Woodturning Tools that SUCK! - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-31-2016, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs down Woodturning Tools that SUCK!

Have you ever gotten a tool that totally ruined your hopes and dreams of what it could do? I got a little money for my birthday and tried out the Robert Sorby Arm Brace and "Slicer" attachment (the slicer is supposed to be like a poor man's bowl coring tool). I'm on the verge of returning them both. I didn't see any reviews on the slicer, but after a few minutes of trying it today, it caused great vibration in my lathe to the point it would move across the floor even though it hardly cut anything and eventually my piece would get all wobbly in the chuck. I figured it wasn't sharp enough and used a 1000 grit diamond stone, still didn't improve things. And worse yet, the Sorby arm brace I got didn't fit this other Sorby 3/4" shaft I thought it would.

It's only been one day with them though. Maybe if I try coring with it on some softer wood, it might be decent. If not, I love buying from Hartville Tool (super fast shipping), I'll have to call them about a return.

Other disappointing tools: Tompkins V-Skew. It's supposed to be almost catchless. I got a catch with it, no problem! I've since re-grinded it into more of a Sorby Spindlemaster.

I also have a Rolly Munro cutter that I haven't completely given up on yet, but it preforms far less than other tools I have. Maybe just user error.
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-01-2016, 12:32 AM
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I have one of those--bought a deluxe Sorby hollowing "kit" on ebay a while back. Is a good tool if you want to make conical cores. I use mine mainly as parting tool with a long reach.
It takes some practice to use. Tends to bind so making a wide kerf is a good thing.
Now when I want cores, I use the McNaughton tool.
Have you thought of seeing if there's a turning club in your area??? Sometimes all it takes is meeting someone else that has a little more experience.

Dave Hill

Everyday--learning to liberate nice things from ordinary chunks of wood
and I like gnarly wood--outcome is always better than the start.

Last edited by cuerodoc; 04-01-2016 at 12:34 AM.
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-01-2016, 01:20 AM
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I'm not sold in the whole carbide deal. I can achieve a better finish with traditional tools and usually faster. I wouldn't classify them as sucky, but they aren't cure all wonders like some people make them out to be.
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-01-2016, 09:05 AM
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The V skew is an excellent tool but like any tool, it's not catch free and neither are all the others that claim that. When you come off the bevel you get a catch. Plain and simple. I played with 17 different skews a few years ago including the V skew. I do find it a little easier to roll beads with the V skew.
the slicing tools is just a big parting tool. You need to take 2 cuts not just one deep one. Don't know if you did that. Also it needs to cut at the center line. It is an aggressive tool and if your wood isn't really secure in the chuck it can pull a piece free. Same with any of the coring tools.
I'm not a fan of the arm brace. It does work but once you've done some hollowing with a captured bar system you won't go back to an arm brace.
I'm not a fan of the carbide tools either except for the Hunter tools. The Hunter tools are in a class of their own and if used as bevel rubbing tools will leave a finish at least as clean or cleaner than most other tools simply because the cutting tip is about 30 degrees which is much sharper than most turning tools.
Go to www.youtube.com and type in John60lucas/hunter and you will see my videos on their usage.
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-01-2016, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorn495 View Post
..... I didn't see any reviews on the slicer, but after a few minutes of trying it today, it caused great vibration in my lathe to the point it would move across the floor even though it hardly cut anything and eventually my piece would get all wobbly in the chuck.

I also have a Rolly Munro cutter that I haven't completely given up on yet, but it preforms far less than other tools I have. Maybe just user error.
It's likely a combination of problems, but reading somewhat between the lines, I believe that inexperience is the biggest part of the issues that you are having.

The vibration problem is very likely the result of the piece moving in the chuck even before you recognized the problem. I suspect that the cause was that the tenon was not made correctly and possibly also too small in diameter. If you could show a picture of the tenon not in the chuck and another picture showing it mounted in the chuck that would be a big help in diagnosing and solving the problem.

I don't care for any of the arm brace tools because I think they would just inflame my arthritic shoulder. However, they can be used quite effectively. I suspect that you may be fighting against rhe wood to force it to cut. As already mentioned a little mentoring would do you world's of good in learning how to work with the wood. Also, here is a PDF that I found on using the Sorby Slicer to cut cores.

I have a Rolly Munro hollowing cutter that fits my boring bar rig and I think that it's the cat's pajamas.

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post #6 of 10 Old 04-01-2016, 08:27 PM
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If you are going to use this slicer gizmo to core a bowl you still need to hold your piece in the chuck with a good tenon AND you need the tail stock. I use the McNaughton system and without a tail stock, the bowl will bind and pop away usually tearing away chunks of the tenon.
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-02-2016, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bill Boehme View Post
It's likely a combination of problems, but reading somewhat between the lines, I believe that inexperience is the biggest part of the issues that you are having.

The vibration problem is very likely the result of the piece moving in the chuck even before you recognized the problem. I suspect that the cause was that the tenon was not made correctly and possibly also too small in diameter. If you could show a picture of the tenon not in the chuck and another picture showing it mounted in the chuck that would be a big help in diagnosing and solving the problem.

I don't care for any of the arm brace tools because I think they would just inflame my arthritic shoulder. However, they can be used quite effectively. I suspect that you may be fighting against rhe wood to force it to cut. As already mentioned a little mentoring would do you world's of good in learning how to work with the wood. Also, here is a PDF that I found on using the Sorby Slicer to cut cores.

I have a Rolly Munro hollowing cutter that fits my boring bar rig and I think that it's the cat's pajamas.
Eh, I returned it. By the time I made all those cuts in the picture, it'd be faster just to waste the wood with a gouge or some forstner bits.

Do you have any videos of how you manage the Rolly Munro? For spindle finishing, I've tried using the side of it as a bevel with very minimal cutter exposure, but it just seems to dig in once in awhile not leaving me with a smooth cut all the way. The same goes for cutting the inside of hollow forms with it.

Have you tried the Woodcut Pro-Forme? To me, that's the cat's meth.
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-02-2016, 06:42 AM
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Eh, I returned it. By the time I made all those cuts in the picture, it'd be faster just to waste the wood with a gouge or some forstner bits....
I had assumed that you wanted to do coring ... Sort of like a poor man's version of the McNaughton coring rig. If I understand correctly now, you are doing hollowforms. Or, maybe you are talking about bowls since you mentioned using a bowl gouge.

Quote:
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... Do you have any videos of how you manage the Rolly Munro? For spindle finishing, I've tried using the side of it as a bevel with very minimal cutter exposure, but it just seems to dig in once in awhile not leaving me with a smooth cut all the way. The same goes for cutting the inside of hollow forms with it....
It's a hollowing tool so I'm not surprised that it doesn't work well trying to do the job of a spindle gouge. I don't know of any videos. As a hollowing tool, it is used as a scraper ... slightly above center. Even so, it makes nice shavings. Here is a hollowform that I turned using the Muro hollowing tool mounted on my ALT boring bar.

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Quote:
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... Have you tried the Woodcut Pro-Forme? To me, that's the cat's meth....
I don't have the Pro-Forme, but I made a hook tool that is very similar except that it doesn't have a guard.

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Last edited by Bill Boehme; 04-02-2016 at 06:45 AM.
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-02-2016, 09:30 PM
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Have you tried the Woodcut Pro-Forme? To me, that's the cat's meth.
Never seen a cat on meth! Crazy!
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-02-2016, 10:33 PM
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Never seen a cat on meth! Crazy!
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