Carbide lathe tools

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Project by Splitblade posted 08-15-2015 07:17 AM 1249 views 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Wanted a few carbide tools and got sticker shock when I found out they were $100+ per tool, looked into what was needed to make my own, and discovered there really wasn’t that much involved. bought some square stock steel bar pulled in some juniper from the firewood pile (nice purple heartwood) did a little bent wood laminate inlay with walnut veneer and wallah carbide tools. I like them about just as much as my standard lathe tools but they work awesome on rough stock and harder materials (did some antler turnings and couldn’t recommend them more).
Also the handle design was slightly different then others I have seen, I like the flare on the back and thought I would try it, by far most comfortable well balanced turning handle I have ever used and if….more like when I make more, I will most defiantly be duplicating this design.

6 comments so far

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1117 posts in 3668 days

#1 posted 08-15-2015 12:53 PM

They look custom for sure. I’d like to do the same thing, but thinking aluminum stock would also work and be easier to work with, I don’t know. I don’t have the tools to create the cradle areas at the ends to hold the tips.

Nicely done for sure.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View doubleDD's profile


8039 posts in 2280 days

#2 posted 08-15-2015 02:09 PM

Way to go. Saving money and the satisfaction of making your own is a great feeling. They look great.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Julian's profile


1433 posts in 2927 days

#3 posted 08-15-2015 04:28 PM

Looks good. I made a couple of carbide turning tools recently. These home made tools work just as well if not better than the +$130 tools.
Scott; aluminum is too light for a turning tool (IMO). The heavier the better to reduce vibration. Plain carbon steel is not that difficult to cut with a hack saw and files.

-- Julian

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2244 days

#4 posted 08-15-2015 10:22 PM

I use 5/8” aluminum bar stock and it’s working fine. I cut the recess for the carbide bits with a hand file.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View casecx700's profile


9 posts in 1261 days

#5 posted 08-16-2015 03:28 AM

They look great; I just finished my first carbide tool, and just got more metal to make more. Out of curiosity how did you attach the wood handle to the metal?

View Splitblade's profile


86 posts in 1259 days

#6 posted 08-16-2015 06:30 PM

I rounded the end with a file, drilled a hole, drilled a very small hole to allow pressure escape in the side through a piece of blue tape, added epoxy(the filed end was left rough for better hold), pushed in as hard as possible allowing excess air and epoxy leak out of side hole and left to dry. Hole is hard to find since its very small and filled with epoxy. Works great so far.

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