I really wish I documented my first wood turning bowl!
I grabbed a piece of willow that was laying in the river for 10 years or more, surprisingly it dried quickly and I was able to turn it. It was soft, there were many spots that were almost rotten, however, I still turned it and my wife has it on the table with some apples in it 🙂
I finished the bowl with mineral spirits from rockler.com, although I could have gotten the finish cheaper elsewhere, I wanted to make sure the finish was safe to put food into.
Now my second bowl was from the wood pile that was destined to be firewood. I’m almost positive it’s a piece of ash, it’s very hard and very difficult to shape…. although that could just be because I have a Harbor Freight Lathe 🙂 It had a diameter of 11″ or so, it was perfect for my harbor freight lathe.
This is really the first time I started a bowl or any wood turning project and had my Nova Chuck, I wasn’t sure if I should make a tennon or make a recess. I ended up making a recess on the bottom of the bowl for the Nova chuck jaws, first I cleaned up the end of the log and then I flattened it.
I had some cracks and checks. Just mixed up some CA glue with wood shavings and also used some plain ole wood glue with wood shavings. Basically, you stuff the crack or hole with wood shaveings or sawdust and squirt some CA into it or you can use plain ole wood glue, but remember both will take on a different color when you apply a finish to the project. You just need to experiment to see what works best for you. Most wood turners seem to be using CA or an Expoxy mixed with the wood shavings. You can look up more on the subject and also search for “stablizing wood” you’ll get a good idea on how to use the different glues and expoxies on your wood turning projects. Did you know that you can use CA glue for a finsh? I need to find a good supplier for CA (superglue) glue in a larger container. I ended up getting small tubes and they always dry up or harden if not used right away.
I suppose I should tell you how I started.
I grabbed the ash log, it had a diameter of 12″ and I cut it to length of 12″. Then I cut the log in half, thru the center of the log.
I wanted to mount my face plate on the outside (bark side) of the log so I flattened that area of the log by running it through the band saw, the other bowl project I just used a chain saw. Next I flipped the log over and traced a circle from the faceplate side and cut the circle out using the band saw. It was a rough circle and I’ve watched some guys just mount the log without rounding the corners …..looked a little to dangerous that way so I wanted to round it off first.
I mounted the faceplate with attached log, pushed my live center into the log and started turning. You can see by the image what I had and how it was working. So far so good, I like the shape, I’ve been sharpening my tools by hand, I haven’t had the time to set up my oneway grinding/sharpening guide. I really need to do that because I want to see what these tools can do before I invest in anything expensive or I try some of the carbide tipped tools I plan on making.
All I can say is this that wood turning is a log of fun, very addicting! Already I wish I had a lathe with a little more power 🙂 The harbor freight
has turned some of the softer woods very easily, but this dry ash is really tough on the lathe. I was thinking of a Laguna or Nova Wood Lathe, several guys have these and love em!
For instance if you’re looking for a new lathe check out some of these features. I have a couple of other Laguna power tools and really like them.
The Revo 18|36 Lathe from Laguna combines power, precision and advanced features, resulting in a turning experience like no other. The lathe features a polished steel bed for the utmost in strength and stability, and the smoothest possible movement of the headstock, tailstock and tool rest. A full 18” of outboard capacity allows you to turn large bowls, while 36” of inboard capacity lets you turn long spindles, table legs and island legs. The lathe is powered by a unique motor that converts a 1-phase input to a 3-phase output. This 3-phase output delivers smooth, even power, even when the lathe is under heavy loads. It also provides infinitely variable speed within the two general speed ranges without sacrificing power or torque at lower RPMs. The anodized aluminum control panel is exquisitely designed, and angled for easy visibility and accessibility to all knobs. It features a large blue-hued digital read-out that gives you precise RPM readouts at all times, and easy adjustments with the comfortable rubber-coated knob.
Second bowl for me, a lot less tears, less gouges and a lot less tear outs! I used my Woodstock Bowl Gouge and 1″ scraper for most of it so far. I also used the skew to create the recess for the Nova Chuck.
I think I’ll make up some of Cap’n Eddie’s OB Shine Juice for a finish. One thing I didn’t think of is how do I deal with the insert hole for the Nova Chuck Jaws? I know with a tennon I can just cut it off, but not sure how to deal with a hole in the bottom of my bowl….. guess I’ll have to do a little research!
Maybe I’ll shoot some video of turning and finishing this bowl. I will post some pics of how it turns out and will try to do a sequence. My wife thinks they are beautiful, all I see are the imperfections …..I could easily throw them away. Oh…I need to tell you about the cup I made from gluing up about 5 2×6’s …. looks really cool!
And…. I have another project in mind. I was driving past a local city landfill…. organic stuff, and I found some pine with a 8 to 10 inch diameter. I have a lamp project in mind!
You gotta keep you eyes open for downed wood, cable, electric and phone line guys are always around keeping the right away clear for their lines…. an excellent place to pick up enough wood to turn for a whole year!
I did a post on how and where to find free wood for your turning projects. Not quite done with it, but I think it will help some of you guys out. Will try to get that stuff posted in the next week of so.
So…I’m turning a bowl but I screwed up and need a thin parting tool, that would be a tool that is kind of like a knife to slice thru your turning project to release it from a glue block or tenon.
All I have is this big honker 1/4″ parting tool, I think its actually closer to 3/16″ wide. Well, I had to make it work so I did by changing the profile of the project…. I didn’t really want to do that but I didn’t want it to spin off into 100 pieces either.
DIY Parting Tool From Sawzall Blade
I’ve been wanting a thin parting tool for a long time. A think 1/8″ parting tool is a must for every wood turner not only for releasing or cutting thru your project but for adding detail, nice clean lines to a wood turning. So, I guess I need to get one.
But… I remembered Cap’n Eddie did a video on how to make one….then of course there are a handful of videos on how to make a parting tool for your wood turnings.
Eddie’s first video on making a parting tool was to start off by using a lawn edger blade and reshaping it with a grinder, then he did a second video on using sawzall blades, or reciprocal saw blades. Being a contractor I just happen to have a box of old blades I can use for making my parting tool.
Sharpening Your Wood Tuner’s Parting Tool
I won’t go into sharpening very much at this point except to say that you need to keep your parting tool sharp for best results. There are some very important parts of your parting tool to keep an edge on so it can cut effectively. I will post more on this latter, but for watch what Cap’n Eddie does to keep his parting tool sharp and good to go.
Make My Own Wood Turner’s Parting Tool
Yes, I am going to make one…. I have more time than money so maybe I’ll do a video on that. In the meanwhile, why don’t you watch Cap’n Eddie put his parting tools together. The first video he uses the edger blade…that would be for you if you don’t have a source of thin strong metal laying around, the second is from using the reciprocal demolition blade ….usually a 12″ blade, and the third is how he sharpens his parting tool.
Make Your Own
Wood Turning Parting Tool
Make Your Own Thin Blade
Wood Turning Parting Tool
Make Your Own Wood Finish
O.B. Shine Juice with Cap’n Eddie
There are 100’s of ways to finish your wood turning projects. Cap’n Eddie has what he calls ob shine juice to seal and put a basic finish on your wood project. You can further finish your project by applying a different type of finish on top of your ob shine juice finish. He even says you can apply this to something that already has a finish ….guess you’ll just have to test it.
How To Make O.B. Shine Juice
He gives you the formula in the video and it consists of:
one part boiled linseed oil
one part clear shellac finish
one part denatured alchohol
Eddie has a bunch of differnet finishes he likes to use, I’ll do a Finish section for wood turning projects of all kinds from all different wood turners, so come back and check out this category everynow and again…… heck I might even put Cap’n Eddie’s secrect formula on a downloadable .txt file so you can pin it the wall right next to your lathe.
CA Finish ….How to Use it on
Wood Turning Projects
Hey…. did you know you can use superglue for a wood finish on your turning projects? There are all kinds of special ways to apply and precautions to take…. I’ll do a section on finishing with CA products, cap’n eddie uses this a lot, so do most of the big name wood tuners.
Watch the famous Cap’n Eddie at work and remember to support the guy by purchasing his products, jigs, tools and anything else he has on wood turning
Here is the receipe for OB Shine Juice Directly from Capn Eddie
Or Go to this URL
What is The ONEWAY
As you might know I’ve been researching the best way to sharpen my wood turning tools, I’ve been trying to find the best affordable woodturning tools and equipment in terms of quality and value.
Here are 2 Facts to consider:
-a woodturning bowl chisel can be cheap or close to $200 -most reviews from the owners of the $100 dollar plus chisels and gouges say they are a dream to use compared to the cheap wood turning tools –however those of us that have elcheapo woodturning gouges and chisels get great results if we can get our woodturning tools sharpened properly.
Sharpening a cheap wood lathe chisel means you need to keep an edge on that tool because the quality of the steel is not as good as the expensive lathe chisels and gouges. The fact is, cheap steel does not keep a sharp edge very long. But…. if you know how to sharpen your cheap tools you can hone your woodturning skills using cheap tools and work your way up to the more expensive wood turning tools!
Sharpening cheap woodlathe tools allows you to learn on those tools how to sharpen them properly. So, now when you by that expensive Sorby or Ellsworth wood-turning chisel you’ll exactly how to do it and you won’t lose excessive metal by over-grinding.
Sharpening Cheap and
Expensive Wood Turning Tools
To recap up to this point.
We have cheap tools and expensive tools. Both need to be sharpened.
Cheap tools, when sharpened properly can cut almost as good as an expensive woodturning tool, it just depends on your ability to sharpen your tools. And the frequency of sharpening is greater, in other words, it’s been said that you will sharpen a cheap wood turning bowl gouge 7 times to each single sharpening of a Sorby or Ellsworth bowl gouge! Keeping in mind that the expensive Sorby or Ellsworth wood turning bowl gouge that gets delivered will be sharp (not always) but you are going to have to know how to sharpen it sooner or latter and you don’t want to learn how to sharpen one of these expensive tools with your first attempt at sharpening……I guarantee you will watch that 200 dollar turning chisel shrink into a little stub of a tool in no time.
It’s been said, sharpening is an art! I’ve worked with a variety of cutting tools over the last 45 years and can tell you that there’s nothing like a newly sharpened blade, chisel or other tool to work with.
Yes is is an “art”, but it is also based on mathematics and physics. Unless you’ve been turning for the last 20 years its impossible to know what the angles are, how far the sweep goes back and a whole myriad of different factors in sharpening. You can spend the next year watching videos and reading articles just on sharpening your wood turning tools, but thank Goodness you really don’t have to because there are plenty of sharpening kits and jigs out there that you can either make or buy.
Heck, when I first started my wood turning habit, I took my elcheapo Harbor Freight wood turning chisels and sharpened them by hand. I did pick up one trick, take a black sharpie pen and color the entire grind of the tool. As you begin to sharpen your chisel (by hand) watch the colored area get ground away. At this point you know you have the right angle and you can sort of watch the tool take shape …..always trying not to overgrind which leads to changing the profile or the angle of the cutting edge.
Sharpening by hand works but even the most avid wood turning will tell you to invest in tools and equipment that will help you keep your woodturning tools, chisels and gouges in good shape. I’ve worked with wood almost all my life and a sharp tool is safer, makes the day go by quicker and your work will always be better ……along with the fact that you will actually enjoy the project you are working on!
So, in my quest for learning all I can to be a good wood-turner on a low budget I found all kinds of solutions for sharpening your tools. I found instructions on how to make a jig that will allow you to put that extra special irish grind or Ellsworth grind on your bowl gouge and you can make this jig for 2 dollars its called “the 2 dollar sharpening jig“.
I found jigs with big turning stones, some with small turning stones and had attachments that you could use on your lawnmower and kitchen knives ….these were always between $600 and $1000 because I never could figure out how many extra attachments you needed to sharpen wood turning tools. I watched different guys use belt sanders, disc sanders and 2” vertical sanders…… all claimed they had the perfect set up. And you know what, this is important, if you have or develop a system to sharpen your woodturning tools …..good one for you! You make it your own and if you’re happy with the results then there is no need to change.
I stumbled on this guys website http://bhovey.com, he actually goes thru the process of building a sharpening jig from wood similar to the Oneway Wolverine jig. You might like to look at that!
Here’s another alternative to the Wolverine Sharpening Jig, it’s a shop made jig of wood, looks fairly simple to make and will save you a pile of cash ….all it takes is some talent and time. Anway he also offers a free set of plans to build to turners sharpening jig so check out the video below:
Stephen Ogle, a wood turner, from whom I learned a ton about woodturning from shows how he made a jig that turned a flat disk using an old fan motor…..well, I think he swiped it from his wife 🙂 But it is perfect for maintaining an edge, however, you can’t use it to grind or regrind an edge on a tool, in other words can’t use his system to reshape the end of your tool. His sharpening system only deals with the very end of the chisel or gouge to put a razor sharp edge on the tool. So you might want to use this as a second step option to fine tune your sharpening after the first basic sharpening. Anyway, check out his video here
Sorby has some kind of monster belt sander that flips, goes horizontal, turns around and I think hovers 🙂 but I know that it is over $1000 and you need to get a set of accessories to sharpen your specific tools.
I figured out when it came down to it, the toughest and most used grind is the swept back irish grind. Now there are probably 100 variations or more of this grind and you have to figure out which one suits your need. Once you find out what type of grind will work for you, you need to figure out a way to consistently sharpen that gouge or chisel each and every time so your results will be the same. Find something that works for you and just keep on using it….. go to seminars, watch videos and check out blogs like mine that will keep you up to date on what’s working and what’s not …..what kind of new stuff is available to help keep your tools sharp.
My whole thought process was, will cheap tools work? …. can I sharpen cheap tools? I know, or at least I’ve read reviews about the expensive tools and quality steel….it all makes sense and anyone who has switched from elcheapo to the grand wood-turning gouge…almost always say that they cannot believe how much better the good tool, properly sharpened, works.
Yet on the other hand, I’ve read reviews for some of the cheaper tools where the tool owner’s had both and literally could not tell the difference between the two tools because he kept them properly sharpened.
XXXXXXXXX PIC HERE After much research and contemplation I decided I would look for something I could use to sharpen all my tools and not pay $1,000 dollars to get all set up. I decided to get the or something similar to the Oneway Wolverine Grinding Jig. Keep in mind there are many knockoffs, most cheaper but upon reading the reviews it seemed as though the reproduction product itself was cheap. The metal on some of the takeoffs was thinner, the lockdowns didn’t work, no instructions and the kit was not complete…. you needed to buy a bunch of accessories, which in the long run caused the price to come close to what I consider to be the King of the Hill, the Oneway Wolverine Grinding Jig.
So I decided to go with the ONEWAY Manufacturing WOLVERINE Grinding Jig. You can get the basic set up for less than 100 dollars, but you really need all the accessories which brings the price tag closer to 150 dollars. They provide everything you need to sharpen all your wood-turning chisels and gouges. The metal is sturdy, the clamps have a strong feel and lock down nicely…. what’s more it works! Turners who have had the Wolverine jig say it will last a lifetime due to the quality construction.
You can take a bowl gouge with a grind you like and duplicate it exactly within 10 minutes of using this sharpening jig. You can take an older gouge or a new gouge and put the long sought after Ellsworth grind on it, then you can set up your Wolverine grinding jig to match that grind perfectly each and every time….. the best part is you don’t have to grind half the tool away, just a couple of light pass-by’s and your new gouge is ready to go.
If you invested in some of the more expensive wood turning tools like a Sorby or Ellsworth wood turning tool then the ONEWAY WOLVERINE Grinding Jig is exactly what you want. You can keep the profile they came with and you can keep them razor sharp with little effort. The wolverine jig enables you to product duplicatable results each and every time. If you try that by hand it ain’t gonna happen unless you are like Moses the woodturner who’s been sharpening and turning for at least 2000 years or so 🙂
I’ve included a copy of the Wolverine Grinding Jig Instructions that came with my package. It will give you an idea how the jig works and what you need to do. Click on this link Oneway Manufacturing Wolverine Grinding Jig Instructions Instructions or click on the image below to download the booklet, I think its 6 pages but you’ll know exactly how to set it up before you buy it ….and if you wanted to buy one, click on this link for the best deal Oneway Wolverine Sharpening Jig.
Hope this helps some of you guys/gals who might get a little confused before figuring out what the best way is to sharpen you prized wood turning gouges and chisels. I know I spent months before I thought I could make an intelligent decision on what I might need to sharpen my tools. I am very happy with the WOLVERINE Grinding Jig!
One more thing, you might need a grinder. I already had a couple of 6″ grinders but I wanted to make a dedicated grinder and grinding station for my wood turning tools. So I checked out grinders, I didn’t want to make this cost a basket full of cash so I headed out to the local harbor freight. Funny thing, every time I mention harbor freight I start a war! For me, I’ve learned to read the reviews, buy the extended warranties and get to know the people in my local store. It’s been a great place to pick up some tools, some tools you know are garbage ….so are every bit as good as the big box stores.
Anyway, with a coupon, I got a nice 8″ grinder from Harbor Freight for $35. It works great, has plenty of power and it’s my dedicated wood turning tools grinder…..I’m really happy with the setup. There is one drawback, the shaft is 1/2″ and most 8″ wheels need a 5/8″ shaft. Just search Amazon or Ebay and you’ll come up with a bunch of different solutions for that problem. I even found a guy who turned some wood reducers on his lathe that solved the arbor thickness problem.
Well….hope this might help you a little bit. If you’re like me you probably will still go out there and try to find the best solution….good luck but I bet you’ll come back to the ONEWAY WOLVERINE Grinding Jig ….it really is something that you’ll use to the end of your days and then it will be passed on to your sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters. Because the way it is built…..it will last forever!
To begin with, if your were searching for wood turning tools with carbide tips you might have a hard time finding them because these special tools are made with carbide inserts. Usually a piece of 1/2″ steel, round or square, notched out in the end to accept a small square, round or triangular carbide cutter that is screwed onto the steel shaft and the far side of the shaft has a long wood handle!
OK…. now, I’ll tell my short story.
In another time, when money was falling out of my pockets I probably would not have thought about building things for my own use. I wouldn’t have thought about being self sufficient, and I certainly would not have thought about trying to save a few bucks by making my own tools!
Turns out that being sick for the last 15 years or so has left me penniless, we have a house, we have food and we have each other. I told someone the other day, I have lived life with an abundance of money and have experienced complete destitute, no money, no food, sick and no doctors willing to help you get better.
Although I’ve always been goal oriented and always wanted to make more money so we might have a nice retirement and pay for the needs of our children, I had almost gotten there….. if fact I was there. Turned out I was lied to, had a partner who stole from me and in times where no man left behind means integrity to those we serve with, this guy (my partner) did everything he could to make all the liability to land on me.
Enough said about that. I’m sure we all have our sad stories…. not even sure why I wrote that stuff ….must be old age 🙂
Just let it be said that although money should not be the focus of your life, having money gotten thru smart hard work can provide a lifestyle that few know. That’s how I lived my life, I found that those who I thought were friends really were not friends, After I lost about 3 million dollars and was left destitute with 3 young kids and a wife I ran into a guy by the name of Dan O’neil. Just met the guy, we knew nothing about each other but he donated his time to help me put together a house from a pile of ruins ….I will forever be indebted to him! I was able to start over.
I’m not sure why I shared that, maybe you’re down on your luck ….have no money and want to start playing around turning projects on a lathe and just don’t have the cash to buy expensive tools….. well, hang tight because I want to show you how you might be able to make your own carbide woodturning tools.
Most WoodTurners Start Off with A Cheap Set of Woodturning Chisels and Gouges
So….I really wanted to say its better to have money than not have money.
But when you find yourself in a position to move forward in your life or project, you need to grab the bull by the horns, learn some new things, experiment and give it a shot.
In this case we are looking at chisels and gouges for turning wood on a wood lathe.
How Do I Get Good Woodturning
Chisels and Gouges Without It
Costing Me A Small Fortune!
You can go out and buy a cheap set of lathe knives, but you’ll get what you pay for…..garbage. Cheap woodturning tools are good for one thing that I can say from experience. You can learn how to properly sharpen a woodturning gouge or chisel and not fear that you are going to ruin your 100 dollar wood-lathe gouge!
However these cheap chisel and gouge sets can serve a purpose, you can learn how to sharpen these tools by using other specialized sharpening jibs, some free, some $150 or so. You can wreck the whole set by free handing the sharpening, grinding the chisel down to the wood handle 🙂
Woodturning is one of those hobbies that might look like it would be pretty easy and cheap to get into and get started. Like I said you can get cheap chisels, but they won’t perform well or last long. The steel is cheap, soft and won’t hold an edge. Or you could spend over 100 bucks a gouge to discover the difference. This approach has one problem, if its one of your first gouges you will probably ruin it at some point, whether the sharpening or thru misuse. Check out my post on where to buy woodturning tools and equipment. So, my advice would be to start with a cheap set of tools and then buy the more expensive tools on a one by one basis, learning the ins and outs of that tool.
How to Get a Good Set of WoodTurning
Tools For Little Money
You could try building your own wood lathe tools.
Are you handy, do you have basic wood turning and woodworking skills, do you have some knowledge of steel and how to work with it?
Recently a set of tools has entered the market that looks like a standard wood lathe chisel or gouge, but in reality it simply has a carbide insert cutter screwed into the end of a length of steel. You can go to www.rockler.com and read some of the reviews of woodturners who purchased these carbide tipped tools already made …..they say they wish that they would have started out with a tool that had a carbide insert!
I don’t know that I will every purchase another “fixed blade” turning tool again. I wish I had tried these before I invested in my expensive sharpening system.
Who wants to spend time sharpening when there is wood to be turned ! buy one.
It’s been said these are great for newbies because they are unforgiving, you have to beat on the thing to destroy it. These tools look just like a standard gouge except the end accepts a square, round, or diamond shape carbide wood cutter screwed to the metal shaft. They stay sharp much longer than standard tools, they come in a variety of widths, they can be resharpened….or just purchase a new tip for 5 to 10 dollars.
These actually look like fun and I’m thinking of creating a set for myself, if it works out good I might get set up for 20 to 30 custom carbide insert tools per month. You can check out the prices online, almost all run around $100 to $150 per tool. Remember, no sharpening. They last 7 times longer and they are newbie friendly.
So I thought I would get some materials and create some tools that make it easier to turn wood, easier to gouge out the interior of a bowl, cup or vase and would even get some of the pro’s to check them out.
So, if money is tight but you have a lathe and you want to start to understand the difference between cheap Chinese tools made with inferior steel and a bowl gouge that has a carbide insert cutter ……well, you can make one yourself. Or if I’m successful in my project, you might be able to get one from me. I’ll probably just start of with a couple of sets and sell them on ebay. Have you checked out ebay for Carbide Wood Lathe Tools?
When I was researching lathes, tools, jaws, chisels, gouges, and all the other necessary wood turning accessories it became overwhelming!
Don’t let that stop you. If you are brand new and money is tight check Harbor Freight’s wood lathe, if you have a few more bucks look at Laguna’s Revo 18|36 Wood Lathe or Nova’s ….even Jet makes a decent one.
Then you just have to do the research on what tools to use while turning a project. Most of the time we start with cheap stuff and end up being disappointed while swearing up and down because of catches and broken steel shafts. Building your own carbide tipped lathe tools will bring much satisfaction, fast and clean cutting ….not to worry about sharpening because you can just get a new carbide insert for 5 to 10 bucks.
Researching Carbide Insert
Hope this info has been of help, I know I spent countless hours reading reviews, books and watching YouTube videos just to try and find out what the best way to get started would be. For me the order goes like this:
1.start with a cheap lathe
2.need faceplate or chuck for securing wood blank to the lathe
3.get a cheap set of gouges and chisels if you’ve never turned wood before.
4.watch some how to videos on YouTube to get you started.
5.those cheap tools will dull out fast, so you will need a sharpening system (try Oneway Wolverine Grinding Jig), invest in a good one because it will work on expensive as well as cheap stuff…… but you can practice your grinds on the cheap stuff until you get it right.
I started all this because I wanted to talk about making your own carbide tipped lathe tools, and as usual I get excited and go down the first rabbit trail I come to…..I apologize for that!
By the end of this week I should have all my materials needed to make a gouge with a:
1.circulate carbide cutter
-2 cutter sizes, 1/2 and 5/8 inch with a 30 degree angle of cutting
2.steel rod for all tools mentioned, I think I got:
-(1) 4′ piece of 5/8 steel
-(1) 4′ piece of 1/2″ steel
-(1) 4′ piece of 3/8″ steel
I won’t start until I get all the materials and caught up on a few projects, when I do, I’ll post a video and if they turn out pretty good ….put them up for sale maybe eBay although I just might set up a full eCommerce store for wood turning tools and jigs.
I’m not metal guy, I can design/draw and build any house, commercial building/ but I never learned about how to work with metal for projects we are discussing. So, this is all new to me. Wish I had a small metal lathe, but then again, I’d have to spend more time learning how the thing works.
Although I still draw a few plans, I mostly design and build websites for local marketers, people with brick and mortar stores who want an online presence. Consequently I spend probably 50% of my time each month learning what is new with design, social marketing, email marketing, online marketing apps and the list goes on because it is always changing.
I love messing around with my lathe and wood turning projects because I can focus on one thing, learn a new trade and enjoy the peaceful time it takes. I’m always learning and hope to continue my different quests until the end….live life and love it fully!
I will start a whole category in this blog on how to save money by making your own tools and jigs. I sincerely hope you find it helpful and hit the like buttons or whatever is the button of the day ….really, if you could just share an interesting post with your followers I would appreciate it.
I ran into this guy a while back, his YouTube channel is “your home workshop“, a young guy (by my standards) just sharing on how he decided to create a few wood turning tools on his own. It really inspired me since I don’t work that much with metal/steel, this guy whipped up a handful of turning tools in no time.
Check out his video on: How to Make Your Own Carbide Tipped Lathe Tools …click on the image!
I thought I would share some of my best buys for wood turning tools. After all, I think most of us that venture into woodturning have budgets of a mimimalist. That is, our appetite for woodturing tools and equipment is bigget than our pocket book! Although with prudent research a smart buyer can get started for peanuts, you’ll quickly find yourself longing for some of the expensive good stuff 🙂
I’ll probably add to this post as time goes on. I didn’t do much research on the best place to buy wood turning tools, but going from memory for webpages, stores and anyplace else I can recall buying from or stumbling across in the past couple of years.
Garage Sales for Woodturning Tools and Equipment
This is probably my least used, but can be the most productive. Summer is coming and its time for garage sales, estate sales etc. You’ll find a lot of people will go to these sales, pick up some great deals on woodturning equipment and then sell them on craigslist or ebay. Most areas have a public directory of garage sales, most towns have some sort of bulletin board that will tell you when the best garage sales are gonna be going on. You might even watch out for garbage days, you know, most towns, cities …counties will have a week or so when you can put anything on the side of the road for pick up. My wife and her friends have a field day with this stuff. One person’s garbage is anothers treasure. Who knows, maybe someone inherited Uncle Joe’s Sorby Woodturning tools and has no idea what they are….. you might find these in garage sales or in the trash can! What if you saw an old harbor freight wood lathe in a heap on the side of the road…. belive me, it happens.
WoodTurning Tools From Estate Sales
Look up people who set up estate sales. I met a few last year and they always do inventory and try to affix prices to the affects left over from someone who has just passed on. Often times you can come up with a bucket or two filled with wood working tools. You’ll find bandsaws, drillpresses, and even woodlathes! Just make a call, try to meet with the estate sale manager and tell them what you’re looking for. Nowadays you can have them shoot you over a pic of any items they might think is of interest to you.
Finding WoodTurning Tools and Equipment at Auctions
Type in “Local Auction”,”Local Auctions”, “tool auctions”, or even “woodworking tool auction”. Use your imagination here. One link will lead to another. I found a government site someplace on the east coast, they were doing some tool auctions for schools. Schools have wood lathes and wood turning tools. If I lived closer, I might have picked up a powermatic beast of a lathe for next to nothing!
I guess when it comes to finding woodturing tools at auctions it depends on how much time you have on your hands. But then again, most of the stuff gets posted online before the auction. Most have a good set of pictures so you can see what you’re getting.
Search Craigslist for WoodTurning Tools
Craigslist can be a literal gold mine for woodturning equipment and tools. The problem is most people are really limited to their own areas since that’s the way Craigslist is set up. In other words, if you live in Seattle, you will only see the results for Seattle. Here’s a little trick that can allow you to search all of Craigslist. Use this url http://www.searchcraigslist.org/ and you’ll get the entire United States.
Now the trick with searching is the keywords you use in your search. You can try “woodlathes” or “wood lathe” and you will get different results. You can try “woodturning chisel” or “woodturing gouge” or “Sorby Woodturing chisel” and you’ll get different results for all. If you use quotation marks (“”) around your search term you will get exact results. Sometimes that’s good and then sometimes you’ll get more results when you just type in your search term without the quotes.
Craigslist is supposed to be a local deal. However, if you find something you want and its across the country you can drop the owner of the post a quick email and ask if they would be willing to ship if you paid extra for shipping and handling. I found that most will respond positively depending on the size of the purchased object. Also you should be aware that woodturning tools go fast on Craigslist, I was really surprised, woodturing gouges and chisels that were posted a day ago are already gone, so you need to take action quickly if you found something. The nice part about Craigslist is you can ask them for a phone number and actually talk to the owner.
ONe thing about Craigslist is paying for items. Since it was originally set up for local selling and buying it is a little odd finding a method of paying that suits both buyer and seller. You can try using Paypal, I’m not an expert in this area so you might want to do some research…. nothing worse than paying for something and getting stiffed!
Finding Wood Turing Tools on Ebay
I have found some nice tools on ebay. I’ve gotten some great deals on used tools on ebay. I’ve gotten some pretty good deals on new woodturning equipment on ebay. However, you need to be smart when searching for the items you might be looking for. Nowadays, Mr. X buys a cheap set of woodturning chisels from China …maybe from Alibaba and lists them as new. You never know what you’re gonna get when it comes to buying stuff on ebay, and often you have little recourse when it comes to returns. Sure they say no problem but try to return the itme and see what happens!
So, look for older wood turing equipment and tools. Once again, you might find someone who was left with a buck of Uncle Joe’s Sorby woodturning chisels and the owner has now idea how much they are worth. The problem is there are so many people who scour ebay for deals that the buck of tools will soon rise in price. You never know though, I found an old Craftsman pulley driven grinder for a good price I use as a dedicated sharpener for sharpening my woodturning chisels and gouges.
Ebay is a great place to start your search for good woodturning tools at a reasonable price. Just type in “woodturning tools” in the search box and get started!
How to Win Bids for WoodWorking Tools
If you’ve ever bid on an item on ebay, you find yourself waiting for the last couple of minutes of the auction as you see the price go up and try to get in a winning bid before the auction closes. Well, technology has taken over that part of bidding and if you are manually doing ebay bids for woodturning equipment or anything else you will be beat. There is some software called “sniper” software for ebay bidding, you tell the software what item you are bidding on, you tell the software the maximum amount you will pay and click the “go” or “snipe” button and it will automatically bid on the item until you have either won or someone has outbid you, usually another sniper with a higher limit set for the bidding. I use an online sniper service called EzSniper and you can check it out here eBay sniper it cost’s next to nothing so price is not an issue.
Here’s a video that explains the sniping concept if you aren’t familiar with it already. Remember that EzSniper will do this process automatically for you…. it almost always works for me as long as I set the maximum bid high enough …anyway, check out the video
Finally, although you can find almost anything on ebay that you can find on Amazon. You need to be knowledgeable in what you are purchasing. Watch out for brand names, pay attention to delivery times ….sometimes things are dropshipped from China so your order will take 30 days or more. Watch out for cheap imitations. All said, buyer beware. I still find great deals on ebay and if you are looking for some great deals on woodworking tools or woodturing tools ….make sure you spend some time checking out ebay, they’ve really come a long way over the years and you can find awesome deals on whatever you are looking for!
Purchasing WoodTurning Tools from Amazon
First off let me say that I would rather give my money to the local woodworking tool supplier than to Amazon or anyone else. Secondly, I would like to support some of the smaller Woodturing Websites than to buy from Amazon. I’ve owned my own businesses all my life and I know how difficult it is to survive in today’s economy, so I’d rather support the small guy and help keep him/her in business. That is as long as they acknowledge me and can be competitive. I’m not going to pay $100 for a woodturing bowl gouge to the local guy when I can pay $75 to Amazon for the same woodturing bowl gouge. With that said, I think it is going to become more and more difficult for the local guy to survive. So if you have a local store that you can hang out in, drink some coffee …get a demonstration you need to put a value on that and support that guy!
Amazon pricing for woodturing tools, wood lathes, wood turning accessories is really hard to beat.
With the advent of “Amazon Prime” (you pay $100 a year and get free 1 or 2 day shipping and special discounts on some items) Amazon is really tough to beat. I’m sick, been sick and don’t know if I’ll ever recover. I can’t drive much and my illness prevents me from visiting even the local woodturing stores….so if they don’t have an online store…..well, I check out Amazon.
I usually wait until the last minute, Amazon Prime, guarantees 2 day delivery on most items…. well, put it this way, “if I can’t buy it through my Amazon Prime membership….I won’t buy it!” Amazon has made it really easy to purchase, guarantee and return items should you need to. Amazon carries a lot of weight so if you have a problem and the vendor does not take care of it, most situations Amazon with help you deal with your purchase and problems.
That being said, Amazon’s prices on Woodturning tools and accessories is just unbelievable. Wood working tools are often marked down, and you get them in 2 days. Amazon will give you the ability to choose between vendors for a specific woodturning accessory. Do you want an Elsworth woodturing bowl gouge with the Elsworth Grind….. you have a handful of vendors to choose from. They will most times show you the cheapest and quickest delivery. After a couple of years of buying woodworking tools from Amazon, I prefer them for most of my woodturning accessories.
However, you need to beware when buying from Amazon if you are not using your Amazon Prime account. I purchased some carbide woodturning cutters, screws and other woodturing accessories that were at an awesome price…. so much cheaper than the others. Well, I was not paying attention on the delivery time and they were being shipped from China. It took over a month to get all my woodturing parts which delayed the building of my woodturing tools. I was chomping at the bit, wanted to start building my tools and had to wait. It was my fault because after I went back to the item I found that they clearly stated the shipping time would be 3 weeks or more.
Another thing Amazon is good for is finding to woodturing tools or equipment you need, use those keywords and search Google, Ebay, Youtube and Craigslist ….never know what will come up! Using different search engines will provide different results and different keywords. That’s another post, but keep in mind youtube, amazon and ebay have the next biggest search engines next to google ….you’d be surprised what they bring up. Using keyword tools that are specific to each one of those platforms will give you a variety of different keywords and search results when looking for places to purchase woodturning tools and equipment.
Buying Tools and Equipment for Woodturning from Online Stores/Websites
Which leads me to a variety of websites that I’ve dug up over the last year or so. I can’t say I have purchased from all of them but each site has its own unique flavor and will sell their own style of tools. Some websites provide very high quality and very expensive woodturning tools and you can find other sites that provide woodturning tools for those of us on a budget…. a low budget 🙂 So, check some of these out.
I’ve found Rockler to have some of the best deals and greatest selections of good and high quality woodturing tools, consider the Oneway Talon Chuck system ….check out the video. This is on the higher end buy from what I’ve seen is one of the better chucks for a woodlathe.
There are many more, google the following:
“wood turning tools”
“wood turning gouges”
That will be more than enough to get you started!
Hopefully this post will help you locate a good place to purchase tools and equipment for your woodturning hobby. I could probably add a couple of pages to this but I just wanted to share some of the things and places that I use and check out. Again, you can use one site to lead you to another and to another until you find what you want.
Woodworking or WoodTurning Websites
Another source for woodturning tools and equipment comes from regular people just putting up websites and blogging about their woodturning projects and adventure. A Google Search for “woodturning” or “wood turning” will dig up an unlimited number of websites and blogs for you to check out. Remember these blogs will ususally advertise products or services so take their advice with a grain of sale. That is, consider the fact that they are blogging to make money. You can tell immediately if a blogger has crappy articles, few pictures or no videos. You can tell if its just a site to make money if they have no passion, you can see the passion in their videos or blog posts.
Check out this site I stumbled on to:
Mikes WoodWorking Projects …. http://www.mikeswoodworkingprojects.com/6-must-basic-woodturning-tools-uses/
Cap’n Eddie is one of my favorite guys I learned a lot from him: http://eddiecastelin.com/home_base
Carl Jacobson http://thewoodshop.tv/
There are a whole bunch of sites I enjoy checking out, these are just a few. I found most by searchine on youtube first ….some of the woodturner/youtuber’s don’t have websites …nontheless, they discuss tools and equipment, what to buy, where to buy it!
Woodturning and Youtube
I didn’t say too much about Youtube but it can really be a diamond in the rough. Do a search on any woodturning subject and you’ll end up with pages of results. Seems as though woodturners like to share their expertise, abilities and knowledge. You can learn how to sharpen a bowl gouge with just about any type of grind you want. You can find reviews on tools and equipment used by woodturners. You can find out how to use the wood lathe you purchased ….and if you didn’t purchase one yet you can find reviews on what people think about the wood lathe you are considering buying!
I’ve found woodturners to be incredibly open and honest. Youtube gives them a platform to share just about anything related to turning wood on a wood lathe, or even making a wood lathe. But some of the most interesting information is given by the youtuber explaining a product, say a cool turning chisel that you haven’t seen before and he purchased it from xyz.com. Also if he’s been posting videos for a while they usually will put links in the desription letting you know where to find the wood turning equipment and tools they were using while making the video. So, Youtube can be an excellent source of product vendors for anything you want to purchase related to woodturning if you pay attention to what is said in the video and your read through the “Description” thouroughly …..and don’t forget to check out the comments, people like to brag about the deals they got and you just might find a secret woodturners source for woodturning tools and supplies!!
I follow Stephen Ogle on Youtube, his teaching is excellent and he often times discusses what type of equipment he uses and will tell where to get it. He doesn’t list too much in the description and I don’t think he has a website…. but I found he will answer questions in the Youtube comments….anyway, check out his channel and videos.
In this video he’s making a vase from a piece of green wood…. pretty cool stuff with great ideas.
Woodworking Magazines for Finding Good WoodTurning Tools and Supplies
I knew I would forget one source of wood turning tools, that would be “Woodworking Magazines” Surpisingly there are quite a few woodworking magazines still around. It seemed as though some disappeared with the advent of the internet but then digital magazines became available and their printed cousins returned. Personally, I really like sitting down and reading a magazine made from paper, digital is OK, but nothing like collecting a box of good ole magazines!
Anyway, I’m not even going to mention any names, just Google “woodworking magazines” or “woodturning magazines” and see what comes up. Try your search both ways, using quotes and no quotes. There actually is a magazine called “Wood Turning Magazine” but you’ll find good wood turner stuff in any of the wood working magazines.
Don’t forget to check out Amazon and Ebay for woodworking magazines. You’d be surprised how many back copies are floating around, or I should say older copies that people inherit and want to get rid of…. then Amazon will have compilation books of woodworking and woodturning articles. You might be about to find unusual sources for wood turning equipment and supplies.