Where to Find WoodTurning Tools
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.