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Forum topic by lgreg posted 06-06-2017 04:36 PM 988 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 1133 days

06-06-2017 04:36 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question pine lathe turning

I am new to woodturning . When I attempt to turn a spindle on my lathe I cannot get any chips, just dust and it takes forever even with soft wood like pine. I have a brand new set of turning tools. Are the tools the problem or is it the speed of the lathe? Thanks for helping a newbie.

8 replies so far

View Woodknack's profile


13399 posts in 3158 days

#1 posted 06-06-2017 05:04 PM

My guess would be that your tools are dull and/or you are presenting the tool at the wrong angle. Most all chisels need sharpening even when new.

-- Rick M,

View KelleyCrafts's profile


4219 posts in 1517 days

#2 posted 06-06-2017 05:18 PM

Rick is right. Sharpen those things. When turning you really need a good sharpening routine because you will do it often, very often. Lots of options out there. You can go relatively cheap or expensive based on income but I can guarantee your tools aren’t sharp or don’t have an even bevel around the tip.

My sharpening is a bit on the spendy side, actually very expensive but it was a gift and I do love the thing. I use the Robert Sorby ProEdge sander. It’s literally just a belt sander with a nice platform to set at very repeatable angles. I also use it for redefining chisel angles, plane blades, etc. it’s cheaper than a tormek if you include the attachments the tormek needs but it excels at turning tools. For example, it’s right next to my lathe, when I’m turning I can stop put the tool against the ProEdge and get back to turning in literally 30 seconds, maybe less. It’s stellar

I was originally going to get the wolverine system until the wife surprised me with the ProEdge. I think that wolverine system is reasonably priced and with a slow speed grinder can do many things even outside of turning tools.

Do some research and get a good system down and you’ll enjoy the escape turning brings.

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View lgreg's profile


3 posts in 1133 days

#3 posted 06-06-2017 05:24 PM

Thanks. . Ill get my chisels sharpened and try again.

View TheDane's profile


5823 posts in 4441 days

#4 posted 06-06-2017 07:10 PM

I’ll get my chisels sharpened and try again.

Do you have a way to sharpen your tools (e.g. a grinder or belt sander)?

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

View HokieKen's profile


14096 posts in 1916 days

#5 posted 06-06-2017 07:44 PM

Nobody asked the obvious question either: What kind of tool are you using? Not what maker but is it a gouge, skew, parting tool, scraper…?

...Are the tools the problem or is it the speed of the lathe?...

- lgreg

No offense but it’s probably “C”, operator error. ;-P Not casting stones, we all had to start somewhere!

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

View LeeMills's profile


702 posts in 2079 days

#6 posted 06-06-2017 08:13 PM

I agree with Hokie, what tool(s) are you using and are you cutting side grain or end grain?
Most new tools are not Sharp but typically they are sharp enough to cut.

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

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1723 posts in 2508 days

#7 posted 06-06-2017 08:32 PM

Thanks. . Ill get my chisels sharpened and try again.

- lgreg

I being a smart butte right now. Above is what you posted, but I read it as, “Thanks, I get a chisel sharpening station, and try again.”

If you lathe has reverse ability, are you sure you’re not in reverse? hehehe I’ve heard a lot worse from employees I had in the past. It’s pretty much what made me quit when I did, plus the missing fingers…. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View lgreg's profile


3 posts in 1133 days

#8 posted 06-06-2017 09:08 PM

I. Got a friend (an 88 year. old woodworker who still does amazing projects) to show me how to sharpen my chisels and tips on using them. It’s all good now. Thanks for a) the comments and help. Im not new to woodworking just never use a lathe before.

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