Homemade carbide lathe tool - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-01-2010, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Homemade carbide lathe tool

I'm not sure if anyone remembers that I was learning how to make pens from a old timer (Joe). When I went by Joe he had a nice Carbide cutter that he made similar to this one that I really liked but at $139.00 each, that was pretty hard to swallow.

Anyway like I said he made his and being the nice guy that he is he offered to order the parts and make mine for $40 and I would have to make my own handle. Oh the profits from these types of things is put into the Freedom Pens that he does for the local turning club. All in all a good price and for a good cause.


Here's my almost finished tool, I have to put a finish on the handle and it will be complete. My handle is made from scrap salvaged Lyptus which I have a good bit of laying around. The actual cutter came from here I think and he cut and tapped a piece of steel bar, attached the cutter and I made the handle. I plan on making a few more, one each of the square and diamond possibly more if I find different shaped cutters.

Joe says he can make 1500-2000 pens before it gets dull. So I figured maybe some of you might be interested in the idea of making a cutter and saving money.

Cost of cutters $14.00 - $18.00
Steel bar $2.00 - $4.00
Screw .25
handle Free

Total cost of like $25.00 and all you need is a tap set and grinder
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-01-2010, 11:53 AM
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Good job. You can buy the square cutters from Grizzly. You have to buy 10 but you get them for $26 so if you have 10 friends who want tools get together and build some. I don't know if they sell the screws. The ones I have take a special tapered Torx head screw. If you put a screw with the wrong taper in you can crack the carbide cutter. You could put a screw in with a straight shank and flat head.

For turning pens I prefer cutting tools rather than scrapers. I use a small rough out gouge to rough them out and then switch to either a skew or detail gouge to turn the other parts.
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-01-2010, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by john lucas View Post
Good job. You can buy the square cutters from Grizzly. You have to buy 10 but you get them for $26 so if you have 10 friends who want tools get together and build some. I don't know if they sell the screws. The ones I have take a special tapered Torx head screw. If you put a screw with the wrong taper in you can crack the carbide cutter. You could put a screw in with a straight shank and flat head.

For turning pens I prefer cutting tools rather than scrapers. I use a small rough out gouge to rough them out and then switch to either a skew or detail gouge to turn the other parts.


Hey John thanks for that tip. I knew it took a certain screw but I was planning on finding where to buy before I started them.


Joe showed me with this type of scraper and I like it so I'm sticking with it for now. Although I will be sharpening or getting some better cutting tools for other turning projects.

There's just so much to learn.


He also started me off with the lathe at top speed 3900 rpm start to finish and it works really well. He showed me using 100,220 the 320 for the sanding before the ca and 800 and 1000 after the CA followed by wax buffing and polishing. I hear allot of people changing speeds and sanding at either a lower or higher grit paper. Some like CA some use lacquer.

There seams to be 1001 ways to do everything.
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-01-2010, 03:14 PM
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Here is another source for carbide cutters, less than $20.00 for a box of 10 that are 12mm X 12mm and there are other selections. You can also buy their screws. Glad you mentioned higher speeds because I made some carbide cutter and have been running at 1100 rpm and have not been satisfied with cutting performance. I will try higher speeds. http://globaltooling.bizhosting.com/...rt-knives.html
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-01-2010, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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Here is another source for carbide cutters, less than $20.00 for a box of 10 that are 12mm X 12mm and there are other selections. You can also buy their screws. Glad you mentioned higher speeds because I made some carbide cutter and have been running at 1100 rpm and have not been satisfied with cutting performance. I will try higher speeds. http://globaltooling.bizhosting.com/...rt-knives.html

Bob thanks That looks like the screws but I don't see anything but square cutters.

I turned that handle at 4000 rpm just like the pens. I'm going to start experimenting with slower speeds on larger things but for pens 4000 is great.

Later I need to get a 4 jaw chuck for bowls and stuff. I don't have money for it right now but they had this one on sale for $90, it should be on sale again for Christmas hopefully
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-01-2010, 06:00 PM
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That's a cool looking tool Richard, and a great idea. I may have to explore that, because you are right, the price of the tool new is hard to swallow. I am looking at that chuck too from Pennstate and hope Christmas will bring me one. Where does one get a steel bar like that from? I think I may have to speak with my dad and get a bug into some of his old welding buddy's ears.
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-01-2010, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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That's a cool looking tool Richard, and a great idea. I may have to explore that, because you are right, the price of the tool new is hard to swallow. I am looking at that chuck too from Pennstate and hope Christmas will bring me one. Where does one get a steel bar like that from? I think I may have to speak with my dad and get a bug into some of his old welding buddy's ears.

Home Depot, Lowes or a hardware store will have them. You can also buy it on line. Its a 3/8 x 3/8 steel bar.
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-01-2010, 08:35 PM
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The steel bar can be made from what they call "key" stock. Key stock was used is use to hold large pullys in place and keep them from turning on the shaft. The key stock is usally silver colored. common sizes are 1/4, 3/8, 1/2 etc.
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-02-2010, 05:57 PM
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Check out all the videos on YouTube for carbide turning tools. One guy on there shows you step by step how to build those, just using a tap and grinder.

To have better support for the insert, that surface really needs to be milled. Carbide is strong, but brittle as glass; so don't be dropping them on concrete.
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-03-2010, 12:53 AM
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The square cutters mentioned above from global are now available for $1.20 ea (you have to buy 10).

http://globaltooling.bizhosting.com/...-specials.html

You can never have too much pepperoni on your pizza or own too many clamps.
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