As The Lathe Turns #19: Why Buy When You Can Make?

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Blog entry by William posted 03-18-2013 10:56 PM 1136 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 18: Trying Something Different With The Next Glueup Part 19 of As The Lathe Turns series Part 20: My First Pen From A Kit »

Since I decided I wanted to turn, I’ve learned how to use a variety of tools. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert at any of them, but I’m learning. I’m also learning what I like and what I don’t like. For example, I don’t like my parting tool. The tool I have works great. I don’t like it because it removes too much material. You see, a lot of times I’m already limited on how thick the material is when I start. I don’t want to have to account for, or have to remove, as much as my parting tool takes. To me, it’s just sort of a waste.
This I guess wouldn’t bother some people, but I am a wood hoarder and want to save those little pieces of my better woods to do other things with. I have seen these thin parting tools in catalogues and online and thought to myself that these would be the way to go. I just had an idea that I’d like them better. There is a problem though. Money is tight. Lately, when I do get the opportunity to spend some money, I prefer to get other things besides tools that I may or may not like.
Then I seen this video by Captain Eddie. He shows how to make a very similar tool using a reciprocating saw blade. Everyone knows I would always prefer to make my own tools when I can anyway, so I just had to make one of these as soon as I got the chance.

I made mine a tad different than Captain Eddies, but the same principle. I handled the blade part just as he showed in the video. However, I did drill holes through the blade. If you don’t have some very good drill bits to cut through a blade like this, he shows in the video how to make it without drilling holes through it. It take good sharp bits, and drilling oil to cut through these type blades without burning your drill bits up. Also, I turned a round handle for mine instead of the style he shows. It all works on the same principle though.
I think it looks good. Some of you may be asking about now though, William, who cares how it looks, does it work good?

It works GREAT!
This was just a piece of scrap I pulled out of the fire wood pile to test my new tool on. I turned it round. Then, as you can see, I went almost through it in several places, and then completely through it, remounted, and through it again. I was just playing around to make sure it was worth the little bit of work I put into it. Based on the prices I seen for thin parting tools, it was well worth the trouble.
So now I know I like the thin parting tool better than the two other, thicker, parting tools I own. However, why would I buy one? I made one.

If any of you would like to see some of Captain Eddie’s videos, here is a link to his YouTube channel. Go check his videos out. He offers a lot of tips, advice, and enough humor thrown in that it’s always a pleasure to watch.


7 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile


5547 posts in 1416 days

#1 posted 03-18-2013 11:15 PM

Eddie’s videos are good. I have watched several of them. Looks like he has the lowest prices on the carbide stuff too. Although, I have yet to try the carbide tools. They do spark my interest.

View William's profile


9325 posts in 1660 days

#2 posted 03-18-2013 11:46 PM

I will eventually try carbide, and Capt. Eddie seems the way to go for someone like me. You can buy the cutters from him and he shows you how to make the tools to hold the cutters in his videos. This saves a lot of money over the prices I’ve seen anywhere else.
I’m especially interested in his “snake” cutting system. If you get a chance, check it out. It can be built out of material from the local hardware store, buy some cutters from Capt. Eddie, and you’re ready to go.


View William's profile


9325 posts in 1660 days

#3 posted 03-18-2013 11:49 PM

You can go here, about a quarter way down the page is the video about the snake hollowing system. You can buy it from him or make it yourself.


View DIYaholic's profile (online now)


15681 posts in 1493 days

#4 posted 03-19-2013 12:22 AM

I went and checked out the “Cap’n Eddie” video links. Great info/ideas and all for FREE. No wonder you like him sooo much!!! He’d rather build than buy also. I’ll be checking out more of his videos, for sure!!!

BTW: nice job on your shop made thin parting tool!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View William's profile


9325 posts in 1660 days

#5 posted 03-19-2013 12:40 AM

Watch him whenever you get a chance Randy.
Watch enough and you’ll see a lot of his videos have entertainment value as well as useful info.


View clieb91's profile


3356 posts in 2753 days

#6 posted 03-21-2013 02:44 AM

I really like the Cap’n Videos and I have a few old blades put aside to make one of these tools but have not gotten to it. thanks for the reminder.
Looks like your turned out well and works great.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View William's profile


9325 posts in 1660 days

#7 posted 03-21-2013 03:12 AM

I’ve used it a few times in actual practice now clieb, and it does work great.
Also, I forgot to take pictures, but today I made Capt’s depth gauge (3/8” drill bit in a handle that he drilled to depth of a bowl with) today. It works great as well. I’ll try to remember to do a write up on that soon.


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