Excellent For Rough Turning

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Review by OSU55 posted 04-03-2015 06:46 PM 6786 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Excellent For Rough Turning Excellent For Rough Turning Excellent For Rough Turning Click the pictures to enlarge them

This review is for the 18mm round (3 for $24) and the 15mm R2 (Radius Squared – 3 for $24) carbide insert cutters from Cap’n Eddie Castelin I was charged $3 shipping for all 6 cutters ordered at the same time. I think it took 6 days from order placement to delivery in Missouri. I listed these under Cap’n Eddie as the brand, but I know he sources them from somewhere, I just don’t know where. I’ve been pleased with the value of the cutters. Delivered cost is about as cheap as any, and after using them awhile I’m guessing they are as good as any (based on previous experience with carbide tools in different applications). I like supporting a small business like Eddie’s when competitive.

As others have reported, carbide does not leave as nice of a surface finish as sharp HSS simply because you can’t get as sharp of an edge. Carbide excels at roughing, where surface finish isn’t important. Where these really stand out for me is segmented turning. In the pics below you can see the large amount of dried glue, especially between layers, of this 13” bowl glue up.

That glue is rough on HSS, but I’ve roughed out 2 segmented bowls (both about ~13”) with the carbide inserts, with the same edges, and they are more than ready to do more. The cutting ability has dropped off a little, but they are still performing very well. I would have sharpened a HSS toll at least once, and probably twice, for each bowl.

Both shapes have their uses and I’m glad I got both. I definitely prefer the radius square cutter over a straight square cutter. That little bit of radius allows scraping a flat surface without a corner digging in. I’ve also used them for some spindle turning. Grain tear out was more pronounced turning across the grain in spindle turning vs along the grain with the segmented turning, but acceptable for roughing. The tools are easy to use, just follow the same rules as HSS straight and curved scrapers.

Probably the only tools these would replace would be spindle roughing gouges, unless you don’t mind a lot of sanding for tear out. For spindle or bowl turning, you still need HSS scrapers or gouges for finish cuts, but they will reduce the number of times your HSS tools need sharpened by letting the carbide take the beating of roughing operations.

Here are the tool handles made for the inserts

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#1 posted 04-03-2015 07:39 PM

Thank you for the review. I have making a set of these using Cap’n Eddie Castelin cutters. After a few more bowls would you update your review? Let us know how they hold up long term.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

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114 posts in 2299 days

#2 posted 04-04-2015 06:12 AM

Glad to hear you have good results with Capt. Eddie’s carbide cutters. I’ve been tempted to give him a try at some point. I enjoy his videos, and made a bunch of napkin rings as Christmas gifts based on his technique.

I currently have a Woodchuck PenPro, and like it for roughing pens. The handle I made is pretty short (great for pens), but I’ve used it on a few larger spindle turnings. Glad to hear someone else say carbide cutters are not the “cure all”, as is often portrayed. On some other forums, I seem to see a lot of people give in and just go carbide. My goal is to “master” the skew—although until lately I questioned whether it was possible! I have been turning just a few years and getting a lot more comfortable using the skew. When the skew is sharp, and everything works, it can be quite amazing (and rewarding) just how smooth a finish HSS can give you.

-- Lee

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