Carbide cutters

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Dave Fritz, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. Dave Fritz

    Dave Fritz

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    The first carbide cutters I saw were Easy Wood and the cutter was flat on a square shaft. Then I saw a Hunter cutter with was more dish shaped and on a round bar. Now I'm seeing Hunter type cutters angled on both flat and round stock.

    Can anyone explain the differences in using these tools and the benefits of each?

    Dave Fritz
    Montfort
     
  2. john lucas

    john lucas

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    the flat cutters such as the EZ wood tools are pure scrapers. I tried shear scraping with them but they don't do that well because they don't have a burr. I haven't tried raising a burr on them. Maybe I can do that this after noon. The Hunter style cupped carbide cutters can be used as scrapers if you use the ones tilted forward such as the Hercules or Osprey. If you use one of the tools with the cutter mounted flat such as the #4 or #5 as a scraper you will get a big catch. No here's the fun part. You can tilt the #4 or #5 sideways and rub the bevel and uses them like a bevel rubbing tool with outstanding results. You can also tilt the Hercules and Osprey the same way. The difference is with the Osprey the tool handle will be positioned about the same as a bowl gouge because what I'm calling the bevel is about the same as a bowl gouge, roughly 60 degrees. However the actual cutting edge because it's cupped is about 30 degrees so you get a very clean cut. You can also tilt the tool the other way so the cup is facing the wood and you can shear scrape. It this position it's very much like shear scraping with a skew since you have that 30 degree angle.
    Now to try and answer the question on the other tools gets a little complicated. The hollowing tools have the cutter mounted at different angles for different purposes. For lack of a better description I'm going to call them directional. In other words they are designed to cut in a certain direction. Think of a bowl gouge and push cut. You don't pull the cut with the tool in this position. So roughly speaking you would pull or push the Hunter tool so the cupped portion is going into the wood. For example one of the hooked cutters has the cup portion kind of pointing back toward the handle. This tool cuts best if you go in, push to the left and then pull the cutter back towards you. Mike has some other tools with the cutter more flat or angled out. These are better for going across the bottom of an ornament when hollowing. He will gladly explain which tools you need if you call him. I'm not familiar with the whole line even though I own quite a few. I've simply forgotten what some of them are called.
    I have several Hunter videos on Youtube and some on Mikes site. Go to www.youtube.com and type in john60lucas/hunter and you will find them. My goal is to make another one in the next week or so on hollowing beneath rounded over lips on bowls both inside and outside. I've been meaning to do that for a while but had parents in the hospital that required my attention. Just got back yesterday and then heard this morning that they are moving my Dad to a rehab facility and my mother is coming home from the same facility so I may not have to go back to Atlanta for a few day as least.
     
  3. odie

    odie

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    I have two sizes of the Hunter tools, and used them quite a bit at one time.....until I realized a carbide tool isn't any sharper than you can get with traditional tools. It dulls slower, and because of that, I tend to toil with a Hunter tool that wasn't as sharp as it was straight from the manufacturer, for longer. I've concluded that sharpening traditional tools frequently results in better surface quality, simply because the tool is sharper in the total time using it, even though sharpening takes place quite often.

    The cost of several inserts will buy a good quality gouge, or scraper........:p

    I have no problem with those who want to try out carbide tools......I did! ;)

    ko
     
  4. Barry Crowder

    Barry Crowder

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    I'm still too green to have much of an opinion, but the one carbide cutter tool I have is something like a #3 Hunter Tool (but made by another company). For the life of me, I have a terrible time using it without getting a spectacular catch. I have this feeling based on watching YT videos that EWT are geared to beginners that haven't learned sharpening or bevel control yet, and the Hunter tools are targeted toward people that are pretty accomplished turners but for some reason want to use carbide tools. My feelings won't be hurt if some corrects me on this, just my impression.
     
  5. odie

    odie

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    What I have is the No3 swan neck, and the No4 straight Hunter tools.

    Barry......I think you're correct that many turners who use carbide tools are newbies who haven't learned to sharpen yet......probably the majority of them anyway. I feel a little sorry for them, because if they are going to pursue woodturning, they will just have to put in the effort to learn sharpening skills. They might see a little success right from the start, and have a project, or two, that gives them a little pride in their work.....but, in my opinion, they are wasting their time on something that isn't going to be as versatile as traditional tools are, or can be.

    For those more experienced turners who do use carbide inserts, your guess is as good as mine why they are still using them. Possibly it's because once they are comfortable with using them, it's harder to give them up. A few others might be clingers because they have money invested in carbide tools. I don't understand those kinds of reasoning, because it's my belief that there is no comparison to the versatility and capability of what traditional tools have.

    The most important things to consider here......is that a carbide insert doesn't have any sharper a cutting edge than what is possible with hand sharpening traditional tools.....and the carbide shapes are limited.....whereas the grind shapes of traditional tools is almost infinite.

    Oh boy.......one more of Gretch's "can-o-worms".......I suspect! Ha,ha.......:eek:

    ko
     
  6. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Barry,
    I have been using a Hunter tool for hollowing end grain for small goblets.
    It yields a better surface than any tool I have tried.
    My go to tool used to be a termite ring tool. The Hunter leaves a cleaner surface.

    We are just at the infancy of the carbide tools.
    I expect continued advancement with more and more people using them and more makers entering the development process.

    I think you can get catches with any tool. Whenever the tool can drive into the tool you get a catch.
    To totally avoid a catch scraping keep the cutter horizontal with the handle level and
    A. Slightly below center on the outside of the bowl or a cylinder and
    B. Slightly above center on the concave surface inside of a bowl or box.


    John Lucas has a nice collection of videos on using the carbides.
    Google
    you tube " john lucas" carbide

    You will find them.

    Al
     
  7. Dave Fritz

    Dave Fritz

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  8. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Dave,
    I have the carbide tips that Trent Bosch sells on a straight and a hook tool.
    http://www.trentbosch.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=53

    They leave a really nice surface. I'm going to say they cut but they may be scraping.
    I don't use them often because I find them too slow. I do mostly face grain hollowing. The carbides take a small cut.
    With my hook tool and a HSS cutter I can take a. 3/8 - 1/2 wide shaving when I'm rough hollowing.

    With the carbide I get more like an 1/8" cut. So it takes me 3-4 times longer to do the rough hollowing with the carbide.

    Al
     
  9. Dave Fritz

    Dave Fritz

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    Al, thanks so much. It says to mount the cutter bar at a 30 degree angle which I assume is the same angle as the Jamison carbide cutter. Is that to help avoid a catch by keeping the bevel rubbing?

    Dave
     
  10. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Dave

    I mounted mine level because I want to work in both directions.
    If tilted and I work in the direction of the high side it will do one of three things
    Cut inefficiently, not cut because the back edge of the carbide is rubbing the wood, or catch if the wood can drive down onto the cutting edge.

    This is what Lyle Jamieson says about his Hunter
    "Just place the Jamieson/Hunter carbide cutter assembly into your swivel tip assembly replacing the 3/16 inch HSS scraper cutter. The carbide cutter should be angled to the left when inserted in the swivel holder. Different then the scraper cutter, the cutting motion will always be to the left when cutting up under a high shoulder vessel. Make sure to get the waste wood out of the middle behind the shoulder of the vessel. The cutter will cut pulling toward the shoulder of the vessel when the cutter is swiveled to the left. This produces a sheering/slicing shaving rather than scraping sawdust. Try it out on the nastiest wood you can find and you will be a believer!"
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
  11. john lucas

    john lucas

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    I have used my Hunter tools for a long time. The one in my #4 tool is quite old and been used a lot. I used it last night in a demo to clean up the bottom of a clock where the clock insert goes. I don't even have to sand because the surface was probably around 320 or 400 grit. It doesn't cut as quickly as a new tool but still leaves a fantastic finish.
    If your going to use Hunter tools as scrapers then you need to get the ones that are tilted forward. The Hunter Hercules and Osprey are tilted forward 30 degrees. I personally think this is the best angle. Mike Jacofsky's are tilted foward 15 degrees. They can be a little grabby but still work well. When I was experimenting with forward tilting tools I tried 45 degrees. Worked pretty well as a scraper but not as well when you used it as a bevel rubbing tool. That's why I prefer the 30 degree forward tilting tools. They function just like a standard bowl gouge in a push cut.
    You need to take lighter cuts with higher lathe speeds with the Hunter tools when used as a bevel rubbing tool. I use them frequently to clean up cuts that left tearout by other tools. My normal protocol for tearout prone woods is to first use my freshly sharpened bowl gouge. If I get tearout I switch to my 40 degree grind bowl gouge (If I can rub the bevel). If that doesn't work I try the spindle gouge that I have sharpened at 35 degrees. If that doesn't do it I go to the Hunter tool and it usually does. Of course I don't always go through all those steps. depends on the tearout and which tool I think will solve the problem.
     
  12. Dave Fritz

    Dave Fritz

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    John, thanks for that information. I didn't realize his tools https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEF4ajQlq_4 were tilted 15 degrees. I could see how that could be a little grabbier.

    Al, thanks for the information from Lyle Jamison. I assume his is angled at 30 degrees since it is a Hunter tool? It makes perfect sense to use a pull cut with the cutter to the left. I messed up once and tried to cut off the front the cutter. It was a nasty catch.

    Thanks again, great information.
     
  13. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    The introduction of carbide turning tools has upset more than a few paradigms in the woodturning world. But for various reasons, change usually faces an uphill struggle to gain acceptance. In many instances, the resistance to embrace something different is easy to understand. Woodturners are justifiably proud of the finely honed skills that they have acquired whereas using carbide cutters might be viewed as "cheating" ... bypassing the tough road to earn their stripes. I wouldn't condemn that attitude as being a Luddite. I believe that it can be argued that there are subtle nuances in one's creative evolution that are the result of developing those hard earned skills and I feel that taking the easy road may miss out on some of those benefits.

    Notwithstanding my perception of nuanced benefits, I feel that carbide tipped tools have much to offer as a tool in our arsenal. Being basically cheap, it rubs my hackles the wrong way to cough up money each time that I need to have my carbide tools "sharpened" (AKA, buying new cutters and tossing the old ones in the trash). I mean after all as a woodturner, I'm supposed to be an expert at tool sharpening and ... now this ... disposable tools! Sheesh! It's like paying somebody else to do my sharpening. Or using "throw-away" paintbrushes ... which I don't throw away. Well, I'd better admit that I have three carbide tipped tools ... two of them are currently too dull to be useful because ... well, you probably know why by now. Those are my EWT scrapers. I'll have to admit that they have exceptionally beautiful handles. And, they really are useful for certain tasks ... even more so if the cutters are sharp. I ought to mention also that I don't think that the carbide scraper tips last nearly as long as claimed, but then I use them for really tough jobs on very hard wood where HSS tools get dull in a matter of seconds. Your mileage may vary.

    I also have a boring bar rig for making deep hollowforms and one of the cutters that I have is a Rolly Munro guarded cutter. It is really nice ... my favorite cutter for the boring bar. It is a true cutting tool which is why it has a guard to limit the size of the bite. This is one carbide tool that I would recommend if you make hollowforms. I haven't tried any of the others such as the Hunter line.

    I believe that woodturning is a big tent and has ample room for everybody whether we use traditional tools, carbide tools, make plain unadorned functional items, carve, color, sprinkle with glitter, add wire or leather or feathers or gemstone or ground up seashells, or turn plastic and metal. We can use a simple lathe that does nothing but goes round and round, or has cams and rocks back and forth, or has gears and stepper motors, or is hooked up to a computer to move a cutter. We may proclaim on one hand that results are the only thing that matters and on the other hand eschew other facets of turning that aren't our bag ... to be honest, we all do it to some extent whether we recognize it or not. Some things may not be what we like to do, but expanding our collective horizons can only benefit us in the long run by increasing the appeal of woodturning and its appreciation by those who collect what woodturners make. This is just my personal perspective and I have a good woodturner friend whose viewpoint is that change is corrupting the purity of the art ... but we are good friends ... and, that is what matters.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
  14. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    Hi Bill,
    Your comment about disposable tools is also the reason I’ve not gone that route for wood, but, I do use the EWT midi tool and a home-made bar and EWT cutter in a Stewart arm-brace for my alabaster work. Much easier to work stone with carbide than HSS when you hit a quartz pocket or somesuch. Anyway, I’ve long thought that the round cutters/scrapers could be sharpened by mounting on a mandrel in a drill and honing the bevel with a diamond “stone”. Any thoughts on this? (I’ve touched up my Arbortech Pro cutters by stoning the flat top on diamond with good results but never did the sides.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
  15. odie

    odie

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    Owen....... In my previous life, I worked in a machine shop where carbide metal cutting tools were sharpened on a spinning slow speed diamond plate......so, I'd say yes to your question. My only comment is that a "rigid" method of holding the drill against the diamond hone might produce better results than holding it by hand. I haven't tried this, so my comment is strictly based on theory......

    ko
     
  16. Dave Fritz

    Dave Fritz

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  17. john lucas

    john lucas

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    the EZ wood tools are easy to sharpen with diamond hones and probably diamond grinding wheels. The Hunter tools are a different beast. I tried all sorts of abrasives and all I managed to do was chip them. However I get a whole lot more life out of my Hunter cutters than the EZ wood cutters. I rarely change the Hunter cutters. I just rotate them. I still don't think they replace a good bowl gouge but they really have a place in my arsenal for cleaning up tearout or turning box bottoms. I also use the Hunter Hercules for roughing really out of round bowls. It seems to take less effort than my bowl gouge.
     
  18. chrisdaniels

    chrisdaniels

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    I bought the Jordan hollowing tools, straight and hooked and they come with a 3/16 hss bits. i'm not doing deeper hollowing that I used to and am getting some serious vibration coming off the 1/2" bars. my questions is does this item http://www.packardwoodworks.com/Mer...e=105817&Category_Code=tools-jamsn-hs-cuthold also work in the jordan bars? also what would you recommend else I get to help with this hollowing issue?

    or should I get a thicker bar and this http://huntertoolsystems.com/product/1-retrofit-tool/
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  19. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Going deeper requires a larger diameter bar to reduce vibration.

    Consider the Trent Bosch bars.
    http://www.trentbosch.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=1_4

    I use 3/4" Bosch bars and a Jamieson handle for most of my work.

    Generally a 1/2" bar is vibration free to 6" over the tool rest.
    A 3/4" bar is vibration free to 9" over the tool rest.

    With light cuts the 1/2" can go 8-9" over the tool rest and the 3/4 12"

    I have a couple of 1.5" bars I use for 9-14".

    Also if you cut a little below center you will get a lot of vibration.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
    Jon Klobofski likes this.
  20. chrisdaniels

    chrisdaniels

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    I want the bosch 3/4" carbide tool, but holy wow it's expensive for that and a handle, 85$ for the bosch tool and another 80$ for a handle, jamieson handle is the same price plus you still need the backrest! I want to become a professional turner but I can see how it'd be hard with how much all these tools cost! I just want to be able to open up the inside of some vases, I don't think i'm ready to put another couple hundred dollars into another tool.

    I got the mcnaughton system and that costed a pretty penny but i'm very happy with that purchase. I wonder if someone will come up with some sort of carbide setup for that?

    my questions is will this

    http://www.packardwoodworks.com/Mer...e=105817&Category_Code=tools-jamsn-hs-cuthold

    fit into one of these?

    http://www.johnjordanwoodturning.com/John_Jordan_Woodturning/Tools_and_More.html
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016

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