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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a bit of a dilemma right now. I've been turning with the tools I got with the lathe from the previous owner, which I believe are some cheap-o harbor freight tools. Watching videos, and from first hand use I can tell they aren't great, but they've worked. My 3/4" roughing gouge recently broke, fortunately not while I was turning. I felt the uhh.. blade, for lack of a better word, was loose, and found out I could easily remove it from the handle, and was starting to bend. I immediately got rid of it because I didn't wanna risk that coming out while turning. I've been meaning to buy a bowl gouge anyways, so I figured now would be a good time to do so. I'm most likely going to go with Benjamin's best tools because I've heard good reviews on them. So here's where my dilemma comes in. Should I:
a) buy the BB 8 piece set, which comes with 3/16" Parting Tool, 5/8" Spear Scraper, 1" Skew Chisel, 5/8" Skew Chisel, 5/8" Round Nose Scraper, 1/2" Bowl Gouge, 3/4" Spindle Gouge, 7/8" Roughing Gouge. This would run me ~$70 w/ shipping.
b) Just buy a bowl and roughing gouge since I technically have everything else that comes in the set, even though they're poor quality hf stuff? I was going to get a 5/8" bowl, and 1" roughing. I'm expecting this will probably cost ~$55 for the two
or c) buy the BB "anniversary set", which includes a 1/2" bowl gouge, 3/4" spindle gouge, 1" roughing gouge, 3/4" round nose scraper, 1" oval skew, and a 5/32" diamond parting tool, all in a rosewood display box. This would run me $90 after shipping.

For reference,
This is the 8 piece BB set - http://www.pennstateind.com/store/LCHSS8.html
This is the 8 piece HF set - http://www.harborfreight.com/8-piece-wood-lathe-turning-tool-kit-3793.html
This is the "anniversary set" - http://www.pennstateind.com/store/LCAN6S.html
 

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I am not a fan of buying a "set" since some of the tools will not likely be used.

I know other forum members like an inexpensive set to try out and find the tools which you are able to get to work as you desire, then purchase a decent version such as from Doug Thompson.

Penn State tools (Benjamin Best) are inexpensive. Many forum members like these tools. I do not have any.
 

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Dynuk,
Don't buy a set unless you know for sure you have a use for every one of those tools. Buy the ones you need for sure first. Then add the specialty ones as needed. Nothing wrong with the BB's you're looking at. I have everything from craftsmen and marples to sorby's and Doug Thomsons. Doug's are by far the best steel and hold a sharp edge longer than any of the others. I like Doug's also because you can make your own handles to suit how you turn.
Mike Hawkins:smile:
 

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Buys Doug Thompson bowl gouge and a Sorby or Henry Taylor roughing gouge. A little more than you want to send but you'll never need to replace them and you won't regret the money spent the first time you turn with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've read the pros and cons of buying a full set, but I feel like I'll find use for all of the tools, and it'll give me more to learn about for turning, finding out all the different uses and possibilities of each tool. And considering the 8 piece set contains both of the gouges I was intending to buy for only ~$20 more, I figured at $3-4 per extra tool, it's money well spent if I even only use them a handful of times. I'll just get the rib eye instead of the porterhouse to make up the difference. ;)
I found a coupon code for $10 off 50 anyway, so the extra savings is nice (basically free shipping). Went ahead and ordered the 8 piece BB.
I'll likely find out what tools I use a majority of the time and order upgrades for them individually later. Just right now I'm a little strapped for cash, so doug thomspon, sorby, etc are a bit out of my price range. Thanks for all the help guys
 

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Just glue your parting tool back in the handle. It should work fine for many years. I would buy a bowl gouge and if you must a parting tool. The [email protected] roughing gouge is excellent and the Thompson roughing gouge is better. For bowl gouges I'm a fan of the Thompson however most good brands will work just fine.
 

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I have both of those "sets". I'm still learning, so that's why. The HF was a gift with the lathe. I would follow the advice of those above and buy what you actually need. The sets are great when you don't know one tool from another or how to sharpen, but I've already bought 2 seperate tools to get what I need.
 

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All of the tools linked to above are , for me , too short in the handle .
The short and strong BB ones are ok for spindle turning but short on reach for bowl and platter work.
In time you may end up turning your own long and strong ones for those irons .
If you do , consider using different woods , and different profiles for each tool.
It makes life easier.
 

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And if you need to make your own tool handles, I have a free tutorial on that. Also have my peppermill tutorial. Anyone who want either or both, just send me an email at: [email protected] and I'll send them to you, no charge.
Mike Hawkins;)
 

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Agree with not getting a set.

I started on BB tools, and still use their scrapers and SRG's. for bowl, spindle, and detail gouges though, I will second the vote for Doug Thompson tools. no better steel or design at any price, and his tools are downright cheap for what you get.

Note though, that Thompson tools will need a bit longer sharpening time on AO wheels. If you have CBN, then you are golden. His steel is so hard that you need to spend a bit longer with the AO wheels to get them really sharp. Of course, it's more than worth the effort, as the tools will resist dulling about 3-5 times longer than standard HSS.
 
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