Tool Steel

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

  1. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    4,304
    Location:
    Lakeland, Florida
    Home Page:
    Odie,

    I only have the sharpest edge on the first cut. Do you sharpen before every cut? Not sure I understand your post
    I work with an edge as long as it is performing and I monitor performance by feel.

    When I turn a hollow form green wood to finish surface:
    When mount the work. ( and then any time I'm feeling drag either from sap building on the bevel or from a dull edge)
    When I begin the finish cuts ( and then any time I'm feeling drag either from sap building on the bevel or from a dull edge)
    When I begin shear scraping and whenever the edge is not working well.

    I have 3 Thompson gouges. Which are great! They offer advantages for me in two areas
    In roughing large pieces where the bevel won't get gummed up and when I'm turning the inside of a natural edge bowl and stopping to sharpen may allow the bowl to move.

    In most everything else I don't find any difference when I use M2 tools and use them interchangeably with the Thompson.
    They are both cut until they get to a certain dullness or sap buildup on the bevel.

    If I could only have one gouge it would be the thompsons.
    Al
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  2. odie

    odie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,419
    Location:
    Deep in the woods
    What you are not understanding, Brian, is that I've never said, or inferred that my philosophy and ways of doing things is best for everyone, or anyone but myself, and those willing to consider them. This is simply the way you take it. You should understand these things are offered for consideration, but not offered as a better alternative for anyone else, if they are not inclined to agree. They might be worthy of contemplation by others, and if that happens, a few might benefit from a point of view that isn't from the herd, or "main stream" thought.

    This forum is all about a quest for excellence, and the route to that end may not be influenced by what is currently accepted knowledge. The evidence to support alternative thought isn't speculation......it's results in the quality of the cut, and the finished turning.

    Nearly always, a change in accepted knowledge for the better, comes directly from thought that is outside of that which is established. This is not to say that everyone should veer from the well traveled path.....

    Yes, I could have said that with a little less sarcasm, so I would agree that the comment was out of line......and, for that, I apologize.

    However, the point of that remark is right on target, and justified, as Brian draws instant conclusions that are not well founded. This time, making an assumption that I haven't tried other steels than M2, when if he had been following the information in the thread, he'd have known otherwise.

    ooc
     
  3. hu lowery

    hu lowery

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    485
    Location:
    Roseland LA USA
    in reaching a conclusion things can go south with one assumption


    The issue with your line of reasoning is there is no reason to think the underlined assumption is true, just the opposite in fact. You have settled on M2, an advanced steel. If the assumption is correct your line of reasoning should take you further and further down the line of steels, hi-carbon, all the way to low carbon steel or below. Low carbon steel will take a wicked edge, gone in an instant. After that it dulls rapidly so you might get only a few seconds use before resharpening to that best edge again. I wouldn't be surprised if you got that perfect edge eight or ten times for every time you are getting it with M2 steel.

    I agree that regardless of material used, unless there is a ceramic or something that I'm not familiar with that flakes away as you cut and maintains an edge, the maximum sharpness is destroyed in an instant. So now we are talking about each person's acceptable sharpness standard. It really doesn't matter what that is for this discussion as long as we accept the more reasonable assumption that whatever their sharpness standard is, it remains just that, a standard. Just because I'm using a ceramic bonded miracle tool I'm still not going to keep cutting when it is dull and when making most cuts I am going to stop before it is noticeably dull. I have to admit a dislike of using up tool metal in early roughing, I tend to make something round with one resharpening of my M2 tool at most unless it is obviously dull or I am getting bad tearout due to wood quality.

    Without making the assumption that everyone's standard of acceptable sharpness will change when using different steels there may be no quality advantage in using anything from hi-carbon steel to A-10 or better. However, I'm going to grant that with the modern machinery decent M2 is about the bottom metal for practical use.

    Looking at M2 and a material that dulls three times as slowly lets compare usage and see what happens. As a baseline, lets say we get 30 seconds of fine cut from M2, 30 seconds of cut that is acceptable for anything but final passes, and another 30 seconds for early roughing in the particular wood. The tool metal that dulls three times slower gives us 90 seconds of fine cut, 90 seconds of generally acceptable for anything but final passes cut, and 90 seconds of acceptable sharpness for roughing. The only quality gain from the M2 is three instants of maximum sharpness instead of one. After those initial instants we have the same amounts of usable sharpness if we grind the "superior" metal once or the M2 three times.

    Speculation on my part, but I suspect that we are actually more inclined to sharpen the higher grade steel when we should since we have to do it far less often. If the steel dulls three times slower I can sharpen twice while I would have to sharpen M2 three times, save sharpening time and more importantly to me, cut the interruptions in my work flow. I can sharpen less and increase my standard of acceptable sharpness too, win/win. Using my above numbers I can get 90 seconds of actual cutting between sharpenings going all the way to minimum acceptable sharpeness out of the M2 or I can get 180 seconds of the better grades of sharpness from the steel that dulls more slowly. Half the sharpenings and using a better overall edge.

    Don't get hung up on my phases of sharpness and times, they are just conditions and numbers plugged in. Less confusing than if I just used letters for variables and this gives a finite framework to work with. If we simply accepted sharpness as go/no go the basic results would be the same.

    A guy on another type of forum years ago had access to an electron microscope. If we could look at the edges of the various steels during the "dulling curve" under that kind of magnification we might reach totally different conclusions. Intuitively I feel that the wonder metal and the M2 will each dull at consistent rates although it will be in a curve if compared to time, the blunter something is the slower it dulls more. However, empirical evidence might prove intuition wrong.

    Hu
     
  4. odie

    odie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,419
    Location:
    Deep in the woods
    Actually not, Hu......

    I have used carbon steel, as well as steels which hold an edge longer than M2 does. I'm using M2, because it holds an edge for a reasonable amount of use, and has properties that best suit my philosophy. I sharpen before I see obvious indications that it's in need of sharpening, because that's what maintains the standard of cut I require. In effect, I am using a fine degree of sharpness at all times, but admittedly, do renew the edge more often than most turners would.

    A point I tried to express, is there is a overall mindset which inspires those to require ever-increasing edge longevity provided by higher grades of steel. This is what prompts some to extend their use beyond the degree of sharpness where I would have already resharpened using M2.

    ooc
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  5. Brian McInturff

    Brian McInturff

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    303
    Odie,
    I guess the term I should've used is "others mileage may Vary". Might I suggest you incorporate that into your "philosophies".
     
  6. robo hippy

    robo hippy

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,864
    Location:
    Eugene, OR
    I do use a freshly sharpened tool for my finish cuts and shear scrapes, which are finish cuts that remove tool marks. It really makes a bid difference here. Other than that, for roughing, as long as the tool is fairly sharp, and you are not setting off the smoke alarm, it does not make any real difference. Finish cuts make it clean, and roughing cuts are for shaping. I do use scrapers for my roughing cuts, which to many is in the 'I may be crazy, but I'm nuts' category. Works for me.

    robo hippy
     
  7. KellyDunn

    KellyDunn

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    Messages:
    361
    Location:
    Hawi, Hawaii
    Home Page:
    This has been a very good read.
    thanks Cindy for starting it.
    The two side pieces to go look at I think on the 1st page are very good and I think worth anyones time to take a look.
    My input on this has been stated by others.
    But I am going to kind of steal this thread and start a new one in my Kelly kind of way.
    thanks for everyones comments. And its always good when the humor patrol jumps in now and again. A tounge tan. Funny.
     
  8. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    4,304
    Location:
    Lakeland, Florida
    Home Page:
    Odie,

    Can you explain your sharpening criteria.

    Mine is:
    I sharpen when I begin to feel a drag the tool. This is caused either by the bevel getting gummed up or by the edge losing sharpness.
    I can still get a reasonable surface but the tool is saying "sharpen me" so I do. A trip to the grinder sharpens the edge and cleans the bevel.
    I also sharpen before any finishing cut.

    Are we doing essentially the same thing or do you have a way of predicting the last cut before you sense a lack of sharpness.
     
  9. hu lowery

    hu lowery

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    485
    Location:
    Roseland LA USA
    could be you are right

    Could be you are right about people trying to stretch things, doesn't really match the philosophy I have used for doing anything. Machining I used a lot of high speed steel and a lot of carbide. I sharpened or tossed either one just as quickly when I felt greater load on the dial or saw any change in cut. My thought has always been consumables are just that, I'm not going to waste thirty minutes time to save a four dollar twist drill.

    A chuckle along those lines, I hired a new shop foreman when I owned a body shop. This was a hands on job and the first day or two I noticed he used a sheet of sandpaper on a DA sander for thirty or forty-five minutes before changing it. Once I was sure that was his standard practice I told him he was wasting time, change the paper when it was dull! He said his last boss was just the opposite and fussed every time he changed a sheet out. Does take all kinds I reckon. I have always figured time was money and no sense wasting time when there is a more efficient way to get the same or better result.

    I guess my perspective and practices are why it seems odd that someone would buy a high dollar tool and then use it less effectively than a comparatively cheap tool. If the advertisers claims are true which is always a pretty big if, we should be able to get the best of both worlds with the fancy grade steel, less sharpening and a sharper edge in use.

    Hu
     
  10. odie

    odie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,419
    Location:
    Deep in the woods
    Hello Brian.......

    You know......I really did believe I had expressed that exact sentiment, but didn't use the same words (YMMV) to convey the message. I try to choose my words carefully, but I guess it just isn't possible to prevent everyone from drawing conclusions that I didn't intend.

    ooc

    Yeah, pretty much, Al.......

    Although I do get to the point where there are physical indications that a gouge should be sharpened (feel of the tool, quality of the cut through end grain, soft spots, erratic grain, knots, worm holes, etc.), I try to not let the edge get to that point of dullness before I am re-sharpening. (When I reference "re-sharpening", I'm also including re-honing in that statement, in addition to returning the tool back to the grinder.

    For me, this is an acquired sense of timing that tells me I should re-sharpen, and is the result of concentrating effort to that exact purpose......not an accidental thing. Of course, this same concept could be applied to those who wish to upgrade to steels that hold an edge for a longer period of time, but M2 gives me the results I require, and I am comfortable with those results. (YMMV). This concept can, and does vary between different species of wood, and different pieces of the same species.....as well as size, shape, rpm, etc. It isn't fool proof with the first cut, but with a few initial cuts, one can get a pretty good idea where that boundary lies with any individual piece of wood.

    In many ways, you, I, and many other turners are living in parallel universes, with some exceptions due to individuality, style, technique, and tool choices.

    ooc
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013

Share This Page