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Forum topic by Keith Kelly posted 11-06-2015 04:51 AM 857 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Keith Kelly

223 posts in 1130 days


11-06-2015 04:51 AM

ok, I’ve been using a my lathe for a bunch of test work, and I’d like to figure out a good set of hassle-free turning tools. Whether that’s a grinder w/ sharpening jig, or whatever. Point is, I have been trying to freehand it, and sometimes I get it, sometimes not.

I’m leaning towards the $370 set of 3 EWT full size tools.
Or, a Wolverine + Vari-Grind = $150. Plus messing with wheels & dressing them, etc. Plus a couple lathe chisels, so $80. I’m up to $230 at least.

I’m thinking the extra $140 plus the price of cutters is worthwhile to not have to worry about sharpening those primary tools. And, that would help clear up space in the garage, since I could then store my grinder in a cabinet and not have it out in the way.

But, I know people are frequently one way or the other on this. It would be more difficult to justify EWT if I already had a Wolverine and a good sharpening setup. But, since I would be spending a good chunk of change either way, perhaps EWT is the way to go.

Thoughts?

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri, http://www.SquareOneWoodworks.com


16 replies so far

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Rick M

7932 posts in 1846 days


#1 posted 11-06-2015 05:58 AM

There isn’t anything new to say that hasn’t been said before, but an expensive EWT carbide tool doesn’t work any better than a $10 homemade carbide tool. I have both. Don’t get me wrong, the EWTs are high quality and American made but the selling prices of carbide tools in general are ridiculous. If the $370 is chump change then go for it, they are well made.

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

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Keith Kelly

223 posts in 1130 days


#2 posted 11-06-2015 05:59 AM

Thanks for that, I have not looked into a DIY carbide solution at all, so I’ll start researching along those lines.

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri, http://www.SquareOneWoodworks.com

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Keith Kelly

223 posts in 1130 days


#3 posted 11-06-2015 06:20 AM

Rick, where on earth are you getting $10 from?

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri, http://www.SquareOneWoodworks.com

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Rick M

7932 posts in 1846 days


#4 posted 11-06-2015 06:35 AM

AZCarbide and a piece of mild steel bar stock + your scrap wood handle. Prices have probably gone up a little since making mine so it might run $15.

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

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hairy

2384 posts in 2998 days


#5 posted 11-06-2015 01:14 PM

It depends a lot on what you plan on turning. A spindle roughing gouge beats a carbide tool for roughing big pieces, but not necessary for small work. In theory, a file is all you need to sharpen a spindle roughing gouge. In practice, it’s not such a good plan.

I have a few EWT tools, love them, and they are the right tool for some jobs. Hollowing and sizing tenons are a few. I consider them an add on to traditional turning tools.

I have a wolverine setup, but it’s a dust collector since I got the Sorby Pro edge. On some tools I like a flat grind better than hollow grind.

A lot of folks say a grinder is the way to go, no jigs.

Pick a side, everyone is right, for what they need.

-- stay thirsty my friends...

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WoodNSawdust

1417 posts in 643 days


#6 posted 11-06-2015 01:31 PM

Check out Captain Eddie's web site. He sells the cutters and precut bar stock cheaper than EWT does. You will have to make your own handles.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4456 posts in 3427 days


#7 posted 11-06-2015 01:31 PM

Check out Capt’n Eddie Castelin for carbide bars and cutters. You’ll be well pleased and BIG bucks ahead.
Eddie and I will tell ya that carbide is not the end all-be all, but they sure di have a place in my shop.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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BasementShop

69 posts in 766 days


#8 posted 11-06-2015 03:40 PM

I have the EWT and use them. I enjoy turning without worrying that my grind angle on my traditional tool isn’t accurate.

I did purchase some ‘end of life’ traditional tools, a slow speed grinder, sharpening wheel, and hope to one day get the sharpening jig setup.

If you are exploring the hobby, the EWT is a good bet.

Here is another source you may want to look into, Craft Supply. The place is operated by turners and they are a great resource.

BasementShop

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OSU55

1063 posts in 1456 days


#9 posted 11-06-2015 03:56 PM

Fir DIY carbide have a look here and http://lumberjocks.com/projects/142402. Carbide is excellent for roughing, but I still use HSS roughing gouges, depends on the project. Final cuts are always HSS, reduces the amount of sanding.

Since you’re ready to spend ~$400, my opinion is a jig set up (I use Tormek BGM-100 with a bench grinder and SVD-185, TT-100) and a slow speed grinder, and HSS tools – Benjamin’s Best and Hurricane are both high value brands. Then, DIY for some carbide tools. No need to buy the expensive carbide or HSS tools.

View Keith Kelly's profile

Keith Kelly

223 posts in 1130 days


#10 posted 11-06-2015 04:06 PM

Thanks everyone.

I think I still have a mismatched set of 14×14x2 carbides for a jointer that didn’t fit right. This may be a good usage for those. The specs look the same as what is listed online for the carbide lathe tools that accept 14.

Is a square cutter the most used one? If so, I have 40 so I would design a tool to use that size.

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri, http://www.SquareOneWoodworks.com

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SignWave

321 posts in 2501 days


#11 posted 11-06-2015 04:48 PM

When doing your cost calculations, keep in mind that carbide cutters are a consumable item. (Strictly speaking HSS tools do wear out, but on a much less frequent basis.)

I’m sure carbide tools have their place, but I still think it’s appropriate for a woodturner to have the skill and means to sharpen HSS tools. The skill required to sharpen is similar to the skill required to shape turned wood. Both are valuable skills to develop.

FWIW, I agree with OSU55’s suggestion for value brand HSS tools and DIY carbide for someone just starting out.

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

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moke

862 posts in 2243 days


#12 posted 11-06-2015 06:19 PM


When doing your cost calculations, keep in mind that carbide cutters are a consumable item. (Strictly speaking HSS tools do wear out, but on a much less frequent basis.)

I m sure carbide tools have their place, but I still think it s appropriate for a woodturner to have the skill and means to sharpen HSS tools. The skill required to sharpen is similar to the skill required to shape turned wood. Both are valuable skills to develop.

FWIW, I agree with OSU55 s suggestion for value brand HSS tools and DIY carbide for someone just starting out.

- SignWave

I think this is spot on…except IMHO I don’t care for Tormek or the clones…I am a wolverine-slow sped grinder guy. But as I am sure you are aware, “there are many ways to skin that cat”.

As for the square cutters it is easier to get a “catch” with them as opposed to the 2 or 4” radius versions…..

Mike

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jusfine

2405 posts in 2392 days


#13 posted 11-06-2015 06:47 PM

I have both types of tools, various sharpening systems, but I really like the EWT carbides, use them more than anything now. Once you try them, you will be hooked.

Cost is a factor, but as was already said, if you have it to spend, buy the best…

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

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Julian

1038 posts in 2157 days


#14 posted 11-06-2015 11:28 PM

Keith, I have made my own carbide cutting tools and I use them for every turning project in conjunction with a couple of HSS tools. Everyone will have their own preference and opinion. You could make one homemade tool with a carbide cutter and give it a try. I have only 1 square carbide cutting tool; most often I use various sized round cutters. Note: you can sharpen carbide with a diamond stone.

-- Julian

View Keith Kelly's profile

Keith Kelly

223 posts in 1130 days


#15 posted 12-17-2015 07:40 PM

Thanks for the advice – you saved me a bunch of money. I ended up making 4 of my own carbide tools, and have been practicing getting better at sharpening my HSS tools. I am to the point where I do see the uses of both.

More info about the process can be seen on my website:

http://blog.squareonewoodworks.com/2015/12/making-lathe-tools/

But here are some pictures:

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri, http://www.SquareOneWoodworks.com

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