All Replies on Need some advice

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View Deanoside's profile

Need some advice

by Deanoside
posted 07-28-2017 01:20 PM

9 replies so far

View OSU55's profile


2658 posts in 2840 days

#1 posted 07-28-2017 02:01 PM

I’ve had great success with PSI Benjamins Best and Hurricane brands. Lots of debate about grades of hss, but these hold an edge for a reasonable amount of time. When I started I knew nothing about wood lathe tools and a lot of the info on the web is confusing, contradictory, and very opiniated – difficult to find objective data. Also, there are many ways to do many things with various tools. Many advocate by hi quality (expensive) tools and just buy as needed. Well hell, when starting how do know whats needed? There’s no club near me, so that wasnt an option. I opted to buy hi value tools, i could buy many types for the same $, try different tools and grinds and figure out for myself what I needed and liked. I can now by one more expensive tool that I know is what I want. And those hi value tools still get used a lot.

More info on what you want to turn helps narrow the list.

View Wildwood's profile


2891 posts in 2985 days

#2 posted 07-28-2017 06:58 PM

Would be nice to know what type or how much turning plan to do and your buget. I am one of those old geezers that recommend buying individual tools because don’t really need a lot of tools to turn spindles or bowls.

Most if not all HSS turning tool coming out of China today, brands name importers may cut to size and put a bevel on and handle them and call themselves manufacturers. Other vendors just buy complete China handled tools with their brand name on them. Depends upon what is requested from China as to quality of steel.

If not buying local what, where, and shipping cost is what makes tools expensive between named brands and newer less expensive brands. Shopping for sales and quanity discount will save you a few bucks.

For occasional spindle turning these sets won’t cost a lot of money if have a Harbor Freight near by.

Red handle spindle turning set:

less expensive white handle set

Think will find both of these spindle sets comparable with sets found at other vendors for lot less money. Manufacturers don’t always package their best tools in sets.

Basic spindle set of tools, diamond parting tool, 3/8” & 1/2” spindle gouges, 3/4” roughing gouge, and 1/2” or 3/4” skew.

Basic bowl gouge set bowl gouge, parting tool, and maybe a heavy duty scraper. Depends on where and who makes your bowl gouge English made will be 1/8” larger than size listed ( if buy 1/4” bowl gouge will actually be 3/8’s of an inch) for American market a 1/4” bowl goge will be 1/4”. P & N tools sold by MM’s.

Two vendors that will give discounts for buying more than one tool at a time, but ask when ordering:

Craft Supplies Http://
Packard Woodworks

Penn State Industries doesn’t give quanity discount on tools but are less expensive

Hurricane Turning tools

-- Bill

View Madrona's profile


123 posts in 1746 days

#3 posted 07-29-2017 05:44 AM

OSU55 gave you some great advise and I’ll confirm it. I’ve been turning fairly seriously for about three years and own almost exclusively Benjamin’s Best. They are pretty dang good for the money and if you mess one up, 20-30 bucks get’s you another one. I haven’t messed any up yet, I haven’t broken any or bent any and they hold an edge pretty well. Good luck with your new hobby!

-- Living In The Woods Of Beautiful Bonney Lake, Washington

View Deanoside's profile


33 posts in 1154 days

#4 posted 07-29-2017 07:57 AM

Thanks for the advice I deffenetly appreciate it wildwood I’m working on my first bowl and have done a few legs I an on continuing to do the same

-- A learning man is Alive a learned man is dead

View Wildwood's profile


2891 posts in 2985 days

#5 posted 07-29-2017 10:43 AM

I can turn a complete bowl with just a 1/2” bowl gouge and have couple of them with different bevel angles. Also have a 5/8” bowl gouge for hogging wood but can also do finishing cuts with it. My bowl gouges made by Crown, Henry Taylor and Thompson. I like both U & V shape gouges different bevel angles.

As need replacement tools will be buying unhandled tools from DougThompson. My Crown and Henry Taylor gouges just about wore out.

Bevel angles on a bowl gouge depend upon style or design of bowls you are turning and personal preference. Fingernail or side grind (Ellsworth) very popular and I use both. My bevel angles run 45, 55, and 60 degrees, but your mileage can and will vary based personal preference, style or design.

Information can seem confusing but once learn what works for you won’t sweat the chaff. If order free catalogs from Craft Suppies and Packard Woodworks will see how information can get confusing.

Only thing to remember is tools have to be sharp regardless of steel use to make them, and don’t cut well when dull.

-- Bill

View Jack Lewis's profile

Jack Lewis

576 posts in 1929 days

#6 posted 07-29-2017 04:58 PM

Hi I reasentley traded some chairs I made out of spools for a lathe. I was Excited to try it out and bought some cheep tools they work but I have to constantly sharpen them I would like to get some new ones what is a descent set that won t brake the bank

- Deanoside

After doing as you, searching everywhere, I found, Their gouges are expensive, most are double ended, and they claim a special proprietary steel. I have found it sharpens very well with CBN wheel, holds an edge forever and I really love it. I use a 1” gouge to rough out bowls from logs and smaller (1/2”) for the rest. The double ended gouge is cool because it just takes seconds to reverse it without shutting down the lathe. The heavier 1” gouge really stands up to the out-of-round log when roughing. They also warned when sharpening, if the steel blues, let it cool naturally, don’t quench in water.

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

View Woodknack's profile


13474 posts in 3231 days

#7 posted 07-29-2017 05:12 PM

You’ll still be doing a lot of sharpening, even with better tools. Just be prepared for that and don’t expect miracles.

-- Rick M,

View TheFridge's profile


10861 posts in 2337 days

#8 posted 07-29-2017 08:25 PM

You ll still be doing a lot of sharpening, even with better tools. Just be prepared for that and don t expect miracles.

- Rick M


-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View MrUnix's profile


8212 posts in 3050 days

#9 posted 07-29-2017 08:29 PM

You ll still be doing a lot of sharpening, even with better tools. Just be prepared for that and don t expect miracles.
- Rick M

- TheFridge

Double Yup… make or buy a sharpening jig so you get consistent results every time. If it only takes you a few seconds to sharpen up a tool, doing it a bit more often isn’t that big of a deal.


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

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