LumberJocks

Compact size works well on smaller lathe *updated*

  • Advertise with us
Review by Rick M. posted 01-31-2013 06:23 PM 2740 views 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Compact size works well on smaller lathe *updated* No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Easy Start tools are the entry level carbide lathe tools by Easy Wood Tools. With a 9” maple handle and 3/8” cutter the Easy Start are 3-1/2” shorter than the Mini series. The rougher comes with the Ci2 square cutter while the finisher comes with the Ci3 round carbide. Cost was $59 each + tax.

I debated which tools to buy for a long time, in the end two things swung my decision:
1) I wouldn’t have to sharpen another tool. I already have planes, chisels, knives, etc.; enough to sharpen. If I could get away with not sharpening I was going to try it.
2) Made in USA. I considered a number of alternate brands and even making my own but in the end I decided to support an American company.

The square tool is the rougher and it works well for that. In a month of use I’ve already dulled one cutting edge but I was pretty tough on it wanting to know just how durable it would be. I’ve debarked a few turning pieces, cut through knots and accidentally tapped the spinning metal stuff a few times (this chipped the blade). The round tool is supposedly a finisher but I can’t get a very smooth cut with it, that might be my inexperience. The round tool is fantastic at roughing though and peels away wood fast. An odd thing that happens once in a while, mostly with the square cutter, is that it stops cutting. I clear the dust from the tip, double check my angle is straight but it just rides the surface. At some point it will suddenly cut again. If anyone has insight on what I might be doing wrong, please let me know.

Update – I still can’t get a smooth finish with the round ‘finisher’ but it works very well for coves and the inside of bowls. And whatever my problem was with the square sometimes not cutting must have just been inexperience with the tool because it hasn’t happened in a long time.

Many years ago I had a class working on Delta lathes with high speed tools, it was mostly spindle work but we did some end grain cutting. The neatest project I did was a balero, or cup and ball game, which included spindle turning, end grain cutting and turning a ball. Based on memory, the carbide cutters do not cut as cleanly as sharp HSS. I find myself doing a lot of sanding after the carbide cutters to remove tear-out. It’s possible the woods I have used are partly to blame… in the last month or so I’ve turned construction pine & fir, air dried spalted maple, green spalted maple, kiln dried padauk & walnut, and air dried holly. The maple and pine had the worst tear out but everything so far has required extensive sanding.

Update – After making my own carbide tools I’ve realized the carbides on my EWTs were dull. I don’t know if it was just a bad batch but they were definitely dull compared to the carbides I bought off ebay and they haven’t held an edge well either so I’ve downgraded the rating.

Summary:
Fit and finish: 5-Outstanding
Ergonomics: 4.5-Excellent, (size is good for my 7×12 lathe but the 9” handle is a bit cramped)
Cutter smoothness: 3-Good
Cutter durability: 2-Poor

Unfortunately the detailer is not available as an Easy Start and they don’t offer a parting tool. I’m not convinced the detailer is worth $90 so I will end up buying a HSS skew and parting tool.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|




View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3937 posts in 1030 days



16 comments so far

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2833 posts in 898 days


#1 posted 01-31-2013 07:40 PM

As far as the “not cutting”, think of the rougher kind of like a parting tool. You need to find the bevel. As you turn the piece down, you may have to take your toolrest down (I know I usually do). When you don’t want a parting tool to cut, you can do this on purpose by rubbing the bevel to see where your part will be. Then you decrease the angle of the tool and it starts cutting. You can’t decrease the angle of the rougher though – only adjust the height.

Also, contrary to what a lot of people will have you believe, these inserts are not disposable. Get yourself a decent diamond stone. When you are ready to chuck the insert, rub it on the stone with the flat side down. Unless you have nicks, you will have a fresh cutting edge.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3937 posts in 1030 days


#2 posted 01-31-2013 07:59 PM

My experiments with adjusting the tool height anywhere but centered didn’t work out well. Too low and I get a lot of catches, too high and the tool won’t cut. Probably my issue with not cutting is related to having the tool angled and not realizing it even though I think I’m level. Thanks for the tip on the diamond stone, I’ll shop around for one.

It occurs to me that a traditional tool rest is not really ideal for this style of cutter. A traditional rest is designed for adjusting the bevel but a wider rest would be beneficial with carbide tools.

One other thing I should have mentioned in the review. The chips really fly off this thing. At faster speeds I get a bunch of little cuts on my fingers or hand, like paper cuts. I’m definitely looking into a little lexan shield that attaches to the tool or maybe making one from plexi.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View Kreegan's profile

Kreegan

1452 posts in 796 days


#3 posted 01-31-2013 08:09 PM

I have one of Cap’n Eddie’s carbide tools, with the same cutters you have, the flat rougher and round finisher. I’ve found with the rougher that I get the best results with the tool rest set below center and holding the tool approximately 3-5 degrees angled down. I have a set of round tool rests from PSI and they definitely seem to work best for these tools, much better than your traditional angled style tool rests.

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2833 posts in 898 days


#4 posted 01-31-2013 08:23 PM

I was going to say the same thing. Slightly south of center. If you have a tool rest that is angled up, it’s not doing you a lot of favors with the rougher. Either a flat rest or a round bar is much better.

Just remember the tool is cutting when the wood strikes the top the cutter. If you are hitting the bevel on the bottom of the cutter head it is just going to rub.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2833 posts in 898 days


#5 posted 01-31-2013 08:48 PM

Also you don’t need to spend a fortune on diamond stones. This set is really all you need and it’s $23

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2005910/18131/DMT-Dia-Sharp-25-Diamond-Offset-Mini-hone,-Kit.aspx

I use the fine (it comes with coarse, fine, and extra fine). They are handy to have anyway for sharpening forstner bits and other small sharp stuff.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3937 posts in 1030 days


#6 posted 02-01-2013 03:13 AM

Rich, you like the Cap’n Eddie tool as much as the Easy Wood? Or have you tried them both? I looked at those but the website and ordering options were a bit confusing.

Unfortunately I can’t easily adjust my tool post height. It’s a shop made rest and I have to add or remove spacers for adjustment.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View Kreegan's profile

Kreegan

1452 posts in 796 days


#7 posted 02-05-2013 03:06 PM

I have not used the full sized Easy Wood tools, but have use their mini ones that are intended for pens and such at a Rockler demo. The EWT tools definitely have more polish and finish and look more professional, but the ones from Cap’n Eddie cut just as well. I agree that the way his products are listed on the site is confusing. I ended up buying his 44 Magnum kit, comes with the rougher and smoother cutters and a bar, then I just turned a handle for it and epoxied the bar in.

View ScrubPlane's profile

ScrubPlane

187 posts in 845 days


#8 posted 04-21-2013 12:32 AM

Thanks to those who posted regarding sharpening the bits…I bought this line simply because my skills at sharpening, although improving, are limited to chisels and plane blades.

That said…does anyone know if there is a ‘off line’ of manufacturers for the EWT cutters???

thanks…

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2833 posts in 898 days


#9 posted 04-22-2013 12:23 AM

These really couldn’t be any easier to sharpen. Buy this for 10$.

Remove your cutter.
Place it upside down on the diamond hone (so the flat part is touching the hone)
Rub it back and forth 3 times (6 strokes)
Reinstall in the tool and enjoy the 21$ you just saved.

I am now on my 6th sharpening for my rougher insert and I still have plenty more to go

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3937 posts in 1030 days


#10 posted 09-15-2013 04:24 AM

Joe, I ended up buying a diamond hone but haven’t tried sharpening the carbide yet. Will try it very soon though.

Review updated. I downgraded the tools because the carbides were definitely dull.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3937 posts in 1030 days


#11 posted 12-19-2013 02:53 AM

So I did sharpen the square cutter on the diamond plate and it cut better but is still not what I would consider “sharp”. I placed it top down and ran it back and forth with my finger, I did not try to sharpen the angled edges.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2833 posts in 898 days


#12 posted 12-19-2013 03:02 AM

did you lubricate it with water? It makes a big difference. Carbide is nasty and dirty. the ground off carbide will turn your fine stone into extra coarse if you don’t wash the shavings away

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3937 posts in 1030 days


#13 posted 12-19-2013 08:24 AM

No I didn’t. Someone had told me not to use oil and I didn’t even think of using water. I’ll give it a good scrubbing with water and a toothbrush and try again sometime.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2833 posts in 898 days


#14 posted 12-19-2013 09:45 PM

also be sure to cover the whole top in sharpie. keep sharpening until the sharpie is gone

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3937 posts in 1030 days


#15 posted 12-19-2013 10:54 PM

Yeah I did that, it only took seconds to scour the top to a bright new surface.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase