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Forum topic by Funhouse posted 07-31-2011 08:28 PM 1445 views 1 time favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Funhouse

12 posts in 1955 days


07-31-2011 08:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: turningtools beginningturning lookingforusedturningtools

Hi there-

I’m just getting set up to turn wood on my new mini-lathe, but I need all the other stuff that goes with it. I’m looking for some decent turning tools – used are fine. Anyone have some extras they’d like to sell? I’m working on a shoestring budget, so I’ll be grateful for anything. One tool at a time is fine too!

I’m in Southern California, btw.

Thanks guys!
Miki

-- Does this face sheild make my head look fat?


28 replies so far

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5839 posts in 3048 days


#1 posted 07-31-2011 08:34 PM

Ebay is the best option for used toolschisels etc, but be warned wood turning is a very expensive hobby.
It can run away with the pennies just getting the basics together and the tools are all very re-sellable so no one will be giving them away.I should stick to High Speed Steel more commonly described as HSS and leave the carbon steel alone as they will blunt much more easlily.Have fun and email me anytime you have any questions also forgot to say try evening classes for lesssons help etc. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2461 days


#2 posted 07-31-2011 09:36 PM

I agree on the HSS. The carbon steel ones will turn just as well and keep a good edge….. Once you know how to use them. When you first start out, you will be getting the tools hot and that will take the hardness right out of carbon steel. You can go through one in about 2 minutes flat.

To start with, you can have a small set of tools. Really, you could do everything with one skew chisel. Since you mentioned spindles on your profile, I would start with a parting tool, a smallish spindle gouge, a skew chisel, and maybe a smallish scraper. Now the bad news. You will probably have a long time hunting to find some used ones that are reasonable. You will also probably pay a lot more for getting individual tools than a bargain set.

About the cheapest pretty good quality sets I have seen are from Penn State Industries. CraftSupplies USA (woodturnerscatalog.com) have a more upscale selection.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

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Funhouse

12 posts in 1955 days


#3 posted 08-01-2011 08:16 AM

thanks for the tips guys – your replies were pretty much what I was thinking; I’ve been researching like mad, and already know that I need to get HSS tools – at least as my first and main set of tools. I also realize that many spindle turners get by with few tools, but i do need at least a handful. Been scouring ebay for HSS tool sets for weeks. Most of them either look like junk, or the photo of the set offered up for bid is not the acutal item (for instance, there are 4 or 5 sellers offering a “set of 8 HSS turning tools”, and yet they have a picture of 6 tools. I emailed each of these sellers to ask for a pic of the actual tools they are selling, with either no response, or “this is a photo supplied by the manufacturer – the set includes 8 tools”. Makes me think they don’t even know what they are selling.
Woodcraft has their own brand of tools, but they don’t look fabulous, and they aren’t that cheap. So I’m still looking. I’ve also been looking at Craft supplies USA and other online resources. I guess I was just hoping to find someone who had too many tools and wanted to destash, but it sounds like that doesn’t happen. Can’t blame me for hoping!
-Miki

-- Does this face sheild make my head look fat?

View SSMDad's profile

SSMDad

395 posts in 2060 days


#4 posted 08-01-2011 03:59 PM

From what I’ve heard also, PSI has some decent tools for a good price. I have a set of Sorby’s which Woodcraft had on sale and love them but just this morning ordered a set of the PSI micro tools so I can do more detailed work that’s harder to do with full size. The HSS is nice as is the Carbon steel. I have an English Bowl Gouge found at an antique shop that’s carbon and I love it. Very sharp, but dulls quickly.

The main advantage(s) I see of the HSS are holds and edge longer when sharpening, it’s MUCH harder to blue to the tip and lose the steel’s temper. With carbon it’s fairly easy. Too much heat and bam…blue tip/ruined chisel.

Amazon has decent prices on the PSI sets.

-- Chris ~~Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

View Funhouse's profile

Funhouse

12 posts in 1955 days


#5 posted 08-01-2011 06:23 PM

Thanks Chris, I sure have read and heard alot about ruining the carbon steel /tools with heat – hope I can avoid that! I’m waiting for a DVD I ordered – Richard Raffin’s “Turning Wood”, which supposedly also has some time spent on sharpening tools.

I do have a quesiton for you, though – when people are talking about overheating their tools, is it mainy in the sharpening, or is it in the actual turning too? I don’t think I’ll be as aggressive with my beginning turnings as you experienced turners, but I suppose working the tool on the wood for longer could overheat it too?

I did check out Amazon last night – they have pretty decent prices and tools, and you can’t beat free shipping.

Thanks again for the tips-

Miki

-- Does this face sheild make my head look fat?

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2461 days


#6 posted 08-01-2011 06:51 PM

If you rub the tool on the work piece, it will generate heat (think rubbing two sticks together to start a fire). Same with grinding the tool for sharpening. The biggest problem with beginning turners is that they are not aggressive enough and don’t really start cutting. They tend to scrape more and that generates heat.

Don’t fret over learning to turn. It is just a lot harder to explain than it is to do. The tools give you immediate feedback and once you can feel difference between cutting, scraping, tearing, and rubbing, it becomes automatic. Just like riding a bike or swimming.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View SSMDad's profile

SSMDad

395 posts in 2060 days


#7 posted 08-01-2011 08:01 PM

Hi Miki. The primary time for overheating is in sharpening carbon steel tools. With the HSS you really don’t need to worry about it. David is right in that it will definitely generate some heat. Just 15 minutes ago I was turning a bowl and (yep, I was a scrapen!) and wohoo did my fingers get hot. I had to pull off for a bit. I’m new too so I guess I tend to scrape more than be aggressive. Something just makes me want to flow with the wood instead of forcing it to be what I want it to be. haha

He’s also right about learning to turn. It’s much harder to explain and talk about then it is to just do. Oh, save yourself some $$ and get regular homegrown NA woods. (actually softwoods are harder to turn then hardwoods btw) Practice on those and when you really want to do something special and an exotic wood fits the bill, then get it.

For me, I bought the lathe and tools, then just started turning. About 2 weeks afterwards I took a class at woodcraft and that helped some, but I kind of started on bowls as opposed to spindle or pens.. I have more failures than my 3 little successes but each time I learn from them. When I was turning the bowl today I had an idea of what I wanted it to look like but apparently it didn’t want to be that because the (somewhat finished) form is completely different, but I like it. Now it’s soaking in bleach (just an experiment) to see if I can whiten it up (it was from logs I found along the road).

Ok…I’m yapping..Have fun and make sure to be safe with it. Face mask, dust prevention, don’t stand in front of a spinning piece of wood especially if it’s unbalanced. :) (yep, I’ve done it and missed my head by a few inches shooting 16 feet out into the yard)

Chris

-- Chris ~~Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

View Transition's profile

Transition

339 posts in 2007 days


#8 posted 08-01-2011 09:56 PM

I would also recommend that you buy a grinder (relatively cheap ~$40?), and keep your tools sharp. This woman has a number of YouTube videos and has some great tips: http://www.ehow.com/video_4944008_sharpening-woodturning-tools-grinder-accessories.html?wa%5Fvrid=48416d64%2D2c83%2D43cc%2Daf3e%2D5c2545548b58&wa%5Fvlsrc=continuous&pid=1&cp=1

If there is a local turning club, join it and talk to others. I live near both PSI ans Woodcrafters, and have learned so much from the staff at both. I recommend that you learn how each tool is to be used, either through a class or through online videos; don’t just jump right in. It will save you a lot of frustration and potential pain.

Practice on found wood. It’s everywhere, it’s cheap, and you’ll find that it can be amazingly beautiful. In addition, it will provide challenges that puchased wood probably will not.

Your profile pic looks like you are well prepared, but to add to the safety tips:

  • Know where the stop switch is located!
  • As with all tools, don’t wear loose clothing, don’t wear jewelry, and keep your hair up if it’s long. A woman recently died when her hair got caught in a lathe at Yale.
  • Moving your tools into a spinning piece of wood can be a little intimidating. Move slowly, with purpose, and keep a firm grip. Don’t force your tools. Keep them in good condition and let them do the work.
  • Face shield is definitely a must! I’ve had a tool break, and bowls break or fly off whole. You don’t have to be an aggressive turner to have a tool catch the wood the wrong way.
  • You could have reactions to certain woods and the spores that inhabit spalted wood. Protect your respiratory system and skin. Some of the problems I had when I first started include a month-long upper respiratory infection, dry skin, and contact dermatitis (see my blog entry “Hot Shop”). I wear a tight fitting glove on the hand closest to the lathe as I’m rounding a piece as the chips tend to sting and the dust tends to dry out my skin. A glove that is form fitting and would break (like thin neoprene), is probably better than leather. Keeping a fan behind you will help with dust and fumes (Also see my blog entry on CA Glue).

All that said, turning is a blast! I love it and I hope you will too! I look forward to seeing your projects!

-- Andrew, Orange County, CA - www.TransitionTurning.com

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3126 days


#9 posted 08-01-2011 10:26 PM

Miki … We’re kind of in the same boat. I just bought a lathe (Delta 46-460) and the local shop where I bought the lathe included a 6 piece set of Steelex (WoodStock Int’l HSS) tools for about $75. They’re not Sorby’s, buy until I learn to sharpen, they’ll do fine.

If nobody else has mentioned it, be careful of the low-cost grinders in the big box stores. The wheels are generally way too abrasive, and they run at 3450rpm. Slow-speed grinders (1725rpm) are less likely to over-heat the too.

—Gerry

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

View SSMDad's profile

SSMDad

395 posts in 2060 days


#10 posted 08-01-2011 10:44 PM

Gerry I just got the 46-460 Delta too. Aren’t they terrific! Love the variable speed.

-- Chris ~~Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

View crank49's profile

crank49

3981 posts in 2434 days


#11 posted 08-01-2011 11:08 PM

Penn State Ind sells an inexpensive set of HSS tools.

I started with the 8pc set you probably keep seeing on CL. They are from Harbor Freight. Carefull: they sell a carbon steel set and a HSS set. The skew and gouge in this set is not bad. Set was $69 but I got it for $45 with a coupon and a sale.

I agree with others, you need to get a grinder if you don’t already have one.

An alternate way to go is tools with the carbide insert mounted on the end; like the “Easy Wood Tools” brand. These don’t need sharpening. If I could find these on CL I’d jump on them. New, they are expensive, $100 to $150 each, but you only need one or two, a rougher and a finisher, or just a finisher. The finisher has a round insert and the rougher has a square insert. You can do just about everything with the finisher.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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TheDane

4997 posts in 3126 days


#12 posted 08-01-2011 11:18 PM

I love my 46-460 … the deal is even sweeter with the $50 rebate!

—Gerry

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

View wildbill001's profile

wildbill001

111 posts in 2105 days


#13 posted 08-02-2011 01:04 AM

May also want to check out this website: http://aroundthewoods.com/tools.shtml

I’ve built the Oland-like tool and it works great. I buy the bits from Enco and then grind whatever profile I want via either a grinder, belt-sander, and/or a dremel.

Bill

-- "You can tell the pioneers by the arrows in their back" -- Unknown

View SSMDad's profile

SSMDad

395 posts in 2060 days


#14 posted 08-02-2011 03:22 AM

I missed the $50 rebate but did manage to catch it when Woodcraft had their anniversary 2 day 10% off power tools weekend. I had bought a little Rikon Econo lathe and the manager let me return it and just pay the difference for the 46-460. Like you I love this thing. So nice to be able to reverse it also.

-- Chris ~~Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

View Funhouse's profile

Funhouse

12 posts in 1955 days


#15 posted 08-02-2011 08:46 AM

Oh, thanks for all the good tips, guys. I’m new here on this forum, and I’m not sure how to reply to an individual post, so I’ll just say “thanks.”

re: grinder – I have studied up quite a bit, and I’m aware that I can’t really start turning untill I have a grinder to sharpen my tools (that I don’t have). I’ve decided to get the low speed grinder that Woodcraft sells – their grinders and grinding jigs are on sale this month. They were waiting for a new batch to come in tomorrow, so that’s on my list. I bought the basic Wolverine grinding jig, and I’m going to get the skew sharpening attachment too. I also got a diamond wheel dressing gizmo. I’m still trying to figure out the honing element, and I’ll probably get a honing stone too – or a honing card, if that’s the proper term.

After looking at all the tools, I just may start with a set of the Benjamin’s best, just so I have something to start with. I’m still going to keep my eyes peeled for used tools, though. You never know when a set will pop up, it does happen. A girl can hope!

-Miki

-- Does this face sheild make my head look fat?

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