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Posted on Lathe Chisel Recommendation

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148 posts in 2760 days

#1 posted 12-26-2012 05:37 AM

For a starter set either the PSI “Benjamins Best” or better HF set ( are pretty good. The other alternative is to go carbide and get a set of the “easy wood tools” chisels or one of their competitors (hint they aren’t the cheapest, but I’m to lazy to search more at the moment). I’ve never used the easy tools (I have one carbide crook neck from another mnf) but folks who use them seem to like them a lot. The advantage of traditional tools is that they are somewhat more flexible, but you do need to sharpen them more/a LOT (consider you’re cutting something like ~10k feet per hour with a lathe chisel, imagine if your hand plane covered that much wood). Sharpening pretty much requires a grinder (the woodcraft 8” slow speed is semi often on sale for around $100 and is perfectly good). Some of the higher end HSS tools do hold their edge slightly better, but you still have to sharpen them a lot so cheaper chisels to start with until you get your sharpening technique down are imho a smarter move so you don’‘t chew up an 1” of a $100 chisel trying to fix a grinding oops (not that I’ve done that.. but I have this friend see .. ;D)

For traditional starters (if you don’t get a set) I’d recommend: – 1” skew chisel – 3/4” roughing gouge – 3/8” spindle detail gouge – 1/8” parting tool – 1/2” or 5/8” bowl gouge – 1/2” round scraper, maybe a flat scraper as well

I don’t have real suggestions on the carbide, but if you go that route I think you’ll at least also want a parting tool.

You’ll undoubtedly want more before to long :). In case you haven’t figured this out yet the lathe is the cheapest part :D

Also PLEASE PLEASE get a face shield and wear it!!! Another turner was just killed when a piece came off of the lathe and hit him in the face!! :O The Uvex Bionics is priced competitively and works quite well.

+Also if you can please do get some help/training, a local club can likely hook you up with a mentor (or if you are really lucky there is still adult education available at the local HS, but thats sadly becoming vanishingly rare). There are a few major no-no’s that can cause serious and permanent injury very very fast (do not use a spindle gouge on bowls or any other wood where end grain is rotating into the tool, instant and vicious catch; always start with the tool on the rest; and … more).

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