Making a few tools for the wood lathe #1: Metal working for the wood lathe

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Blog entry by Bob #2 posted 08-27-2007 04:11 PM 2098 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Making a few tools for the wood lathe series Part 2: Phase 2 - refining the blanks »

I never seem to have the right tool for the job at hand and most are easy to make if you have a few tools.
I use a power hacksaw and or a dedicated Beaver table saw to cut/grind out a pattern then refine that on the bench with a power grinder.
The pieces are made from “01” tool steel and tempered after the refining process to keep a decent edge for turning
I will try to add pictures as I progress with these tools to show you all the steps.
The metal is prepacked in 3 foot lengths and usually gives me enough material for up to 4 tools with tangs.
I have been buying it at a franchise store called Metal Supermarket.

You can search the web for one nearest you if you get the bug.


Here is a picture of the cut off disk I prefer and a tang that was cut with on of them with my cut off saw.
Ask for these by name at a welding shop or similar. They are tougher and last longer than other brands I have used.


Dont use them in your tablesaw for fear of igniting the wood dust.
I have a separate old saw I use just for this cutting and slicing
I recently aquired this little metal bandsaw which has really been a good investment for me.
I seem to use it more and more now that it’s so handy. Bolts, bars, slots and all kinds of things that just come up around the house and shop and have no easy solutions.

Cost me about the same as a couple of batteries for my electric drill. (smile)
It has a small attachment that allows me to use it vertically for cutting stock like a conventional bandsaw.
p.s. that way I could have avoided the nicks at the ends of the cut on the tangs shown here.



-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

6 comments so far

View ThreeJs's profile


84 posts in 3357 days

#1 posted 08-27-2007 04:53 PM

So what will you use these 2 tools for. I am still new at turning, so am not as familiar with some of the tools available. The top one strikes me as a rounded parting tool, which could simplify cutting coves. Not sure what the bottom tool is for..

BTW. They look very nice. (One more thing to add to the to do list)

-- David, Charlotte NC

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 3439 days

#2 posted 08-27-2007 05:44 PM

Hi Dave:
The top one is a type of skew and gouge combo that I want to use for spindles.
Spindles look best when the shapes are cut sharp and clean. The tool used flat should work O.K. for cuting end grain for boxes and the like.
The other “bowie knife shape” is going to be a large HD parting tool letting me reach farther off the tool rest with large bowls and removing tenons from the foot.
I am always afraid I’m going to warp the small tool I am using around my arm one of these days if I get a catch.
This should at least postpone the event. <g>
It will probably make more sense when I finish the next segment of the blog.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 3664 days

#3 posted 08-27-2007 07:05 PM

I’ve found the curved skew to be one o the most effective tools in my arsenal besides my termite. It does’nt grab like a regular skew, you can just do a lot more with them. Nice idea, jockmike.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 3454 days

#4 posted 08-30-2007 05:06 AM

Amazing, Bob! Just great!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Karson's profile


35032 posts in 3818 days

#5 posted 08-30-2007 05:30 AM

Nice Bob. I’ve got a power hacksaw. I’ve owned it for 35 years. It doesn’t do the vertical though. I wish it did.

They are a nice tool. I use a cutting stick to lubricate the teeth. Are you using something like that?

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 3439 days

#6 posted 08-30-2007 03:34 PM

Hi Karson.
I haven’t used a cutting stick. this model has roller bearings for guides and anything sticky gums them up pretty quickly.
I just run cutting oil on the blade during the cut from a squeeze bottle. The bigger machines now have auto oilers which seem a bit messy.
I built a pan under the blade to catch the dripped oil on a paper towel and just turf it when I m finished.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

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