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Carbide Lathe Tools

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Project by Rick M. posted 09-08-2013 03:53 PM 1919 views 8 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Maple handles, 1/2” round bar, copper ferrule, carbide cutters.
Maple handles sanded to 320 and finished with shellac.
Copper sanded to 2000, buffed, then sprayed with shellac.
Cost was around $11 each.

If I do this again, I will use aluminum square bar stock instead of steel.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/





16 comments so far

View THOMRIDER's profile

THOMRIDER

100 posts in 1853 days


#1 posted 09-08-2013 04:41 PM

Excellent job Rick. Probably a lot less expensive than purchasing.

-- Its all about the jigs

View lew's profile

lew

10206 posts in 2540 days


#2 posted 09-08-2013 04:45 PM

Nice Job!!
Will aluminum be strong enough?

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View BBF's profile

BBF

141 posts in 624 days


#3 posted 09-08-2013 05:12 PM

Nice job just remember there is a reason that they don’t make saw blades out of aluminum.

-- I've never been disappointed buying quality but I have been disappointed buying good enough.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4714 posts in 1165 days


#4 posted 09-08-2013 05:27 PM

Should have mentioned, cost was around $11 each.

Aluminum should be plenty strong enough. I’m pretty sure my EWTs are Al, they are definitely too light for steel.

@BBF, these aren’t saw blades.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

2203 posts in 1061 days


#5 posted 09-08-2013 05:32 PM

Great look adding the copper in the handles…nicely done !

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View lew's profile

lew

10206 posts in 2540 days


#6 posted 09-08-2013 05:38 PM

You’re right! Just checked my mini EWT finisher and it is aluminum.

I guess if they can make car engines, airplanes and scuba tanks from aluminum, turning tools should be no problem!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

3881 posts in 792 days


#7 posted 09-08-2013 05:41 PM

Plus if the tool should “snag”... aluminum would BEND where the steel might just take your arm off with it.

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

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

2959 posts in 828 days


#8 posted 09-08-2013 08:29 PM

Awesome job Rick. They look identical, almost store bought. What is your handle length and total length?

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

View Woodbridge's profile

Woodbridge

2941 posts in 1203 days


#9 posted 09-08-2013 08:51 PM

great looking lathe tools.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4714 posts in 1165 days


#10 posted 09-08-2013 09:23 PM

Thanks everyone, my wife thought they were store bought when she first saw them.

doubleDD, uh, not sure, I never bothered to measure them. The steel bar extends ~9” and I’d guess the handle is another 10”. I had a perfect piece of maple and that’s how long it was. One handle is a shade darker but otherwise they are very similar. Once I got the 2nd roughed out I marked it off in 1” intervals and used a parting tool and calipers to set the width at each mark then just blended it in. For future duplicating I’m going to make some lathe fingers someone posted about in another thread.

What I really want to make is a carbide parting tool. I’ve seen them made from old circular saw blades but I don’t have a tool to cut steel that thick (other than a hacksaw).

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4974 posts in 2667 days


#11 posted 09-09-2013 12:46 AM

Very nice Rick.
I bought two bars from Cap’n Eddie and they are really rough. These look so much better.

Good job,
Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Hammerthumb's profile

Hammerthumb

1593 posts in 760 days


#12 posted 09-09-2013 10:21 PM

You make me laugh Rick! When my wife sees a new tool she always asks “When did you buy this?” Don’t know if I can get away with “I made it” with the new compressor I bought though. Great job. They do look store bought!

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View DW833's profile

DW833

83 posts in 667 days


#13 posted 01-19-2015 02:31 AM

Rick,

The tools look great. I’ve heard the EWT tools are a great way to start in WT. I’m hesitant to spend the $ if I can find
something simliar for much lower cost. I’m just starting woodturning and interested in making a set of these.
Haven’t made any tools like this before. Have a few questions about making them.

Since you’ve made these tools, how have they stood up to use? Why would use aluminum square stock instead of round
steel stock. Is it just the metal or the shape (round vs square) that would be better?

In the close up of the end of the tool, it looks like it was shaped for the detailer tip. Did you shape the tip the same
for the rougher? Also, how did you shape the bar so the tip could be screwed to the bar? Was it a dremel?
Noticed you didn’t have a tool with a round tip like the EWT finisher. Did you eventually make one?
Did you make the tips or purchase them.

Thanks for any assistance.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4714 posts in 1165 days


#14 posted 01-19-2015 04:19 AM


...how have they stood up to use?

Why would use aluminum square stock instead of round
steel stock. Is it just the metal or the shape (round vs square) that would be better?

In the close up of the end of the tool, it looks like it was shaped for the detailer tip. Did you shape the tip the same
for the rougher? Also, how did you shape the bar so the tip could be screwed to the bar? Was it a dremel?

Noticed you didn t have a tool with a round tip like the EWT finisher. Did you eventually make one?
Did you make the tips or purchase them.

- DW833

The tools themselves are as good as the day I made them. The cutters have dulled a little bit but not enough that I’ve rotated the blades yet.

I would definitely use square bar. The round wants to spin, square bars resist that. Aluminum vs steel : some believe the aluminum will not be strong enough and will bend, I can’t say. I believe that on a small lathe like mine, the aluminum would be fine. On a bigger lathe (bigger turning blanks) you should probably use steel. The steel is heavy and my maple handles are not dense enough to counterbalance the weight so the tools are very nose heavy. The solution would be using a lighter metal, or running the bar stock all the way through the handle, or making the handles larger of heavier wood. My EWTs have a very light weight bar and magnets don’t like to stick to it, I’m not sure what it is made of.

I shaped the ends with a grinder. They are not form fitted to the cutter like my EWTs but it hasn’t made any difference. Make sure you mark a line equidistant from the bottom of the bar and grind them all to that line. That way the cutters are all at the same height relative to your bar stock and you won’t have to change the height of your tool rest when switching tools. These are very easy to make. I highly recommend you make them instead of buy them. A full set will cost a fraction of one EWT.

I have a round tip EWT which is why I didn’t make one.

The cutters were bought from AZCarbide, they also have an ebay store. I am very happy with them.

My opinion on cutter shapes in general:
Square: Excellent for roughing and good for flats
Round: Good for coves. I can’t get a finishing cut with them though.
Diamond: Good for starting a bead and flattening an end but you have to be very careful, the corners will catch and cause nasty tearout.
Radius: The corners tend to catch badly if you get too aggressive and really tear up a piece of wood. They don’t do anything better than the other cutters and I won’t be buying more.

At some point I will replace the radius cutter above with a square cutter. I might even make a new tool with an aluminum square bar just to test if it’s strong enough.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View DW833's profile

DW833

83 posts in 667 days


#15 posted 01-19-2015 04:42 PM

Rick,

Thanks for the detailed answers. Also, I came across your post on the tools at the ncwoodworker forum. Lived in Raleigh for 4 years. But moved back to FL for the warm weather.

My plans are to start with just one and see how it works out. Plan on using 1/2 square steel.
Have to research the available steel so I can get the right strength. The dimensions for the full size EWT is what I’ll start with for handle and toolbar length.

On instructables.com there is an example of the tools using stainless steel. That guy curved the end of one of the tools so the round cutter is a better fit. Looks good, but I’ll have to see how it goes when grinding the steel on a grinder or dremel. The SS would provide a better appearance for the toolbar. Other than that, not clear on any other advantages to SS over any other steel.

Any suggestions on the heavier wood to use for the handles? I have some scrape white oak and using it since I have it. Have no idea what it is like to turn white oak.

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