Fluted Sorby parting tool...

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Forum topic by ScrubPlane posted 01-01-2013 12:15 AM 1810 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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190 posts in 2218 days

01-01-2013 12:15 AM

Topic tags/keywords: parting tool lathe

Does anyone have instructions for or know a link where I can see the fluted Sorby parting tool in action?

I recently purchased one as my first parting tool…used it, and twice the tool was wrenched from my hands and thrown against the wall.

Obviously doing something wrong but the tool did not come with any instructions, cannot find any on the Sorby web site (quite frustrating I might add), nor can I find this tool being demonstrated on YouTube.

Any ‘guidance’ on usage or the tool’s limitations will be greatly appreciated…thanks.


5 replies so far

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2309 days

#1 posted 01-01-2013 12:20 AM

I don’t know your experience level, but my parting tool is for making small lines or evening up a line. I don’t use it to cut anything more than about a mm. I use it on the flat side to even out the inside of a cavity or to make a chuck grab, but its really only to even the sides with the chuck, not to take out any serious material.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View MNgary's profile


301 posts in 2439 days

#2 posted 01-01-2013 01:11 AM

Sorby’s fluted parting tool is a bit wider than most parting tools. I suggest trying to use it like any other parting tool, but being less aggressive. That is, still starting by resting the length (hypotenuse?) against the wood and raising the handle yet maintaining so it starts to cut around the 1:30 position, but arcing it into the turned piece after it starts cutting / scraping a little more slowly to accomodate its width, and stopping short of 3:00 o’clock on the piece. Then reposition and start another arcing cut.

Don’t push it into the wood. Let the arcing cut into the wood.

-- I dream of a world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View ScrubPlane's profile


190 posts in 2218 days

#3 posted 01-01-2013 02:40 AM

To Russell…So is it possible the tool I have it too narrow to serve as a parting tool for anything but smaller ornamental type work?

To Gary…Thank you for the suggestion/guidance, I’ll be working on some smaller pieces tomorrow and will give the above a try.

Funny thing is the gentleman who sold me the tool, an experienced turner in his own right, recommended this version as it tapers more narrowly away from the tip and is less likely to cause the type of binding and catching that I experienced. Hence why I think I used the tool incorrectly.


View tamboti's profile


207 posts in 3164 days

#4 posted 01-01-2013 09:22 AM

John the sorby fluted parting tool is used withe the flute side resting on the tool rest. To save the sharp edges of the flute glue in a piece of 1/8 brazing rod, a 1/2” back from the cutting edge. As with all lathe tools no aggressive cutting is needed.You can part off up to 2” with the tool. The so called experienced turner should have told you how to use the tool but i guess he did not know that is why he sold it. Regards Tamboti

-- Africa is not for sissies

View Wildwood's profile


2322 posts in 2157 days

#5 posted 01-01-2013 12:45 PM

Go buy a regular 3/16” diamond parting tool.

That 3/16” fluted parting tool is a hybrid of homemade tool turners made for clean entry cuts. Turners took parting tool they had to corner of grinder to make tips or filed them. They worked better than hybrids you can buy today. Mine lasted one sharpening then back to regular grind.

Tamboli, gave you straight scoop.

-- Bill

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