Are old Craftsman HSS lathe tools any good? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-15-2018, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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Are old Craftsman HSS lathe tools any good?

Been seeing some Craftsman lathe tools for sale, but don't know how good they are compared to other brands? From 1 to 10, where do they fall on the scale? 1 being HF tools and 10 being whatever awesome brand of lathe tools is out there that I don't know the name of yet. Thanks, cause wondering if they are worth getting or should I shoot for better.
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-15-2018, 10:40 PM
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John, I don't think Craftsman tools are any better than Harbor Freight and maybe not as good. I had a 30 year old Craftsman 1/2" drive ratchet that broke and I took it back. It had a lifetime warranty. They gave me another one but said this one is warranted for only a year. I haven't bought anything from Sears in a lot of years.
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-15-2018, 10:41 PM
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Unless you are going to compare them with carbide tipped tools the craftsman tools should be as good as any other HSS tools.
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-16-2018, 09:45 PM
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Steve is spot on. I have an old set of Craftsman tools (1950 vintage), and they perform just fine. I suspect they are truly high speed steel (above Rockwell 60) because they take an edge fairly easily and hold that edge quite well. If you are looking at older tools, they are almost certainly the real deal.

But, as with anything from Horrible Freight to the upper mid line tools, the geometry may not be perfect. In other words, ANY tool except the very highest end may need a little bit of re-shaping or re-sharpening; or both. A little time and a little effort can cure that issue. So...

If the edges don't have any obvious chunks gone, if they don't look like they were sharpened with a blow torch, and the price is right, you'll probably be fine.
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Another $000,000,000.02 worth of advice,
Mark
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-16-2018, 10:00 PM
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Duplicate thread. Can a Mod. do a merge?

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f6/ol...y-good-197530/
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-17-2018, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Frye View Post
Duplicate thread. Can a Mod. do a merge?

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f6/ol...y-good-197530/
Thanks. Made this thread then remembered there was a turning section so asked there. Was needing an answer pretty quick cause auction was getting close to ending.
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-10-2020, 12:04 PM
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The steel is too short to fit tormek sharpening jigs is my only complaint.
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-10-2020, 02:37 PM
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the older craftsman tool sets came with a tool I still haven't figured out (spear point) I have my original set and still use the skews almost for every project. The gouge's are designed from back in the day when there was only a gouge. No spindle roughing gouge, no bowl gouge, no fancy fingernail gouges, just a gouge. The two I use the most are the Skews and the parting tool. I make a lot of small tree ornaments and can make nearly everything with a skew. An HSS chisel can be sharpened to be sharper than a carbide tip. A really old carbon steel tool can be made even sharper. It is how long it keeps the edge that carbide tools exceed Carbon steel and HSS tools. Frankly, if you watch videos of European production turners, they still use mostly carbon steel tools Often in the back round, there is a rack with a half dozen of the same tool waiting for when the tool being used becomes too dull. A few strokes with a diamond card is more than enough to dress a skew edge for good turning. I might use a grinder on the Craftsman HSS skew once a month. An older Craftsman set of lathe tools will only get a few you can really use. Let me know when you figure out the spear point tool.
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-10-2020, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holtzdreher View Post
the older craftsman tool sets came with a tool I still haven't figured out (spear point) [...]
I am curious. Can you post a photo of the spear point tool?

Could the spear point tool be a parting tool or a diamond parting tool?
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-10-2020, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oletool View Post
The steel is too short to fit tormek sharpening jigs is my only complaint.
I have some HF chisels. Yes, on the short side to fit in the Tormek, even in the new chisel jig. The set of 4 cost less than $10. Where are these chisels on the Rockwell Hardness scale? I think the best answer is "The aren't."

However, when they are sharpened to the correct geometry, the appropriate description is not great but not bad either.

Rich
Just a dumb old paper boy from Brooklyn, NY
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