Reply by Wildwood

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Posted on The carbide puzzle

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2899 posts in 3019 days

#1 posted 11-25-2017 02:19 PM

Regardless of the steel used to make a tool you can get shavings when scraping. Reed Gray shows how his big ugly tool for example. More than anything depends upon your skill and wood you are turning more that tool steel.

Can remember when carbide cutters being talked about on diferent forums by wood turners looking for the perfect tool. Yes in early days carbide router bits one type of cutter used by turners. Those discussions got technical but most turners had a wait & see attitude back then. Few guys were selling their carbide tools with various cutters via word of mouth.

Wasn’t until vendors got into selling them and mass marketing by Hunter & guy from Easy Wood that saw carbide tool selling briskly. By then also had and still have guys buying cutters and making their own tools.

Do carbide tools live up to all the hype? Answer is both yes and no. Yes the learning curve is not that difficult, and appeals to turners that don’t know or want to invest in sharpening systems. Down side is replacing cutters once dull. If buy in bulk prices of cutters not that bad, have to shop around.

Are they faster than conventional turning tools? No not really! Like posted earlier they do excel at turning antler,
bone, exotic dense hardwoods, and stone.

While not perfect this testinG of various turning tool steels very interesting even though did not use carbide cutters in their test. You can read and decide for yourself. Biggest point should take away from the testing is found in two sentences.

“ All of the steels advertised as being more wear resistant than M2 are truly more resistant. However, the relative wear resistance less than claimed.”

No matter what steel is used to make your turning tool, need to sharpen when dull.

-- Bill

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