Reply by HokieKen

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Posted on Beginner chisel set recommendation

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10933 posts in 1648 days

#1 posted 07-02-2019 01:45 PM


When i had thought about the lathe in the past and saw what people were doing it looked relatively safe and very enjoyable. Sill looks enjoyable but i came across a number of videos when simply trying to understand technique last night that displayed and mentioned about the dangers of catches. I have to say after those when i went to try it i was pretty darn timid around it. The very very basic videos are a bit tuffer to come by i found.

- bline22

Don’t be! Do what you can to make it as safe as possible and just turn. You will get catches but it’s rare that a catch is more than a mild annoyance. Sometimes it may ruin your workpiece. Very seldom is it worse than that though. When I was giving a friend (LJ Jeffswildwood) a crash course in turning a couple of years ago, he expressed the exact same fears. I promptly spun up a blank and intentionally initiated a series of catches while explaining to him what I was doing wrong and why a catch was about to occur. If you’re that worried about catches, make yourself a few in a controlled circumstance and you’ll be more at ease.

Also, steer clear of skews until you have a better feel for turning in general to avoid catches. I can’t recall the last time I had a catch with a gouge. I have a couple almost every single time I touch a skew. Start with gouges and learn what it means to “ride the bevel”. Once you learn to keep the bevel in contact with the work, your confidence will increase dramatically.

For turning rings, I would recommend starting with spindle gouges. I have this set and for the money, they are excellent IMO. However as stated above, you’ll have to be able to sharpen them. That may require an investment in a tormek or wolverine system. Alternatively you can find examples of home made clones of some of those jigs online that will save you some cash if you prefer to invest your time instead. It’s kind of a catch 22; I think gouges are the best place to start for learning to turn. But, they’re also the most difficult to learn to sharpen properly.

Finally, I have a set of carbide tools from LJ Dave Kelley. They are great for new turners because there’s no sharpening and the approach angle is flat and on center. However, they’re also a bit of a crutch for the same reasons… Personally, I have and use both HSS and carbide tools and recommend the same to new turners. But, I also recommend picking one starting point, gain a good working knowledge of that type of tool then introduce something else to your aresenal.

Good luck!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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