1. Welcome new registering member. Your username must be your real First and Last name (for example: John Doe). "Screen names" and "handles" are not allowed and your registration will be deleted if you don't use your real name. Also, do not use all caps nor all lower case.

Which turning tools to start with.

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Steve Kephart, Mar 3, 2020.

  1. Steve Kephart

    Steve Kephart

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2020
    Messages:
    24
    Location (City & State):
    Nipomo, California
    Hello

    I am new to turning and currently do not own a lathe or turning tools. I will be joining a local club which has a loaner lathe. So I am going to start with some basic tools. I was just at a demonstration that the club sponsored and demonstrator was kind enough to recommend two bowl gouges and a spindle gouge. He was recommending Glaser Tools. I check the price and got sticker shock. My question is are these tools worth the price says compared to Sorby or Woodriver. I am looking at a mid-price lathe in the $3000 range [Jet 1840 or Laguna 1836].
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2020
  2. Charles Cadenhead

    Charles Cadenhead

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2019
    Messages:
    119
    Location (City & State):
    Tallahassee, FL
    Hi Steve and welcome! Those look like professional tools. As one beginner to another I think you could get away with the Sorby chisels. They're great tools at a good price and when you're ready you can move up to the Glaser tools. I have a mix of tools from different vendors but my Sorby ones are my favorites. I would also throw in a skew chisel into your list. They come in very handy for both bowl and spindle turning.
     
  3. Mark Wollschlager

    Mark Wollschlager

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Messages:
    390
    Location (City & State):
    Alexandria, VA
    Yeah, I would pass on the glaser tools. Nice, but expensive. There are plenty of high quality gouges that cost much less with no difference in cutting ability.
    During the learning phase just about any tool that you can keep sharpened is the best.
    Don't forget to budget for sharpening, several hundred.
    Try to get some lessons before you spend large dollars. Check out some other turners shops if you can.
    If the club offers mentoring, take advantage.
    Having the ability to try out some different tools is nice.
    You will have time and opportunity to build your tool collection.
    You will hear many suggestions for tools, so here is mine.
    A decent starter set might be an 1/8" or diamond parting tool, 1/2" spindle and 1/2" bowl gouge.
    You can do a lot with those 3 tools. They aren't too big to do some smaller stuff and robust enough to handle early turning mistakes.
    Also a face shield and safety glasses. Do not use the lathe ( or grinder ) without them.
    That is a start.
     
  4. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    11,449
    Location (City & State):
    Dalworthington Gardens, TX
    Home Page:
    I would say no to the overpriced Glaser tools. There are plenty of much more reasonably priced tools to choose from. The Woodriver tools should be just fine for now. Maybe five or ten years from now you might consider some high dollar tools. I have tools made by Sorby, Crown, Hamlet, Robust, D-Way, and Thompson and they're all good. Later on when you have money to spend and feel the need for a bowl gouge, my favorites are Robust, D-Way, and Crown Pro PM Ellsworth signature. I like them because of the wide parabolic flute
     
  5. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    6,691
    Location (City & State):
    Lakeland, Florida
    Home Page:
    There are a couple of different bowl gouge choice available depending on what grind you are taught to use.

    If you have the opportunity to take a class or find a mentor.
    You will then know what tools you will want to start with.

    if you learn the Ellsworth grind get a 5/8 bar diameter gouge from Robust, Henry Taylor, or jamieson.
    3/8 spindle gouge and a round nose scraper.

    Nothing wrong with the glaser tools unless you try to put an Ellsworth grind on them then they don’t work.

    if your class and mentors use the 40/40 grind the you will need a couple of bowl gouges, and a round nose scraper,
    And maybe a spindle gouge.
     
  6. Chris Edwards

    Chris Edwards

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2020
    Messages:
    85
    Location (City & State):
    Lebanon, TN
    I'm still in my first few months of turning. My parents sent me a Robert Sorby set of wood turning chisels, from England, about 30 years ago and they have just sat in the box until recently.

    I started using the bowl gouge, scraper and skew just before Christmas. I got on pretty well with them, but alway looking for a different mousetrap, I got turned onto Hunter Carbide tools http://huntertoolsystems.com and bought a couple, the Osprey and the Hercules. They are very forgiving for a beginner and compliment my other tools nicely.

    I was also in the market for the Laguna 18/36 and waited for the 10% off sale, which usually happens 2 or 3 times a year. This January, after talking to several turners, they persuaded my to 'Buy Once, Cry Once' and so I went with the Laguna's bigger brother, the 24/36. Assuming good reliability, I don't see me replacing this lathe.

    Most of these tools drop ship from the manufacturer, so I saved myself 9.25% sales tax and mail ordered it from out of state. It arrived within three days of placing my order.

    With HHS chisels, figure in a budget for some kind of sharpening device. Looking at the cost of CBN wheels and a low speed grinder, again after recommendations, I opted for the Robert Sorby belt version, about $500. I sharpened my Sorby chisels on it, probably a bit more frequently than necessary, but I was like a kid with a new toy and it was so easy to setup and use.
     
    Charles Cadenhead likes this.
  7. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    11,449
    Location (City & State):
    Dalworthington Gardens, TX
    Home Page:
    On the positive side there is no such thing as a tool that is too sharp. :D
     
  8. Mike Adams

    Mike Adams

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2020
    Messages:
    189
    Location (City & State):
    Bloomfield, New Jersey
    Here's my two cents.

    I wouldn't spend a lot of money on "forever" tools until you've been turning for a little while. Your first tools will get ground away while you get the hang of sharpening. Turning is a slippery, swirling slope that will drain every cent from your wallet if you aren't watchful.

    A set of Benjamin's Best tools will be great to start with. They'll sharpen well enough and are less expensive than splashing out on Sorby or another big tool maker's tools.

    One thing I wish I gotten in the beginning was a decent parting tool. I'd suggest getting the "thin" tool from Sorby or Hurricane, or one with that profile.
     
    Dean Center likes this.
  9. Ken Appelt

    Ken Appelt

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2020
    Messages:
    33
    Location (City & State):
    Shelby, MI
    Yu’all knew I’d jump in pretty soon with my carbide mantra. Someone mentioned a sharpening setup for about $500, and the time to learn sharpening,,,,are you crazy?

    I have turned for over 50 years, using traditional tools,,,,just switched to carbide, the Rikon 70-800 system for $150, include three cutters and shafts. Check it out.
    I know the ‘experts’ will say that carbides are for wussies,,, but there is a learning curve with them,,,,takes a few practices. And I end up with a much smoother finish, need way less sanding, as in my last project required NO sanding, and was glass smooth,,, took a little practice, but it is certainly do-able.

    No sharpening necessary,, pick up the tool and get to turning,,,,after all, that’s what we like to do, isn’t it?

    Okay,, let the flame war commence!!!
     
  10. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,845
    Location (City & State):
    Brandon, MS
    I keep seeing the posts with the idea that you will grind away your first very quickly when you start turning. I have been turning for 14 years and have only one tool too short to grind and it was used when I got it used. Yes I did buy the cheap set BB mini (too small) and HF but that was short lived as far as use and were repurposed. My point is buy good tools and get a little help on sharpening and they will last a long time.
     
    Charles Cadenhead likes this.
  11. Mark Wollschlager

    Mark Wollschlager

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Messages:
    390
    Location (City & State):
    Alexandria, VA
    I don't see the "grinding away" issue so much as sharpening using up the tool but that the process of learning and trying ( or correcting ) grinds using more steel.
    As you learn, and get jigs set properly steel usage goes down significantly :)
     
  12. Steve Kephart

    Steve Kephart

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2020
    Messages:
    24
    Location (City & State):
    Nipomo, California
    Thanks for all the advice. The first thing I bought when I decided to get into turning was a Tormek T8. I have the jigs and just watched Tormek's tutorial video. It looks fairly straight forward just some practice. Also, based on all the comments, I ordered a Sorby roughing spindle gouge, 3/8" spindle gouge, and a 1/8" parting tool. The club has a loner mini lathe so I can't do bowls until I get my lathe. Looking over AAW beginning projects were plans for a rolling pin. My wife is teaching our 6 & 8 granddaughters how to bake. So it would be fun to make a rolling pin for both of them.
     
  13. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2016
    Messages:
    1,924
    Location (City & State):
    Nebraska
    Steve,

    You can make bowls in various sizes depending on the size of the lathe, you could still practice doing smaller bowls on a mini lathe.
     
  14. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2019
    Messages:
    351
    Location (City & State):
    Lebanon, Missouri
    I recommend hi value tools like Benjamins Best and Hurricane to beginners. The BB bowl gouges are parabolic and can use about any grind. New turners need to experiment with different sizes/shapes/grinds - there is no standard of what’s best for what, only what individuals opinions are. So the beginner gets to try different things perhaps more than once and eventually settle on their “standard”. Doing so with expensive tools is....expensive, which creates anxiety about grinding material off a $75-$100 tool vs a $25-$30 tool. Those hi value tools cut just fine and can make just as nice of a project. Once the “standard” is chosen and the old tool used up then a $100 tool makes sense.

    Do not pay more for “signature special grinds” unless it also includes something else such as Lyle Jamiesons Thompson bowl gouge with parabolic flute - all the others are v or u. Get the cheaper traditional grind or plain scraper and grind what you need. You have to be able to sharpen it so you might as well create it.

    That T8 will be great for resharpening but darn near useless for shaping. Get a bgm-100 bench grinder tool bar and use your gouge jig for shaping on a slow bench grinder, and use the grinder for shaping scrapers.
     
    Mike Adams likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice