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post #1 of 35 Old 11-13-2008, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Turning tools I made

Hi Everyone
Want to thank everyone who replied to my birdhouses post.

Today I want to post a couple pictures of some turning tools I recently made. The pictures aren't the best because after taking these pictures my camera went south. These tools are not going to make me throw away my bought tools but every one of them works fine for it's intended purpose. A guy with no money could still do some turning and not skip a beat. Why make your own I was asked? Well one example, I like the little termite hollowing tool I bought and I have 3 ring cutters. So I made the rest of the tools and now one I made from heavier round stock that is 4" longer lets me hollow out a vase easily up to 14" deep instead of 11" with no vibration.Made several scrapers from old files and was amazed at how good they cut. Yes I said cut, not scrape. Use a Veritas burnisher on a scraper after sharpening and make a good small burr and it is now a cutting tool and not a scraper. Wish I could talk some of you turners into trying to make some tools yourself. Very rewarding and cheap. The flutes I made on the gouges aren't pretty but they work. Doug Thompson told me if you make a gouge it will work fine with a 1" flute and this guy should know he makes the finest tools available to turners. I did that and it does. I am seriously thinking of buying a small milling machine for gouges. Don't want to sell anything. Help me out here guys. Mitch
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post #2 of 35 Old 11-13-2008, 06:54 PM
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Gosh dang it Mitch! You've always got a cool new thing going with every post! Man I'm doing good just getting started on sharpening my lathe tools. Not sure I'm ready to start making my own. Heck I need to figure out how to use what I have before I figure out what else I need. Guess that's part of the fun of it!

How long have you been making your own tools? Is it just kind of trial and error or do you get it right pretty much right off? I think it's great you are making your own tools. If you get a milling machine one of these days I may turning with a Cholewinski! How cool would that be!

John
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post #3 of 35 Old 11-13-2008, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply, Jim I believe it is? I got a good laugh from your reply, thanks for that. You know, what your doing right now is the most important thing you can do if you are going to be a good turner. Learn to sharpen and learn it right. You know that the more practice the better you get at sharpening, right? Why use your store bought tools and run them down to nothing? Make a tool and practice sharpening on it to your hearts content. Start out with an easy to make tool like a scraper. Turn it into a cutting tool and marvel at the fine finish you can get on your turning with the tool you made. I been sharpening woodworking tools since the late 1960"s. Just started making turning tools. I'm still new to turning. Keep in touch. Mitch
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post #4 of 35 Old 11-13-2008, 08:49 PM
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Mitch I believe necessity is the mother of Invention. While I lay no claim to be a turner, I made two of these to go on my ceiling fans chains. I turned them on a drill press using a 3/4 flat chisel. The kind you would use to cut a door for a hinge. Sorry the picture is so poor.
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post #5 of 35 Old 11-13-2008, 09:05 PM
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Mitch,
Looks good. Doug Thompson is in our woodturning club. I bought a couple of his tools and made some fancy handles for them. They work very well. My buddy has a small tabletop milling machine and also a tabletop metal lathe for me. I just have to go pick them up and build a rolling stand for each. Looks like I know what some of my first projects will be.
Mike Hawkins
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post #6 of 35 Old 11-13-2008, 10:42 PM
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Mitch, Looking at your first picture a little closer, are a couple of those old files? I have a tool box full of old files that might be a good place to start.

John
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post #7 of 35 Old 11-13-2008, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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Exactly where I started John only you need to know there is a possibility that files being so hard are susceptible to cracking and could be dangerous. I made several with no incident. When making or using one of these tools from files make sure you have your facemask on. Good Luck, sharpen the way you sharpen a scraper, then consider if you want to buy a Veritas burnisher to change the cutting action from scrapeing to cutting. I make mine into cutters. Mitch
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post #8 of 35 Old 11-13-2008, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Lucky guy you are my friend, let me give you the address to send them machines. lol, just kidding. Do you know how to run a milling machine? Does your friend? I used to be a plant manager of a couple mills before retiring and used to talk a lot with my maintenance chief while he was milling a broken part, but never had any formal training on running one. Maybe ask your buddy if it would be simple enough to mill a flute in a hald inch rod and what tool would you need to buy to do this.If I find out this info I will definitely buy a milling machine from Grizzly.Would you mind asking him ? I just want to do this for my enjoyment not to make money. Thanks again buddy and I see your from Cleveland, we're nearly neighbors, I'm from Pittsburgh. Mitch
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post #9 of 35 Old 11-13-2008, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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You say your no turner but I think your being modest. If you turned that switch pull with a chisel on a drill press your good a turner as a few I met. That is a nice nob. You did good and should get a mini press to try turning. Anyway thanks for the reply and the fine looking turning. Mitch
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post #10 of 35 Old 11-14-2008, 08:28 AM
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Quote :Maybe ask your buddy if it would be simple enough to mill a flute in a hald inch rod and what tool would you need to buy to do this.

This would be a "ball end mill". The end cuts round instead of flat like a standard end mill.

Mike
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post #11 of 35 Old 11-14-2008, 09:18 AM
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Good job Mitch. I love making tools. If I have time I'm going to make another one this weekend using the Hunter cutter on the end.
If you use files take them and put them in the oven for about an hour at 350 degrees. This removes a lot of the brittleness although they can still snap on the file teeth lines. They are a lot safer than when they are fully hard. This temperature will still let them take a good edge. When I make tools I harden them and them I temper them between 350 and 450 degrees depending on how hard I want the edge.
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post #12 of 35 Old 11-14-2008, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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John, Like you I love making tools, with my limited experience of making them. I bought a cutter for a Hunter tool about a year ago when I bought the Elbo hollowing system and was impressed with it, like I know you were. One problem I encountered with this cutter though John. The little screw that holds the cutter to the body keeps loosening to the point the cutter falls off. I don't want to glue it on for obvious reasons. Like you, I am going to make a new body of 3/8" rod I get at the Depot, just never got to it yet. Thanks for the tip on heating files to 350 degrees. I understand the process that the file goes through doing it this way but never thought of it till you mentioned doing it. Reheating does something to the carbon in the steeland makes it suitable to make tools. Another method I know of but never used was heat the file till it is no longer attracted to a magnet, at this point it is air cooled and at its peak time to be made into a tool. I am now at the point in tool making that I am certain I am going to buy a milling machine from Grizzly. They have several cheaper mills. I need to know what tooling to get to cut flutes and will decide which to buy. I want to make gouges that look like gouges, not homemade although the ones I made cut good. Anyways, thanks John and let us know when you make the Hunter. Mitch
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post #13 of 35 Old 11-14-2008, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for that info to use a ball end mill on a milling machine to make flutes.I have been looking for that answer. Can I ask you a question if you don't mind? Have you run or are you familiar with a milling machine? Also Have you looked at the machines Grizzly is selling Up th 2500 dollar limit I am imposing on myself? Would these machines do the job of making flutes in HSS, using the ball end mill? Could you please let me know on this thread or e-mail me at ?[email protected] Thank you Mitch
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post #14 of 35 Old 11-14-2008, 07:22 PM
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Mitch,
I had a couple of years of machine shop way back in high school. The machines that my buddy has were his uncles. I believe he has some shop experience though. There is a bit of tooling with the lathe and mill already. Also, my brother in law is a machinest, so I am sure I could get him over to help me get started again. The rest will come back in time.
Mike Hawkins
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post #15 of 35 Old 11-14-2008, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Mike, I wish you all the best with your new toys. I decided, definitely that I am going to buy a mill from Grizzly only don't know which to buy. They have several and I don't want to spend over 2500 dollars. Not much for a mill but all I want to do is mill flutes for gouges. wish I had a brother in law to consult. good Luck and keep in touch if you make any tools. Mitch
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post #16 of 35 Old 11-14-2008, 07:46 PM
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Mitch I use cut off wheels on a 3" angle grinder to cut and shape files. I prefer to anneal them first when I can. I do this by making a good charcoal fire on my grill and just toss the files in. They get hot enough to anneal them and they will cool slowly overnight. Then you can cut them with a hacksaw if necessary.
Now I prefer to just go ahead and buy good metal. It's not that expensive and I can get exact instructions on hardening and tempering. You also don't have any inherent weaknesses like you do with file steel.
You can grind out a flute using abrasive wheels or even cuttoff wheels. You might have to make a jig to control the grinder to get a really clean cut. Of course if you have access to a mill you can use a ball end mill. they also have curved cutters for horizontal mills that work great. my best friend made one using a surface grinder. He ground the stone to the shape needed and then just kept adjusting the depth until he got what he wanted.
Did you have the correct screw for the hunter tool. It takes a special tapered screw that matches the taper of the cutter. I have never had one let go yet. In fact they are pretty hard to get out when you decide to adjust the cutter. Mike Hunter sells the screws to go with the cutters.
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post #17 of 35 Old 11-14-2008, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks John
I used my angle grinder freehand on the first gouge I attempted and got acceptable results, put a side grind on it and it cut pretty good. I cut a dovetail in a sort of wood baseplate and mounted my angle grinder in a type of half horse collar and slid the grinder back and forth in the dovetail jig and was surprised how well it worked. Now I am at this point in my tool making , I want to make one that is very good and I am going to do it. Far as the files I made into scraper etc I will stick with what I have because they are very satisfactory and I have all Sorby scrapers. I am now going to concentrate on making gouges. Right after I tell my wife tonight after dinner, that I am buying a milling machine for her birthday.. Thanks for the info John.
BTW, I took the Hunter cutter out of the plastic box it came in and used that screw, so if it was the right screw or not, I used what they sent me. Mitch
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post #18 of 35 Old 11-14-2008, 09:36 PM
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Mitch I had conversations with a gentleman who used the table saw and abrasive blade to make a gouge. He made a carriage out of wood to hold the steel. Then he fed the steel into the blade a tiny bit at a time using the fence and height adjustment to make the passes.
that would probably work but I would clean out all possibly saw dust to prevent a fire. It's not much different than using surface grinder when used like this except your upside down of course. It's sort of like cutting a cove with the table saw a bite at a time until the shape is close. Then you take sandpaper on a dowel of the right diameter to clean up the grind marks.
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post #19 of 35 Old 11-14-2008, 09:38 PM
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I forgot to tell you. You really only need to grind the first few inches. With todays sharpening jigs there isn't any reason to have a flute 6" long. I've though about making a bunch of different tips with a common tenon that would fit into a hole in a longer tool. This way I could experiment with tip designs and not have a lot invested.
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post #20 of 35 Old 11-15-2008, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks again about the flute length. I knew that and a couple tools I made I did that but you can't see it because my camera was taking lousy pictures before it went AWOL. Doug Thompson suggested that to me about a month ago on another forum. You can add more fluting as you go along and the tool is stronger with a shorter flute. I just made contact with a guy, John , who has two milling machines and has his own shop. He e-mailed me and told me the Grizzly machine he thinks will do what I want to do.I can handle the price but what disappointed me is the list of things he said I also have to buy before ever setting up the mill. He gave me estimated prices of these tools and it sounded almost as much as the price of the machine. I still would buy it but what worries me is setting up all this stuff myself and never having set up the mill. I ran high speed machinery over 32 years before going into management and know if you can't set it up you don't run the machine. Don't want to spend this much money and it sits in the shop. Decision time for me.He talks like he wants to help me much as possible. Thanks for the tips and for getting back to me. Your the best John Lucas. Mitch
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