Carbide tool choice help please for lathe turning

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Nic Rhodes

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Hi, I 'bought' two cheap carbide options to try and i am not quite there wrt to what I might want and would value others help please. One has a square shaft which is fine when I plunge into wood directly but causes quite allot of tear out. When I try and turn to 45 degrees for a sheering cut I am getting too many catches as less stable. [Probably my technique]. The other has a round shaft which I find less satisfactory to use in general. The obvious solutions are a turnable head (Robert Sorry Turnmaster) or a three facet bottom shaft (woodpeckers). These are both expensive options (but have a birthday coming up :)) but was wondering if 1. I have this right and 2. are there any more affordable (UK?) sourced alternatives around? Thanks for any thoughts / recommendations.
 
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Orraloon

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I dont see the attraction of carbide tools for turning and have not felt the need to go there. Perhaps for quick roughing a carbide tip may do but I am not convinced that even there its as good as a roughing gouge. Anything like a finishing cut needs a freshly sharpened tool. Now that sounds like I am getting old and set in my ways but as they saw if it aint broke it dont need fixin.
Regards
John
 

Yorkieguy

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I get along nicely with carbide tipped tools. The tips are fairly cheap and last a long while. On the square tip you have four cutting sides, on the round tip you can rotate it when you feel that it's blunt, and the diamond tip (which I use little), has two ends to it.

It's a lot cheaper if you make your own tool shafts from either round or square section bright mild steel, and turn your own handles. I decided to give them a try when I watched this Craft Supplies YouTube video about turning pens with carbide tips:

Turning a Pen with a Carbide Turning Tool (How-to Beginners Guide) - Bing video

A set of six tips (two each round, square and diamond) plus six screws can be bought from UK suppliers on eBay for under £20.00 currently. EG: £16.68 + £1.68 P&P:

New Carbide Tips Inserts Blades For Chisel Cutter Wood Turning Lathe Holder-Tool | eBay

There are lots of videos on using them. This is part one of a three part series:

Part 1 of 3 - Woodturning: Can I do it with carbide - Bing video

I know that not everyone wants to be bothered with turning their own tool handles, but it seems to me that there's a certain irony as woodturners, in buying them rather than turning them. I just use whatever scraps of wood are to hand - ash, beech or whatever.

The handles in the pics below were from bits of spalted beech. I drill the end of the blank into which the tool shaft is to be fitted using a drill in a Jacobs chuck in the tailstock with the spindle supported by a lathe steady. Then I remove the 'steady' and turn the handle between centres, then use the lathe steady again to part off the other end of the handle.

Incidentally, the 'square' tips' are slightly rounded so the corners don't dig in. The round tip when held at an angle and used as a sheer scraper gives a nice finish off the tool, calling for minimal sanding. Likewise, I use the square tool for pen turning, with minimal sanding.

The last pic is a walnut pen with a Celtic knot. (The white inserts to form the knot were from an out-of- date credit card).

Hope these personal observations on my experiences with carbide tips are useful.
 

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Democritus

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I generally agree with John in that I usually use traditional tools, finding them more versatile. Having said that, I do have a few carbide tip tools which I find useful as bowl scrapers. A member of my club uses nothing other than Easywood carbide tools, and produces some fantastic pieces with them.
Each to his own I suppose.
D.
 

Nic Rhodes

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The whole point for me is to see what additional capability they might add to my conventional tools (which I have), hence my experimentation so far and the desire for more experimentation. Certainly what I have found so far is that add something to the mix and that they work very differently so need to be used differently hence the questions. Seen several Youtube video of people just using them like their conventional tools and completely missing the point. Keen to learn here on their capabilities by trying.
 

Orraloon

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I get along nicely with carbide tipped tools. The tips are fairly cheap and last a long while. On the square tip you have four cutting sides, on the round tip you can rotate it when you feel that it's blunt, and the diamond tip (which I use little), has two ends to it.

It's a lot cheaper if you make your own tool shafts from either round or square section bright mild steel, and turn your own handles. I decided to give them a try when I watched this Craft Supplies YouTube video about turning pens with carbide tips:

Turning a Pen with a Carbide Turning Tool (How-to Beginners Guide) - Bing video

A set of six tips (two each round, square and diamond) plus six screws can be bought from UK suppliers on eBay for under £20.00 currently. EG: £16.68 + £1.68 P&P:

New Carbide Tips Inserts Blades For Chisel Cutter Wood Turning Lathe Holder-Tool | eBay

There are lots of videos on using them. This is part one of a three part series:

Part 1 of 3 - Woodturning: Can I do it with carbide - Bing video

I know that not everyone wants to be bothered with turning their own tool handles, but it seems to me that there's a certain irony as woodturners, in buying them rather than turning them. I just use whatever scraps of wood are to hand - ash, beech or whatever.

The handles in the pics below were from bits of spalted beech. I drill the end of the blank into which the tool shaft is to be fitted using a drill in a Jacobs chuck in the tailstock with the spindle supported by a lathe steady. Then I remove the 'steady' and turn the handle between centres, then use the lathe steady again to part off the other end of the handle.

Incidentally, the 'square' tips' are slightly rounded so the corners don't dig in. The round tip when held at an angle and used as a sheer scraper gives a nice finish off the tool, calling for minimal sanding. Likewise, I use the square tool for pen turning, with minimal sanding.

The last pic is a walnut pen with a Celtic knot. (The white inserts to form the knot were from an out-of- date credit card).

Hope these personal observations on my experiences with carbide tips are useful.
You just may have talked me into giving it a try. I do have some spare cutters for the spiral head thicknesser and it would not take much effort to cobble something up. Just one more tool.
Regards
John
 

KT -andy

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I got a cheap set of 3 to try carbide tips . Now they're all I use , the easywood ones are nice and the tips last for ages .
The biggest plus for me is NO MORE GRINDING !!!
 
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