Make Your Own WoodTurning Tools

How to Make Your
Own Woodturning Tools

What does a broken 1/2″ drill bit, a cold chisel, a 1/2 x 1/2″ pc of steel from home depot, a 1/2″ pc of round bar from home depot and carbide cutting bits (carbide inserts) have in common?

Well, properly shaped and machined …then add a nice wood handle and you have all the tools you need to turn just about anything. On top of that once you figure out how to use these materials to make your own turning tools you have the basis to make just about any type of turning tool you might need.

Al Furtado Shows You How to
Make Your Own Woodturning Tools
make your own carbide insert woodturing tools
All makes simple carbide insert woodturing tools.
grind a cold steel chisel for bowl gouge
Monster bowl gouge from an old cold steel chisel!

My Desire to Buy Every
Woodturning Tool Available!

For me, its easy to get caught up in a Sorby tool catalog or just searching on Amazon or Ebay for woodturning tools and I get lost for hours ….thinking “man, I need 1/4″ bowl gouge, 3/8″ bowl gouge, 1/2″ bowl gouge, 5/8″ bowl gouge, 3/4″ bowl gouge and a 1″ bowl gouge all with a fingernail grind …..then I need that same set with a standard grind and I need the same sizes in a spindle gouge both standard and fingernail grind ….oh ya, I need a parting tool ….how about a couple of different sizes of parting tools. Yep, I need a full set of scrapers and then I need some of those skew gouges for perfect finishes I see the masters making, can’t forget a roughing gouge….I mean, 1/2″ 3/4″ 1″ and at least 1 1/2” maybe bigger….I need all these, right?

Woodturning Is Addictive

I know you know what I mean. This hobby of woodturning is more addictive than crack cocaine! You think more tools, the best tools will make you a better turner …maybe so, but who has the cash for all these pieces of hardware because we haven’t even started talking about the wood lathe you have and the woodlathe you want to get, not to mention all the wood lathe accessories you’re gonna need!

Make Your Own Woodturning Tools

Well, one of the things that really got me excited was making your own woodturning tools, that’s right you can be a DIY woodturning tool maker πŸ™‚ I think there is actually a subculture out there of guys making their own tools out of anything from old screwdrivers, files to auto or truck leafsprings.

The problem for me is that I’m not a metal guy. I can draw a house, building or shoppoing center and I can build that same drawing doing everything myself …..but I never learned how to work with metal. The closest I ever came to working with metal was aluminum siding, electrical wire and rebar for concrete….. well, ok, nails for my nail guy and screws for the screw gun πŸ™‚

Been Sick, No Money for Expensive Woodturning Tools

Truth is I’ve been very sick for quite a while. When you’re sick you can’t work, I hate sitting or laying around so by “The Grace of God” I discovered wooodturning. Not too physical. I could find a low cost wood lathe at Harbor Freight and I could also find a cheap set of Chinese turning tools at Harbor Freight. That’s how I started.

I read as much as I could online and watched a ton of youtube videos. I learned much from Cap’n Eddie and too many others to mention. So, I thought I would share some of my journey in these pages.

My Woodturning Tools Were Junk!

The one thing I quickly found out was that my turning tools were really bad. I hand sharpened them till I totally screwed them up. Then the first investment was a Oneway Wolverine Sharpening System. I learned to sharpen my turning tools properly starting at that point.

Next, once I figured my tools really were junk and I needed something better. I stumbled on some DIY woodturning tool makers.

That’s when I discovered the many different ways of making your own woodturning tools. In these pages I hope to bring some of these methods to you. Some I will have tried, others I will just pass along because I’m just too sick to try everything I see but plan on doing it or trying these DIY tool building methods soon, however, you need to know now how to make some of this stuff.

I finally did learn that I could regrind the cheap tools that I had into a more useful grind or simply something that actually worked.

Started Making My
Own Woodturning Tools

Since I did not have much money I figured I could buy a piece of 1/2 x 1/2″ steel and a piece of 3/8 x 3/8″ steel from online metals, I could get some carbide cutters for a couple bucks a piece and then figure out how to grind a small platform for the cutter, tap the steel to attach the carbide cutter and make a wooden handle. My first attempt turned out pretty good, in fact, its one of my go to tools when I’m working with a tricky piece of wood.

My CARBIDE Woodturning Tool
How to make your own carbide insert woodturning tool
My first homemade woodturning tool was a carbide insert turning tool taking both square and circle shaped carbide inserts and it cuts like a dream, great for the times you might be a little apprehensive about sticking that new bowl gouge into an irregular spinning piece of wood!

I made a square and circular carbide scraper using 5/8″ carbide square and circular cutters. You can find them online but you should make sure they are for cutting wood. The square cutters are fairly cheap and you can even get a 4 sided radius carbide cutters, they are a little less likely to grab, but grab they do!

I watched a guy called Travis on youtube make a set of carbide tipped woodturning tools and just copied him. They are pretty rough but they really work well.

Made A Parting Tool for Woodturning

I did make a 1/16″ parting tool from a reciprocating saw blade with a metal handle. That was fun, I learned a bunch and use the tool all the time. It’s very satisfying to make your own tools!

diy parting tool for woodturning
I made a very effective parting tool from a recirocating saw blade …expoxied between two pieces of wood. Works great for cutting and designing. I used brass rod for the rivets and pinged them to expand the brass….. solid as a rock πŸ™‚

However…..

Didn’t Know Anything About Metal

Then I wanted to make a 1 1/2″ wide scraper so I picked up a piece of steel from home depot and ground down an edge on the steel, I didn’t have a handle yet but I wanted to try the tool out. It ended up burning the wood more than cutting, I tried different angles ….same thing, just wouldn’t cut. I was stumped, thought I would be cranking out all kinds of turning tools …but remember when I said I didn’t know anything about metal πŸ™‚

Turns out there are a whole bunch of different types of steel. And then you have the hardening process, have to heat it in a special oven, air cool it or oil cool it, heat it again to get a temper ….I almost put an end to my woodturning tool making adventures!

Sorry, I got a little long winded talking about making your own woodturning tools ….only because I know you might like doing that type of thing and you might be in the same position I was in regarding not having enough cash to have all to good tools you’d really like to have!

 

Enter Al Furtado.

I’m not sure how long Al has been turning, but I know he really enjoys it and he enjoys sharing his projects and his tools!!! Al seems to be a frugal guy or maybe he’s just strapped for cash like a lot of us…..so, he makes do with what he has and he makes a lot of his own woodturning tools and accessories.

Al made a type of bowl gouge that is perfect for himself from a 1/2″ drill bit that was broken. He played around until he got the grind correct and now it is his “go to” tool when turning bowls. The big secret is the metal that the drill bit is made from, it is already hardened and when shapened it keeps a nice sharp edge for a long time. You don’t have to heat treat it.

Woodturning bowl gouge from an old 1/2" drill bit
Woodturning bowl gouge from an old 1/2″ drill bit
Make Your Own Bowl Gouge from Steel cold Chisel
Make Your Own Bowl Gouge from Steel cold Chisel
Find your own shape for your custom bowl gouges
Profiles of custom made woodturning bowl gouges
DIY hollower with Home Depot Steel
Al makes his own hollowing tool with home depot steel and carbide insert cutter

Al takes a common sense approach to making woodturning tools that will save you a ton of money. In the video below he shows you some of his favorite tools and how he made them from either old, broken or leftover tools that are made with hadened steel and all you need to do is put an edge on the tool and make a handle for it.

The video quality isn’t the best but if the content doesn’t get your creative juices flowing …..then nothing will!

Enjoy

My shop made wood turning tools By Al Furtado

Al’s tools are not the prettiest, but they work and you can do exactly what he did. I can testify that the carbide cutters work like a dream and I look forward to making some gouges from old drill bits and cold chisels ….as far as that is concerned ….go down to Harbor Freight and get some of their tools and bits …they are all hardened steel and should work just as Al has show us.

Thanks Al !!!!

DIY Parting Tool Make Your Own Custom Parting Tool

How To Make A Parting Tool

I needed a thin parting tool and I needed it now!

Sure, you can buy a Parting Tool for $25 to $50 but there’s noting like making your own parting tool. It gave me a lot of satisfaction once I figured how to grind the right angle on the tool tip. I actually took my design from the Sorby Parting Tool. Although Sorby has a wide selection of parting tools to meet your needs I tried to make mine look similar to this Sorby 1/16″ Parting Tool.Sorby 1/16" Parting Tool

Description of DIY
Parting Tool Project

I feel like I’m writing a term paper here but let me give you a quick description of the project. I wanted a parting tool with a 1/8″ blade. The idea is to turn an old used sawzall blade into to tool, make a handle of wood and used some epoxy and brass rod for rivets or whatever they are called in knive handles. Shape it a little on the disk sander and fine tune the cutting tip. That’s it…. BA DA Bing BA DA Boom!

Starting On Parting Tool Project

I started off with a sawzall blade, I think it was 1 1/4″ wide and 12″ long. Unfortunately I did not take a picture of it before I cut it.

I took a 4″ thin grinding wheel and cut the shape on the end of the sawzall blade and then I cut the teeth off. It cut pretty easily, I’m not a metal guy…. in fact, what I know about metal I probably learned on youtube πŸ™‚ I remember watching someone on a video make something like mine, so its not an original idea.

Something possessed me to purchase a 12″ disk sander a while back and I have used that thing for so many tasks I can’t believe I’ve lived all these years without one. You can sand just about anything, metal, wood, figerglas and fingers πŸ™‚

Parting Tool Blade Almost Ready

Anyway I sanded the blade to clean it up and take off any remainine paint. Coolest thing, the piece of metal looked like it was just shipped from Amazon, all nice an shiney. I was pretty proud of myself right about then.

So at this point I have the profile in the front, teeth cut off and all polished up. I need to trim up the end that goes into the sawzall ….just square it off. I have it in a vice, ready to cut off in the pic below.

DIY Parting Tool
Using a sawzall blade for a parting tool blade, shaped and in a vice ready for more cutting

DIY Parting Tool Wood Handles

Next I plan to cut and prepare the handles for attachement to the parting tool blade. I had some mulberry that had been drying for a year or so, it is very, very hard and finishes very nice. Who would have thought. But I find myself looking for a kinds of different wood types and the stuff that would end up on the burn pile …..ends up on the wood lathe or gets squared off on the band saw to be used for different projects.

PICTURE OF bandsaw WITH HANDLE HALFS *********

So I ripped down a couple of pieces 3/8″ x 5″ to use for the parting tool handles. I wanted the handles to be wood on wood when glued together so I traced the blade on one handle and chiseled out the shape at the thickness of the blade. In other words the blade sat flush in that half of the handle. Before I forget, that a small 1/8 or 1/4″ chisel and cut some grooves into the other handle half…..the purpose is for the epoxy to have someplace to grab on the wood.

 

parting tool handle
Wood handles ready for epoxy

Gluing the Parting Tool Handles
and Blade Together

At this point I mixed up some 5 minute epoxy, spread the expoxy on both handle sides, placed the blade in the cut out space, put more epoxy on the top of the blade and then clamped the whole thing together. Instead of 5 minutes I let it stay clamped overnight πŸ™‚

parting tool handle
Handle blanks, one is chiseled out to hold the sawzall blade and the other is chiseled out to hold some of the 5 minute epoxy
parting tool handle and blade
Setting sawzall blade into the 5 minute epoxy

 

parting tool wood handles
Clamping parting tool blade and wood handles with 5 minute eposy.

Next I needed to put a couple of rivets thru the wood and the blade. Since it is just a shop tool I could have used a 16 penny nail, but I ended up using 1/4″ brass rod. The idea is to make the pin about 1/8″ longer on each side and the “peen” the pin on both sides. This mushrooms out the pin on both sides and keeps it in place. Here’s what I did.

I took my parting tool with the handles glued to the blade with epoxy and then I drilled three holes thru the handle, 2 or which went thru the metal blade. I started with 1/8″ drill bit on a drill press and as soon as it hit the steel it started smoking and sputtering! I knew right then I screwed up.

Next time I will drill the hole thru the parting tool blade seperately and then thru the handles. I ended up breaking about 3 bits and had to use cutting oil which soaked into the wood but I did get the holes drilled πŸ™‚

So….next I cut the 1/4″ brass rod a total of 1/4″ longer that the width of the handle. First I added some 5 minute epoxy to the hole before driving in the pin. I peened the pin on both sides until it started to mushroom over the handle. The I hit the last pin one too many times and got a small crack in the wood….just added some CA and saw dust as a crack filler to be sanded latter.

Shaping and Sanding Parting Tool Wood Handle

Since everything was square I went over to theΒ  12″ monster disk sander and sanded both sides flush. This gets down to clean wood and it evens out the brass pins. Then I used the disk sander to round off the corners and the wood end of the parting tool. Took it over to the 1″ belt sander, cleaned up the blade a little more and fine tuned the wood edges.

Using My New Parting Tool

Being excited, I went to the wood lathe to try out the new parting tool. I was working on a handle for a gouge blade. It was about a 4″ ash tree trunk that had died from the beetles. As it was spinning I slowly entered into the wood and ………it moaned and groaned and burned!

Urgh, I was devastated! It cut like crap !!

After taking 5, I took a look at the Sorby parting tool that I was modeling I was modeling and noticed my angles were off. I reground both the top and bottom angle and tried it again. Voila! It cut like butter and ash is pretty hard.

Custom DIY Woodturning Parting Tool
Finished Parting Tool, 2 Wood Blanks for Handles, Hunk of Mullberry I cut the handle from and 1/4″ brass rod used for handle rivets

So if you try making one of these pay attention to the grind angles and pay attention to how you grind the angles. Try sharpening/grinding both angles remembering which one you did first, then try reversing the order. Then try sharpening only on side, try just touching the bottom up, and try just grinding the top angle.

Now I have mine set up so I just touch the grinding wheel on the bottom angle.

Want to see how the big boys sharpen their tools….. here’s one big boy, Sam Agelo….. I have learned a lot from him and he sharpens his thin parting tools on a belt sander ….you could also use a disk sander. He doesn’t use a grinder because he has CBN wheels on them and he was afraid the thin parting tool would ruin them….. very expensive, anyway check out his sharpening technique for parting tools.

REMEMBER always use a platform when sharpening on a grinding wheel, take your life into your own hands if you try to free hand!!

If you’re interested here’s a really good video on all the different methods of pinning that knife makers use. I might even invest in a special rivet for making knife and tool handles called a “Cutlery Rivet” they are in 2 pieces and on slides into the other and expands as it does. Pretty much a no brainer.

Turning Handles for Your WoodTurning Tools

Turning Handles for Your WoodTurning Tools

I know you want to see how to make your own woodturning handles but first I need to rant!

Well, my garage roof still isn’t on, first problems with the insurance….never use State Farm, next is problems with the county for the building permit. Seems as though you need more detail and info these days and if you are in a flood plain….. you are screwed…. I’m in a flood plain ….looks like I am getting screwed!

Woodturning Handle Videos

I still work in my garage/shop but its a mess and I’m pretty embarassed the way it looks. So, I don’t shoot too many videos from my shop, although I wanted to do a video on making your own woodturning handle. Maybe I will until then, watch these videos on how to make your own woodturning handles from a piece of scrap wood, or your favorite wood on your own lathe with a little glue and ingenuity.

Metal for Making Your
Own WoodTurning Tools

Most woodturners make their own scrapers, skews and parting tools. If you don’t have the metal to do that, consider Online Metals…. I found them to be very helpful, fast and affordable.

Anyway, in my journey of learning woodturning I have stumbled upon guys making their own tools. Even if I had more money than I could spend I still would like to make my own tools!Make your own handles for your wood turing tools

I don’t have more money than I can spend, in fact, sickness has left me pretty destitute…. that is broke. So I pay attention when someone shows me how to build efficient and effective tools for cheap.

Cap’n Eddie Shows Us How to Turn
Our Own WoodTurning Tool Handles

Cap’n Eddie is one of the guys I have learned so much from over the last year. How to build carbide tools, how to make scrapers, how to make a handfull of different jigs that would cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

Help Out Captain Eddie…Buy His WoodTurning Supplies and Tools

You might already know that Cap’n Eddie had some health problems, a brain tumor I believe and it seemed as though he was coming back quickly, but recently it looks like the poor boy is having a tough time. I can emphathize with him because I’ve been sick so long myself. Good health is something you never appreciate until you become sick and can’t do what you have all your life….it’s a terrible thing. But Cap’n Eddie seems like a fighter …he keeps pluging along ….so buy his stuff if you can and more importantly pray and ask the Lord to heal him and let Eddie teach us for a few more years!

Visit his site at: www.eddiecastelin.com

Anyway…. if you need some carbide cutters and some of the other tools he sells I would ask you to visit his site and buy stuff from him…. let’s help the guy out …he has given so much to the woodturning commnity especially on youtube.

Make your own wood turning tools Below you will find 2 videos on how to turn a handle for the tools you make. Both videos will give you some great tips and ideas so that you can make your own. These are 5 years or more old, the video quality is not that good but you can still get the idea and learn from Eddie how he does things.

Check how to build handles for your woodturing tools.

I found a great article on building handles, if you are going to make your own woodturning handles you would be wise to check out Learn How To Make Your Own Handles for Wood Turning Tools http://woodturninglearn.net/articles/forgottenhandle.htm

And one more quick video on how to make a handle for your woodturning tools.

I’m going to have to do another post on making handles for your woodturning tools. There are many methods to consider and you might want to take a piece from all these methods and create your own woodturning handle. Until then, you have enough information on how to make a woodturning handle!

More On Making Woodturning Handles

I watched another tutorial on how to make woodturning handles and was blown away. I had to include it today instead of another post. Watch this video all the way thru and then check out the notes below. I know you’ll pick up some awesome tips and design ideas for your tools. I really enjoy this teaching from The Sonoran Woodshop

Here are some comments and important links he mentions from the tutorial. This guy has done great camera work, great woodturning handle design and construction.

At this point I had enought info to scrap together some scrapers first, and you can bet they will have some awesome handles. Maybe I’ll do a video of my maiden attemp at turning and fittng my first handle …..should be a learning experience for us all!

Here’s some useful links from his handle turning video description:

A great way to save a few dollars on your next turning tool purchase is to buy your tools un-handled and make your own. I came up with a design that works really well. It includes set screws which allow you to remove the tool from the handle if needed.

PARTS:
Ferrule: I use 1″ copper pipe (which is the inside diameter) for all of my turning tools. The only exception is my Spindle Roughing Gouge (SRG) which uses 1-1/8″ copper pipe.
Set Screws: I use 5/16-24 set screws for all of my tool handles. The lengths vary based on the tool handle wall thickness.

TOOLS WITHOUT HANDLES:
Please keep in mind I have no affiliation with any of these companies. I posted the tool steel used by each company for reference, but the reality is that they are essentially the same.

I currently use Thompson Lathe Tools. They use CPM10V (A-11) a powder metal tool steel.

http://thompsonlathetools.com

Peachtree Woodworking Supply sells Robert Sorby unhandled tools. They use M2 tool steel.

http://www.ptreeusa.com/turning_tools…

Carter and Son sells unhanded tools. They use M42 tool steel.

http://carterandsontoolworks.com

D-Way Tools also sells unhanded tools. They use M42 tool steel.

http://d-waytools.com

 

I thought it important to add some of the comments from his video on turning wood handles for your woodturning tools. Some great comments along with good ideas.

I’m a beginner turner, about a year or so. Been a carpenter/contractor/architect all my life and I can build just about anything. I know wood inside and out…. but steel is new to me. I appreciate your list of tool providers along with the type of steel they use. Is there anyway you could rate either the provider or the steel type. I want to purchase some good tools, tired of the chinese …although they got me started. I figure if you can turn something with a chinese tool you should be able to make some great progress with good tools. I was looking at D-way, not familiar with Thompson. Would really appreciate a lesson in quality suppliers and what type of steel would be the best, second best and so on. Subscribed to your channel…. looking forward to seeing what you do. Thanks Scott

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The Sonoran Woodshop

I think tool steal is one of those things that if you ask 10 different turners you’ll get 11 different answers. I bought tools from each of the companies listed in the description and they all seem to perform the same. You really can’t go wrong with any of them. I have all Thompson for a couple of reasons. 1) they have a large selection compared to the other companies. 2) the length of their tools are longer so you get more steal for the same price as the other tools (check out this link and you’ll see what I’m talking about) https://www.instagram.com/p/BN5GvSthcwC/?taken-by=scottseganti&hl=en

Carl Jacobson

Man great job on the video!! I shared it on my website too!

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The Sonoran Woodshop

Thanks Carl… very much appreciated!

The Wood Whisperer

Awesome video dude! Nice explanations and great visuals. Can’t wait to see the next one!

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The Sonoran Woodshop

Thanks Marc… much appreciated!

Brian Sinclair

Great video. One new subscriber.

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Jack Maravola

Very nice. Thank you for sharing your technique Scott….!

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Bklyn James

Oh Yeah, please more videos.

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Bklyn James

Impressive… Very Impressive. On point with the whole process, and left me with no questions. You nailed it.

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The Sonoran Woodshop

Thank you for the kind words and feedback.

Mike Porter

Your approach to making videos produces a fine product. As to the content of this one, I don’t have the tapping tool or the pipe cutter or the router table, however if I was to do several handles it would be worthwhile to buy them. One advantage of your design is that the tool can be removed for sharpening which I favor. Have you taken the tool out many times? I wonder how the threading on the pipe wall or the wood holds up to frequent removal and reinsertion of the tool tang. I’m guessing you leave the handle on for your sharpening. Thanks again for a helpful video.

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The Sonoran Woodshop

Thanks for you comments Mike. It’s rare for me to remove the tool from the handle, but I do like having the flexibility. Handles with set screws are popular for people who need to travel with their tools. Students taking a turning class or instructors teaching may want to bring their own tools, so removing the tool makes it easier to pack. Another benefit is that eventually we make enough trips to the grinding wheel that the tool steal will need to be replaced, so you can save a few dollars by not buying or remaking another handle. As far as the threads holding up with repeated use… I haven’t had any give out yet. I’ve only tapped soft maple so I can’t speak about how other wood species will hold up, but as long as it’s a hardwood… I’m sure it would be fine. I have been extremely impressed in how well tapping wood works.

Jeffrey M. Myers

When can I buy this On Amazon! Great job Scott

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SkunkTreeCarvings

ya…im going to like your channel.

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Don Zeno

Great video. Keep ’em coming.

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Apoph1s

Nice video. Great instructional detail. Where do you get your handle-less tools?

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The Sonoran Woodshop

Please keep in mind I have no affiliation with any of these companies. I posted the tool steel used by each company for reference, but the reality is that they are essentially the same. I currently use Thompson Lathe Tools. They use CPM10V (A-11) a powder metal tool steel. http://thompsonlathetools.com Peachtree Woodworking Supply sells Robert Sorby unhandled tools. They use M2 tool steel. http://www.ptreeusa.com/turning_tools_unhandled.htm Carter and Son sells unhanded tools. They use M42 tool steel. http://carterandsontoolworks.com D-Way Tools also sells unhanded tools. They use M42 tool steel. http://d-waytools.com

Sandra Jacobson

Nice video! Easy to understand. Looking forward to more of your work.

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RickTurns

One of the best handle-making videos I’ve seen!

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Janet Brien

Perfection! Thank you!

Steve Brien

Perfect video, super clear and concise instructions, very well paced and shot. I’ve considered using set screws like this and you’ve confirmed that it’s a great feature. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

DRMNZ

Nice work with great attention to detail. Thanks.

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Richard Chellette

Awesome video. I made some tool handles myself, but I like how you made the optional to remove or change the tools.

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Scrap wood City

Nice handle. Making the handles makes them pretty unique!

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Joe Pieczynski

Hi Scott. I just stumbled across you channel. Nice work. I enjoyed the video. How about a few constructive suggestions. Make yourself a hardwood or aluminum blank about the size of your tool tang ( the rectangular feature in your handle blank ). Lock it in a vice and slide your new handle onto it when you drill the set screw holes. It will help with the orientation of the holes and keep the spin factor out of the equation. A thicker copper collar would also give you more metal based thread. I invite you to check out my channel if you have a minute. Take care, watch those fingers and keep up the good work.

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The Sonoran Woodshop

Thanks for your feedback Joe. Constructive suggestions are always welcomed and appreciated. If I’m understanding what you’re saying correctly, there really isn’t a “spin factor’ that you have to contend with here… it’s more about the drill bit sliding off your mark when you start drilling. Clamping the handle in a vise as you suggested would certainly free up a hand, which could help keep the bit on its mark. As far as using a thicker copper ferrule… there really isn’t a need. The main threads are in the wood which is the intent. I have used this method on other projects… you will be extremely surprised at how well taping wood works… at least in hardwoods.

Joe Pieczynski

Hey Scott. Thanks for the reply. My suggestion was not to put the handle in the vise, but a piece of aluminum or hardwood the same size as the rectangular pocket in your handle where the tool would go. Then slide your handle onto that and drill away. You would have parallel, level and rotational all at the same time. It would probably work better if you had a bunch of parts and wanted them all the same. Forgive me, I always think of fixtures first. Nice result you got. thumbs up on this one. Take care.

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David Walser

Thank you for the video. Your presentation was clear and the camera work was well done. I’ve always glued my tools into wooden tool handles. I’ll have to give using set screws a try.

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Louie Cypher

nice work thanks for sharing, more videos please πŸ™‚

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Jim Sollows

I enjoyed the video! Very clear, nice voice over explaining the process. I am currious to know what finish you put on the handle? I look forward to seeing more videos from you!

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The Sonoran Woodshop

Thanks Jim for your comment. I sanded the handle up to 220 grit and applied a tung oil finish. I prefer using a pure oil finish on my handles.

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Joseph Muench

Sweet handle design. Thanks for sharing! Great video! πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ

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Harris Dendromiris

I really enjoy your video pal, since I prefer to make my own handles for my tools and chisels, you give me couple good tips about chisel handles,so go make some more useful videos like this, cheers

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Samuel Smith

Outstanding attention to detail! Never saw set screws on turning tools.

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The Sonoran Woodshop

Thanks Samuel for the comment. I have a few aftermarket metal handles with setscrews. I like having the setscrews and the ability to remove the tool from the handle, but I’m not a fan of how those tools feel in my hand. I’ve drilled and tapped wood in the past with great success, so brought that idea into my handles and it’s worked great. I’ve been overly surprised on how well it works. I haven’t seen anyone else do this either.

Ryan Grondin

Nice Video!! Thanks for sharing!

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Claire Stolee

What suggestions do you have for selecting the wood for the handles?

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The Sonoran Woodshop

There are lots of different woods you can use which vary depending on the part of the world you live in and what you have access to. I prefer closed grain woods (just a personal preference) and use soft maple for all of my handles. Ash is probably the most popular wood used… I’m just not a fan of the open grain. You do want to use a ‘hardwood’ (maple, walnut, ash, hickory, etc.) and stay away from the ‘softwoods’ (fir, pine, cider, redwood, etc.) The most important thing look for when selecting a piece of hardwood is to have straight grain…. especially on the end where the tool enters the handle.

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Wood Frontier

Nice work. It’s great to see more people making woodturning videos. Looking forward to seeing more. I’ve got to make a couple handles as well. -Todd

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Randy Price

Great quality tool as well as video. very professional looking video, looking forward to more.

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Handles For Woodturning Tools, Handles For Lathe Tools, Turning Handles For Lathe Tools, Turning Handles For Woodturning Tools

Wood Lathe Tool Handles, Making Wood Lathe Tool Handles, Wood Turning Lathe Tool Handle, Best Wood For Lathe Tool Handles, Best Wood For Lathe Tool Handles, Best Wood For Lathe Tool Handles, Making Wood Lathe Tool Handles, Wood Turning Lathe Tool Handle

Make Your Own Parting Tool DIY Parting Tool Plans

Make Your Own 1/8″ Parting Tool

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.

thin wood turning parting tool
One possible end profile of your own parting tool, this a pic of a Sorby Parting tool

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.

Rober Sorby Parting Tool
You can easily make your parting tool to look like this using nothing but an old reciprical saw blade

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

how to sharpen a wood turning parting tool
Quick look at how to sharpen a wood turner’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

How to Sharpen Your Woodturning Parting Tool

See more wood turner’s tools.

How to Make Your Own Carbide Tipped Lathe Tools

How to Make Your Own Carbide Tipped Lathe Tools

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!

Rockler Carbide Insert for wood turning tools
Typical Carbide insert about 1/2″ x 1/2″ from Rockler

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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.

Or….

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!

This guy left a review on Rockler for Full Size Carbide Turning Tool

I’m hooked
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.

Rockler has several styles and sizes of carbide turning tools, check out the video for Full Size Round Ergonomic Carbide Turning Tool Item # 48723

Rockler's full sized carbide insert woodturing tools

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?

Carbide Insert Woodturning Tool
Easy Wood Tools Pro Easy Rougher Carbide Lathe Turning Tool 3200 New

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
Woodturning Tools

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

3. carbide insert cutters
-10 pcs 15mm square cutters
-10 pcs 14mm square cutters
-10 pcs 12mm square cutters
-10 pcs 5/8″ circle cutters
-10 pcs 1/2″ circle cutters

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!

Make your own carbide wood turning tools