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.–
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 🙂 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 🙂
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 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.
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 🙂
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 🙂
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 the 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.
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.
If you follow any of the woodturners online they will tell you that you should never buy “sets” of woodturning tools but purchase the ones you think you will need and like.
But….how do you know what you need or like if you never used any woodturning tools before?
So…..I purchased some chinese tools and I turn chinese bowls …and my nickname is “catch” because my tools don’t sharpen, or they don’t stay sharp and I can dislodge just about any piece of wood you give me from a faceplate, scroll chuck or between centers !!!
Ya, I’m kind of joking but my tools are crap …so is my lathe. So I thought I would start looking around and see what type of tools and lathe I might really want to get. Amazon has a really nice feature where you can create lists and make them “public” kind of like a wedding registry 🙂
Maybe one of my son’s or wonderful and beautiful daughter-in-law might see my public list for lathe tools and fulfill my wishes……or maybe I’ll win the lottery 🙂 Better yet, I would get healthy and spend the rest of my years working, building, drawing or building websites and making money for myself….. oh, how I pray things would end that way!
So, I figured I would check out some of the tools available online. Buy them if I could and do a review of the tool. If you buy the tool from my link, I’ll make a small commission. If not, at least you got an honest opinion.
Woodturning Gouges I Need!
I really need and would like the following:
a 5/8″ bowl gouge with fingernail grind
a 1/2″ bowl gouge with traditional grind
a nice beefy 3/8″ thick 1″ wide or better round nose scraper
a nice beefy 3/8″ thick 1″ wide or better left side scraper
a set of spindle gouges
a set of detail spindle gouges
a 1 1/4″ roughing gouge
a 1/8″ parting tool
a 1″ or 1 1/4″ oval skew
Oval Skew Chisel
As long as I’m wishing…..I’m sure I will add more to the list.
Importance of Good Quality Woodturning Tools
At this point in my woodturning experience I have come to understand the importance of good quality equipment. In woodturning, this probably means more than any other trade or hobby I’ve been involved with. For instance, you can spend 300 bucks on a fishing rod and reel but still catch some pretty good fish with a Zebco $25 dollar special.
Even in construction. Sure a Bosch demo hammer is 1500 dollars and will probably last a long time but a harbor freight demo hammer will get the job done and if you baby it, the thing will last a long time and you spent a 1/4 of the price.
Spend More Money and Be A Better Turner
But with woodturning tools and equipment, you just can’t get past the fact that spending more money will get you good tools and equipment that will make you a better turner.
However, if you’re just getting started, don’t let that fact stop you. Spend what you can afford and go from there…..heck, you might even not like woodturning. But if you do, you can start adding pieces one at a time, save your money and buy a $100 dollar bowl gouge. You’ll be amazed at the difference.
Here’s my dilema.
I need to make some money and I do that with a variety of websites where I compare and recommend products. But I’ve never do it with a site that I’ve been so passionate about, like woodturning!
I want to provide the best information I can to help anyone who reads this to make a well informed decision about what they should buy and use. To do that, I need to buy and use the products to let you know what works and what is the best.
So I will probably be buying products from places like Rockler, ebay, or Amazon. They all carry brand name, high end products. Most of these sites have some type of review system and I won’t purchase anything that has a bunch of negative reviews. So I look for the best, make an informed decesion to buy and then tell you what I think of that product. If you purchase thru my link, as I mentioned I make a very small commission…. but they will add up over time. I hope!
US Manufactured Skew Chisels
My problem is in approaching differnet products this way I leave out those manufacturer’s and suppliers that do not have affiliate programs that I can enroll in. Most of these are small stores or small manufactures but offer high end, very good products. I feel obligated to tell you about them as I discover them but since they don’t have affiliate programs, in all honesty, I probably will not purchase the products from them so I can’t give you a first hand testimonial of their products.
As time goes by, I will mention these sources and give you links to their sites. I’ve visited www.D-waytools.com many times and would love to purchase some of Dave’s tools …..watched his videos on sharpening and how to use the tools …really good stuff and Dave seems like an all around good guy. He’s a small business man in the US and fighting the daily battles to build his own business. I would much rather support him than someone across the pond. There are a handfull of others out there and I will talk about them as the circustance dictates.
I really didn’t plan on getting this far into the weeds …..but I really wanted you to know where I’m coming from.
Bottom line is I want to help any woodturner find good information on how to be a better woodturner!
One more time, check out how easy this guy makes cutting with a skew, the shavings just slice off….. wish I could do that! If I had a Crown 251 1-Inch Oval Skew Chisel …. bet I could 🙂
Maybe I Should Consider
A 1-1/4″ Robert Sorby
#809H Oval Skew Chisel
I really wanted a skew chisel wider than 1″ inch. Sorby has a Oval Skew Chisel that is 1 1/4″ wide. So, after looking a little further the Sorby Skew Chisels look really nice, especially the 1-1/4″ Robert Sorby #809H Oval Skew Chisel.
I’m going to make it my goal to master the skew chisel, after watching so many turners produce glass smooth finishes, I know I can do it. Like with all woodturning …..it takes practice!!!
After cranking out 3 stairway spindles that really look the same, I tried to do a slicing cut with the skew chisels have….the ones from China and besides the fact that they are square edged I just couldn’t make that slicing cut in a piece of oak. Could be me, I’m finding out that the China tools will actually cut if you sharpen them correctly, maybe I need to work on the edge of the skew.
Bottom line I want to get a good oval skew chisel, whether Sorby or Crown. I’m not quite ready to purchase their super expensive super duper metal that holds an edge forever type turning tools. Although I’d really like to try one out to see what the difference is, I need to work on my sharpening skills.
A steady rest is a device that attaches to your lathe bed and helps to stablize a long piece for turning or a bowl or vase.
Let’s say you have a 30 inch x 1″ broom handle you want to turn some decoration in. If you place that broom handle between centers, and you try to turn something in the center of the piece it will start to vibrate and actually bend away from your turning gouge.
On the other hand you might have a vase or other shape you want to hollow out and it is in your chuck but not reinforced by the tail stock on the other end. If the turning project starts to wobble and lose its center you will need a “steady rest” to keep the turning project running “true”.
As with so many other things “woodturning related” I really didn’t know when or if I would ever need a “steady rest“. As it would happen I found myself in need of a steady rest and thought I would just buy one. Holy cow…those things are expensive. If you want to buy one, Rockler has a nice one Click Here
I Really Needed A Steady Rest
Here’s what happened.
One of my friends is a contractor who needed some stair balasters or stair spindles duplicated.
Although I’ve turned some handles, candle stick holders and lamps ….I really never did anything long like a stair spindle, balaster or newel. So, I told him …”NO problem, I can crank out those stair balasters for you!”
Well, first I needed some oak. The base of the stair newel was, at it’s biggest 1 1/4″ X 1 1/4″ square.
Oak Ripped for Stair Spindles
I found some clear oak 2x6x4′ at Menards, the stair spindles I needed to duplicate were 33 inches, so I ripped 3 pieces that I needed on my Jet table saw that now has a rusted top because my roof leaked because the insurance company and building department are a nightmare to work with…..but that’s another story!
Next I mounted them on the wood lathe between centers and started working on the tapered rounded part. Since my chinese tool set did not come with a roughing gouge, I had to use what they called a spindle gouge….. that was a big mistake because it almost ripped the piece from the lathe.
Rounding the Square Stock
for the New Spindle
So I tried to knock the corners off and round it out with my custom carbide insert tool.
That worked pretty good, but it mostly scraped and I tried every tool I had. The spindle vibrated and bounced, there was no way I was going to turn that spindle without some additonal support.
Youtube For Learning How to Turn Wood
Next I turned to my favorite place to learn some woodturning lessons…. youtube! After a while I thought a steady rest would solve my problems and there were plenty of tutorials on how to build a steady rest ….man, I just didn’t have the time to do that…..but I seriously considered making a steady rest!
I found a bunch of tutorials on how to make your own “steady rest” a device that provides additonal support for turned projects, whether it be a balaster, broom stick, spindle or vase. The additonal support helps you to make clean cuts and proper coves and beads as needed in your project….or in my case just to taper the spindle.
The problem I was having was once I got in the middle of the spindle and tried to reduce the diameter, you could see the spindle being pushed out, I was actually afraid it would break or come off the live centers.
Should I build a steady rest? Really didn’t have the cash to buy one …check out these steady rest plans and watch the video
I saw it on Rockler Woodworking and Hardware
Lathe Steady Rest Downloadable Plan — $7.95
Here’s an innovative, adjustable rest for holding spindles steady. It just may give those dusty, discarded in-line skates a second shot at useful life-in the shop!
Building A Steady Rest
I don’t have time to build a steady rest right now but I think I will in the very near future! You can get a set of plans on how to build a steady rest from Rockler click on Steady Rest Plans.
And you should watch the video below from someone who I have followed for a while on youtube, his name is Stephen Ogle, click on his name for the youtube channel he has lots of good stuff. Watch Stephen’s video below, as he shows how to build a very nice “steady rest“, however I would change the wooden wheels for some roller skate wheels, I think it would be a little easier on the project you are turning, a little cheaper and a lot faster! Anyway, check out his video, he goes into great detail …if not pick up the rockler plans.
Steady Rest Or Better Tools?
I didn’t have time to build a steady rest and I wasn’t going to buy one!
I thought if I had a couple of better tools I might be able to pull this off. I did some searching online and found a new Woodcraft store in my area and took a fast trip to the new store. I purchased a 3/8 spindle gouge (blade only) and a 1/2″ bowl gouge with a fingernail grind from Sorby. I really wanted to get some other tools online but I needed to get this done now!
I’ve read that a good 1/2″ bowl gouge with a fingernail grind can be used for many things including turning spindles.
I was shocked at how good these tools cut the red oak blank. The finish was perfect and I didn’t even sharpen them yet! I really wanted to get a 5/8 bowl gouge from D-Way, Carter or Thompson but the 1/2″ Sorby will have to do, it definitely is a step up from the crappy tools I’ve been using.
I’m retired (not by choice), actually on disability so my income is below poverty at this point. Otherwise I would probably have 2 or 3 of every tool I needed or thought I needed!
Make Money Turning Stair Spindles?
However, I planned on supplementing my income with some of my bowl turnings amongst other things. A little job like turning some stair spindles could bring some extra bucks but what couild I really charge for 3 spindles? If you were able to buy them from some of the big box stores they might cost anywhere from between $5 and $10 each for an oak stair balaster or spindle.
My friend’s problem was that he was unable to find the profile he needed to replace 3 stair balasters. So he needed someone to custom turn the stair spindles to match the profile he had.
It cost me $40 bucks for the oak, $32 dollars for a 3/8 spindle gouge, and $98 dollars for a 1/2″ bowl gouge. So, what do I charge him for 3 spindles….it would be nice if I could get $40+$32+$98= $170 !
That doesn’t even include my time, figure at least 2 hours a balaster, that’s 3 balasters …so a total of 6 hours at 40 bucks an hour equals $240.
So, I have $170 + $240 = $410 into a stair spindle project. Ha, ha ….what a joke. I’ll never get that and wouldn’t try…..I might as well go put them in for him too 🙂
Do you think I could get 400 bucks for 3 custom balasters? …..Ha, ha ….I’d be luck to get 100 bucks….if I do it will go toward my collection of tools and experience.
Next time I will use a steady rest and hopefully have a few more good quality tools.
It’s been a while since I’ve added to my woodturning blog …..haven’t been feeling too well so I haven’t been working with my lathe. I’ve been cleaning up and trying to work on my garage roof plans and I’ve spent some time with the prototype’s for my carbide insert woodturning tools. Seems like there are a handfull of options out there if you want to buy a completed set of carbide tools but a full set could cost you anywhere from $400 to $600 dollars. I’m trying to develope 3 woodturning tools made with carbide inserts that will do everything you need and the entire set would cost somewhere around $250…..or about $85 each…. Going to take some time to get the prototypes finished and I might end up creating and selling just 10 sets or so a year ….and at $60 or so dollars…. just to help new turners get started. These carbide tools are really easy to use!
I know when I first started, if I could purchase a carbide tool for 60 bucks I would have jumped on it. I had so much trouble when I first started with Chinese wood turning tools. More on this latter….
Anyway…..I tried a little Wood Hardener Experiment for Woodturning Bowl Project
I had some wild cherry wood that was cut down a couple of years ago. I cut it myself, on my mothers property after a storm, thought I would be using for fireword or for the “smoker”. The logs were about 2 feet long and up to 20″ wide, sitting outside uncovered and no treatment for the ends, that is I did not seal the ends of the log or the endgrain.
The piece I decided to work with was at the above dimensions, it looks pretty good and I split it down the middle and found it to be very dry. I can only turn 12″ on my lathe so I figured I could cut off the outer soft material on the bigger piece and get a nice piece to turn ….looking for a good size bowl.
Next I created my blank and rounded the corners on my bandsaw. I really need to get a new blade so I can cut corners easily. In a perfect world I would have a dedicated bandsaw and blade set up just for cutting blanks!
Mounting the Cherry Bowl
Blank for Turning
I started my project with my Nova 2 Chuck fitted with a worm screw, it seemed to hold pretty good and pulled up nice and tight to the chuck. Next I pushed the tailstock into the other side of the blank and it went in rather easy, in fact, the outer layer was pretty soft in this spot. I decided to press the tailstock in tight and give it a try.
Everything seemed to hold tight. I did not find any more soft wood yet 🙂 So I shaped the bowl, with a tenon for the chuck to be on the tailstock side of the bowl blank. Shaping went pretty good but when I started to shape the blank for the chuck tenon I ran into more of that soft squishy wood! I decided I would finish shaping since I put this much work into it.
I really didn’t want the blank to spin off and hit me in the head, I don’t have a face mask yet, so I’ve tried to turn carefully and slowly.
I tried out my new carbide tools, a square carbide insert and a 15mm round insert, both worked excellently. Then I spend some time trying the get a handle on turning with a bowl gouge. I have a 1/2″ bowl gouge by Woodstock with a traditonal grind… up until now I’ve earned a new name…..”CATCH”, that’s right, I was the captain of catches and I was close to giving up. I thought it was the tool, the lathe and/or the wood but in reality it was just my technique! I’m really surprised a bowl hasn’t flew across the room and/or hit me in the head at some point because I’ve had so many catches.
Tradional Grind for My Bowl Gouge
Well I decided to give it another shot after waiting a couple of weeks. I reground my bowl gouge with a traditonal grind according to many experts, I’ll try to put up a pic. Not only did I regrind the tool, but I put a secondary grind on it for more clearance. As they say, “ride the bevel” seems my tool always got it the way causing me to have a catch or two or 10 🙂
Well, wouldn’t you know. My bowl gouge was cutting as good if not better than the carbide tools. I was “making shavings” as Capn Eddie says, and was that an awesome feeling. I didn’t care what the bowl looked like, all I cared about was watching the shavings fly just like the utube videos I’ve been watching. I had complete control of the side walls, inside the bowl and the outside shape!
Ran Into A Patch of Soft Wood
I stopped to examine my work and was proud of my turning! I finally got a bowl gouge to work right, I have to say it was the grinding on the original tool that probably messed things up, after using the oneway grinding jig I put a more desired grind on the bowl gouge and I could actually make it work. That’s what wood turning is all about. Finding these little changes or techniques that open the door to other methods and surprises 🙂
Well, as I was looking at the bowl I noticed a section that was off color and soft enough to push my finger through. I thought, great…. finally I turn my first bowl like a pro and its rotten. Then I remembered the soft tenon, it was the same type of wood, white and soft.
Experiment With Wood Hardener
I probably should have thrown it away, but it was my pride and joy. I wanted to hang it on the wall or something but because of the soft wood I was screwed.
I remember watching a video where the turner had the same situation and used a “wood hardener” so I did some searching and found some more info on different wood hardeners and thought I would experiment with my trophy and see if I could get a decent bowl out of it by using this “wood hardener”. I found a “minwax wood hardener” and ANOTHER wood hardener in a pint container at “Menards Home Center”, I know Home Depot has the Minwax Wood Hardener, a google search will give you some other sources for a wood hardener.
You might think you could use an expoxy? The problem with most expoxies is that they do not penetrate the wood. If you know of an expoxy that penetrates the wood…. I would feel comfortable trying it.
Basically you just soak the soft spot with the hardener and let it dry. It soaks deep into the wood and hardens after a couple of hours. I also found 2 cracks and a chip. So I used some CA glue and poured it into the cracks, inside the bowl and outside the bowl. I also used CA and woodshavings and dust to form a paste to push into the cracks and chips.
I turned the bowl again, the wood hardener I used on the soft wood by the tenon worked great. It has keep the tenon solid and the wood chuck seems to be holding tight. As I turned the bowl the other soft spot turned nicely but after more shaping I found I needed to apply the hadener again.
Is A Wood Hardener Worth It?
You might think, “hey, don’t waste more money and time….throw the bowl away and start again!” I thought that initially but I really wanted to see how well this “wood hardener” works and if I have a bigger project would it be a possible solution should I run into rotted or soft wood? At this point I would said it is definitely something worth trying. It cost about 10 bucks for a pint and I only used, maybe a 1/5 or 1/6 or it ….so maybe I used a dollar or so of hardener. In my opinion, that would be worth the cost if you have an hour or more into the project.
I still think my chinese tools are half my problem when it comes to turning. I’d love to try an American made bowl gouge from D-Way, Thompson or Carter & Sons. All American made, and they seem to slice through wood like butter. Most of the guys doing high quality video turtorials always mention they are using these tools ….in fact Cap’n Eddie was just showing off one of his D-Way bowl gouges with a fingernail grind ….he gives it high praises!!!
Good to see Eddie returning to scene after his health problems!
It’s time to step up. That is, I need or want a more powerful wood lathe!
I wish I could win the lottery …but that would mean I would have to play it and I don’t think they payout in Illiois because the state is so corrupt and broke 🙁
I think you could spend up to $10,000 or more on a super wood lathe. I won’t be doing that! I had no idea they could cost that much. I was originally thinking maybe $1,500 to $2,500, but then I saw some very nice machines in the $4,000 dollar range.
A New Wood Lathe for More Power
I’m only dreaming right now but my little harbor freight lathe really can’t handle very big bowls and if I try to get a little aggressive on my cuts it will slow down or stop.
A more powerful wood lathe is actually safer. You can safely turn larger bowls and other projects. You can have more control of the speed. There are more accessories available. Your woodturning tools will work better because you have more control over the speed at which the project turns.
So, I thought as I do some research I would post the information here on the wood lathe upgrades I’ve come across. The first one is a Laguna Revo 18|36 Woodturning Lathe. I have some Laguna equipment and tools, the 14″ SUV bandsaw is outstanding in quality and performance …so I was thinking about staying with Laguna.
Laguna Revo 18|36 Woodturning Lathe
A couple woodturners I know have the Revo 18|36 and they love the machine. They have so much good to say that I almost decided I would save for this Laguna model and not do anymore research. When talking wood turning tools, Laguna fits in with all the old timers. At the time the 18|36 was the largest model that Laguna produced.
Much to my surprise as I was researching the Laguna Revo 18×36 I discovered that Laguna has come out with a new wood lathe called the Laguna Revo 24-36 Wood Lathe W502131 MLAREVO 24-0180 and is 3hp as opposed to the 18-36 which is 2hp. Of course I would rather have the newer and bigger one but at $1000 to $1500 more I will probably be lucky to get the 18-36 …and I’m not complaining. One nice thing about getting the Revo 18-36 is that it’s been around for a while and all the kinks have been worked out …..making it a beautiful machine!
But I can still hope and pray that a Laguna Revo 24-36 Wood Lathe W502131 MLAREVO 24-0180 someday lands in my shop 🙂
Check out this video on the Laguna Revo 18-36 and below the video you’ll find some specs.
The newly redesigned Laguna Revo 18|36 lathe is a serious contender in the professional grade woodturning lathe market. From it’s user-friendly ergonomic design, cast iron and steel construction, and beautifully machined components to the blue hue of the illuminated control panel, it’s clear that the Laguna Revo 18|36 is a serious competitor that’s here to win over even the most discriminating woodturner.
If you’re looking for a well-built, premium quality lathe with all the features you’d expect to find on lathes costing much more, give the Laguna 18|36 a serious look today, you’ll be glad you did.
• Electronic variable speed from 50-3,500 RPM
• Easy to read digital RPM readout
• Premium quality electronic controls
• 100% accurate center alignment guaranteed
• Automatic knock out tailstock
• Cast iron & steel construction
• Dual work light mounts
• Swing away tailstock bracket (optional)
I think that’s the scenario that many of us go through. Maybe we don’t buy the lathe yet but we do the research and figure out which one we are ready to get ….in other words, you are ready to pull the trigger on a woodlathe.
My friend, you’re just starting out and you are going to learn that there is a lot more to woodturning. There are a lot of wood turning tools and supplies you are going to need. And, you are going to have to learn how to use these new tools.
Each new wood turning project will require different techniques, differnt tools and different wood. It will require a different plan of attack. Even if you decide to turn a couple of wood bowls, chances are you will need some different tools and each one ….and maybe even a different finish on each one. It all depends on the type of wood and style of bowl.
I’m not going to talk about all the different accessories in this article, but I do want to talke about what is probably one of the most important considerations when entering into the world of wood turning. I want to talk about your woodturning tools.
First you are going to find out that the same type of tool from one vendor is 10 times the cost with another vender or manufacturer. In this case, you usually get what you pay for, but should you buy expensive turning tools to start off with?
Expensive WoodTurning Tools
If you have the cash, go for it!
If you are like most wood turners, that is, always frugal and a good steward of your money you are going to want to purchase tools with the best value to start with.
After fighting through pages and pages, videos and videos about wood turning tools I have come to understand one of the most important things is the type of steel. A wood turning bowl gouge made with less expensive steel will not perform as good as the same woodturning tool made with the best steel. Not only that, it will not hold an edge and you will always be sharpening it.
This could be a double edge sword. It’s important to learn how to sharpen your wood turning gouges, skews and the like because ….number one, it will cost a fortune to pay someone to sharpen your tools and with a cheap tool you might have to sharpen it 2 or 3 times during the project …so you will have to learn how to use something like the Wolverine Oneway Sharpening Jig …you’ll need this regardless of the type of tool you have along with a decent 8″ grinder. So the lesson is, with a cheap tool you will learn sharpening faster and that’s a good thing because when you buy a good expensive Sorby Bowl gouge you don’t want to grind it away honing your sharpening skills with the grinder and oneway sharpening jig!
Don’t Buy A Set of Woodturning Tools
The other mistake most newbie wood turners make is that they buy a set of woodturning tools. A set might have 5 to 10 wood turning tools in it. You might find you only really use 2 or 3 of those tools and you really don’t need the rest at this point.
It’s better to purchase 2 or 3 seperate wood turning tools of better quality and learn how to use those tools and how to maintain and/or sharpen them. And then as you do more research and your scope of woodturning expands you can grab another medium to high quality tool and learn how to use it.
If we consider the last paragraph, then the question would be….. what tool should I start with? A very good question. I would suggest a spindle gouge, a bowl gouge and a scraper. I don’t hear too many woodturners talk about scrapers, but a good scraper has saved my butt on many occaision and it’s a tool that can build your confidence. Spindle gouges and Bowl Gouges come in many shapes and sizes along with different grinds on each …..unless you are a natural they require some effort to learn but with these three wood turning tools you can do just about anything. The only other one I would suggest to begin with is a parting tool.
Here’s a good video that talks about what type of woodturing tools to begin with….good stuff, excellent photography since you can actually see how the tools cut. For instance a bowl gouge with a fingernail grind can make 3 or 4 different cuts and it could do your entire project if used correctly.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wood Turning Supplies and
Products from D-Way Tools
I was listening to Cap’n Eddie talk about using and how to use bowl gouges, roughing gouges, skews, scrapers and other wood turning tools. As always the Captain is just full of knowledge and wisdom so I pay attention to suppliers he recommends and uses. In fact, I really like when he recommends a woodturning supplier.
He mentioned that he got his Elsworth Grind bowl gouge from D-waytools.com and I checked out their site.
for the Wood Turner
They have a solid line up of wood turning tools for the woodturner…. more high end stuff. I would love to get my hands on some of their tools. At this point I’m still using Chinese wood turning tools and I would like to find out what the difference is between cheap tools and expensive tools.
Anyway, D-Way Tools looks like a good source of wood turning related tools and supplies. I have not talked to them, nor have I purchased anything from them. They look like an American based company, which is something or someone I would like to support either with a web link or by purchasing some of their tools.
I’ve wanted an Elsworth Grid Bowl Gouge shortly after I started turning. I looked at the Elsworth site and the Sorby Site and just trying to save up the cash I need ….but have been very sick so I don’t know if I’ll ever get one. But just because I can’t have one doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.
I’ve read many Amazon testimonials regarding some of the more expensive tools and high grade steel versus some of the less expensive tools….the ones I have. They all say they are amazed at the differece, they all noticed how much easier it was to turn projects and how cleaner an expensive tool cuts.
Of course you need to learn how to use your tools, I know I do.
Hope you found this post useful, hope you visit www.D-WayTools.com to see what they have. I saw a phone number across the top and I’m sure you can communicate via email.
Let me know if you get something from these guys and let me know how the whole experience goes!
Finally, there are some videos on the website and a quick view of them makes me want to spend some time watching. I think his name is Dave, the owner of d-way tools …..he did a very good video showing tool position for a couple of different bowl gouges. Really good stuff. I can see the difference in tools from mine to looking at his in the video.
Boy oh boy, I wish I weren’t so sick and broke because I would really like to get some of the awesome cutting bowl gouges that he is using. I think if I ever can come up with the cash I will invest in D-Way Tools!
Watch this video on Bowl Gouges, its a little long but it is some of the best teaching and camera work I’ve seen for woodworkers, a woodworker tutorial extrordinaire!
Make sure you view in hi def and full screen ….you will learn much!
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.