Carbide turning tools

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Lawrence Tarnoff, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. Lawrence Tarnoff

    Lawrence Tarnoff

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    Anyone have any experience with the carbide tools with replaceable tips? I'm a new turner and am intrigued by the E-Z gouges.
     
  2. Christopher Martin

    Christopher Martin

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    Yup I have made my own C10 and the square cutter by easy wood tools.

    all you need is 1/2 bar stock and mill out a slot for your cutter and drill and tap out the screw easy as pie. How ever I did my with M 2 high speed steel
    when grinding it tool longer I would just get cold roll steel or something little softer and cheaper too. :eek:

    my bars i used where 15" or 16 "long and recesed in 4 inches .... they work great for doing bowls that the tool needs to hang over 4 + inches....
     
  3. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Well I prefer the Hunter tools especially the new Hercules and Osprey tools. They still have the ease of use of the EZ wood style tools but they have the advantage of using them as shear scrapers or as bevel rubbing tools. In those modes they leave a much cleaner cut.
    Go to www.youtube.com and type in john60lucas and you can see all of the videos that I've done on the Hunter tools as well as other videos. I started making the videos when I got the first Hunter #4 and realized that people had been using them wrong. If you used them as a bevel rubbing tool you could get a superior finish to most other tools on the market.
     
  4. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I have seen the Hunter tools and I agree with John about their advantages. I have a couple of the EZ Wood tools. They are beautifully made with a matching price tag. Buying one of these tools is sort of like buying a printer. The ink is where they make the money and the same goes for these tools.

    I think that EZ Wood tools probably overstates how long their carbide cutters last before needing to be replaced. With green wood or wood that is not too hard, they last a long time, but if cutting especially hard wood, you might wear out one cutter on a project. The other side of that coin is that other tools are not up to the task of cutting some of the extremely hard woods.

    Other than the carbide tip, they'll never wear out, but on the other hand, unlike conventional turning tools, they will eventually become obsolete.

    The thing to keep in mind about these new carbide tipped tools is that the initial purchase is really just the down payment.
     
  5. gary rock

    gary rock

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    Have learned that when the cutting edge gets dull (all four sides). Pull the cutter off and work it on a fine diamond stone- flat side only. It takes about a minute, then remount it on the tool then back to turning.

    Gary:cool2:
     
  6. Lawrence Tarnoff

    Lawrence Tarnoff

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    Easy vs Hunter

    Thanks for the quick responses. Am I correct in my read that one would require two Easy tools for inside and outside bowl work, but one Hunter would handle both? And, John, I found your youtube videos very informative.
     
  7. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Hunter tools are great for cleaning up the insides of goblets and end grain boxes.

    If you plan on turning a lot, I suggest you find someone to teach you how to use a gouge.

    Using gouges for Turning bowls, the outside of a goblet, finials, outside of hollow forms ....
    Yields better results in a shorter time while being a more pleasing experience than using carbide tools.
    Sort of a win,win, win
    Granted the "pleasing experience" is relative and a function of how well you learn to use the gouge.

    That said if the easy tools get you hooked on turning, Great!

    Work safe
    Al
     
  8. Lawrence Tarnoff

    Lawrence Tarnoff

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    Carbide tools

    One more on this: Anyone have any experience with the Harrison tools?
     
  9. john lucas

    john lucas

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    The Harrison tool seems to be more or less a copy of the Hunter #4 but I could be wrong because I can't really see the cutter well enough. The #4 was what I used when I started making the videos. It is a good tool but the Hunter Hercules and Osprey tools are much better. They are easier to use as scrapers because the cutter is tilted forward at 30 degrees. If the cutter is flat like the Harrison tool it can be very grabby if used flat. In my video I show how to use it as a bevel rubbing tool which is much better for that tool. The Hercules has a square shank that really makes it easy to use as a scraper. It is a very forgiving tool.
     
  10. odie

    odie

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    I tend to think similar to Al.....learn to use a gouge.

    Matter of fact, I can conceive of how a new turner is doing himself a disservice by starting with the carbide tools first, because it might tend to limit "growth potential" for a new turner. Traditional turning tools are harder to master, but are capable of much better results on a variety of applications. Carbide insert tools are the "training wheels" of turning......a trainee can get immediate results with them, but there is no comparison to the versatility of being able to grind your cutting edge to an individual application, while taking advantage of the full spectrum of flute shapes and shaft sizes.

    There is one single very limited application I've found the carbide insert tool to actually outperform a gouge. This is on the inside lip of an inwardly slanted bowl wall right up near the lip of the bowl on the underside. Here I've found my Hunter tools to do a (pulling towards you) shear scrape with the grain, that produces a better cut surface than does a gouge doing a push cut against the grain.

    If I were an instructor teaching newbie turning students, I think I might not allow carbide insert tools to be used until AFTER a thorough knowledge of gouge applications be acquired FIRST. If the newbie student insists on using carbide insert tools, then he would have to find another instructor. :eek:

    (I am not an instructor, and have no desire to be one, so that isn't in the cards, anyway! ;))

    ooc
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
  11. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I agree and it would be simple enough for an instructor to make it clear that the purpose of the course is to learn how to use certain tools to make whatever is being made (such as bowls).

    When I first started, the 60-grit gouge was my go-to tool although I really didn't like that technique or the end results. I have some carbide tools and they do fill a niche, but otherwise they are only a few steps better than my 60-grit gouge.

    To a newbie, I would ask, "do you want to turn or just barely scrape by?"
     
  12. odie

    odie

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    Good morning, all.........

    I've been out in the shop since about 9pm last evening organizing my sanding storage area. Didn't intend to, but you know how these things seem to "snowball" sometimes! I'll fall asleep in about two seconds after turning out the light......but, Bill's post reminded me of something I thought I might relay to the readers of the newbie forum.

    Bill, I know about that 60 grit gouge, but in my case, it was a 60 grit scraper! I can distinctly remember being intimidated by the gouge in my very early turning efforts. As a result, I did everything with a scraper for months before I finally picked up a gouge. I suspect a few new turners here might have similar apprehensions about the gouge. Anyway, right from the start, I was producing a few bowls that inspired me to stick with it......and, continue to learn. Contrary to the way most people find local mentors, I never did. I never did have anyone show me how to use the gouge in a one-on-one setting......because I didn't know anyone who knew anything about the lathe. No mentors, no AAW club, no videos, no computer, no nothing, but a couple of old books and a little determination.

    It's a wonder that I held an interest in lathe turning, since I probably spent an hour sanding for every ten minutes of attempting to cut the wood! (Not to mention sending a few wooden missiles into orbit! :D) I wore an old Napa rubber respirator for hours, and hours, and hours at a time sanding, and sanding......sweating in that darn thing! (Now, it's just the other way around......it's the tool work that's time consuming, and sanding doesn't take long at all!) I know that some of the newbies reading this are probably going through the same things, but just hang tough.......It'll all make sense with time and resolve. ;)

    I don't know why I do these things, but I'm sure there are many of you out there who have the same affliction........ just get so involved with your shop......that you just can't tear yourself away from it.......This must be some kind of obsession! Maybe I need to see a shrink! :eek:

    Good night!

    ooc
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  13. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Odie You stated exactly why the carbide tools have take off. Most people who take up turning don't have someone to teach them and if they actually purchased a bowl gouge they probably scraped with it anyway and of course had some good catches.
    The Carbide scraping tools are quite simply easy to use. The downside of course is that you don't learn the joys of using a cutting tool, and you don't learn how to sharpen. However usually if they get hooked on turning they will make an effort to pick up on these skills later.
     
  14. odie

    odie

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    Hi John.......

    Ya......I think there is a lot of truth in your words.

    If I'm not mistaken, it appears as if you are stating the carbide tools do as good a job as traditional tools......and, the only reason one would have for taking up traditional tools is to have some "joy" in their use, and sharpening them. This isn't the way I see it, but I do realize my opinions are not universally shared by everyone, on just about anything related to woodturning........

    I guess it would be strictly theory to know if an individual would actually benefit from using carbide tools......over the same individual who learned traditional turning from the git-go. I think not, because I see it as a second best solution that limits the results to a second rate tool finish......a tool finish that requires additional sanding. For these people, realization that minimal sanding is key to perfection in the details will come, but ONLY by knowing better results are possible. I assume many of these people will never comprehend what it is that becomes limiting for them........until they learn some proficiency in using traditional tools. (For bowl turning, this aspect is compounded in degree of difficulty, simply because of the wood grain alternates as the bowl turns on the lathe......)

    I have no doubts that some turners will not stick with turning without the immediate gratification, carbide tools seem to give them..........My concern for them is they will have to start from square one, when they finally determine these tools aren't giving them the best tool finish that can be had........the only way to cross that bridge, is to use what does! ;)

    One thing I believe will be helpful to someone who learns woodturning today, and without a mentor......is the wealth of videos from experienced turners that are available. I'm not speaking of the turning videos on YouTube. Some of those are going to give the newbie some really bad advice. Generally, the commercial videos are what I'm speaking of. If I had some of these excellent commercially produced videos in the beginning, it would have saved a lot of trouble in my quest for the basics.

    ooc
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
  15. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I keep a number of my early turnings for several reasons, but none of those include being good examples of woodturning. Perhaps the first reason that I keep them is because of all the hours that I put into making them along with the amount of dust from those early efforts that went into my lungs. They also serve as mileposts to remind me that my [lack of] skill and ignorance of eye appeal both assured my firm standing at the bottom of the woodturning food chain. The good news when I began to realize that there were better examples of woodturning was that the only way for me to go was up.

    Most of my early experience very closely mirrors the learning experience that Odie described although I am not sure if any of my bowls actually made it to orbital velocity before burning up in the atmosphere. I'm eternally grateful that the folks at the local Rockler's store kept urging me to visit the local turning club (Woodturners of North Texas). Maybe they were trying to tell me something. :D I guess that I finally had enough of dealing with shot nerves caused by catastrophic catches that I decided to visit the WNT. I wanted to find out if anything beyond my current self taught skill set existed. And, if not, find the answer to why in the world would anybody actually on purpose subject themselves to such abuse.

    The first meeting that I attended really wowed me. The featured demonstrator was Jean François Escoulen doing his multi axis stuff and I believe that his only tool was the bedan. One member brought a hat for show and tell. There were other show and tell items that were equally as impressive to me. That was when I went from being merely interested in woodturning to becoming "fully involved" as a fireman would probably describe it.
     
  16. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Anything that gets folks into to turning is good!

    Most people have a wealth of learning opportunities, they just have to find them.
    Local AAW chapters are the place to start.
    Many local clubs have mentors, formal classes, help sessions, and lending libraries with how to videos and Books.
    The are the not for profit craft schools and an number of other schools that offer beginning classes.

    Check for clubs in your area. Money spent on a class will do more to increase your turning pleasure than new lathes and tools.

    Al
     
  17. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Don't tell me that Al, I won't get to buy anymore lathe tools. :)
     
  18. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    John,

    Perhaps the funniest line I have ever heard in a demo was delivered by Don Geiger.

    ... "I bought this tool when I was one tool away from greatness"


    As long as we are one or more tools away from greatness........

    have fun!
    Al
     
  19. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Al, you're not supposed to say things like that. :D (even though it is true)
     
  20. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Darn with all the tools I have I should be a God by now. :)
     

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