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Identifying turning tools.

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by John Marchese, Jan 1, 2021.

  1. John Marchese

    John Marchese

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    Jan 22, 2019
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    Location (City & State):
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    I’m looking for some help on identifying these wood turning tool. They are a quick release insert. There are no markings on them. I would like to know if anybody knows who makes them and if I can still buy accessories. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks John.
     

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  2. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Nor sure, but there was a business. Serious Lathes, and tools who is not in business any more, and those look similar to his tool handles. They had one of those off set collet chuck type inserts, and his handles had a very tight fit. They did have foam covered handles.

    robo hippy
     
  3. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    Yes, those are Serious Lathe quick-change tool handles... want to sell?
     
  4. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Wonder why they aren't marketed today.
     
  5. Bill Blasic

    Bill Blasic

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    Well I have one along with the mystery steel the guy sold and it is the least used handle in my repertoire. It locks with a turn either left or right (that is a choice) but that fit is very tight and as far as the mystery steel I didn't think it stayed sharp very long for being some exotic steel he would not reveal.
     
  6. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    I don't know if the later owners of Serious changed it up but, as I recall, it was O-1 or A-2 steel. At least that was the type used by the original owner/designer of Serious. I have a couple of scrapers and a large gouge I use for bowl roughing; the gouge takes a nice edge, but doesn't last as long as M4 steels I have.

    I have two of the handles and love them. The collets are going to be the most difficult part of keeping them in service but with a metal lathe I can make my own. I also remember reaming one of my collets to better fit the tool shafts.
     
  7. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    The locking design is an expensive one to tool up. You have a hole in the body of the chuck and an offset hole in the locking ring. They line up in only part of the ring rotation and the locking happens as they become misaligned. Then there are collets to downsize the hole to smaller shafts (I think 3/4" is the chuck's max/min). The collets aren't really doing the locking it's still the same two offset holes acting against each other.

    I love mine but I guess I shouldn't talk them up too much! ;)
     
  8. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    He did have some A2 scrapers, and I bought one and gave it away. The A2 was way too soft. Not sure what his mystery metal was, but if I remember correctly, the flute shape was the bigger problem.

    robo hippy
     
  9. Dennis J Gooding

    Dennis J Gooding

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    Location (City & State):
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    Serious Tool company made a couple of presentations at the Southern Oregon Woodturners Chapter here in Grants Pass. It was quartered in the Medford Oregon area. They developed a massive, very large swing, lathe that they hoped to have manufactured in one of the Southeast Asia countries for sale in the US. A bit later, they developed the tool handle system. A friend of mine bought one of their lathe prototypes when they closed down the business.
     
  10. Roger Chandler

    Roger Chandler

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    Yes, Serious Cam-Loc handles with collets required for 1/2" and 5/8" gouges. They are my go to handles. Scott decided to retire, and go into missionary work, and the Serious SL2542 lathe was a beast of a machine [1580 lbs], and the heaviest lathe offered on the market in recent years. I have turned on one, and a fellow club member now owns that lathe that was demoed at the Virginia Symposium back in 2016. That lathe could be repaired with components easily acquired including the Teco/Westinghouse inverter, in case it should ever be needed......designed as a lifetime machine.

    Among my Thompson, Sorby, Robust, Crown, Pinnacle, gouges, I do have 4 Serious gouges....two being regular A-2 steel and 2 being their Ultimate Gouge, which metal was held as proprietary. They do sharpen well, and last as well as most that I have used. The Thompson's are the very best at edge holding in my experience, but some others are very good as well.
     
  11. John Marchese

    John Marchese

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    I’m kind of new to the forum Thanks for all the information and response. I really do like them. Robo hippy I appreciate your videos on woodturning. I will be posting more questions. Thanks again to all.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2021
  12. Dennis Weiner

    Dennis Weiner

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    Location (City & State):
    New City, NY
    I fit most of my tools into the serious tool cam handle. I have the model that accepts 3/4 adapter sleeve. Mine is not a collet but a sleeve adapter style. Since these sleeves are no longer available, I make my own sleeves out of 3/4" aluminum or steel rod when fitting a new tool. I also use it with 3/4" boring bars which are quite common in the woodturning marketplace. Aside from having individual handles for each tool, I find this system the fastest to change tools with. There are no set screws or knob to turn when you want to remove the tool from the handle. I find it much easier and a huge advantage to sharpen the tool without the handle attached.

    here are all the tools that I adapted for the Serious tool cam handle. Also, I made some smaller handles. Note the tool on the far right is a homegrown 3/4” adapter sleeve. CD38E306-1F20-49CF-A60A-724A5F200188.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2021
    Owen Lowe likes this.
  13. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    Not picking nits but want to be clear on the history of Serious Lathe Company for anyone looking for info in the future. It was started by Bernie Mares, the owner of a structural engineering company in Portland whose focus was bridges. I met him at his office not far from the convention center in the early-2000s. The lathes may have been assembled in Medford -- I don't remember that detail. I do seem to recall that he had 2 lathes available, one of which was a behemoth that had a huge swing. Given that the lathes were designed by a bridge engineer, it's not difficult to understand why they are oh so massive. A friend has had one for ~20 years with no issues that I know of. Bernie sold the company about 15 years ago to Scott Trumbo and his partner. After that I don't know if a 3rd buyer was in the mix before the company went silent. I always thought that Bernie and/or Scott should have hired a good ad agency to promote the lathes. They were serious (no pun intended) competitors to the VB36 and Oneway 2436 market.
     
    Dennis Weiner likes this.
  14. John Marchese

    John Marchese

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    Jan 22, 2019
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    Location (City & State):
    Youngstown, Ohio
    Thanks for replying
    If I need any parts could I contact you to make me some. John.
     
  15. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Makes me think of another NW lathe company, the Nichols lathes. I actually met him at the Symposium in Portland. Noticed his shirt with Nichols Lathes on the back and commented that he was very old school... He said that he was John Nichols. Oh! We chatted a bit. I was looking at his lathes, which were beasts as well. Not a 'high polished machine', kind of like me, but very practical. He ended up going out of business because of Oneway and the PM 3520A which both came out about that time.

    robo hippy
     
    Owen Lowe likes this.
  16. John Marchese

    John Marchese

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2019
    Messages:
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    Location (City & State):
    Youngstown, Ohio
    I wish I could get my hands on some the the older large lathes. Thanks again for the information Appreciate the time you have taken with me. Hope you have a great new year.
     

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