reputable manufacturer. My Sorby 3/8 bowl gouge is just about worn out, that took me 10 years of fairly regular useage. That is a good quality tool returning excellent value for money, there are often bargains to be had at local and on line sales.
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By Robbo3
Chris152 wrote:The one tool I still get catches with is the scraper, especially inside deeper bowls.

The greater the overhang the less control. Try & get the tool rest closer to the work.
With a conventional scraper you should be cutting just above centre height on the inside of a bowl with the handle slightly higher than the cutting edge. Thus if it grabs the scraper moves into space & not into the wood below.
Try putting a negative rake on the scraper ie a top bevel, as if it were a skew, flat on the rest. Cut on the centre line with the tool horizontal. It's very forgiving, in fact it's quite difficult to get a catch.
By Tris
Look out for a copy of 'making your own woodworking tools' by Mike Burton (I think).
It is very much geared up for turning tools and even has a cheap way to make a simple forge.
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By alexf
I wouldn't use files or chisels for turning tools. However a good cheap turning tool is the Oland Tool. I have them in various shaped tips. gouges, small scrapers and small skews. I buy 1/4 x 1/4 HSS for £2 - £3 for 3 inch length and drill a bright mild steel bar to hold it. The tip can be glued in , but I drill and tap the bar to take a grub screw. See for how to make them.
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By Phil Pascoe
I've done mine like that, except I've used the shanks of worn down, broken or found cheap HSS drill bits. Mine are epoxied - it's never caused any problems. I have one with the hss mounted at 45 degrees to the side, which can be useful for undercutting an edge.