Material for making turning tools

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Forum topic by mike02719 posted 11-14-2019 03:47 AM 400 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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175 posts in 4348 days

11-14-2019 03:47 AM

Where do we get material to make turning tools? I have tried files, large allen wrenches and HSS stock that I bought at a machine shop. Allen wrenches are easy to shape but don’t hold an edge very long. Files hold edge longer but are very hard to shape. Machine tool stock seems to hold edge well and is easiest to shape, but getting a piece long enough is difficult. I buy unhandled tools because I get better steel and my handles are better (I think). I have some specialty tools that work well that I made but don’t stay sharp very long.

-- Mike, Massachusetts

7 replies so far

View Andre's profile


2885 posts in 2368 days

#1 posted 11-14-2019 05:11 AM

What method of tempering do you use after tools are made?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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1454 posts in 467 days

#2 posted 11-14-2019 05:14 AM

What method of tempering do you use after tools are made?

- Andre

Basically this here. Use a torch or makeshift forge and a magnet to get it up to temp and quench in oil.

View Eric's profile


135 posts in 799 days

#3 posted 11-14-2019 06:10 AM

I searched on “m2 tool steel flat stock” and found serveral internet stockists.

-- Eric

View Wildwood's profile


2767 posts in 2697 days

#4 posted 11-14-2019 08:29 PM

Russ had some pretty strong ideas on how stuff should get done turning wood! Back when he wrote this article making your own carbide tools because not many makers or vendors selling them.

With exception for allen wrenches and modifying a few old tools for different purposes, rather buy than make just my 2 cents.

-- Bill

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11542 posts in 1700 days

#5 posted 11-14-2019 08:42 PM

Just a quick look for M2 HSS:
Here is some flat bar in up to 36 inch lengths

And here is drill rod in long lengths

I would watch Ebay if it were me. Can usually get better deals on there but you have to find it first…

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

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1832 posts in 1116 days

#6 posted 11-17-2019 06:10 PM

I buy HSS billets on ebay. I only make flat tools like scrappers

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910 posts in 1664 days

#7 posted 11-17-2019 06:26 PM

I have made a couple of special purpose turning tools from star drills that I found cheap at the flea market. It takes quite a bit of grinding to get two of the “fins” off. But, then, you have a fairly flat surface to make your cutting edge with. I didn’t do any re-tempering.

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