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Forum topic by SuperCubber posted 10-25-2015 10:56 PM 2004 views 0 times favorited 43 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SuperCubber

870 posts in 1750 days


10-25-2015 10:56 PM

Hey folks,

I’m on the verge of getting into turning a bit more. I’ve used a buddy’s lathe a few times, and had a great time. I’ve started looking at all the accessories that go along with turning, and obviously the most necessary are the tools themselves. The ones with carbide inserts seem like they work well for most tasks, including the types of turning I’d like to do. That being said, I have a few questions for those that have used, made, or own tools with replaceable carbide cutters.

It appears as though Easy Wood Tools is the most common (only?) vendor of these inserts. I’ve seen many more online for purchase from companies like Amana (with wildly varying prices), but I am unable to differentiate between the inserts used for metal lathes vs. wood lathes. Is there an easy way to tell the difference? Do any of you have experience with any brands other than Easy Wood Tools? Is Easy Wood Tools the best option?

Also, I’m assuming you need to replace the inserts much less frequently than you need to sharpen traditional lathe tools. Is that a reasonable expectation?

In an ideal world, I’d like to build my own set of carbide turning tools. Mainly because I enjoy that sort of thing, but also, I’d like to build a set for my buddy that has introduced me to turning. As a bonus, it appears to be slightly cheaper.

Thanks,

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine


43 replies so far

View BasementShop's profile

BasementShop

69 posts in 765 days


#1 posted 10-25-2015 11:36 PM

I believe Capn Eddie, via YouTube fame, sells the cutting tips at a steep discount over what you pay for the Easy Woods replacements. I can’t vouch for Capn Eddie, I’ve only watched his videos. I haven’t purchased any from him yet.

I have used my Easy Wood tools as my ‘starter set’ based upon recommendations from the folks where I bought my lathe. Using them allows me to turn and not spend all my time on the sharpening of traditional tools. I do have traditional tools, a slow speed grinder, and the proper sharpening wheel, but have not yet purchased a sharpening system.

I wasn’t certain how much time or interest wood turning would hold for me and the Easy Woods was a great choice. I have found the love but still struggle finding the time to get into it deeper.

You are in for a blast with this hobby!

Basement Shop

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SuperCubber

870 posts in 1750 days


#2 posted 10-25-2015 11:55 PM

Thanks for your comments! That’s very much the type of info I’m looking for. For me, turning will almost be a complement to my other woodworking, or to break from the typical projects.

I also have the slow speed grinder and appropriate wheel. Like you, though, I’m still in need of a One-Way jig, or something similar. I have seen a few DIY jigs for sharpening, but not sure how accurate you can be with them.

Thanks again for the input! I will check out Capn Eddie.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

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SignWave

320 posts in 2500 days


#3 posted 10-26-2015 12:45 AM

AZ carbide sells the cutters at reasonable prices.

I don’t have a lot of turning experience, but I started with a starter set of HSS chisels. I’ve been practicing and starting to get a feel for things. I recently tried a round (shear) carbide tool and I have to say that while it didn’t require sharpening, the quality of cut that I got from it wasn’t as good as I can get with a properly sharpened skew chisel or bowl gouge. Maybe I need to work on my technique, or some different cutter shapes, I’m not sure.

I haven’t given up altogether, but for now I’m working on my sharpening technique and focusing on using my HSS chisels. Sharpening is a skill, but so is turning. I tend to follow Alan Lacer’s advice on this one.

-- Barry, http://BarrysWorkshop.com/

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Gixxerjoe04

835 posts in 1042 days


#4 posted 10-26-2015 01:25 AM

I buy my carbide inserts from capltain eddie, good stuff for the price. I originally bought his starter pack but then made 3 other tools myself for the different inserts, just got a steel bar from tractor supply, drill and tapped it and made handles for it.

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BasementShop

69 posts in 765 days


#5 posted 10-26-2015 03:39 AM


Thanks again for the input! I will check out Capn Eddie.

- SuperCubber

I think he may even have an episode on building a low cost sharpening jig/ setup…

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TheDane

4997 posts in 3128 days


#6 posted 10-26-2015 01:27 PM

SuperCubber—- I buy my carbide cutters from Eddie Castelin

I don’t use carbides much … I prefer my HSS tools … but a lot of folks really like them. They have their place (I use them for roughing only), but aren’t the panacea that some turners think they are.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Bill White's profile (online now)

Bill White

4456 posts in 3426 days


#7 posted 10-26-2015 01:51 PM

The Capt. is a stand up guy with good products and prices. You will need to send him the sizes of the cutters you need/want-not a brand. The cutters come with screws. Buy your bars locally.
Carbide has a place as others have stated. They are not the only way to turn, but will give ya a good start in turning.
Be safe.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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Julian

1037 posts in 2156 days


#8 posted 10-26-2015 03:25 PM

I have purchased carbide cutters from Capt. Eddie and Arizona Carbide. I found both to be very good (quality and customer service). I have made 5 different carbide tools and use them most of the time. Proper lathe speed and holding the tool level and at the correct position make a big difference. I still use a couple of HSS tools (bowl gouge and parting tool). The EasyWood tools are very well made but I can’t see spending that much money on a tool when I can make one for about $20 and it works just as well.

-- Julian

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SuperCubber

870 posts in 1750 days


#9 posted 10-26-2015 04:23 PM

Thanks for all the info, guys. It’s good to hear a comparison of the different types of tools from folks who have used both.

I’ll make a couple and see how it goes.

Thanks again to all.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7482 posts in 1472 days


#10 posted 10-26-2015 04:33 PM

I’ve made 8 or 10 tools so far. Get my cutters from Capt Eddie also. No complaints with him at all. If you look at my blog page, you can see the ones I’ve made.

http://lumberjocks.com/JoeinGa/blog/archive

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

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

1470 posts in 2103 days


#11 posted 10-26-2015 04:45 PM

Rockler recently had a sale on their carbide rougher kit for $20 including two inserts. I boought it but haven’t made the handle yet. You might check to see if that still is on.

http://www.rockler.com/carbide-roughing-gouge-kit

You can add another item and use a code for free shipping over 25.

-Paul

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TheDane

4997 posts in 3128 days


#12 posted 10-26-2015 05:14 PM

Here’s a tool I made last week using the Rockler kit that Ocelot mentioned above:

Not sure how much I will use it, but it may come in handy for some stuff. At that price, I just couldn’t pass it up!

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View moke's profile

moke

861 posts in 2241 days


#13 posted 10-26-2015 05:16 PM

I too, have made many quite a few carbide tools. And I too, have gotten the cutters from AZ carbide and Capt Eddie. Capt Eddie also sells the raw tool sections. His are very reasonable and heavy. I have been using the HF pry bar stock….I even left the handle on one…which I have to tell you turned out to be a terrible tool. If you intend to do bowls Eddie has the 18mm round insert which works well for bowls. I do not think the easy wood inserts come nearly that size.

Not to start anything, but I really do believe that if you intend to be a well rounded turner you need to learn to sharpen and to use conventional tools. HAVING SAID THAT….there are some awesome turners just using mostly carbide insert tools. After learning and practicing with a skew, it saved me tons of time and sandpaper on pens by being able bring it down to a smoother finish. Likewise by using a fingernail grind bowl gouge and a pull scaper I can get finish comparable to 320 sandpaper. I can remember sanding and sanding on some pens because I was to afraid to go to close to the size because I might have gotten a catch. I started using carbide insert tools because my sharpening was so bad…..I had to work at it…..I had no one to mentor me, so I learned to sharpen via youtube. It was a long road but very worth it.
Mike

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Ocelot

1470 posts in 2103 days


#14 posted 10-26-2015 07:05 PM

TheDane, that is a very pretty handle you have made! Mine will be crude – just functional.

There were no instructions with the kit I recieved. I figured you heat the ferule with a torch and bang it on real quick to a tight fit. How did you do that part?

View SignWave's profile

SignWave

320 posts in 2500 days


#15 posted 10-26-2015 07:45 PM



Rockler recently had a sale on their carbide rougher kit for $20 including two inserts. I boought it but haven t made the handle yet. You might check to see if that still is on.

http://www.rockler.com/carbide-roughing-gouge-kit

You can add another item and use a code for free shipping over 25.

-Paul

- Ocelot


This kit (on sale) is a good way to try out carbide cutting tools to see if they work for you. I just made a handle and assembled my kit. The parts are well made, and the tool works well, but it is properly named as a roughing tool, not a smoothing tool.

I made a video of the kit, which is more or a project video than a review, but I do show some cuts that I made with it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f72adqC98g0

-- Barry, http://BarrysWorkshop.com/

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