Homemade Carbide Cutters & Handles for lathe

  • Advertise with us
Project by Ken90712 posted 04-28-2016 01:13 PM 2640 views 0 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m pretty new to the wood lathe & turning. I’ve always wanted to do this and thus far having a blast learning. I bought a set of Robert Sorby chesils for my starter set by the recommendations from the veterans on here. Then came the D – Way tools M42 chesils… ( oh my ). I bought 3 w/o handles. Figured I could make my own.

I heard mixed reviews about carbide cutters and what turners thought of them. So I bought a square one and tried it to see what I thought of them. I get why the traditional turners don’t care for them. However with that said, I also understand why us beginners like them as well. User friendly for us rookies.

I bought 3 round, 3 square and 3 diamond carbides from Captian Eddie as recommended on here. Great price, nice guy but shipping took over 2 weeks, very frustrating.

I made the tool handle rods of drill bit steel. The very first carbide cutter tool I made I used a square bar and didn’t care for that personally. I cut the ends of the drill rod down on a Bridgeport and threaded them for 10-32’s. The diamond one was a little trickier. Cut the Ferrarl on metal lathe and threaded a set screw in. 1 1/8 dia, 1 inch hole bore 1 inch down. 2 inch length. Epoxied on the tennons.

The handles are made of hard maple. I have experimented with different styles of handles. I found early on that I like tools with textured handles not smooth ones for better grip and feel. I have started messaging with patterns and celtic knot ideas. 1/2 way there on these handles. Lol. Finished with friction finished after sanding to 600 grit. Only on failure on the handles it broke apart. Live and learn.

I’m new to turning and love it, all comments welcome and encouraged. I want to learn, so please don’t hold back.

Thx for looking.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

20 comments so far

View kiefer's profile


5799 posts in 3544 days

#1 posted 04-28-2016 01:36 PM

Nice bunch of chisels Ken .
I will have to give that some thought and I am surprised about the carbide cutters I thought that was the way to go .


-- Kiefer

View Julian's profile


1592 posts in 3567 days

#2 posted 04-28-2016 02:14 PM

Good looking tool handles. Regarding carbide cutters: I started buying from Arizona Carbide; mailing is shorter than from Louisiana. Last order I had from Capt. Eddie, the USPS lost the package but Capt. Eddie sent a replacement. One advantage of making your own handles is you can make them as long as you like. When you start cleaning out the inside of bowls, the longer handles provide much more leverage.

-- Julian

View lew's profile


13189 posts in 4632 days

#3 posted 04-28-2016 02:18 PM

Nice Job, Ken!

I agree about the carbide vs. “regular” tools. I like the carbide for some places- especially inside of smaller vessels and cutting coves. Other places I use the standard tools.

I really like the shape of your handles, they look comfortable. Most of my shop made handles have no finish and are sanded to 220 or 320- could be I’m lazy but it give a nice “grip”.

The Celtic Knots are really cool! The only thought I had was the knot near the “tool end” of the handle might be a weak point in case of a major catch. It is almost an end grain glue joint, which are notoriously weak.

I suppose it is too late to warn you about this slippery slope of turning, so I’ll just say-”Welcome To The Slide!”

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View savannah505's profile


1854 posts in 4463 days

#4 posted 04-28-2016 02:30 PM

Nice Ken, and great looking too.

-- Dan Wiggins

View Ken90712's profile


17909 posts in 4066 days

#5 posted 04-28-2016 03:16 PM

Thx guys, here’s one on the new machine.

Klaus I really like them. They work well. I think you will enjoy them as well.

Julian, thx. I agree I’ll make some longer ones as well. I did my first small bowl yesterday. C+ lol. I’ll look into airozona carbide.

Lew Thx I thought mm of that on the pattern, one did fail during turning. I did make sure that the inlay strip was edge grain this helped with n it not all being endgrain. Most of the strain is picked up at the end and ferral. Time will tell. Thx.

Thx dan, hope all is well bud.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2884 days

#6 posted 04-28-2016 03:31 PM

These look great Ken. I’ve made my own also and I’ve found that an overall length of between 22” and 24” is pretty comfortable for me. My handles are about 12” of that length.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Mark's profile


1052 posts in 2851 days

#7 posted 04-28-2016 04:31 PM

Nice looking handle Ken. Did you make the ferrules? If so …What’s the skinny? Yours are a lot less “bulky looking” than the ones from L/V

-- Mark

View Diggerjacks's profile


2328 posts in 4016 days

#8 posted 04-28-2016 05:17 PM

Hello Ken

These look great
I want the same
nothing is pretty enough for the lathe
Thanks for sharing

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6872 posts in 4856 days

#9 posted 04-28-2016 05:54 PM

Nice Ken.

Have fun!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10938 posts in 4929 days

#10 posted 04-28-2016 06:36 PM


Nice to seeing you having Turning FUN!

Question: With those disposable Easy Tool cutting heads, why do you need the fancy sharpening equip.?
... for the other tools (that you won’t be using as much, if you like the disposable cutters)?

Your handles look nice…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View BusterB's profile


2298 posts in 2885 days

#11 posted 04-28-2016 10:48 PM

What can I say Ken…those are mildly AWESOME!!!! Wow, well done sir!!!

-- Buster, Ocoee TN (Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors - Hemingway)

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3681 days

#12 posted 04-29-2016 12:18 AM

Looks like you’re having much fun Ken. Your handles look fantastic! WorkTurn/Play safe.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View jbschutz's profile


603 posts in 3568 days

#13 posted 04-29-2016 12:55 AM

Ken, I, too, succumbed to the allure of the carbide cutters from Capt. Eddie. I have been using them for a while now, and think they are great for what I do. if you are interested you can look on my page…..jbschutz…..and you will find my lathe handles ….made out of walnut …... I had them ready to go within a couple of days of getting my cutters and bars. You can also see some of my recent lathe offerings.
For my ferrels, I used a copper pipe connecter cut in half.

-- jbschutz

View Cedar Furniture Lodge 's profile

Cedar Furniture Lodge

824 posts in 3149 days

#14 posted 04-29-2016 05:09 AM

Very nice.

-- "The Cedar King"

View John's profile


1877 posts in 2147 days

#15 posted 04-29-2016 05:37 AM

Real nice job Ken. I won’t show you mine, no sanding, no finish, just big and comfortable.

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

showing 1 through 15 of 20 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics