Tool Steel

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

  1. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I agree with much of what you said (but I suspect that you slightly misinterpreted what Odie was saying), but as you know, there are also many different kinds of stainless steel including apparently at least one that is excellent for sharp knives with excellent edge holding properties. I have not seen many pocket knives that have SS blades, but I have one that I got almost a half century ago that holds its own in long lasting edge sharpness and toughness compared to any other blade that I have used. I still remember the price because it was outrageously expensive for the time ($25) when a very good pocket knife would cost around $5. I have no idea what type of SS it might be. As far as all of the other SS blades that I have seen, I would have to agree with you since their only claim to fame seems to be not rusting.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  2. Richard Jones

    Richard Jones

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    Some of the "newer" steels, like AEB-L, properly hardened, will make you change your tune. Ultra-small carbides, just like carbon steel, although size isn't everything.......:)
     
  3. Jim Rinde

    Jim Rinde

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    Cindy:
    I find this an interesting topic as I have several PM woodturning tools. I have the Hamlet 2060 and the Glasser V10 and V 15 tools along with an assortment of M2 tools. I turn a lot of epoxy resin and combinations of wood or bamboo and epoxy resin. Epoxy resin is about 10 times harder than most common woods and as such dulls tools faster. That is why I chose to go with these expensive tools. The question is: are they worth the price? For me the answer is no question. The 2060 and V10 were my first PM tools and are clearly better than M2 when turning epoxy. Them I tried a carbide disk cutter that cost about $20. It work well in cutting epoxy but after turning one piece it was dull. Since I didn’t have a way to sharpen it and being to expensive to replace I abandoned pure carbide. Last year I started turning a large bamboo/epoxy piece and found that neither of my 2060 or V10 would stay sharp long enough to finish this piece in a reasonable time. I went to Paulo Marin who makes the Glasser tools (located in Camarillo where I live) and got a V 15. This tool is clearly superior and stays sharp longer than the V 10 of 2060 steels. When I used it to turn the Bamboo/epoxy piece I was able to turn for several minutes before having to re-sharpen. I sharpen with a Tormak and get a sharp tool. I have not thought of using diamond, but will start using my diamond hone to finish the sharpening process.
     
  4. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    There is another steel, Tangung, and it is available through A G Wesson down in Florida. It is a cast metal. It has been used by the Oregon Coast myrtle wood turners for so long, no one knows who first thought of using it. It is cast, and a 6 inch long 1 inch wide by 1/8 inch thick piece costs about $60. Generally, you score the stick, and break it in half for 2 pieces 3 inches long. It is used like standard scrapers, and was known as the Big Ugly tool. Traditional version was a 30 or so long piece of 3/4 square inch bar stock with a piece of tantung on each end. One end was more ( shaped, and the other end was more finger nail shaped. You would wear a thick leather glove on the handle end. In hardness, it is just under carbide. You can get a great edge from standard grinding wheels, which you can't do with the carbide insert cutters. It is silver soldered onto bar stock. I need to get back to them and see of they can make cutters for all the carbide tipped tools out there. I am not sure if it would make a good production tool as it has always been a DIY tool.

    robo hippy
     
  5. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Tantung isn't a steel.
     
  6. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Well how long a tool stays "sharp" is a very touchy subject. Lets face it we all push the tools to a certain point. We know it won't be as sharp in 10 minutes as it is when we take it off the stone. We reach some point where we decide it needs to be resharpened. That of course varies with experience and probably even your temperament for the day. And there's now doubt that they cut better right off the wheel.
    It's hard for me to say if one tool really lasts much longer than another when cutting wood. However when I had to turn a bunch of Aluminum discs for a glass artist I would have to sharpen twice per disc with my HSS tolls and I cut 4 full discs with the Thompson bowl gouge before I had to sharpen.
    consequently when roughing out bowls I get a lot of mileage between sharpenings with the Thompson. When finishing bowls not so much because I want the really sharp edge and I stop frequently to get it. maybe more than necessary but it does cut down on sanding. I will be interested to see if the sharper edge that comes off 180 grit CBN or 1000 grit Tormek will last any longer. An article in Woodturning years ago says it will but I guess I'll see.
     
  7. John Lawson

    John Lawson

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    So, not being an engineer, I had to look it up. Tantung is a cast alloy cutting tool material composed principally of chromium, tungsten, columbium, and carbon in a cobalt matrix. I also learned the official international name for columbium was changed to niobium in 1949, but columbium is still used in the US, and that the majority of the world's niobium is mined in Brazil. The wonders of Wikipedia.
     
  8. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Tantung is what happens when you sleep on the beach with your mouth open. :)
     
  9. John Lawson

    John Lawson

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    I had thought it was a tinted wood finish!
     
  10. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    You are absolutely right. There are so many variables, many of which are unquantifiable, that it really is not possible to say that there is one and only one perfect tool material -- that is, until somebody discovers the element "unobtanium".

    That is interesting about Columbium. My guess is that the name that gets used might be somewhat industry dependent. The name that I have heard used is mostly Niobium and mostly in connection with superconducting supermagnets.

    Tungsten is a very interesting metal. for a while, I had a piece of tungsten on my desk at work. It is almost twice as heavy as lead. The piece of tungsten was used for thrust vector control of the engine of a Scout launch vehicle. Rather than swiveling the nozzle of the rocket engine, the tungsten fins which sat inside the nozzle were used to vector the thrust. Any other metal would have quickly melted in that extreme temperature, but tungsten only gets tougher the hotter it gets. But very interestingly, at room temperature, tungsten is brittle and high shock loads can shatter it. That is what happened to this piece of tungsten -- someone dropped it onto a concrete floor and it broke into two pieces as though it were ceramic.

    There are some other metals similar to Tantung, but I know nothing about how they compare. Of course, each manufacturer claims that their concoction is the best.
     
  11. DOCworks

    DOCworks

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    @ John thank you I needed a good laugh.

    Odie,
    I didn't mean any disrespect; I think everyone should be free to use whatever makes them happy. I am a bit sensitive on steel and sharpness coming from a furniture back ground...meaning I still have to endure the ministering of the hand plane crowd about the microscopic edge they require to get a clean cut. Boring...but it is a bit interesting to a point. The thing is a hand plane cuts maybe, and I mean maybe a hundred board feet before it is re-sharpened, some of these guys go up above the 10,000 grit to get their plane blades "scary sharp", ok, but my lathe tool does 100 board feet before I get the back of the bowl done, probably before I get the bark off. I think sharpening is one of the most important techniques you need to learn when working with wood, lathe or otherwise, but we also like to turn at some point. So find that point that best meets your needs between getting a sharp edge and durability and still finding time to make shavings.
    Also some of us are just plain stubborn so I'm not changing from a Case 6225 1/2 CV pocket knife that I've had since highschool to any new fangled SS blade because they will never be as good...so there. That's my mature side coming out.
     
  12. John Lawson

    John Lawson

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    Interesting you should bring up tungsten. Apparently the European name niobium was adopted for columbium as part of a compromise that also made the American name tungsten official instead of of the European wolfram.
     
  13. odie

    odie

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    Howdy Doc........

    Thanks for the come-back. Ya......you're absolutely right about everyone finding their own ways to sharpen, and the techniques they use to get there may not be the same between any two individuals. Getting the sharp edge itself isn't the only object.....but, one's own evolving skills and techniques for arriving there is just as important.

    I'm a bit resistant to change from M2, mainly because I have been using it for so long that I've honed my skills to a point where I'm feeling very comfortable in my methods and techniques. I hone a half dozen times between grinding, and this only takes seconds of time to re-new the edge.......but, I've had lots of practice! Just because I have a certain confidence level in my own techniques, doesn't mean others can't arrive at an equal degree of performance with entirely different methods.......

    ooc
     
  14. john lucas

    john lucas

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    I have a certain confidence level in my own techniques, doesn't mean others can't arrive at an equal degree of performance with entirely different methods.......

    ooc[/QUOTE]


    Odie I made a statement like that once and was told I'd make a good politician. :)
     
  15. odie

    odie

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    :D

    Heh,heh,heh.......you might be a good one, John. I know darned well I wouldn't be a very good politician. I have the moral code, ethics, and values system of my parents, and although I consider that a good thing......I just haven't evolved with the society America has, or seems to have become. Most people these days would think of me as too old fashioned.........:eek:

    ooc
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  16. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    A wise old philosopher once said,"things ain't what they used to be and, furthermore they never wuz".
     
  17. odie

    odie

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    Bill.......That's cute, but what "wise old philosopher" do you speak of?......or, did you make that up?

    In a limited way, I suppose that philosopher is right, because it's easy to look back on times past through rose-colored glasses, while ignoring that the heart and soul of humanity always did, and always will have an element of dishonest, and dishonorable behavior.

    This is not to disregard that the heart and soul of humanity, from the perspective of many observers, is on the decline. For those of us who recognize traditional ethics, a code of honor, and believe strongly in these things........it's very easy to see that our social fabric is, and has been evolving over a long period of time......Many of us see this as a change, or shift in a basic national character not for the better.

    ooc
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  18. Leslie Walper

    Leslie Walper

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    M42 tool steel

    So is there any advantage to M42 steel? I've not seen it mentioned. With only 1.20% vanadium carbides it's not nearly as hard as 15V (14.50%), but it does have nearly twice the moly (9.50% as well as 8.00% cobalt and 0.45% silicon) of M2 (moly 5.00% Cr 4.15%).

    I know M2 has pretty much become the standard HS steel for several reasons; (1) it works well in a variety of demanding cutting industries, and (2) economy, perhaps being #1.

    With that in mind I see one tool maker marketing M42 tools. They appear to be nice tools and the price is competitive. Is this a marketing strategy or tooling advantage?
     
  19. CindyDrozda

    CindyDrozda

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    My observations about the advantages of M2 turning tools over the same tool in 10V is:

    1 - Economy (well, sometimes) (and, well, maybe)

    2 - Sharpening them properly. Powder metal tools, with their carbide (tungsten or vanadium) content, don't get properly sharpened unless the material used for grinding/sharpening is harder than the carbides. That means CBN (seems to work best), diamond, or ceramic (not as effective in my experience, but better than aluminum oxide). If the turner is sharpening with Aluminum Oxide wheels (the "white" or "pink" ones, OneWay wheels, etc), then I would use M2.

    Maybe #2 is a part of #1 (economy), since the CBN and diamond wheels are more expensive.

    But if 10V stays sharp longer, and is sharpened with a CBN wheel that takes off less metal each time, maybe the 10V ends up being more economical.

    And if the CBN wheels last longer than a wheel that wears down over time, maybe it is also more economical. Remains to be seen on that one. CBN wheels haven't been around long enough to really know.
     
  20. john lucas

    john lucas

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    I don't know. I've been using the thompson V11 gouges for many years now and sharpened them on my 100 grit white wheel and they seem to get just as sharp as the two bowl gouges I have that are high speed steel. One is Henry Taylor and the other is a no name. I don't think either one is M42.
    I am now playing with 2 different sharpening systems. A 1" belt sander with 320 grit and the 180 CBN. Both leave better edges than my white wheel but then they are finer grit. I haven't noticed a difference in sharpeness between the HSS and the Thompsons on these either. Maybe I'll try to figure out some sort of experiment to see if I can prove it one way or the other.
     

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