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Updating my tools

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Patrick Hunter, Aug 9, 2020.

  1. Patrick Hunter

    Patrick Hunter

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
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    Location (City & State):
    Crawfordsville, IN
    Hello all,

    I don't post here much but I have learned a great deal from all of you. The willingness of the experts around here to help and teach newcomers like me is always nice to see.

    I'm currently turning on an Excelsior lathe from Rockler. All I have is their pen turning carbide set for tools. I've been lucky enough to sell several pens, and that has helped keep me focused on honing my skills. A few weeks ago, I was given an incredible opportunity to make 175 pens as gifts for my brother, who runs a realty group in Chicago. I now have access to the kind of funds that I thought would have taken me years to earn. As such, I'm planning to upgrade my lathe and make the jump to traditional turning tools. I was hoping to throw out my ideas for tools and get feedback from you all.

    Lathe: I'm about 90% sure I'm going with the Laguna Revo 1216. This will be a substantial upgrade, obviously, but will not break my budget and it's big enough to handle pretty much everything I want to turn, especially with the availability of a 20" bed extension. I've considered the Jet 1221 and the Rikon 70-220VSR, but the outboard turning capability of the Laguna is unmatched in the class. I see this as an advantage even when turning smaller bowls and boxes.

    Sharpening: Again, pretty much decided on this one. I've decided on the Kodiak System from Woodturning Wonders. This is due to overall ease of setup and the fact that I can get the entire package, including the grinder, in one fell swoop. From what I've seen, it will be more than capable of fulfilling my needs.

    Tools: Here's where I need the most advice from you all. I'm currently leaning toward this package: https://www.pennstateind.com/store/LXWM1007.html. It looks to me to have pretty much everything I'll need to get going with traditional tools at a good enough price that I can get more tools as I need them. What other tools do you think are necessities? Are there better sets out there, or should I go ahead and invest in higher quality tools (DWay, Thompson or Sorby)?

    I'm mostly interested in turning bowls and boxes but will certainly be doing some spindle work from time to time. Thank you all for your advice.
     
  2. Patrick Hunter

    Patrick Hunter

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    Realizing now that the thread should have been "Upgrading" not "Updating." Oh well...
     
    Emiliano Achaval likes this.
  3. Robert D Evans

    Robert D Evans

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    You should have making pens down by the time you get done with that order. You might find a good skew and a spindle roughing gouge pretty handy for making all those pens. After that, it depends on the project. Welcome to the tool buying vortex.
     
  4. Patrick Hunter

    Patrick Hunter

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    Yeah it's been quite the project. I've learned a lot even through the process, like that red oak is not the best material for pens or that sometimes you have to adapt your process when you notice wasted time. I have 45 of them ready to have to parts pressed. Still many hours of sanding and finishing to go.
     
  5. Brandon Sloan

    Brandon Sloan

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    Location (City & State):
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    I would consider the wolverine sharpening system. The reason I say this is because a lot more people use the Wolverine system which means a lot more people will be able to assist you if you have sharpening questions. As far as tools go, Carter and sons are the ones I use. They are made in America, made from m42 steel and they feel and perform like an expensive tool should. Start off with a basic tool or two. For what you are doing right now, I’d buy a 1/2” spindle gouge. For what you want to do in the future, buy a 1/2” bowl gouge. Between those two tools, you can turn almost anything on a midi lathe. Don’t know your budget, but those two will set you back about $200. That’s where I would start.
     
    taxman likes this.
  6. Charles Cadenhead

    Charles Cadenhead

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    I have the 1216 and love it. It's a great lathe. I'm not a fan of their wheel system though. If you need to move it around I would save your money and build your own movable base.
     
  7. Russell Nugent

    Russell Nugent

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    Location (City & State):
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    I have a 12/16, it's been great so far but I don't push the limits with it as I have a larger lathe as well.
     
    Patrick Hunter likes this.
  8. Brandon Sloan

    Brandon Sloan

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    I just looked at the kodiak package you were talking about. If it’s the simplicity of a package you are looking for, I’ll help you with that.

    Rikon 1/2 hp slow speed grinder $125-$145
    Wolverine grinding kit with vari grind jig $130-$140
    Dway 8” CBN wheel 180 grit $185

    Amazon carries the grinder and the wolverine. That totals $465. I just saved you $320.
     
  9. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    I always recommend buying some individual tools, not a set. One of my demos is how to turn a bowl with just one tool. A bowl gouge, either 5/8, 3/8 or 1/2 with a David Ellsworth grind. I also recommend a Doug Thompson V bowl gouge. Then add tools as needed, perhaps a spindle gouge, a parting tool. Ken Rizza at Woodturners Wonders sells the package deal, grinder with everything, call him and ask him he would be happy to talk to you. Also, call Doug Thompson, he answers himself, not a secretary that never seen a lathe before. You can't go wrong with a Laguna lathe. You are deep in the endless vortex, LOL Aloha
     
    Charles Cadenhead likes this.
  10. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    When you buy a set of 6 tools there are always 3 tools you use and 3 you don’t
    The one advantage of a set is in 3 years you will decide that one of the unused tools is perfect for something you are working on or can be repurposed to be close to perfect for what you are working on.

    a 1/2” skew is probably the best tool for pens - skew needs to be honed to cut in both directions.
    A 3/8 spindle gouge the second best tool for pens
    A 3/4 spindle roughing gouge will round the blanks quickly.

    parting tool ? is the quintessential spindle turning tool that every spindle turner needs for layout and sizing.
    However only a few pen kits require a parting cut. The Mont Blanc style is one.

    the spindle gouge or the skew can round your blanks quickly too but you dull the edge while doing so.
     
    Patrick Hunter likes this.
  11. Patrick Hunter

    Patrick Hunter

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    Thanks for the advice. As I said before, the ease of set up and 2 CBN package is what attracted me to the Kodiak package. I know the Wolverine system is more popular but the Kodiak seems more idiot-proof which will allow me to focus on learning new skills with the tools. The good news is that I can still use the Wolverine system on the Kodiak if the need arises.
     
    Mark Jundanian likes this.
  12. Patrick Hunter

    Patrick Hunter

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    Thanks for the advice. I have looked at the Thompson tools but was a little overwhelmed by the choices, so thank you for the guidance on which bowl gouge to get. I'm thinking that for the bowl gouge and spindle gouge it would be beneficial to get the best quality I can afford and Thompson is certainly that. Ken and Doug seem like great guys and I like to support small businesses when I can.
     
  13. Patrick Hunter

    Patrick Hunter

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    I don't have a need for mobility right now but I'll keep that in mind for the future. Thanks.
     
    Charles Cadenhead likes this.
  14. Dennis Weiner

    Dennis Weiner

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    I’ve used the Languna. Smooth as silk!
    As far as tool selection for boxes and bowls only on a Skelton budget: Buy Individual tools, not a package. A set is a marketing tool, not a turning package.
    I agree with Emiliano, the Ellsworth Irish grind bowl gouge is extremely versatile and it will allow you to turn most
    Bowl designs with a single tool. See the Ellsworth video and the Jamison video on his similar shaped gouge.
    For that size lathe, I would recommend a 1/2” swept back deep fluted bowl gouge as a size compromise. Initially, You can buy An inexpensive one To waste away it’s flute while you learn to sharpen.
    I would not buy a roughing gouge at this time. You can use the Ellsworth grind bowl gouge to turn a cylinder. (You can’t turn a bowl with a roughing gouge, at least safely. Roughing gouge is a specialty tool with one function)
    You need a parting tool if you are making boxes. It can assist it finalizing tenons so 1/8” or 3/16” is a good size rather than 1/16” which saves wood.
    I would also get a Small left side graduated curve scraper and make it negative rake to cleanup the inside of the bowls and boxes.
    Other tools can be added(Vortexed in) later, such as a skew or a spindle gouge. I assume that you will be able to use your Existing carbide tools to assist along the way.
    As far as sharpening is concerned, you need a slide, a gouge jig and a platform. Either system will get you going. I’m sure there are minor advantages and disadvantages between the systems. But not enough to disqualify one over the other. You don’t need a CBN wheel to get started. Let the rikon white stock wheels wear first As you journey though your grinding apprenticeship. These are my bare bone recommendations.
    I would spend a little more on a chuck. Which is a different subject.
    Hope this helps.
     
    Patrick Hunter likes this.
  15. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    I have thrown this out before in previous threads, so at the risk of being repetitious, I recommend handleless tools used with removable handles. It is much easier to sharpen a tool (particularly when starting out) if it isn't encumbered with a long handle. I have the Oneway double ended tools, which lets me try out, and compare, two different grinds. I use the Trent Bosch handles, just be sure the handle you go with will take a "long tang".
     
  16. Craig Pierson

    Craig Pierson

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    Hello Patrick! Newby here also. I'm not sure you can go wrong with any of your choices. I went with the Rikon 70-220VSR, Carter and Sons tools and the Kodiak system. Bought the Rikon grinder and WTW Mega CBN wheels separately. I'm still waiting for the Kodiak system - 3 weeks :-(. Best of luck!
     
  17. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    There are a thousand different items you can turn on a lathe, a standard set of tools will provide you with the proper tools to use for the proper tool techniques a beginner needs to learn and master over time if they stay with the craft. As Hockenbery mentioned above any tool in a set that never gets used is easily modified to make a special purpose tool for those projects that have a special need while turning on the lathe. A grinder and several minutes of work can produce a custom designed cutting profile which is a common practice in wood, polymer and metal machining trades. A set of HSS tools is what most wood turners start off with, how far you go with the craft usually determines the need for the high end lathe cutting tools. There are plenty of other accessories that a lathe turner can invest in to aid in their turning journey. You can easily spend more money on accessories as you do for the lathe itself. Make a list and keep your eyes open for bargains that may come up on-line, Craigslist, eBay, auctions etc. For every turning project you usually start with a list of the tools and materials needed to complete the project, as your tool collection and accessories increase the projects you can create become larger in number and easier to accomplish.
     
  18. Timothy White

    Timothy White

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    IMNSHO a spindle roughing gouge is the first tool to buy. An Alan Lacer teardrop 600 grit diamond hone is the second. My journey into turning was a hot mess until I learned how to “rub the bevel” and hone it to a keen edge. I rubbed the bevel with my thumbs until both were sore and bleeding and it didn’t help my turning one bit. The spindle roughing gouge is the best tool to learn bevel rubbing with. Also it is easier to hone than most tools.
    you will also need a parting tool. After this get a Thompson V bowl gouge. Then get as many tools as you can afford.
    Pen blanks are dry wood plastic or any media in between. Any tool sharpened on an eighty grit stone is woefully inadequate to turn these blanks (wet wood is a different subject).
    I recently turned 20 Slimline Comfort pens for our Senior Class Of 2020. I used a Sorby 3/4 inch M2 and a Thompson CPM10V 1 1/4 spindle roughing gouges to turn these blanks from start to finish. I turned with one till it was dull then switched to the other when it got dull I would Hand hone both then do it again. There was minimal sanding and no tear out. The wood was Figured Pecan root.
    I sharpen my turning tools with a 600 grit CBN wheel I use a small rubbing bevel 1/32 to 1/16 on my bowl gouges so hand honing is difficult. The SRG’s are easy to hone and Han be honed many times before going to the grinder.
    Your choice of grinder is and fixture is sound.

    I think you should at least look at the new Nova Comet 14” lathe before you pull the trigger on a lathe.
    https://www.tools-plus.com/nova-lathes-46900.html

    Rockier also sells this lathe.
     
    Patrick Hunter likes this.
  19. Jon Moyer

    Jon Moyer

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  20. Jon Moyer

    Jon Moyer

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    Hi Patrick, I have a Laguna 1216 with the 10" bed extension and banjo extension for outboard turning that I am intending to sell. It's only 6 months old. Selling because I got the turning bug and wanted something bigger, a great deal on a Powermatic came along and I couldn't resist.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2020
  21. Patrick Hunter

    Patrick Hunter

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    Where are you located?
     
  22. Jon Moyer

    Jon Moyer

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    Columbus, Ohio
     
  23. Craig Pierson

    Craig Pierson

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    Hello Patrick,

    I love my Kodiak system. Check with Ken or Joe at Woodturners Wonder on what tools to buy. CBN wheels tend to clog up with the softer HSS tools. I'd stick with Thompson or Carter and Son. I'm not sure on Dway as I've heard they have been sold. I'm a C&S man and I love them. Bowl gouge, Parting tool and a Scraper would be a great start.
     
    Patrick Hunter likes this.
  24. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    Clarification: CBN wheels are intended for HSS, It's high carbon steel that clogs them. (Apparently, though, they can be unclogged by using them on HSS).
     
    Patrick Hunter likes this.
  25. Craig Pierson

    Craig Pierson

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    Agreed, however some of the softer lower quality HSS tools easily clog CBN wheels.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2020
  26. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Tools that claim to be HSS and clog up your CBN wheels are not HSS. Ran into that at a sharpening/bring in your tools demo. I intentionally loaded up a wheel with aluminum, copper, brass, and unhardened steel. I cleaned it up by putting some honing solution on the bevels and sharpening some scrapers. Took a couple of weeks for it all to be gone. The wheel was pretty much worn out. Stuart Batty said that for production turners, the CBN wheels are good for about 6 years. I would say that is accurate.

    Oh, you can sharpen an axe, shovel blade, your bench chisels and plane irons on your CBN wheels as they are all hardened steel. Your lawn mower blades are a softer steel and they will load up your wheel. If a lawn mower had hardened steel, I would think that they could shatter when they hit rocks...

    robo hippy
     
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  27. Patrick Hunter

    Patrick Hunter

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    That's some good dope. Thanks
     
  28. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    The new slick stick from woodnwonders is supposed to keep.your wheel.from.clogging with soft steels and even non ferrous metals. $8.95 plus shipping and will.probably last a lifetime.
     
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