Tool Steel

Discussion in 'Tutorials and Tips' started by CindyDrozda, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. CindyDrozda

    CindyDrozda

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    In case anyone wants to get into a discussion on the merits and/or disadvantages of CPM 10V (A11) (Thompson Tools) vs our standby M2 HSS for turning tools, here is a double-barreled earful of my own opinion on the subject:

    http://cindydrozda.blogspot.com/

    Now that I am sharpening them properly, I love my 10V tools!
     
  2. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

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    Nice to hear your evaluation of alloys, but there are other factors involved which are at least as important. Foremost is presentation. We all know that we can pull a finger across a razor edge with no harm, but pulling it along would be a bad choice. If we allow the wood to slice itself along the edge, the edge will remain suitable far longer than if we push the edge through the wood. How brittle an alloy is makes a huge difference in this regard as well, because the acute edge, unsupported in the of the angle of presentation, is more vulnerable to breaking off or bending. Here the form of the tool plays a great role as well. If you can't get one to present for a slice, pick another tool or grind which will. Brittle tools require a larger sharpness angle to hold an edge properly.

    Second is time expended to obtain a useful edge. Abrasion resistance is also resistance to removal of metal to renew an edge. You must choose an appropriate abrasive in both composition and grit to accomplish your purpose, as you mention. If you're using 80, you can certainly take away more metal than is necessary to simply sharpen than users of 100 or 120 would take. A lot of turners use those coarse grits to save time, but leave a rough edge, which, if presented improperly can lead to even more frequent sharpenings. A less "wear-resistant" alloy would respond quickly to a fine grit pass or even honing. Higher cost in shorter edge life compounds higher initial cost.

    You mention the composition of the wheels as well, but neglected one type altogether. Fortunately for the average turner, CBN or diamond wheels are not necessary. SiC wheels are out there at a fraction of the cost, and will sharpen any of the alloys. Then there are those fools like yours truly who hate sanding so much they will actually take a quick pass at the wheel prior to the final cuts. http://www.gulfcoastwoodturners.org/RESOURCES/Tool Steels/Tool Steels in Woodturning.ppt.pdf Slide 14 covers us. No point at all in a fancy alloy for us.
     
  3. odie

    odie

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    Thanks for the review, Cindy.......

    Loved your "Elegant Finials" video! :D

    Thanks for your insight on steels, and sharpening in your blog.

    If I understand you correctly, the only real advantage to the V10 and the various other steels harder than M2 steel, is the ability to hold an edge longer.....is that correct? The degree of sharpness obtainable is equal?

    I'm not experienced with v10 at all.....but, I do have a couple of 2060 tools. (I do have one powdered metal gouge that I have yet to use much.....Hamlet, I think. Maybe that one is v10?) Everything else in current use is all M2. I'm pretty happy with things as they are, and I'm getting good resulting high quality cuts on wood. I am, however, getting tons of experience sharpening tools! I don't consider this a bad thing. I'm using 80g Norton SG wheels and honing with 600gt diamond hones.

    Tell me though.......isn't it a bit more difficult to sharpen the v10 steel, since it's probably much harder than M2? Although I wouldn't know from experience with v10, it seems like it could be a disadvantage......since M2 is so easily, and quickly sharpened. I can re-sharpen, hone, and be back in business in only a couple minutes......maybe even less. Like I say, I wouldn't know, but it seems like you might be able to true up an edge several times in the same amount of effort and time it takes to true up an edge on a tool with much harder steel, like the v10........?

    ooc

    edit: The 2060 tools are Hamlet, and the powdered metal gouge is a Crown Pro-PM......it doesn't say what kind of steel is used, but is powdered metal.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
  4. Christopher Martin

    Christopher Martin

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    Yes you need to take a few extra passes on the grinder I have pinnacle cryogenic line and I think a good M2 is just as good or even better cause it takes less time as the grinder. I do not think they hold a edge 3 times longer than M2 as they claim. I think they are just as good as M2 steel . I'm always running wood that tears up tool edges and I gave these a shot not bad But I will
    go with Robert Sorby next time.
     
  5. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    The durability, as near as I can tell means that you can hog off a lot more wood with the V!0 before you set off the smoke alarm than you can with M2. I do prefer a fresh edge for the final cut, no matter which steel I am using. If you have the CBN wheels, there is no added time to sharpening.

    robo hippy
     
  6. Bill Blasic

    Bill Blasic

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    I use Thompson 10V and I find that I have to grind less than I did with M2 steel. With the 10V I make one quick pass with the tool in the Wolverine jig and I'm right back to work. I was always making multiple passes with the M2 steel. Perhaps I've just gotten a lot better at sharpening. My point being that 10V can be no harder to sharpen than M2.
    Bill
     
  7. CindyDrozda

    CindyDrozda

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    Odie, Crown Pro-PM is M4, I believe.

    I don’t feel like the 10V gives a superior edge initially. It just lasts a lot longer. Most especially with negative-rake scrapers. Huge noticeable difference there.

    In my experience, sharpening with 3X or CBN, the 10V tool takes exactly the same amount of time to sharpen as the same M2 tool. No extra passes for me. The big difference being that sharpening is done less often.

    Like Bill said: 10V is no harder to sharpen than M2. (at least in my experience)

    Like Reed says, I also like a fresh edge for the final pass, regardless of what kind of steel I am using.

    CD
     
  8. dickhob

    dickhob

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    Perhaps I’m missing something. All this discussion on the time it takes to sharpen is confusing. Once an acceptable (to me) edge has been ground, maintaining that edge takes under a minute- usually under 30 seconds to obtain a fresh edge. If the edge is nicked, that is a different story but it is rarely the case.

    Granted, I’ve spent my share of time at the wheel developing acceptable techniques. I use a Wolverine system and a set of Raptor jigs to set my angles. Now, sharpening is a small part of a process. I have a CBN wheel (that is truly amazing) and a regular white wheel. Even for those who are production turners (I am not) I have trouble believing a few seconds sharpening seriously detracts from the overall creation process.

    I too find the V10 steel will hold an edge longer, but again, for most turning I find any of the steels work pretty well for the type of turning I do on my Nova DVR. Which is your fault Cindy- you got me hooked on finial boxes!

    Just my 2cents.
    DickHob
     
  9. Matt Lewis

    Matt Lewis

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  10. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

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    Any other edges you consider "sharp" fresh from an 80 grit grinder?

    Lawnmower, perhaps, but nothing else in the shop. Point was that we go coarse and settle for a second-rate (or less) edge because we can't hone those abrasion-resistant alloys easily. Most of the damage we call dull could be cleared on a 220 or finer stone if the alloy wasn't so resistant. Take away a third of the metal, get an edge that, while still unacceptable anywhere else in the shop, would look lots nicer under a microscope. Those who still have carbon steel around hone several times before they grind.

    One of life's many compromises.
     
  11. odie

    odie

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    Thanks Cindy.......

    So, I take the whole point to be the difference in time it takes to re-sharpen v10 once ....vs.... M2 twice or maybe three times......?

    This seems pretty insignificant to me, since we are talking only a few minutes of total time.

    Don't take that statement wrong......not intended to establish a superior way to choose steels, sharpen, or lathe techniques. I'll have to reiterate that I'm feeling very comfortable using M2 steel, even if that means I'll have to take a few more time-outs for re-sharpening.

    Agreed that all final passes need a fresh edge......

    ooc

    I think you are visualizing the input on this thread very similarly to my take on it, dickhob.......

    When I spoke of re-sharpening above, I was considering a trip back to the grinding wheel, as well as re-honing......all only a couple of minutes total time. When only re-honing is necessary, the time will be much abbreviated further.......only seconds, in that case.

    As previously stated, I've not tried the v10 steel......but, I'm feeling a bit skeptical about the overall worthiness of purchasing any, since it doesn't seem like there is going to be that much savings of time.

    Most of us (I do, anyway! :D) take our time and inspect, evaluate, and contemplate our turning progress, on each and every turning. Since I'm starting, stopping, and pondering frequently anyway........it just doesn't seem like a savings of a few minutes time is all that important an issue. (Of course, I only speak for myself........I fully realize that others may not assess all of the particulars the same as I would, or do.)

    ooc
     
  12. dickhob

    dickhob

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    Odie,
    You might want to just get a V10 and give it a try. Both Thompson and D-Way have very nice tools and not too pricey.

    Try it, you'll like it!
    DickHob
     
  13. john lucas

    john lucas

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    I'm still very new with the CBN wheel, just got it yesterday. Stay tuned because I now have all 4 of the most popular sharpening systems, a slow speed grinder with 100 grit white wheels, a strip sander which I will play with the grit but for now has 120 grit, a Tormek wet wheel grinder and a 180 grit CBN wheel.
    I am a long time user of the Thompson particle metal tools. I don't find them any harder to sharpen on my white wheels than other tools. A single pass usually does it. They get sharp enough that i can usually start with 220 grit if I do my job correctly.
    that's where I agree with MM. Tool presentation, how acute the actual sharpened edge is, and whether or not you force the cut seem to be as or more important than the sharpeness of the edge.
    I will no more in a month or so after I have experience with these machines. However I did a quick test the other day and found that the actual difference in the finish left on the wood is pretty minimal. Maybe one grit of sandpaper but I'm sure that depends on one's skill level and the quality of the wood. I only used 1 for this quick exercise.
    I am very impressed with the new CBN wheel. It does sharpen to a keen edge but then it's 180 grit vs my white wheel 100 grit so that's expected. It will be fun to run it against the Tormek 1000 grit wheel or belt sander 800 grit. stay tuned for the pros and cons of those.
    As far as edge holding capability. It's a little thing and hard to lay your hands on it. I sharpen frequently because I love sharp tools so I can't say it may save trips to the grinder. Heck I need the break anyway to let my back relax from longer turning sessions. Since really sharp edge holding capabilities is such a subtle and subjective thing It's hard to say one is better than another. However when it comes to hogging wood off of bowls to get ready for the final cut the Thompsons just keep on cutting.
    Now this is probably a less than sharp edge but plenty sharp enough to keep on going. I didn't realize how much until I had to turn a bunch of 8" aluminum discs for a glass artist. I would have to sharpen my HSS tools once per disc and then I was pushing the tool near the end. I turned 3 or 4 complete discs with the Thompson before it got that hard. Aluminum is really hard on a tool edge.
     
  14. john lucas

    john lucas

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    It's too early in the morning, so I hope you ignore the obvious misspellings and bad grammer.
     
  15. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I do think most of us tend to over sharpen. I guess it is the grinding vs sharpening thing. One simple pass is all it should take, but most of us have to hit it again, just to make sure. The biggest time saver in sharpening I have learned is to free hand sharpen. Just think about never having to use a gouge jig ever again........

    robo hippy
     
  16. odie

    odie

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    Was thinking of this thread at work the other day, and this thought occurred to me:

    (For the sake of discussion, let's just say that from sharp to dull on a scale of 1 to 10, a ten being sharp.....)

    If it is true that regardless of tool steel, all steels are capable of an equivalent degree of sharpness.......and if it takes M2 steel 1/3 the amount of cutting to go from a 10 to a 5 level of sharpness than the v10 steel......then during that period of use, and since two subsequent resharpenings has occurred.......in effect, what has happened is you now have three times when absolute sharpness has been used with the M2, as opposed to only one time with the v10. I'm wondering how that may effect the progress of removing wood, in the total effort, and if that progress may be different, or viewed as different from one turner, to the next?

    Keep in mind that all steels, no matter to what degree of sharpness a turner's abilities can attain, does begin to dull the instant they commence to be used.

    Hmmmmmmm!

    Considering that, I am wondering if there is a universal point of greatest usefulness for a particular grade of steel used in turning tools, with regard to the degree of edge holding abilities, and generic to the full spectrum of steels used for turning tools.......?.........:confused:

    If there is an optimal point of hardness, or edge holding ability.......it might be M2, and it might be v10, or something else in between. It also may be that one turner may find that optimal performance at a different level of hardness than another turner. In that case, it may all boil down to one's personal style, the woods and materials he is using, and maybe even attitude and personality might conceivably contribute to how one individual may assess the performance.......

    In the final analysis, there is only one measurement of how good the steel in one turner's hands is.......and that is universally the fineness of the surface that is, or can be had........:D

    ooc
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  17. dickhob

    dickhob

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    John
    Since you're new to the CBN wheel I'm sure you've noticed how much longer it takes to wind down after turning off. I get almost a full five minutes on my cheapo Woodcraft slow speed grinder. That means you have a flywheel on your grinder that will never need balancing or truing.

    Try this- get the grinder up to speed and REST the back of a chisel (not the cutting edge) on the TOP of the CBN wheel- not too long, you don't want to put a serious ding in the back. I think you'll find there is no "bounce". Take off your guard and try that on another wheel.

    This wheel will NEVER wear out, get smaller, be out of round or balance. It is 1/2in wider than a regular wheel. This means you'll get the best edge possible regardless of the steel in the tool.

    I'm not trying to hijack the thread, but the quality of the edge is a major factor, and I think for most woods, the sharpening method perhaps is more critical than the steel for everything after the initial roughing.
     
  18. Steve Worcester

    Steve Worcester Admin Emeritus

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    Personally, I have several gouges that I just swap out so I don't have to divert my attention from turning to grinding. That is the important part, don't slow down the "creative process" momentum. You can use one tool and sharpen it on a gray wheel. But every time you go to sharpen, you change mental planes. Turn, sharpen, turn, sharpen, etc. If you use a higher grade steel, you sharpen less. Each one is a little less from M2 to M4 to V10 (2030 and 2060 are in the M4-V10 area). The better steel takes longer to go from 10-5 than a lesser grade. With a negative rake scraper, the edge life is very short, so the investment in the steel is really worth it. The better wheels just sharpen faster and wear less. CBN wheels don't need to get balanced, don't need to be trued or lessen in circumference. Yep, more expensive that 2 good blue wheels. You have to decide where to spend your money. I got tired of the whole thing, went to a Baldor and CBN wheels. Costs as mush as some lathes, but the investment is worth it for me.
     
  19. DOCworks

    DOCworks

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    I wasn't going to say anything but Odie brought up one of the all steel are equal statements that I'm not comfortable with. "All" steels can be made "sharp" but I don't carry a SS pocket knife becasue the don't get as sharpe as CV the molecular structure of the steel doesn't allow it. Same with Carbide there is a huge difference between grades of carbide they all get "sharp" but they are not the same. I don't personally think that if you grind and hone your M2 you will find a real benefit in 10v or 2030 or 2060 or v15. I use Doug's tools because I do...but I also use a Buck Bros. scaper I don't think is even M2..it works and you can't have it. I want a sharp tool, so you have to sharpen it. I don't like to sharpen very much so I have two tools of most of the ones I like, I'm lazy. I have or tried most of the sharpening systems, but I keep using a jig and I love my CBN wheels. But do I recommend them to folks I teach. Nope. They are expensive and I don't think they are necessary to get a sharp tool or a clean cut. I don't recommend Buck Bros either, but I use them. It all comes done to what you want to use..You can make a case for most anything, especally if you aren't going to change anyway. ;-)
     
  20. odie

    odie

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    Howdy Doc......

    Here's what I said:

    I really wouldn't know for sure, because I haven't experience with most steels used for turning tools, except M2. I didn't intend to indicate all steels within the complete spectrum of steels were the same when it comes to the ability to be sharpened. My statement above was given, because that's the common belief among the woodturning community, and I was only parroting that. I suppose I should have made some parameters to my statement, so that you weren't confused as to my meaning.

    Would it have been more correct to precede the statement above with the words: "Of those steels in common use for currently produced turning tools, if it is true that all of them are capable of an equivalent degree of sharpness.......(and, etc.)", ......would that have been a more acceptable statement to you?

    .....Just wondering if we can get a clarification of your thoughts, as they relate to my statement.

    thanks

    ooc
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013

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