Woodturning (rec.crafts.woodturning) To discuss tools, techniques, styles, materials, shows and competitions, education and educational materials related to woodturning. All skill levels are welcome, from art turners to production turners, beginners to masters.

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  #1   Report Post  
George
 
Posts: n/a
Default Musings on Tool Sets (Apologies to Arch)

Another of those evergreen discussions on whether it is better for a new
turner to purchase a set or "the best tools you can afford" one at a time
has begun.

Now I'm not one for conspiracy theories, so I really don't believe that sets
are made up of the _least_ popular tools to solve a manufacturer's overstock
problem. I'm also convinced, given the number of sizes, grinds, lengths and
alloys out there, that there cannot be an absolute "best" in any of those
categories, or we'd all get it at whatever the price. It's our hobby after
all, or for some their livelihood, and hang the expense.

May I request a show of hands of all who use _every_ tool in their
collection, and equally?

All of you liars who raised your hands may sit down - we're interested in
honest responses. If you have more than one exemplar, you have a favorite,
and the second languishes on the shelf. Or, perhaps you do as I have done,
and regrind the profile on that second-best for another job. Pointy gouges
for hollowing come easily to my mind.

Now how many honest responders think there's a set of tools for spindle
turning and a set for bowl turning, and no crossover?

Good, everyone realizes that parting tools, scrapers, gouges, and even skews
don't care if the wood they're working is between centers or not. I'll go
one further, and admit that I have used my beading tool, a double-ground,
half inch non-skew ground tool to turn the edges of bowls or put the odd
decorative bead on them. I am even one of those fools who uses a roughing
gouge to clear away unwanted wood from the convex outer profile. One thing
I have seldom done is use a bowl gouge or ring tool on spindle work, but
they're rarely included in sets. So, if every tool included in the average
set, and a couple which are not, can work both between centers and off a
faceplate/chuck ... why not buy a set?

Certainly other considerations enter. How many felt competent and confident
of their ability to touch their expensive gouge to that whirring grinding
wheel when they were beginning? No trepidation?

Thought I told you liars to keep out of this! A little too heavy or long
on the wheel, and your sixty-dollar tool is toast. Or at least a lot
shorter by the time you try to replicate the original grind. Makes that
inexpensive set look a lot more economical than "the best," now doesn't it.
Less invested means less to lose ... so why not buy cheap?


I have never mastered a tool I didn't own, though I have used others' for
demonstrations. Makes me glad I got the widest variety of tools I could
afford to experiment on while developing my skills, even though that diamond
point scraper had to have been the most useless tool in the shop until I
reground it to a beading tool. I'M GLAD I BOUGHT A SET, it encouraged me
to experiment and grow. Unless you have constant access to a large number
of other people's tools, I'd advise all of you beginners to do likewise.



  #2   Report Post  
Rusty Myers
 
Posts: n/a
Default Musings on Tool Sets (Apologies to Arch)

First thing, not all sets are created equal. The set that came along with
the used lathe I got was a craftsman set. The only tools out of it I still
use are the left and right scrappers.

As far as tools for spindles and face work, I tend to mix them around. I
use a large spindle gouge (5/8" bar) for roughing bowls, but a bowl gouge
with a swept back edge for much of my spindle roughing. I never use skew on
face work, but I do use a spindle gouge to do beads on cutting boards and
trivets.

I do the vast majority of my bowl work with the above mentioned spindle
gouge, a bowl gouge (1/2" or 5/8" bar stock), a large bowl scrapper, and my
left and right hand scrappers. The left and right are for forming the
tenons and shear cutting. For a beginner, they could do without the spindle
gouge.

As far as sharpening my expensive tools when I was a beginner, I was fairly
pragmatic about it. I knew they wouldn't last forever, so I just got to
grinding.

I teach classes fairly often and I would rather have my students get the
right tools for what they are learning than to get a set with tools that are
a compromise. I haven't seen a full sized set that I could reccomend. I
have seen some small, pen oriented sets that were fine.

--
Rusty Myers
Austin, TX

"George" wrote in message
...
Another of those evergreen discussions on whether it is better for a new
turner to purchase a set or "the best tools you can afford" one at a time
has begun.

Now I'm not one for conspiracy theories, so I really don't believe that

sets
are made up of the _least_ popular tools to solve a manufacturer's

overstock
problem. I'm also convinced, given the number of sizes, grinds, lengths

and
alloys out there, that there cannot be an absolute "best" in any of those
categories, or we'd all get it at whatever the price. It's our hobby

after
all, or for some their livelihood, and hang the expense.

May I request a show of hands of all who use _every_ tool in their
collection, and equally?

All of you liars who raised your hands may sit down - we're interested in
honest responses. If you have more than one exemplar, you have a

favorite,
and the second languishes on the shelf. Or, perhaps you do as I have

done,
and regrind the profile on that second-best for another job. Pointy

gouges
for hollowing come easily to my mind.

Now how many honest responders think there's a set of tools for spindle
turning and a set for bowl turning, and no crossover?

Good, everyone realizes that parting tools, scrapers, gouges, and even

skews
don't care if the wood they're working is between centers or not. I'll go
one further, and admit that I have used my beading tool, a double-ground,
half inch non-skew ground tool to turn the edges of bowls or put the odd
decorative bead on them. I am even one of those fools who uses a roughing
gouge to clear away unwanted wood from the convex outer profile. One

thing
I have seldom done is use a bowl gouge or ring tool on spindle work, but
they're rarely included in sets. So, if every tool included in the

average
set, and a couple which are not, can work both between centers and off a
faceplate/chuck ... why not buy a set?

Certainly other considerations enter. How many felt competent and

confident
of their ability to touch their expensive gouge to that whirring grinding
wheel when they were beginning? No trepidation?

Thought I told you liars to keep out of this! A little too heavy or long
on the wheel, and your sixty-dollar tool is toast. Or at least a lot
shorter by the time you try to replicate the original grind. Makes that
inexpensive set look a lot more economical than "the best," now doesn't

it.
Less invested means less to lose ... so why not buy cheap?


I have never mastered a tool I didn't own, though I have used others' for
demonstrations. Makes me glad I got the widest variety of tools I could
afford to experiment on while developing my skills, even though that

diamond
point scraper had to have been the most useless tool in the shop until I
reground it to a beading tool. I'M GLAD I BOUGHT A SET, it encouraged me
to experiment and grow. Unless you have constant access to a large

number
of other people's tools, I'd advise all of you beginners to do likewise.





  #3   Report Post  
Rusty Myers
 
Posts: n/a
Default Musings on Tool Sets (Apologies to Arch)

Well, the teacher decides, of course :-) Actually, when I teach at
Woodcraft I try not to push any tools on students and encourage them to use
mine and any that they have brought with them. That way they can decide at
the end of the class whether to spend any money. The only time I have done
it different was my last bowl class. We had six students, which is more
than I usually allow. Since we didn't have enough bowl gouges to go around,
I asked how many had planned to buy a tool. Since several said yes, I did
my discussion of bowl gouges first, then they bought, we ground them, then
they got to use their tools. Actually went quite well. But for most of my
classes I want them to learn more and spend money only if the want to. Hope
the manager at my Woodcraft doesn't see this...

As for "V" grooves, I tend to use the point on either my left or right
handed scrappers, or a spear point I have. You are right that those would
be possible cuts with the skew though.

--
Rusty Myers
Austin, TX

"George" wrote in message
...
Sounds great, Russ, but who determines if they're the right tools for the
students? I know I have to buy 'em, but they learn to use what will do
what they want to do after I've shown 'em how I do it. I'm not sure I

have
the "best" way yet.

BTW, use your skew tip for "V" groove decoration or to make the initial

runs
for wire burns if you fancy them for decoration on bowls. They're also

nice
for making a reveal between a "foot" and the piece, or for that chamfer
between the foot and where it will sit.

"Rusty Myers" wrote in message
...

I teach classes fairly often and I would rather have my students get the
right tools for what they are learning than to get a set with tools that

are
a compromise. I haven't seen a full sized set that I could reccomend.

I
have seen some small, pen oriented sets that were fine.





  #4   Report Post  
Arch
 
Posts: n/a
Default Musings on Tool Sets (Apologies to Arch) {long retort}

Hi George, just as I was about to nominate you for COC younger division,
you have to go and spoil your chances by an apology. "Musing" is in the
public domain, otherwise your subject would be actionable. Worst of all,
I agree with most of what you write but of course, not all.

When you get another cheap diamond scraper, lengthen the bevels and
lessen the cutting angles. That will get you into places you didn't
think possible or maybe shouldn't go.

I agree about the separation of bowl and spindle, but there is a third
set: the group that we collect because they are very cheap or very
expensive or their virtues are extolled to the nines. Most have never
known a grinder and certainly not a lathe. This set is strictly for
discussing, caressing and passing back & forth from hand to hand just
before dozing off while watching a woodturning tape rerun. Safety
caution: be sure to wear shoes.

I got carried away once and bought a gouge that cost more than my first
car. I expected the wonder to turn me into an expert, so I introduced it
to my lathe and sat down to watch. It must have felt itself superior to
my lathe. Damn thing wouldn't turn anything by itself. I over reacted
and on the rebound bought a set of eight H.F. tools for eight dollars
and thirty seven cents plus shipping and handling. I tell inquiring
minds that they are for use on the pole lathe that I plan to build some
day. Never mind about my bargain sandpaper. The sand on Far Eastern
beaches must be softer than on ours. Their HSS steel is very circumspect
though: stays well below the speed limit.

I agree that there is no conspiracy to get rid of unsold tools. They are
included as blanks for reshaping purposes, and are probably a better
bargain than steel bar.

OK, I'll dissemble from COC and am embarrassed to admit that I really
liked your "I have never mastered a tool I didn't own" That says a lot.
So much for musing. Arch

Fortiter,


  #5   Report Post  
Blair
 
Posts: n/a
Default Musings on Tool Sets (Apologies to Arch)

Thanks for the well written input. I will go out and buy a set that is not
too expensive and experiment, then I will replace with top quality tools.

Blair

"George" wrote in message
...
Another of those evergreen discussions on whether it is better for a new
turner to purchase a set or "the best tools you can afford" one at a time
has begun.

Now I'm not one for conspiracy theories, so I really don't believe that

sets
are made up of the _least_ popular tools to solve a manufacturer's

overstock
problem. I'm also convinced, given the number of sizes, grinds, lengths

and
alloys out there, that there cannot be an absolute "best" in any of those
categories, or we'd all get it at whatever the price. It's our hobby

after
all, or for some their livelihood, and hang the expense.

May I request a show of hands of all who use _every_ tool in their
collection, and equally?

All of you liars who raised your hands may sit down - we're interested in
honest responses. If you have more than one exemplar, you have a

favorite,
and the second languishes on the shelf. Or, perhaps you do as I have

done,
and regrind the profile on that second-best for another job. Pointy

gouges
for hollowing come easily to my mind.

Now how many honest responders think there's a set of tools for spindle
turning and a set for bowl turning, and no crossover?

Good, everyone realizes that parting tools, scrapers, gouges, and even

skews
don't care if the wood they're working is between centers or not. I'll go
one further, and admit that I have used my beading tool, a double-ground,
half inch non-skew ground tool to turn the edges of bowls or put the odd
decorative bead on them. I am even one of those fools who uses a roughing
gouge to clear away unwanted wood from the convex outer profile. One

thing
I have seldom done is use a bowl gouge or ring tool on spindle work, but
they're rarely included in sets. So, if every tool included in the

average
set, and a couple which are not, can work both between centers and off a
faceplate/chuck ... why not buy a set?

Certainly other considerations enter. How many felt competent and

confident
of their ability to touch their expensive gouge to that whirring grinding
wheel when they were beginning? No trepidation?

Thought I told you liars to keep out of this! A little too heavy or long
on the wheel, and your sixty-dollar tool is toast. Or at least a lot
shorter by the time you try to replicate the original grind. Makes that
inexpensive set look a lot more economical than "the best," now doesn't

it.
Less invested means less to lose ... so why not buy cheap?


I have never mastered a tool I didn't own, though I have used others' for
demonstrations. Makes me glad I got the widest variety of tools I could
afford to experiment on while developing my skills, even though that

diamond
point scraper had to have been the most useless tool in the shop until I
reground it to a beading tool. I'M GLAD I BOUGHT A SET, it encouraged me
to experiment and grow. Unless you have constant access to a large

number
of other people's tools, I'd advise all of you beginners to do likewise.





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