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View Karda's profile

turning tool questions

by Karda
posted 01-31-2017 07:07 PM


31 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7383 posts in 2583 days


#1 posted 01-31-2017 07:21 PM

You can get started with some old screwdrivers and a belt sander (or you can hand sharpen), and take it up to however expensive you want from there :)

And size mainly dictates how large a piece you can turn…. you obviously can’t turn a deep bowl if you can’t get your turning tools to reach the bottom.

Cheers,
Brad

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

View JayT's profile

JayT

6198 posts in 2595 days


#2 posted 01-31-2017 07:46 PM

I started with a cheap turning tool set, but quickly got tired of sharpening, as they wouldn’t hold an edge. After talking to a couple other people, I decided to try carbide tools and am very happy with that decision. I’m still a turning novice, so am not going to claim a ton of knowlege, but have found that just a few carbide tools can cover a broad range of applications. Plus, you don’t have to worry about sharpening. The carbide tips stay sharp a long time, and when they finally get dull, simply rotate the tip to a fresh edge. No muss, no fuss.

You might take a look and see if that is a route that would work for you.

-- https://www.jtplaneworks.com - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

664 posts in 1685 days


#3 posted 01-31-2017 08:07 PM

Going by the number of post I assume you already do woodworking but just getting into turning.
I would go with full size tools. The link is to some videos by Stuart Batty; in particular you may want to view the ones on tool size and overhang. To get started on the right foot I also suggest the three on stance.
You didn’t say what you want to get started with. The minimum for spindle work (to me) would be a diamond parting tool, 1/2” spindle gouge, and a 3/4-1” skew. For bowl add a 1/2” bowl gouge.
Capn’ Eddie on youtube has a video on how to make a sharpening jig for gouges for a few bucks. Again, this assumes you already have a grinder. I use a 1980’s grinding set up I made with 6” wheels and it works just fine for me.
If you do want to start with carbide then lots of places have the bits fairly cheap ($3 -$20). A handle, square stock, and a drill bit and tap for the screw should be about $12. No need to pay $100 for a handle IMHO.

https://vimeo.com/woodturning/videos/page:1/sort:alphabetical/format:thumbnail

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

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2296 posts in 2374 days


#4 posted 01-31-2017 10:54 PM

The minimum for spindle work (to me) would be a diamond parting tool, 1/2” spindle gouge, and a 3/4-1” skew. For bowl add a 1/2” bowl gouge.
Capn Eddie on youtube has a video on how to make a sharpening jig for gouges for a few bucks. Again, this assumes you already have a grinder. I use a 1980 s grinding set up I made with 6” wheels and it works just fine for me.
If you do want to start with carbide then lots of places have the bits fairly cheap ($3 -$20). A handle, square stock, and a drill bit and tap for the screw should be about $12. No need to pay $100 for a handle IMHO
- LeeMills

Pretty much agree with Lee. I’d add a 1” spindle roughing gouge and sub a 3/8” vs a 1/2” spindle gouge but either works. Benjamins best and Hurricane tools are high value brands with good hss. As for sharpening – what do you consider expensive,what do you already have, and what can you or want to make? You can go dirt cheap and spend time making and adjusting at one end or go for a 10” slow speed grinder with CBN wheels. Some love belt sanders, others grinders. The gouge jigs for sale typically offer flexibility to get different grinds/shapes that will require separate shop made jigs for each- not that important at first but becomes more so if you like to turn. Can always start cheap and upgrade if you like it.

I tried carbide and hardly use it now. Once I learned how to really use a gouge I didnt have any real use for it. Unless you want to sand more I dont recommend it.

View Karda's profile

Karda

1513 posts in 938 days


#5 posted 02-01-2017 01:45 AM

Hi, thanks for your suggestion, two projects I have in mind are handles for carving knives and carvers mallets, maybe some bowls nothing small and delicate like pens, not yet. when I say expensive I don’t want to shell out %0 or 60 dollars t just to sharpen a tool if I can do it for less. I do have a grinder but it is iffy, its 40 YEAR OLD Black and Decker 5” I also have a motor and arbor I use as a grinder. I have to monkey a little to save if I can

View Bill7255's profile

Bill7255

428 posts in 2669 days


#6 posted 02-01-2017 12:54 PM

I think you would be better off using a belt or disk sander instead of your grinders. The grinders you have a just not the right tools for sharpening lathe chisels. Do not buy any chisels that are not HSS. HF has a set of HSS that many have started with including myself. The red handle ones are better. Those will do spindle work, but no bowl gouge. Price is about the same as two inexpensive HSS chisels. I still use a couple today. If you are going to buy a lathe, I suggest one that has #2 tapers. Stay away from tube lathes. Ther are some good used lathes where people have upgraded and are selling and may include some tooling. Also HF has lathes, but I have never used one.. if you find a used lathe, you might want to post to get opinions from turners here. Be warned that this hobby is a $$$ vortex, but I love it. It is my most enjoyable woodworking hobby.

-- Bill R

View Karda's profile

Karda

1513 posts in 938 days


#7 posted 02-01-2017 03:59 PM

Hi, I am begining to see that wood turning is expensive. Could you tell me what a #2 tapper is and what a tube lathe is. thanks

View Abter's profile

Abter

75 posts in 1011 days


#8 posted 02-01-2017 05:32 PM

Both the headstock and tail stock in a lathe can hold a variety of items that hold the wood or a tool. This includes things like mandrils, live centers, spur centers, drill chucks and lots of other things (see the $$ floating away yet?). While some of these devices screw on to the threaded part of the headstock spindle, many more attachments have a friction fit rod that fits into a hole in the head or tail stock. A MorseTaper (MT) is the standard shape of the rod, which is largest at the end holding the wood and gets steadily smaller towards the end that goes into the head or tail stock. A lathe has a matching size female taper “hole” in both the headstock and tailstock. The size of the taper in the lathe is fixed; you choose which size taper when you buy the lathe. Some lathes are available from the manufacturer in two sizes, #1 and #2.
Morse tapers come in standard sizes. For woodworking I agree Bill’s recommendation of a #2 taper is the best choice. MT #2 has the widest variety of pieces available, which generally lower the cost. #1, which is smaller, is quite serviceable as well.

FYI, all Morse tapers have the same angle on the sides; the diameter gets smaller at about 5/8” per foot (or put another way, the taper angle is just under 1.5 degrees). The different sizes of MTs (i.e., #1 and #2) refer to what size that particular taper starts at. Imagine you had a long bar starts out pretty large and then tapers at the standard Morse rate. You could cut one piece of that bar off at specified diameters and get a #1 MT. A different cut starting/stopping at somewhat larger diameters would be a #2 MT.

The chucks that are used in drill presses use a similar type of taper system, but the angle is not constant. A Jacobs Taper does not have a constant angle everywhere. The bigger the diameter of a JT, the larger the angle is.

-- "Many men fish all their lives without ever realizing that it is not the fish they are after." {often mis-quoted as by H.D. Thoreau}

View JayT's profile

JayT

6198 posts in 2595 days


#9 posted 02-01-2017 05:46 PM

Abter’s got you covered on Morse tapers.

A tube lathe is one that has a round steel tube on the bottom that the tail stock mounts to. They are generally not very good lathes and very difficult to keep aligned. Sears/Craftsman sold a ton of them that you can still find frequently and cheap, but they are more frustration than they are worth. Here’s a pic of that style:

-- https://www.jtplaneworks.com - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Abter's profile

Abter

75 posts in 1011 days


#10 posted 02-01-2017 05:58 PM

wow…things you learn here at LJ. The midsized lathe in the woodshop in our senior center is a Craftsman with that exact design. Just last week we found the head and tail stocks had gotten out of line by over 1/4 inch (when live centers in both ends were touching…or should have been touching at least). It was difficult for our shop manager to beat it back into a workable alignment, and even that required a wood wedge under the bar to make the final adjustment. On top of that its a #1 Morse Taper lathe; the only one that size in the shop. NOT CONVENIENT

-- "Many men fish all their lives without ever realizing that it is not the fish they are after." {often mis-quoted as by H.D. Thoreau}

View JollyGreen67's profile

JollyGreen67

1676 posts in 3147 days


#11 posted 02-01-2017 06:04 PM

My very first lathe was one of them Craftsman tube thingees – pure junk!

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected ! RIP 09/08/2018

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

664 posts in 1685 days


#12 posted 02-01-2017 08:07 PM

I’m a little surprised that it would have to be “beat” back in alignment. I had a Jet tube lathe and a brother had a craftsman. Both had a set screw on the back side where the tube enters the headstock. Loosen, align the points, and then tighten. The set serew may be difficult to see if you don’t know where to look. The points can be forced out of alignment with a large unbalanced item so they may need realignment oftern. My Jet lasted me 20 years with a fair amount of spindle turning. As soon as I started bowl turning it was toast.

For new folks who are not familiar with a lot of the terminology the is a video by Mike Piece on holding wood on the lathe. It is about 1.5 hrs long and pretty complete. It will not answer all questions but covers most as to holding methods.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUXil-5dEeo

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

View Karda's profile

Karda

1513 posts in 938 days


#13 posted 02-01-2017 11:20 PM

thanks for your information and it leads me to wonder. I am looking at a small inexpensive lathe like what you would find at HF or on ebay do they have #2 tappers and are they generally high amperage could I use on a 15 amp breaker. As far as expense go what will be my minimum need be thanks

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7383 posts in 2583 days


#14 posted 02-01-2017 11:56 PM

IIRC, the larger HF lathes have MT2 tapers… and all are 1hp or less, so a 15A circuit should be fine. It should state the spindle and taper size in the description/specifications for whatever one you are looking at.

As to expense… Wood turning can be as cheap or as expensive as you want. It is entirely possible to find a used $50 lathe and start using it immediately without any additional cost. It’s also possible to spend many times more than what you bought the lathe for on accessories and tools if you want. Lathes are ancient tools, and some really impressive work has been done on them over the centuries with little in the way of todays modern conveniences or tools.

Cheers,
Brad

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

View Bill7255's profile

Bill7255

428 posts in 2669 days


#15 posted 02-02-2017 12:25 AM

Harbor freight has 3 lathe models. The 8” swing is a mini with a #1,MT. The 10” (midi) and 12” full both have #2MT. The 10” has a 1/2 hp motor (7.5amps). The full size has a 3/4 hp motor not sure of amps, but is 120v. I have never turned on one, but know people that do and seem satisfied. They cone with a spur center and faceplate for the headstock and live tailstock center, minimum needs. These lathes are belt change for different speeds. Belt change is very easy, so more of inconvenience.

-- Bill R

View BenDupre's profile

BenDupre

716 posts in 872 days


#16 posted 02-02-2017 03:01 AM

I have been turning out lots of cool things on the HF midi lathe. It’s respectable. You can find the same chinese lathe branded by Jet and Rockler for a lot more money. Only drawback is changing speeds.

-- The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred. – George Bernard Shaw

View Karda's profile

Karda

1513 posts in 938 days


#17 posted 02-02-2017 04:05 AM

you guys have givin me a lot to think about, at least I know what to look for. My table saw lead me to join this group. I got a craftsman evolve, nice little saw but has substandard miter slots so I can’t make or buy jigs without making a special sized bar. schould have joined first and asked questions. I appreciate it.

View Abter's profile

Abter

75 posts in 1011 days


#18 posted 02-02-2017 02:42 PM

”...schould have joined first and asked questions.”
I SOOOO agree with that statement. When I started getting serious about Chesapeake Bay fishing I bought a boat, and headed out. Two years, after putting all of 3 fish in the box, later I stumbled onto an active website community much like LJ; it was entirely dedicated to Ches. Bay fishing. I learned more in the first day of reading and asking questions than I had sussed out on my own in the 2 frustrating years. This time, as I got interested in woodwork, one of the FIRST things I did was seek out a similar online community. The info, suggestions, ideas, plans, Q&As and emotional support group aid here is magnificent. As Karda said…I appreciate it!!!!!

-- "Many men fish all their lives without ever realizing that it is not the fish they are after." {often mis-quoted as by H.D. Thoreau}

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3383 posts in 1772 days


#19 posted 02-02-2017 03:22 PM

This Set of 8 Benjamins Best HSS Lathe Chisels is a good starter set, especially if you want to do both spindle and bowl turning. Unfortunately they are out of stock right now because they are or were on sale but you may be able to find them on Amazon or other online or local sources. Carbide tools have a slightly quicker learning curve, without also having to learn how to sharpen, than the traditional turning chisels so may be a way to get turning more quickly but once you get hooked you will want to start learning more traditional turning methods and get yourself setup to sharpen your HSS tools. I bought Rockler’s Excelsior midi lathe when it was on sale a few years back but it is basically the same lathe as one of the Harbor Freight lathes. I think Grizzly sells an identical one as well. I went with the cheaper lathe because I wasn’t sure how much I would use it but have since spent more money on “accessories” than the lathe itself. BTW, I bought the super cheap ($30 set) lathe tools to learn to sharpen without destroying my more expensive tools.

One caution for a newbie…DO NOT be tempted to use the standard spindle tools for turning bowls. Very dangerous. And get yourself a good face shield. You will eventually have something fly off the the lathe and you don’t want it to hit you in the face.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

2288 posts in 3328 days


#20 posted 02-02-2017 07:27 PM

For starting, I’ve been really happy with the Benjamin’s Best. They seem to hold their edges well and I don’t feel bad leaving a lot of iron dust behind at the sharpening wheels.

I’ve been doing the turn thing for less than a year, but it’s already grown from a Jet 14” lathe to that and a Rockwell Delta, an upgrade from a Tommy bar chuck to a Nova, a couple more knife supports, a few live centers, a Wolverine sharpening set and CBN wheels (which really kick butt – if you get them, go with the 1-1/2” wide by 8” wheels).

One of the hardest things to do was, repeating an angle I found worked for me. The cheap little gauges were missing the angle I favored, and were not all that accurate, according to two other adjustable gauges I’ve used.

When you finish sharpening and really like the feel of the angle at the lathe, try to verify what it is. Five degrees can make a huge difference. Of course, have a marker around to verify you’re taking steel off evenly.

Just for reference, I got to watch Stewart demonstrate and can attest to that he has some really good info [as does Captain Eddy].

P.S. The CBN wheels are for high speed steel only and should not be used to sharpen other steel types, including carbide tips.

View Jack Lewis's profile

Jack Lewis

440 posts in 1462 days


#21 posted 02-02-2017 09:55 PM



but does size mater

- Karda

IMHO, a small tool does not present itself to the material with as much “macho” as a larger tool. If the material kicks the tool into a bounce then a tool mark or unevenness results. This is mainly true on blanks that require roughing to a balanced and/or smoother surface. I know I get more fatigued with smaller tools. I use a 1” bowl gouge to rough as much as possible.

-- "PLUMBER'S BUTT! Get over it, everybody has one"

View Karda's profile

Karda

1513 posts in 938 days


#22 posted 02-02-2017 10:10 PM

thanks for all of your suggestions, I may have to use carbide tools because I would have to buy a whole new grinder just for turning tools.I have a motor but I don’r know how to build a grinder for turning tools.

View pmayer's profile

pmayer

1047 posts in 3450 days


#23 posted 02-03-2017 01:09 AM

As others have said, I too have become a fan of Benjamin’s best. Great value. I’ve got a set of bowl gouges that I’ve been using for a while, and just recently picked up a set of spindle gouges. The hold an edge better than my previous chisels, and have worked great so far for me.

-- PaulMayer, http://www.vernswoodgoods.com

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2296 posts in 2374 days


#24 posted 02-03-2017 12:40 PM

For a lathe, you might consider the HF 30476 if you have room – review. There several 8” slow speed grinders on amazon from $70-$120. Follow Capn Eddies tutorial for gouge jigs and you’re in business. You need a grinder to make your own carbide tool bars – buying one carbide tool will be about enough for a grinder. You then need to be able to make some kind of tool handle to then be able to turn a good tool handle. To me the logic circles back around to value HSS tools and a grinder.

View Bill7255's profile

Bill7255

428 posts in 2669 days


#25 posted 02-03-2017 01:43 PM


but does size mater

- Karda

IMHO, a small tool does not present itself to the material with as much “macho” as a larger tool. If the material kicks the tool into a bounce then a tool mark or unevenness results. This is mainly true on blanks that require roughing to a balanced and/or smoother surface. I know I get more fatigued with smaller tools. I use a 1” bowl gouge to rough as much as possible.

- Jack Lewis

Jack, did you mean 1” “roughing” gouge instead of bowl gouge? I have never seen a bowl gouge that big. Who makes it?

-- Bill R

View Jack Lewis's profile

Jack Lewis

440 posts in 1462 days


#26 posted 02-03-2017 03:26 PM

Karda;
When working with a 100-300 lb. chunk of mesquite with knots and bark inclusions spinning slightly out of balance, the additional counterweight of a SIZEable piece of steel does matter. An hour with a 5-6 ounce gouge can wear out these tired old arms quickly.

Bill R. NO bowl gouge is correct. Not touting their tools but loving them very much they are made of a proprietary steel unnamed by Serious Tool Works. Their smaller gouges are double ended and fluted full length but 7/8” and 1” are single ended with a reduced shank and have extra full length flutes. Their handle has a 1/8 can lock with collets to fit all their tools. They also have a new lathe that is out of this world both in capabilities and price. If I ever find a rich woman, I will get one. it weighs 1580 lbs. Drool! drool.

-- "PLUMBER'S BUTT! Get over it, everybody has one"

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

5643 posts in 4047 days


#27 posted 02-03-2017 05:15 PM

If I ever find a rich woman …

When you find her, ask her if she has a single sister!

BTW, one of the guys in my turning club uses a Serious 1” bowl gouge to rough bowl blanks … that tool is a beast!

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

View Karda's profile

Karda

1513 posts in 938 days


#28 posted 02-03-2017 05:44 PM

I think a lathe is just out of my reach it is one expensive tool after another. The lathe and tools is to much at its but to shuck out a lot more for a proper grinder that I may not be able to use for make work, sharpening is not a skill I am good at

View Bill7255's profile

Bill7255

428 posts in 2669 days


#29 posted 02-03-2017 06:42 PM



Karda;
When working with a 100-300 lb. chunk of mesquite with knots and bark inclusions spinning slightly out of balance, the additional counterweight of a SIZEable piece of steel does matter. An hour with a 5-6 ounce gouge can wear out these tired old arms quickly.

Bill R. NO bowl gouge is correct. Not touting their tools but loving them very much they are made of a proprietary steel unnamed by Serious Tool Works. Their smaller gouges are double ended and fluted full length but 7/8” and 1” are single ended with a reduced shank and have extra full length flutes. Their handle has a 1/8 can lock with collets to fit all their tools. They also have a new lathe that is out of this world both in capabilities and price. If I ever find a rich woman, I will get one. it weighs 1580 lbs. Drool! drool.

- Jack Lewis

Wow, that is one big bowl gouge. Serious tools are highly regarded, but I don’t have any. I do have a 5/8 Thompson bowl gouge and it seems big. I’ll have to order one when I order their lathe (after I win the lottery, of course). Thanks for the info.

-- Bill R

View Karda's profile

Karda

1513 posts in 938 days


#30 posted 02-03-2017 07:01 PM

that is one big chunk of wood, I wood never use something that big but I get your point

View Karda's profile

Karda

1513 posts in 938 days


#31 posted 02-04-2017 09:51 PM

Hi, I am looking at this lathe at HF it is smaller and I can get it in the house alone. What are the limitation other than size of working stock thanks Mike

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