Best "Bang for the Buck" Lathe Chisel Set
#11
  
Just purchased my first lathe, a Grizzly G0462.  It should be here in a week or two and now its time to outfit it.  Need to get a set of lathe chisels.  Based on reviews on the internet, they are all over the place from 1 to 5 stars so very hard to determine what is a good buy and what isn't.

Planned use is general purpose, i.e. spindles, legs, knobs, bowls, etc.  Really have no lathe experience yet so not really sure which area/aspect of it I plan on taking a deep dive into......yet.

Anybody have any comments or recommendations at all?  Especially about the Woodstock International Shop Fox sets.  I have a credit balance with the BORG and need to use it.  I noted that they stock WI/Shop Fox chisel sets on their Website.

Thanks in advance.
Reply
#12
  Re: Best "Bang for the Buck" Lathe Chisel Set by TRW (Just purchased my fi...)
Welcome to the very very deep hole of wood turning. Do you have a means and experience sharpening. If so I got the Harbor Freight HSS chisels. The red handled Windsor set for around $90 to learn on. Ground away a lot of cheap metal learning to do it. Then I got the better stuff and reshaped the HF stuff. Good spindle set to learn on.

Enjoy and good luck.
Reply
#13
  Re: Best "Bang for the Buck" Lathe Chisel Set by TRW (Just purchased my fi...)
The two types of woodturning tools are carbide tipped and the traditional lathe tools e.g. spindle tool, bowl gouge, skew chisel, scraper. I would say for most woodturners who wish to progress to the next level, getting a set of the more traditional tools is a better path. You can learn quickly with carbide tools, but you can only do so much with them, and you don't have any flexibility to create a custom grind. The advantage to carbide tools is you don't need a grinder to sharpen them.

The two entry level brands I've heard of are Benjamin's Best and PSI. Get HSS chisels. They stay sharper longer and you don't have to worry about ruining the heat treat when sharpening.

DON'T buy an entire set of tools! If you are not going to do bowls, you don't need a bowl gouge. You don't need a skew chisel when beginning. You probably want to start with a roughing gouge, spindle tool, and parting tool. You can do 95% of all spindle turning tasks with those. From there, I would add a bowl gouge and skew chisel. After that, I'd add a round nosed or radiused scraper.

Buy the best tools you can afford. It may just be that you will never need to replace them. My favorite are Thompson tools.
Still Learning,

Allan Hill
Reply
#14
  Re: Best "Bang for the Buck" Lathe Chisel Set by TRW (Just purchased my fi...)
IMHO the smartest thing you can do is find a woodturning club.  I could have saved literly hundreds of dollars if I had found a club before buying tools I do not need and buying the "wrong" sharpening system!!!
"I tried being reasonable..........I didn't like it." Clint Eastwood
Reply
#15
  Re: Best "Bang for the Buck" Lathe Chisel Set by TRW (Just purchased my fi...)
Thanks for the answers so far.

For sharpening, I already have a Rikon slow speed 8" grinder set up with CBN wheels for sharpening regular chisel and plane blades.

I have the Kodiak system from WoodTurners wonders but only the attachments needed for those (chisels and plane blades) applications.  I know they make specific attachments for Woodturning chisels and eventually I'll look into what they have as I acquire tools and need to get them sharpened.
Reply
#16
  Re: Best "Bang for the Buck" Lathe Chisel Set by TRW (Just purchased my fi...)
the smartest thing you can do is find a woodturning club


Maybe. I tried this path and the one local to me is pretty much just rich guys showing off how much money they spend on things, and the projects they did were pretty much buying an attachment that made something. If you weren't in their original close knit group you weren't really accepted into it. Especially f you didn't have the high dollar machines and things they had. So I didn't bother with it for very long. I learned more form watching Captain Eddiie. He['s a cool enough guy that you can actually call him on his phone. Hopefully people won't abuse that kindness.
Reply
#17
  Re: Best "Bang for the Buck" Lathe Chisel Set by TRW (Just purchased my fi...)
(08-15-2021, 10:19 PM)TRW Wrote: Planned use is general purpose, i.e. spindles, legs, knobs, bowls, etc.  Really have no lathe experience yet so not really sure which area/aspect of it I plan on taking a deep dive into......yet.

Anybody have any comments or recommendations at all?  Especially about the Woodstock International Shop Fox sets.  I have a credit balance with the BORG and need to use it.  I noted that they stock WI/Shop Fox chisel sets on their Website.

Thanks in advance.

Wood Lathe Turning Tool Kit 8 Pc (harborfreight.com) Seem to be pretty much the same as those you mentioned.  

HSS versus carbon?  HSS resists heat and abrasion better.  

If you're heating enough to take advantage of it when turning wood - you're a hacker, not a turner.  

Abrasion?  By some woods with high silicon content, or, if you're lazy about debarking, as I am, sand.  However, with the RC 58 high carbon steel you will sharpen (refresh, as you hope) to high turning capability with any stone and slip.  HSS needs diamond to refresh as quickly.  Or, you can grind away your M2 steel quickly and possibly change your angles  on a grinder.  FWIW, I've got 40 years and thousands of pieces under my belt (waistline shows it) and still have, and use the "came with" carbon steel tools I got with Ol' Blue back then.  They get a bit shorter in the tooth as they age, but since I keep the toolrest close, that's not much of a factor. 

On not buying sets?  Do you think that the tools in sets were dreamt up by someone other than a turner?  Then why, you think, are they all pretty much the same, then?   It's because the four basic moves of rough round, bead, cove and part apply to all spindle work.  You can rough with the biggest, but smaller coves want appropriately-sized gouges for best work.  Beading can be done, as can roughing, with your big skew, though tight beads want the smaller one.  

If you don't care to practice, but would rather increase your time sanding, the sets usually include a spear point and a round nose. They work, but don't leave as nice a surface.

Last, parting.  It's a scraping tool designed to be used on the narrow, rather than the broad aspect.

Which is not to say there aren't variations on all those tools, whose advantages you may later consider worth further investment later on.  

Couple mentioned are the roughing gouge, which, as I see it, wants to be a minimum 1 1/2 inch, and "bowl" gouges, which have deeper flutes and generally longer steel.
Better to follow the leader than the pack. Less to step in.
Reply
#18
  Re: Best "Bang for the Buck" Lathe Chisel Set by TRW (Just purchased my fi...)
On the high-speed steel (HSS) versus carbon steel, as MM says: if you are getting carbon steel so hot that it blues the steel and draws the temper when turning, you are probably doing something wrong.

The real advantage of HSS and most of the modern exotic tool steels is that you do not have to have a heat treatment setup to recover the tool temper every time you spend a little too long on the grinder. It is very easy to heat carbon steel too hot when sharpening on a grinder. Once it turns blue, it does not hold a cutting edge very well.
"the most important safety feature on any tool is the one between your ears." - Ken Vick

A wish for you all:  May you keep buying green bananas.
Reply
#19
  Re: Best "Bang for the Buck" Lathe Chisel Set by TRW (Just purchased my fi...)
Benjamins Best from Penn State is as good as the more expensive brands. You also need to learn how to grind the tools.
Many gadjets for sale but you only need a 6 or 8" grinder with 120 grit wheel. 
Try this method when grinding gouges.
Turn grinder on and let it come up to full speed. Then turn it off and begin grinding the gouge. When the wheel stops , look at the grind. If their is a single facet then the grind is correct. You may have to do this more than once. I learned this method a long time ago when the electric went out while I was grinding a roughing gouge. I noticed the grind was a single facet , usually I had problems getting this correct. Since then I grind any gouge and skew chisels using this method.
I do not know why this works but it always does for me.
mike
Reply
#20
  Re: Best "Bang for the Buck" Lathe Chisel Set by TRW (Just purchased my fi...)
I wouldn't worry too much about high carbon vs. HSS steel. It's increasingly more difficult to find the plain carbon steel turning tools. Even Craft Supplies USA doesn't sell it anymore. That said, you're left with several varieties of HSS, Powder Metal (PM), and Carbide tools. The latter two are more expensive. M2 is the most common HSS. Anything different from M2 will be more expensive.
Still Learning,

Allan Hill
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.