Turning tools

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Snettymakes

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I recently picked up an AC370 lathe which I've been having good fun with. I've really struggled with sharpening the various turning tools that my FIL passed down to me so I gave up (for the time being) and turned my attention to carbide tips. I experimented with just buying the replacement tips and fashioning some tools with brass rod and some spare handles, with which I been having good success with turning walking sticks (the reason I bought it) and bowls (an unexpected delight).

I realise that these Heath Robinson tools aren't going to last (mostly due to the flex/vibration, but particularly due to snapping the end off one yesterday) and have been looking at buying replacements but I'm appalled by the price for what seems to me to be a bit of steel bar and a handle. Can somebody tell me what I'm missing that justifies such prices? Or better still, point me towards a cheap alternative?

I'll address my inability to sharpen tools at a later date, so please, lets not get in to that just now 😎.
 

Phil Pascoe

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Use bright mild steel for your carbide tools, it's not much different to brass to thread. You can make skews and scrapers from hss bar from Amazon or ebay - 10mm round bar makes good skews.
For gouges just accept you pay your money - Sorby, Henry Taylor, Hamlet, Crown, RP are good. I suspect most would say Ashley Iles are as good as anything. All my new stuff is Crown cryo - there isn't much difference in price between them and the others. It is rather pointless buying top class gouges if you haven't the facilities to grind them properly, though.


You can probably find it cheaper.
 

clogs

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I quite like stainless steel for the shafts.....looks n feels good and of course no rust....and a nice weight....
not hard to get it shaped to take the carbide insert...
handles what ever u want.....
I'll be turning some big bowls and platters from large'ish root balls by the end of this year and my turning gouges etc will be carbide tipped, home made and be as big as spear's.....
 

Dalboy

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I know that some of the tools work out expensive but they are a good investment I have still got and occasionally use my original Robert Sorby bowl gouge yes it is a little short now and it is over 10 years old, I have since replaced it with another. You at least get a tool that once you have learnt how to sharpen will last.
 

Snettymakes

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I do intend to make use of the turning tools my FIL gave me (among which were a huge roughing gouge and an even bigger skew), but I don't want the time (and cost) it takes me to sharpen them adequately to stop me using the lathe. The carbide tools have allowed me to get going and I already feel pretty comfortable churning out bowls.

I'll certainly be investing in a small arsenal of bowl gauges in due course.
 

rob1693

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I have a set of 3 Glen teagle carbide turning tools square round and diamond detail I never use them £80 if interested pm me
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Are they that expensive? when you consider the costs of buying the raw steel and that they're made in the UK (for most brands), they're not so bad. Also don't forget that you need to heat treat it too if making them yourself.

For most hobbyists, a new turning tool will probably last them a lifetime. Assuming you have a good sharpening technique and aren't grinding the heck out of them each time you sharpen. So a much a better investment than carbide in my opinion.

I would pick up a set and go from there. You'll see a lot of people say to not buy a set as you won't use them all. I don't think that is true at all. Any good 5-6 piece set will contain tools that you WILL use.
 

Snettymakes

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I have a set of 3 Glen teagle carbide turning tools square round and diamond detail I never use them £80 if interested pm me

I may have taken you up on that if I hadn't just ordered the steel to make my own. Thanks for the offer though, that would have been a nice deal.

Are they that expensive? when you consider the costs of buying the raw steel and that they're made in the UK (for most brands), they're not so bad. Also don't forget that you need to heat treat it too if making them yourself.

I'm hoping that you're confusing me complaining about the cost of carbide tools (effectively a piece of minimally shaped steel with a handle) with the cost of turning chisels, which I absolutely understand the price of. Presumably you're not saying that I need to heat treat the steel for carbide tools?
 
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I'm hoping that you're confusing me complaining about the cost of carbide tools (effectively a piece of minimally shaped steel with a handle) with the cost of turning chisels, which I absolutely understand the price of. Presumably you're not saying that I need to heat treat the steel for carbide tools?

Nope, I was just talking about traditional tools. Sorry for the confusion
 

Tris

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Sounds like you've solved the immediate problem so for the next stage take a look at one of these:

Then search YouTube for 'Lyle on sharpening' and you'll be pretty well sorted
 

Phil Pascoe

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14 or 17mm?
17mm. The end is nearly pointed but they are so solid and heavy there's no vibration. The first ones I did were round steel, but I thought I'd give hex a try - it sits nicely flat but can be turned to another flat if needed. Seems to work fine. The lighter one would be fine, though, for a slightly smaller tool.
 

JBaz

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I think you need to buy gouges, as making them would be quite difficult, but for the most part I buy cheap Chinese TC tools with no handles and make the handles on the lathe.

IMG_6145.jpg


I've used the wood from packing cases and plugged the nail holes. The ferrules are offcuts from 28mm copper pipe. They aren't showpieces, but they do the job and could produce showpieces (if I were good enough!).

IMG_6146.jpg


Other than that I look for used chisels at farmers markets and the like. I hear that some people even grind and re-handle old files to use on the lathe, but I've only reshaped some used ones to do specific things.

Good luck.
 
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