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post #1 of 4 Old 01-25-2012, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Turning Tools

Does anyone make their own turning tools??? Where do you get the rod material from??? I was wanting to make a tool that I have seen before but I can not remember what it is called. Maybe someone here has made one. It looks like a pointed diamond shape. It can be used for fine detaling and has a cutting edge on both sides plus the point. If someone has one can you post a photo??? Thanks

John T.
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post #2 of 4 Old 01-25-2012, 07:54 AM
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JT I make them all the time. I use Drill rod. You can buy it from metal supply houses. I usually get mine from www.use-enco.com. You can buy it in oil hardening or water hardening. I use the waterhardening so I don't have to mess with oil when heat treating the tool.
A trick I use when sharpening is to take a hex nut that fits over the shaft, drill and tap one side and install a set screw. Slide the hex nut on the shaft and slide it down about 2 or 3 inches. This sits on your tool rest of the grinder and hold the tool at one position. Sharpen that side then rotate the tool to another flat side of the nut. This gives you 3 very accurate sides that are easily sharpened very precisely. If you file a flat spot where the hex nut goes you can easily repeat that grind later. I usually sharpen with diamond hones after the initial grinding to get a better edge.
To heat treat the tool, heat it red hot until it is non magnetic. Then quench it in the water. Then take it to your kitchen and throw it in the oven at 325 degrees. That will give you nice hard edge that isn't too brittle. Keep it in the oven at that temperature for about 30 minutes per 1/4" of thickness then just let it cool naturally.
If find about 3/8" to 1/2" works pretty well for these tools.
I just made myself a note to make a video of sharpening and using this tool. I'll try to get to it pretty soon.
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post #3 of 4 Old 01-25-2012, 09:36 AM
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Enco often has HSS or HSS + cobalt. They are fairly inexpensive but the lengths are normally 8” maximum. They are more expensive than drill rod but they are ready to go and if I get usable steel for $2-3 per inch that is not too bad to me.
They are also available at WT Tools
For searching, the category seems to be “tool bits” at most of the steel sites.
For example at WT,1/2" diameter HSS X 8” length is $6.95 or Enco has1/4” HSS X8 for $2.60. For an 8” length I figure I will get about 3-4” usable with the amount inserted in my holder and the tool rest overhang taken off.
At both companies the selection seems to be hit or miss. I have been checking WT for several months to see if they have gotten in the ˝ square 5% cobalt HSS (skews, bedans, parting tools, etc).

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post #4 of 4 Old 01-25-2012, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Is there a icon showing me hitting my head. I forgot about Enco. I have bought from them before. Thanks for that and also thanks for the tip on how to shape it. That is a good one. Done and done. I want that tool just for very fine detailing. I remeber back when it was the new tool on the block but I never got around to making one and filed it in the back of the head. Well total recall is not what it once was so thus the questions. Thanks again. Big help.

John T.
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