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Greenlee Lathe tools?

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Forum topic by lumberjoe posted 637 days ago 3155 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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lumberjoe

2829 posts in 846 days


637 days ago

I found this on Craigslist and it seems to be a pretty good deal

9 Greenlee lathe chisels (in grinds I would actually use) for 95$. These are, according to the ad, 45 years old and were only taken out of the factory sealed box to take these pictures. They look pretty decent, I’ve just never heard of Greenlee

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts


19 replies so far

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1449 days


#1 posted 637 days ago

I have a slightly smaller version of that set (6) and they are just fine. It’s a quality company.

I found this on woodcentral.com:

Re: Greenlee chisel
Posted By:
Bill Houghton, Sebastopol, CA

“Greenlee is a respected name. I’ve heard comments from people whose chisels were harder than average old chisels, but they held a good edge. I own three of their drawknives, and I think one chisel, but (shuffling my feet and looking embarrassed) have not had occasion to use most of them while I’m in carpentry mode. I’ve used my Greenlee folding-handle drawknife and really like it.

Greenlee is still in business, now owned by Textron, but focused on electrician’s tools. The “Greenlee punch” is an extremely useful tool for knockouts in electrical boxes, whether making one where you need it or enlarging an existing one.”

I cannot comment on price overall, but if I had none and saw those, I’d pungle up the C note and with the change pick me up a celebratory latte on the way home.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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lumberjoe

2829 posts in 846 days


#2 posted 637 days ago

I actually do have a set of turning tools now, but I want to change the grind on several of them so they are more suited for bowl work. I was interested in the companies history and wanted to confirm Greenlee was actually around 45 years ago and these are not some knockoffs or an obscure Chinese brand being pawned off as old. You answered that for me!

Thanks Lee!

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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OnlyJustME

1562 posts in 975 days


#3 posted 632 days ago

Yes they are good chisels if they are made from the same steel as the old ones (before 1960s i think). I have a couple very old socket greenlee bevel chisels and they are good steel. As to how old those chisels are i don’t know. I’ve never seen lathe chisels made by them before but i’m just getting into lathe work myself. The Greenlee company was founded in 1866.
i didnt know that it is basically still the same company as the greenlee tools made today.
Do they say made in Rockford Illinois?
I would definitely still by them. Hard to beat $10 a chisel even for cheap chinese stuff.
I’m actually looking for opinions on what lathe tools to buy myself. What have you used and liked or disliked and why?

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2130 posts in 1707 days


#4 posted 632 days ago

I started out turning with some HSS chisels from harbor freight. The cutting edges were not bad on them but heft was a bit of a problem. I was taught some turning techniques by an old LJ member that went by the handle jockmike2 (His projects and posts are still on the site and a good resource for turners). His collection of chisels had longer handles than mine and the blades were stout and heavy. He mostly liked Sorby chisels. As I replace my old chisels, I look for longer handles and larger diameters. The smaller ones I have are good for detail work but when you are roughing out larger logs and breaking the corners of some glue-ups, that exta bit of girth makes a big difference.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View OnlyJustME's profile

OnlyJustME

1562 posts in 975 days


#5 posted 632 days ago

Thanks for the input David.
I was thinking about the Hurricane chisels available from amazon. have you seen or tried them? any thoughts?

Joe did you get those Greenlee chisels and have you tried them out? wondering how they compare to what you have.

Sorry if i’m hijacking the thread.

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

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lumberjoe

2829 posts in 846 days


#6 posted 632 days ago

Matt, I’ve been trying to contact the seller, but being in a storm area, I’m assuming he is currently without power and will respond when he can.
I currently have the HSS chisels from HF that David referenced. I like them a lot. I agree they could be a bit heavier when turning larger items, but overall they serve me well. They sharpen up good and hold an edge for a decent length of time. For the price they are tough to beat.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

954 posts in 733 days


#7 posted 632 days ago

Do you really know what want to buy? Greenlee made carbon steel turning tools, no record of them making high speed turning tools.

http://www.woodcentral.com/woodworking/forum/classifieds.pl/md/read/id/10166/sbj/set-of-seven-greenlee-lathe-tools/

I have no problem with carbon steel tools; in other countries can still buy them from major manufactures. Few years ago seen a set of Crown carbon steel tools selling for $76.00 + shipping on E-bay.

Find it hard to believe some ads. If tools do not have or mentioned Greenllee logo and made in Rockford ILL, made in America in ad would pass. Certainly ask before buying.

http://connecticut.freetoolshopper.com/tools/9-greenlee-wood-lathe-chisels.html

Buck brothers another fine carbon steel manufacturer often seen for sale in wood box but comes from China today.

Several vendors of major brand turning tool today offer 10% off if buy 2 individual tools. Packard Woodworks does this on their house brand made by Hamlet tools that has same address as Henry Taylor tools. Craft Supplies offers same deal on Henry Taylor, Sorby, Crown, and Artisan tools. Woodcraft runs sales on Sorby tools couple times a year. Check catalogs, websites, or store for discount, sale details.

-- Bill

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GaryMax

2 posts in 633 days


#8 posted 632 days ago

I have owned several sets of them——- if you don’t mind spending a lot of time sharpening——they work.

View crank49's profile

crank49

3337 posts in 1569 days


#9 posted 632 days ago

I knew GreenLee made a lot of tools used by contractors like pipe threaders, wrenches, hole punches, tubing benders and such. Good company as far as I know based on my experience with them.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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lumberjoe

2829 posts in 846 days


#10 posted 631 days ago

GaryMax, is that because they are carbon steel and not HSS? I am also trying to confirm this. If they are carbon steel I am not interested.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

456 posts in 1359 days


#11 posted 631 days ago

Way back in the early 1970s I used to frequent a small, junky used tool place near the Atlanta airport called Clinton Aircraft Tools run by a Delta Airlines pilot in his spare time. He would buy lots of tools from places like Boeing, Lockheed, etc. and the airlines. At that time, when a defense contractor finished with a project, it was required that all tooling purchased for that project be auctioned off. Many times there were tools the were barely used or even still new in the box. Even the used tools were most often in good shape.

Anyway, one day I found a pile of Greenlee socket wood chisels that were brand new. The irons were in one pile, the handles in another pile. I hollered to Wade (Clinton) what did he want for the chisels and he shouted back ”$2.00 each”. I put together a complete set and started toward the front counter. Then I stopped. What the hell, at $2 each I decided to buy another set as a backup.

Lord, I wish Clinton Aircraft Tool was still in business! I furnished half my shop there!

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View MedicKen's profile

MedicKen

1599 posts in 2060 days


#12 posted 631 days ago

Why not be interested in a carbon tool? Greenlee was and still is a well respected tool manufacturer. The older chisels rival some of the best in the industry. If they are carbon steel who cares, like you are gonna be able to tell the difference anyway. The older carbon steels are better than the Chinese crap being produced today, will hold and edge longer and are heavier.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2829 posts in 846 days


#13 posted 631 days ago

Maybe I have been influenced too much by cheap Chinese steel, but in my experience carbon steel does not take or hold an edge as well as properly hardened (59+ rockwell) HSS.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2130 posts in 1707 days


#14 posted 630 days ago

OnlyJustME – I do not have any experience with the Hurricane tools, so I can’t say. I can tell you that I bought the most costly HF chisels which gave me a decent set to start with. Since I have a set, I tend to purchase single chisels that I feel will complement the collection rather than replace it. When there are multiple chisels in a purchase, more than likely I am going to get a duplicate, which I don’t really need. Though, if you are skilled with a grinder, sometimes the cheap chisel sets will give you an opportunity to get some steel that can be re-grinded to a different bevel or shape at a fractional cost.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

954 posts in 733 days


#15 posted 630 days ago

Nice read:
http://www.woodturninglearn.net/articles/ToolSteel.pdf

I think certain quality carbon steel tools leave better surface than HSS or exotic steels. Talking about skew chisels, spindle & roughing gouges. I also believe M-2 HSS leaves a better surface than most exotic steels. I own carbon, HSS, and couple of exotic steel tools.

Quality carbon steel tools as expensive as HSS tools today. Buy best HSS tools can afford.
http://www.mhcrafters.com/servlet/the-Two-Cherries-Tools-cln-Turning-Tools/Categories

If you go to England turning tool manufacturer web sites will not see hardness claims for their HSS turning tools. You will for their more expensive exotic steel tools. Turning tool vendors here often make hardness and staying sharper longer claims in catalogs or on web sites.

Bottom line does not matter what steel your tools made of, tools need to be sharp. No matter what steel your tools made of all become dull through use. Knowing when to re-sharpening your tools as you turn should become a habit.

Basic tool sets never a great deal, shopping sales & discounts for individual tools as needed is.

-- Bill

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