New Woodturning Tools - As good as they sound?

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graduate_owner

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Hi everyone,
With Christmas coming up (and another birthday) I'm thinking of putting some turning tools on my wish list. I've been turning on and off for about 30 years, but never had the time to do it seriously until recent retirement. I bought a set of 8 Marples tools when I first had my lathe (spindle gouges, skews, parting tool, couple of scrapers) and I have collected some extras over the years (superflute, roughing out gouge, more scrapers) but I've been wondering what some of the new stuff being advertised is like.

The Axminster catalogue has things like ring gouges - I'm wondering if one of these will help me to get a smooth interior to my work, as I'm having a few problems there.

Does anyone have any experience of these?

Then there's a skew chi gouge, amongst other new shapes and names. Can anyone recommend any of these. or are they just a fad that you don't really need.

Also Axminster sell a range of very reasonably priced HSS turning tools - about half the price of the big names. I'm a bit dubious about buying too cheap (been there too often) so am wondering if any of you experienced guys have tried this range, and if so, how they compare with other brands.

At the moment I'm thinking about on small bowls, goblets, lidded boxes etc. so can people recommend any 'must have' tools, apart of course from the ones I already have.

Any suggestions would be most welcome.

K
 

Robbo3

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I would suggest that as you already have quite a few tools any money would be better spent by having a days tuition with a professional. Not only will you learn how to use the tools that you have but you will also learn to sharpen them correctly - the bane of most beginners.
 

robo hippy

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I have never been a fan of the ring tools, or hook tools, Just can't seem to get the hang of them. The Skewchigouge is an Allen Batty tool. I haven't used it specifically, but have been using half round bar stock for a couple of years with a very blunt angle on it, and very little sweep. Great for transition areas on the bowl. Best bet to see if you could find other tools that are handy would be the closest club, and see what can be done with them. I do have a 'toy' problem, but do end up using almost all of them I buy.

robo hippy
 

Paul Hannaby

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I use a ring tool for hollowing goblets and hollow forms where they can reach. Like most tools, once you know how, they are easy to use.
I also have a tool very similar to the skewchigouge - a round bar with a "fingernail" grind that I made myself before I knew of the off the shelf version. I use it mainly as a scraper for cleaning up the insides of boxes, goblets etc. because it can be rotated at any angle without the usual issues of pivoting on a corner that would be found with a rectangular bar scraper. It can also be used as the name suggests as a gouge/chisel where it has the advantage of no wings to foul in a tight corner.
 

cornucopia

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If i were you I would have a lesson with a pro turner instead of buying more tools.
I have used the axi cheap set that you refer to and they arent very good imo- you'd be better of sticking to the well known brands.



robo hippy":1f6uj4l4 said:
The Skewchigouge is an Allen Batty tool. robo hippy

FYI-The skewchigouge is an Alan Beecham tool
 

chipmunk

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Dilbert1.jpg=450


Need I say more :wink:

Jon
 

tekno.mage

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If your existing set of tools were bought thirty years ago, the chances are they are carbon steel, not HSS - which will take an excellent edge, but not keep it very long when woodturning - which means you will be sharpening more frequently. I'd first "upgrade" any favourites among your old tools to the modern HSS versions before buying any new types. I've no experience of the Axminster versions you mention, but I've found most modern HSS tools to be satisfactory and mostly pretty similar, with one exception - my few Ashley Iles turning tools do seem to keep their edge for longer than other makes, but they are made in the UK and are more expensive than some of the others.

Personally, I don't get on with ring tools for hollowing and have been told by other woodturners they can be rather snatchy and result in spectacular catches if you get the angle wrong.

I've not used a skewchigouge, but like Paul have something similar my partner ground for me from round bar - and like Paul I mostly use it as a small scraper.

I'd recommend you contact your local woodturning club before spending out any money on new tools - you'd be able to talk to other members and maybe even get to "have a go before you buy" on some of the more specialist tools.

When I first started turning I tried a few of the more modern unusual tools (mostly acquired cheaply second hand from the woodturning club's bring & buy table) and the only one of these I use very frequently and find most useful is the point tool - which is a round bar ground to a three-sided 60 degree point at the end. It can be used as a mini skew chisel, a shear scraper or an ordinary scraper - and also for cleaning up threads. It's very useful indeed on small work.
 

graduate_owner

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Once again, a really useful collection of opinions from people with hands-on experience, which is just what I was after. That's what I like about the forum - everybody is so willing to share their opinions.
I was asking about ring tools etc. because I thought they may just be a 'cure all' for raised grain problems (although I wasn't really expecting too much), but it seems they are not. So I have taken the advice of Robbo3 and Cornucopia, and e-mailed a woodturner who offers courses nearby.

Many thanks to all who replied.

K
 

Lightweeder

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tekno.mage":39ruouq6 said:
When I first started turning I tried a few of the more modern unusual tools (mostly acquired cheaply second hand from the woodturning club's bring & buy table) and the only one of these I use very frequently and find most useful is the point tool - which is a round bar ground to a three-sided 60 degree point at the end. It can be used as a mini skew chisel, a shear scraper or an ordinary scraper - and also for cleaning up threads. It's very useful indeed on small work.

I agree 100% on the point tool, but also love my 1/2" flat and round scrapers. Wouldn't be without them.
 

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