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Vanadiam vs HSS

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Paul M. Kaplowitz, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. Paul M. Kaplowitz

    Paul M. Kaplowitz

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    We had a demonstrator at our club who said he didn't like tools like Thompson's because the steel wouldn't slide as smoothly as high speed along the tool rest. He also claimed HSS cut better. I never noticed any difference. How about y'all?
     
  2. odie

    odie

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    Cut better?

    Paul, that demonstratior would have a hard time convincing me that, given the same degree of sharpness, one will cut better by virtue of the grade of steel. Certainly, some will wear faster, and others will sharpen easier......but an edge, is an edge, is an edge! If it's sharp, it's sharp, and that's the only thing that matters. :D

    I prefer M2 steel myself. It may require sharpening more often than some of the other steels, but it grinds and hones very easily with the right equipment. If your sharpening/honing skills are developed, then quick sharpening is far preferable to sharpening less but using a more difficult steel to sharpen. (I realize there is disagreement, and some prefer the better edge holding ability of the harder steels. It's strictly my opinion that ease of sharpening is a good trade-off.)

    Don't know if anyone else here has actually purchased a 3M deburring wheel and tried it out, but when used to polish the surfaces on both tool shafts and tool rests, the sliding capability of any tool on the rest can be improved greatly. For anyone interested in knowing more about this process, click on this link to a previous thread:

    http://www.aawforum.org/vbforum/showthread.php?t=9932

    ooc
     
  3. Alan Trout

    Alan Trout

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    I agree that sharpening the high vanadium content steels is more difficult on conventional AO wheels but with the modern CBN wheels they get just as sharp and are easy to sharpen. Far as sliding on the tool rest, I notice no difference between the two steels on my Robust rest.

    While I have both HSS and A11 steel tools I prefer the A11 as I turn very abrasive materials most of the time. Tool edge holding does make a difference for me.
     
  4. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I have 3/8" dia Thompson bowl gouge I use for finishing and hollowing small openings. Love this tool.
    Never had any issue with it not sliding smoothly
    I have a Michaelson grind on it.

    I have 7 bowl gouges, 5/8" bars, five m2, two Thompson.
    The number is for when I have classes. I usually take 4-5 gouges when I do demos so I can have a sharp tool when I want one.
    I don't notice any difference in the performance of the tools.

    I consider the M2 steel a better value.
    If I am turning a bowl I always sharpen when I:
    Begin the outside, before my finish cut, before I shear scrape, before I cut the rim, before I do my finish cut on the inside.
    At a minimum I sharpen 4 times. I may sharpen more often. Basically I don't think the other gouges outlast the M2 by their cost differential.


    Work safely
    Al
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
  5. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

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    Name game. What's HSS? It's carbon steel alloyed with other metals to modify its characteristics. High Speed should really be called High Feed, because that's what they were designed to do - allow machining of metals at high rates of feed - by improving heat resistance. Overall speed of operation is less, so fair enough.

    M is for Molybdenum, and it improves red hardness and wear resistance in the M steels. Mo is used because Tungsten, which does the same, is used elsewhere, where its higher cost is better justified. T1 was the "original" HSS, I guess.

    V is for Vanadium, and Vanadium alloys have a very fine grain structure. Vanadium carbides are fine, and unaffected by high heat hardening, making for a more durable edge. I suspect that modern PM steels will be about the same, taking advantage of the process over the alloy.

    Do we need better red hardness to cut wood? Given the low ignition temperature of the material, guess the answer is no. Mo for better wear resistance wouldn't hurt, but it doesn't hand hone as easily as carbon steel, so we sacrifice a bit of sharp by taking it from wheel to work directly. Sharp is not as critical in turning, as it is in carving or planing, because with the right tool we can present the edge so that the cut is not across it, but along it. We don't use other alloying elements like Co which promote hardness at the cost of durability, or other weird stuff like Al.

    We also don't need exotic abrasives to sharpen tools. Reshape, maybe, but the aim of sharpening should be to remove the least amount of metal in the proper place to reconstitute the edge.

    As always, anyone who supports your favorite theory is correct. The above is only science.
     
  6. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    If anything is causing the Thompson tools to slide less easily across the tool rests, it might be the black coating that is on them. The only real difference I have noticed on tools sliding across the tool rests is the rests them selves. I really don't like cast metals when compared to the drill rod. Cast is like very fine abrasives (1000 grit range maybe), and drill rod feels almost frictionless. Hmm, now, I might have to go out to the shop and remove all the black from one of my tools. I do remember some saying when Kel McNaughton started using that black on his coring blades that they didn't slide as well.

    I do remember hearing that HSS will take a better edge than the 10 and 15 V metals. That theory seems to have been modified to 'you can get comparable sharpness with just about any steel, it is just easier to get there with high carbon steels than it is with the fancy powder metals and alloys'. I still prefer a fresh edge for my finish cuts. You can cut for a lot longer before setting off the smoke alarm with the fancy metals. I never hone, just not worth the time and effort. By learning how to free hand sharpen, there is no time wasted in setting up a jig, and I can touch up an edge as easily as any hone. Thing to remember is we grind to shape an edge. We sharpen by gently kissing the cutting edge, and that removes almost no metal. It has take me years to not just learn this, but to actually practice it. I do tend to be heavy handed.

    robo hippy
     
  7. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

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    If you want your tools to glide over the rest, use a rest that has a wear-point of hardened steel. Robust rests are one example, the goal-post rest on the Kobra Hollowing System is another. A hard steel moving across a softer cast rest will most always feel sticky, and it won't take much use before that top surface of the casting is full of tiny [and not-so-tiny] dents and dings from the hard tool shaft bouncing with any vibration in the cut, making it even harder to move laterally.

    The black oxide coating on Doug's tool shafts (like Jordan's and others) should make no difference on a hardened steel rod rest.

    Since Robo mentioned drill rod, note should be made here that drill rod material is sold "annealed" and must be hardened to get the maximum benefit.
     
  8. Dale Miner

    Dale Miner

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    The 'high speed' designation comes from being able to perform with higher surface speeds. Before HSS tooling, it was common practice to 'broad nose' with a shallow depth of cut and a high rate of feed per revolution to get a reasonable surface finish. High speed tooling allowed for higher rpm's (surface speed) without softening of the tooling from heat from the cutting action. By enabling the use of more rpm's, the 'broad nose' practice fell from use, and slower feed rates with more rpm's became the norm for obtaining surface quality with reasonable production rates. Engine lathes built after the introduction of HSS were designed with higher rpm ranges to take advantage of the ability of HSS to perform with higher surface speeds.

    Another advantage of HSS was/is higher abrasion resistance compared to carbon steel tooling. HSS tooling stayed sharp longer with less edge breakdown.

    I have both HSS and Vanadium alloy tooling (Thompson) and haven't noticed any difference in how the tools slide on the rest. I have noticed that the mild steel shafting in hollowing tools takes more effort to slide, and wax the shafting and rest when hollowing. I do have a tool rest made from a chrome plated hydraulic cylinder rod, and tooling slides over it noticeably easier than cast iron or mild steel rests.
     
  9. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Well, I went out to the shop and took the wire wheel to the backs of 2 of my Thompson tools, and one HSS one. It did take some of the black off the Thompson tools, and maybe, it felt a tiny bit smoother than the part that I didn't hit with the wheel. Same results with the HSS tool. If there is any different friction component, you would need very sensitive instruments to be able to measure it.

    robo hippy
     
  10. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Or much more sensitive hands than I have.

    I don't feel any difference but I keep tool rests in good shape and carry a file in my demo kit.

    I occasionally get some wood juice on my gouges and that will definitely be a drag! :)
    A fine sand paper gets it off.
    I haven't noticed this on my black ones but I suppose any sap or water spray might stick to the black more than the bare metal.

    Al
     
  11. Steve Worcester

    Steve Worcester Admin Emeritus

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    What he said.. The big difference for me is how often I have to sharpen. Doug's tools last longer and less sharpening.
    Maybe I don't have the feel he does? We all approach it differently, perhaps I am a bit more brutal?
     
  12. KellyDunn

    KellyDunn

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    I tend to take 320 grit paper to a new or sappy gouge. For the new its to slight dull the very sharp inside the flute edge and to polish the bottom. I can get drag from any tool depending on the cut I am trying to make. I then grab a piece of candle wax and rub the top of the rest and sometimes the bottom of the tool. Smooth as silk. My tool rests are steel. Roughing I dont care. Finishing, the wax gives me a very nice flowing surface. Other than that BS on what the demo person said.
     
  13. odie

    odie

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    Hi Mark......

    I agree with everything you've said above, with one addition.

    Yes, absolutely, the Robust rests with their hardened top surface add to the smoothness of the sliding contact between rest and tool shaft. I noticed that immediately when I first purchased some Robust rests. I'd like to add that the hardened rod can be made better by polishing it with the 3M deburr wheel.

    The 3M deburr wheel makes a much more noticeable difference with steel, and especially cast tool rests, but nevertheless, there is some improvement with the hardened top surface of the Robust rests, as well. I'm discussing in terms of degree here, so the improvement may be less with the Robust rests, but still well worth the effort to do the polishing on them.

    ooc
     

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    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
  14. Gretch Flo

    Gretch Flo

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    odie's photos

    En Garde!!! Dueling turning tools!!!!! :D Gretch
     
  15. odie

    odie

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    Heh,heh,heh........:D

    Well, you do have "vision", Gretch! :cool2:

    It would be interesting how you interpret Freudian ink spots!

    ooc
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
  16. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

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    Hey Yo this is a family forum.

    Keep them dirty pitchers to yourself!

    ps: Them blotches ain't Freudian, but what you see in'em is.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
  17. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    I've been using Dougs tools since they came out. I regularly switch back and forth between a HSS tool and one of Dougs and I'll be darn if I can tell any difference in the way the slide on all of my tool rests. Maybe his tool rests aren't polished.
    I used the Thompson tools for many years with AO wheels with no problems. Plenty sharp. I've now been sharpening then on the CBN wheel and 320 grit belt sander. They naturally get sharpen since the CBN is 180 grit and the belt is of course 320. Near as I can tell they get just as sharp as any tool i have, carbon, HSS or Particle metal like the Thompsons. I did a test one day my many skews. I have them from all sorts of steels. They all get sharp enough to easily shave hair. I could not tell a difference other than the ones that were sharpened at a narrower angle would cut through paper easier.
    The extra Vanadium that you can get into the particle metal tools increases their wear resistance which gives longer life between sharpenings. I didn't realize how much longer they hold an edge until I had to turn a bunch of aluminum for a customer. On my HSS tools I had to sharpen 2 or 3 times for each disc I turned. I usually turned at least 1 or two discs before the Thompson needed sharpening.
     
  18. Gretch Flo

    Gretch Flo

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    Freudian ink spots

    I wouldn't dare let anyone "test" me-might get incarcerated!!!!;) Gretch
     
  19. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

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    "Can't go to jail for what you're thinking" ;)
     
  20. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    "your the one that showed me all the sexy pictures" That's the punch line if you know that joke. :)
     
  21. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

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    Same joke, slightly different punch line.:D
     
  22. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I must have cut class when Freudian Ink Spots were being covered.

    The only ink spot test that I recall from PSY 101 was developed by Rorschach. The only thing that I remember about S. Freud was that that he expanded the envelope of what it meant to be a Dirty Old Man.
     
  23. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

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    You were either listening in class or got good notes, eh?:D
     
  24. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

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    As opposed to a clean Jung man.
     
  25. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    According to Dr. Isaac Asimov in his tongue-in-cheek book, "The Sensuous Dirty Old Man", being a "dirty old man" is a far better alternative for well being and longevity than merely being just an "old man" and more respectable than being a "dirty man". The book was a parody of pop psychology books of the time with similar sounding titles.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
  26. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    Great, I'm going to live forever. :)
     
  27. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

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    I'm S.O.L.; gonna die before I get old.

    Dirty Rules, however!
     

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