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Home Made Tools

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Ron Grob, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. Ron Grob

    Ron Grob

    Jul 2, 2018
    Location (City & State):
    Springfield, VA
    I made a couple tool handles this weekend and used some HSS tool blanks I purchased from EBAY to make a couple tools for myself. The first I made is a small point tool made from 8mm x 200mm round bar.


    On Saturday I made a bedan from a 12mm x 12mm x 200 mm bar.


    Both came out pretty decently. I even used the point too to make the lines on the bedan and was able to use the bedan while rough turning a couple cherry bowls later in the day (crisping up the tenon).

    It was a very fun project for me and I find myself wanting to make more tools. Curious what other tools people have made for themselves using HSS blanks. I have plans to make a scraper but that's about all I have in mind now since I already have a parting tool. What have you made?
    odie, John Turpin and Fadi Zeidan like this.
  2. Vicki Hayden

    Vicki Hayden

    Mar 30, 2013
    Location (City & State):
    Cambridge, Maryland
    They look great! Very professional.
    Ron Grob likes this.
  3. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

    Apr 26, 2004
    Location (City & State):
    Cookeville TN USA
    I make a.lot of tools out of both Hss and high carbon steel. The advantage of High Carbon steel is you can get it in more sizes. I use it for tools that don't get a lot of use. Well I do make my ornament hollowing tools out of HCS just because it's faster and after I harden them they hold an edge for a respectable amount of time. You can make some smaller tools by brazing or silver soldering HSS onto regular steel bars. I wrote an article for American Woodturner about 12 to 15 years ago on making your own tools using files. I show how to anneal, heat treat and temper the steel using inexpensive tools. You can search American Woodturner archives under my name to find it if your interested.
    Ron Grob likes this.
  4. Dean Center

    Dean Center

    May 4, 2010
    Location (City & State):
    Bozeman, MT
    Scrapers are pretty straightforward to make, but the benefit of making your own turning tools really develops when you start playing around with your turning, pushing your envelope. Personally, I like to make whatever new thing I have seen demonstrated at a symposium as soon as I get home. Many of the well known demonstrators have a favorite tool they use, and which someone will want to sell you at a premium. Some of those tools can be homemade instead and you can try out the expert's method. If you don't like it after all, you're out very little money, and the tool may be converted to the next.

    So I've made hook tools, ornament hollowers, teeny tools out of concrete nails, negative rake scrapers of all shapes and sizes, a side cutting negative rake scraper, a really pointy fluteless gouge, and something similar to your pyramid/point tool. A small negative rake scraper that I use to make exactly the right side angle on tenons I use all the time.

    For people just starting out, I would strongly recommend getting and learning with the basic, ordinary, conventional tools. When you are proficient with them and you want to do something exotic or different or just like the pro you just saw, then making tools can expand your repertoire. Unlike golf, skill isn't in that expensive new tool, it's in the turner gaining experience and muscle memory. Though I really love Cindy Drozda's sign: onetoolfromgreatness.JPG
    (Also I think Cindy is pretty terrific)
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
    Ron Grob and odie like this.
  5. John Torchick

    John Torchick

    Jan 24, 2010
    Location (City & State):
    Cleveland, Tennessee
    Dean, enjoyed reading your post here. Your avatar just "bowls" me over!

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