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Forum topic by Rick Bailey posted 11-30-2014 02:08 AM 3765 views 2 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rick Bailey

247 posts in 1324 days

11-30-2014 02:08 AM

Hi all,
I’ll try to make a long story short.

My wife surprised on the 4th of July with a Grizzzly G1495 lathe with a copy attachment she found on CL.
It had all kinds of goodies that came with it.
It looks like it didn’t get much use.

I haven’t had any time to play with but I did check it out and seems in very good shape.
While I was just thinking about chucking up a piece of scrap in it I realized the tools that came with it was junk.

My wife was asking what I was doing and I explained to her just that. We talked for awhile and she put her foot down
and said ” If you are going to get a set of tools to learn on you get a set that will last while you are learning,
NO junk Chines steel, get good German steel, ask your computer friends what they think” I love that woman.
So computer friends, what say you?
Also what sharping system would be good for a nube to start on?
FYI: I have used a lathe before, but it was a long time ago.

-- I'll bulid your dream,you tear it down.

26 replies so far

View bheckson's profile


26 posts in 1812 days

#1 posted 11-30-2014 03:46 AM

I have found Penn State Industries to be my forefront when coming to lathing tools, they have a variety of different tools and sizes. I LOVE Benjamin’s best. They have “starter” kits that are relatively inexpensive, I think maybe for 6-8 tools around 80 dollars. What kind of wood turning do you think that you will be turning, more bowls or spindle turning such as pens, candlesticks, or straighter longer pieces like balusters and table legs. The answer will determine what you will need to buy.
I also have found this video by Robbie the wood turner to be the most helpful when it comes to sharpening, however WWGOA has a good short video on sharpening you lathe tools that seems to be good as well. I use a variable speed grinder with an aluminum oxide wheel and turn as slow as my grinder will go. It yields pretty good results!

Good luck to you and it seems like you need to stick with your woman! She sounds like a keeper.

-- #makedust

View Woodknack's profile


11472 posts in 2342 days

#2 posted 11-30-2014 05:19 AM

I suspect, or hope, my wife got me a set of Hurricane chisels for Christmas. The reviews are good and the price is right; but I haven’t actually used them.

-- Rick M,

View DrTebi's profile


265 posts in 3229 days

#3 posted 11-30-2014 12:22 PM

I have been searching for a good quality starter kit, and after reading many posts here and at, I decided that this tool set should be the best in price/value/quality:

I haven’t bought it yet… too many other projects to finish first.

However, it’s a suggestions, something you can put on your list.

View cebfish's profile


155 posts in 2650 days

#4 posted 11-30-2014 12:57 PM

I like the PSI tool as well .they work great for me. I have done a lot of pens

View DIYaholic's profile


19596 posts in 2637 days

#5 posted 11-30-2014 02:11 PM

Sharpening is a skill, in and of itself, that must be learned.
Were I you, I would get the Benjamin’s Best 8 piece set from PSI along with the 3 Piece Bowl Gouge set and a smaller spindle gouge. This will give you a good selection of tools to work with & will also be inexpensive enough to “hone” your sharpening skills. You WILL be grinding away metal, while learning to sharpen & experimenting with different “bevel grinds”, may as well do that on less expensive, but good quality tools, rather than uber expensive HIGH quality tools.

Just MHO, YMMV!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Wildwood's profile


2297 posts in 2097 days

#6 posted 11-30-2014 02:24 PM

If already have a 6” or 8” bench grinder, this basic system with optional Vari-grind jig will help you keep your tools sharp. We use friable aluminum oxide wheels to sharpen turning tools, white, pink, or blue color. If need to buy a bench grinder 6” is smallest size can use for turning tool larger even better.

Only tool German tool maker that sell turning tools in the USA is Two Cherries and Diefenbacher tools.

Would not waste your money on this brand.

BB tools

Hurricane tools

I always recommend only buy the tools you need vice tool sets. If have to have a set check out HF red handle set for $80 or white handle set for $55.

-- Bill

View LeeMills's profile


520 posts in 1263 days

#7 posted 11-30-2014 02:31 PM

I’m not sure about German tools but I am sure there are some good ones. A “standard” for quality is Sheffield steel which is UK. Some of the brands are Ashley Iles, Sorby, Hamlet, Crown. Some quality suppliers also use UK brands under their own name; such as Packard tools are made by Hamlet and Woodworkers Supply are made by Crown.
I have some of the Hurricane and they seem to be fine. I do not know if they are PRC or UK but the bowl gouges are sized by UK specs.

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

View TheDane's profile


5399 posts in 3625 days

#8 posted 11-30-2014 02:43 PM

I can vouch for the Hamlet tools from Packard Woodworks … very high quality Sheffield steel backed by first rate customer service and good prices.

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

View zeebro's profile


9 posts in 1587 days

#9 posted 11-30-2014 03:03 PM

I just bought the 8pc benjamins best set. there is a 10% off coupon with psi first time buyers. Came to 75 bux after shipping. This chisel set is great but my HF 40’’ lathe is leaving a lot to be desired. GOOD LUCK!

View BigDumbAnimal's profile


65 posts in 1768 days

#10 posted 11-30-2014 04:00 PM

The benjamins best tools are pretty good. Thats what I bought when I was getting started and they are still my go to tools 2 years later. One of their starter sets should get you going, either the 6 or 8 piece set should do. For sharpening I would recomend the wolverine system with the verigrind. It’s easy to use and makes it very easy to repead the same grind again and again. There are lots of good videos on YouTube about sharpening lathe tools, Capt Eddie has some good ones. His system is a little different but the basics are all there.

-- Semper Fi BDA

View Rick Bailey's profile

Rick Bailey

247 posts in 1324 days

#11 posted 11-30-2014 08:07 PM

What great info, thanks guys.

I will be wanting to turn just about anything except pens.

I’m leaning towards the Hurricane 16 piece set, it will give me lots of options to find out just what I will like to use.
Plus the price isn’t too bad.

I have a 8’’ grinder 3/4 HP @ 3400 RPM, is that too fast?
Don’t want to burn new tools.

With the wolverine system with the vari-grind will that take care of all the tools or will I need to order a skew attachment also?

And what grinding wheels would you recommend if my grinder will work?

Thanks so much guys,

-- I'll bulid your dream,you tear it down.

View Wildwood's profile


2297 posts in 2097 days

#12 posted 11-30-2014 08:19 PM

Food for thought, many of the Sheffield steel mills closed, tourism a bigger priority today. One or steel mills remaining today and produce nothing but exotic steels. What has not changed is number of steel merchants operating there!

Ashley Isles and Sorby still claim they make their tool there. Maybe they do maybe not. Do you consider cutting steel to size, putting a bevel, and handle on a tool manufacturing? Proliferation of people selling turning tools today suggest cutting steel to size, putting a bevel on a tool, and putting a handle on or selling you their mo-better handle definitely manufacturer. Heck just putting a handle on a turning tool with epoxy might also be considered manufacturing in the USA today.

Several years back a woodturner discovered there was 22 ways to make High Speed Steel and meet international standards.

Ben Best, Harbor Freight, and Hurricane tools probably not made of the best HSS, but affordable. KYRO & Powder Metal turning tools (Henry Taylor & Crown) have not lived up to manufacturer’s claims.

Staying brand names HSS turning tools like Ashley Isles, Crown, Hamlet, Henry Taylor, and Sorby if shop sales and take advantage of quantity discounts will save you money buy two or more tools at a time.

Two of my favorite vendors are;

Craft Supplies

Packard Woodworks

-- Bill

View Rick Bailey's profile

Rick Bailey

247 posts in 1324 days

#13 posted 12-01-2014 12:13 AM

I spent have the day learning about sharping.
Going with the wolverine system.
What I can’t find is what grit wheels I should use.
Remember I will have new tools starting out.

-- I'll bulid your dream,you tear it down.

View MrUnix's profile


6574 posts in 2161 days

#14 posted 12-01-2014 03:44 AM

My first woodturning tools were made out of screwdrivers sharpened on my bench grinder and belt sander. They worked darn good and also gave me lots of practice sharpening! :-)


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View JAAune's profile


1783 posts in 2279 days

#15 posted 12-01-2014 05:22 AM

Bear in mind that you can get by using cheap versions of certain tools. I’d recommend getting quality gouges and skews but retaining the lousy scrapers that came with the lathe. An old woodturner pointed out to me when I first learned woodturning that scrapers are so easy to sharpen one can get by with almost anything.

A cheap parting tool is also fine. They really don’t need to do a lot of cutting and are also easy to sharpen.

After getting some practice, then upgrading to better scrapers may be desirable but I’ve always been satisfied with my homemade scrapers fashioned from O1 bar stock.

-- See my work at and

showing 1 through 15 of 26 replies

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