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Forum topic by MsDebbieP posted 1042 days ago 3800 views 1 time favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2792 days


1042 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: tips tricks lathe turning tools

What are are you tips/tricks re: selecting/using different lathe tools?
- what are the different tools, what are they used for, primarily, and how do you care for them… etc

(also add links to helpful blogs etc that are related to the topic)
 

Gateway to all Tips & Tricks Topics
 

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)


10 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3412 posts in 2592 days


#1 posted 1042 days ago

I have found that there is a wealth of tooling for all budgets. As is known, one can spend a fortune on the stuff.
If I had one suggestion, it would be to buy a quality “starter set”, learn to sharpen, and practice with what you have.
I began with an old Craftsman set. I’ve added a few Sorby pieces as well as a sweet W. Butcher bowl gouge and skew that is “go-to” tooling.
As in everthing involving woodworking, one can spend the budget of a small nation if desired. The old masters didn’t do it that way.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View mafe's profile

mafe

9491 posts in 1721 days


#2 posted 1041 days ago

Buy a basic set and then buy as you get the need.

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2792 days


#3 posted 1041 days ago

what does the basic set include and what are each of those tools used for?

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Joedcatman's profile

Joedcatman

172 posts in 1746 days


#4 posted 1015 days ago

For anyone who wants to learn this skill, take a look at the Wood Turners web site that I am a member of. There are chapters all over the world. These are a great resource for beginners through professionals.

For people starting out at wood turning as a hobby, Harbor Freight sells a basic set of Turning Tools for about $20.00

A basic set should have 3 Gouges (a roughing gouge, a bowl gouge, and a spindle gauge) 2 or 3 chisels (a V-point, a Cutoff, and a Skew) and 1 or more scrapers (a round tip, and a right or left bevel).

These wood turning chisels are made in China and probably not the best steel but they will work and give you some practice at using and sharpening.

Anyone interested in turning should invest in a good woodturning book like “The Lathe Book” by; Ernie Conover, ISBN 1-56158-416-9 It retails for about $25.00 $39.00 in Canada. It is well worth every penny. Not only does it detail the tools of the trade but shows very good photos of how each tool should be used for maximum efficiency and SAFETY. I cannot stress enough that you read and follow each of the following 20 guidelines when turning wood.

Lathe Safety Guidelines

1. Safe, effective use of a wood lathe requires study and knowledge of procedures for using the tool. Read and thoroughly understand the label warnings on the lathe and in the owner/operator’s manual.
2. Always wear safety goggles or safety glasses and a full face shield when needed. Use a dust mask in dusty work conditions. Wear hearing protection during extended periods of operation.
3. Tie back long hair, do not wear gloves, loose clothing, jewelry or any dangling objects that may catch in rotating parts or accessories.
4. Check the owner/operator’s manual for proper speed recommendations. Use slower speeds for larger diameter or rough pieces, and increased speed for smaller diameters and pieces that are ‘true’ or cylindrical. If the lathe is shaking or vibrating, lower the speed. If the workpiece vibrates, always stop the machine to check the reason.
5. Make certain that the belt guard or cover is in place. Check that all clamping devices (locks), such as on the tail stock and tool rest, are tight.
6. Rotate the workpiece by hand to make sure it clears the tool rest and bed before turning the lathe on. Be sure that the workpiece turns freely and is firmly mounted. Never adjust the tool rest with the lathe turned on.
7. Use only defect-free stock, without cracks, splits, checks or knots which could chip and fly out, causing serious injury.
8. Hold turning chisels securely on the tool rest, and hold the tool firmly. Always use a slower speed when starting until the workpiece is cylindrical. This helps avoid the possibility of an unbalanced piece jumping out of the lathe and striking the operator.
9. When running a lathe in reverse, it is possible for a chuck or faceplate to unscrew unless it is securely tightened on the lathe spindle.
10. It is recommended that you rough out your workpiece on a bandsaw or with a chainsaw before mounting it on the lathe. 11. When using a face plate, be certain the workpiece is solidly mounted. When turning between centers, be certain the workpiece is secure.
12. Always remove the tool rest before sanding or polishing operations.
13. Don’t over-reach, keep proper footing and balance at all times.
14. Keep lathe in good repair. Check for damaged parts, alignment, binding of moving parts, and other conditions that may affect its operation.
15. Keep tools sharp and clean for better and safer performance. Don’t force a dull tool. Don’t use a tool for a purpose not intended. Keep tools out of reach of children.
16. Consider your work environment. Don’t use lathe in damp or wet locations. Do not use in presence of flammable liquids or gases. Keep work area well lit.
17. Stay alert. Watch what you are doing, use common sense. Don’t operate tool when you are tired, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
18. Guard against electric shock. Inspect electric cords for damage. Avoid the use of extension cords.
19. Remove chuck keys and adjusting wrenches. Form a habit of checking for these before switching on the lathe.
20. Never leave the lathe running unattended. Turn power off. Don’t leave the lathe until it comes to a complete stop.

-- JoeR Nothing that I could make will ever be perfect but I'll use it anyway.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3412 posts in 2592 days


#5 posted 1014 days ago

Oh, I forgot. Go to a special school to learn how to use a skew. I’ve ground a bit of a radius (camber) on one of mine. That seems to be a bit more forgiving. Now on to the straight skew grind. I’ll let ya know when I graduate. The pros really seem to make it easy. WAHHHHHH!
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View TheDane's profile (online now)

TheDane

3739 posts in 2294 days


#6 posted 1014 days ago

Four suggestions:

1) Get a set of ‘starter tools’ (as suggested above).

2) Learn how to grind/sharpen properly. By the time you have that down, you’ll probably be ready for some better tools (learning to grind can chew up a lot of HSS, especially on the cheaper tools).

3) Look for a woodturning class in your area. I took a night school class (about $100) at our local tech school that not only helped me get the basics of turning, but also put me in touch with other local turners, who invited me to join our local AAW affiliate. Our turner’s club has several ‘mentors’ that I can turn to for help on just about anything related to turning, and one mentor even has had ‘open shop nights’ once a week at his house.

4) YouTube can be your friend … there are tons of turning videos online (some really terrific, others not so much) where you can pick up useful tips and instruction.

—Gerry

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

View diggerdelaney's profile

diggerdelaney

257 posts in 2382 days


#7 posted 1014 days ago

First things first don’t skimp on tools , cheap tools are a false economy. They are usually made of inferior steel and can break, someone here in the UK brought a cheap set and the first time they used them one broke. Not sure of what good brands you have in the US but Robert Sorby are good quality I have a starter set which contains all that will be needed to start you off turning from there buy as you need.
As previously said learn how to sharpen your tools. Sharp tools cut better and also help with the finish so less sanding is required. Join a local club I believe you call them chapters woodturners are a friendly bunch they will help with the correct use of tools, watch videos/DVD’s on wood turning also helps. One book I have which is excellent is Kieth Rowley’s “Woodturning A Foundation course” (look on amazon)
Here is the set

The tools are from left to right
Bowl gouge Speaks for itself
Skew Chisel for planing wood turned in spindle mode Never on a bowl Needs plenty of practice
Parting tool for parting off in spindle mode and can be used to produce beads
Scraper for small scraping jobs not inside deep bowls
Spindle gouge for work on spindles ideal to produce coves
Roughing gouge for roughing down spindle work ready for the other spindle tools to do the finer work

Hope this will help for a starter

-- Derek, Kent, UK, http://s702.photobucket.com/albums/ww21/diggerdelaney/

View TheDane's profile (online now)

TheDane

3739 posts in 2294 days


#8 posted 1014 days ago

Just for reference, a Robert Sorby 6 Piece Intermediate Turning Set (similar to that shown in Derek’s post) retails for $329.00 at WoodCraft. Sorby tools are superb quality.

By contrast, the Steelex 6 piece set I bought sells for $105.00 on Amazon.com.

—Gerry

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

View Joedcatman's profile

Joedcatman

172 posts in 1746 days


#9 posted 1014 days ago

I neglected to mention that I am now 3 years into turning. I started with cheap tools, Benjamins Best, inherited a bunch of the Harbor Freight stuff and now have some Robert Sorby tools, one D-Way bowl gauge and several tools that I made myself. As you improve your techniques and turning skills, you will naturally want better tools. And Yes, it is addictive.

-- JoeR Nothing that I could make will ever be perfect but I'll use it anyway.

View westislandwoodturner's profile

westislandwoodturner

4 posts in 1919 days


#10 posted 887 days ago

Beginners should buy the best tools they can afford, often at clubs turners sell quality tools to its members that they no longer need. Sorby, Hamlet and many other fine tool company are out there,but at moderate prices Penn state sell reasonable HSS quality tools. Garage sales sometime you find tools, often carbon steel tools but these too can be useful to a novice turner. If new members at our club ask me what to buy I say try to stay away from certain type of sets that do not have what a novice turner requires. First you need a 3/4 Spindle Roughing gouge, a 1/2 bowl gouge, 1/4 spindle gouge, a diamond parting tool a 3/4 scraper and a 1/2 skew. All the rest of the should be left in the store till you know what you are doing. I tell students do not practice sharpening on your good tool set but instead first turn a tool handle then buy or find a round piece of steel, cold roll for around $5.00 and practice on this rather than wasting your good tools. A round pipe can be used to get the shape of a roughing gouge, a flat piece of iron to practice for scraper and parting tool. I do not mean use them for turning but to practice learning how to profile and angle / hollow grind the metal. Join a club and get member help to learn how to sharpen, watch youtube video’s showing how to. Most important is learn to sharpen safely, always wear safety glasses and a face shied over them. Dedicate them for sharpening only and leave them always next to the grinder.Never wear your good reading glasses to sharpen anything as flying steel particles will ruin them and possibly your eyesight. Good sharpening comes with practice and proper guidance from experienced turners who always are willing to teach and help fellow members. Find a club, join a club, join the AAWoodturners and go to turning demo’s in you area.

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