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Alan Sweet
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have been looking for an formation source on how to make HSS turning tools. I have a number of sources that seem to conflict or even contradict each other about the type of steel to use, annealing, tempering, grinding, ..

I have made carbide tools and Oland like tools, but I want to make more traditional turning tools.

So if I am wanting to make turning tools, (bowl gouges, spindel gouges, skews, etc..).

Commercial quality tools run from $50 to well over $125. HSS rods run from $10 -$30 for 3 foot segments. You can make 3-4 tools from one segment. A ferrule can be made for around 50 cents. The handle is basically free from my cut off pile. (I'll turn it.)

So all I lack is the information (and experience) on getting the the correct steel stock and processing it into tools.

Any help will be gladly accepted.

Alan
 

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Alan,

Don't take my word for it, as I've never done anything like this before.

I just ordered some 1/4" square stock to make cutting bits for hollowing tools on the recommendation of one of the members of the turning club I go to. He said to buy the 10% cobalt HSS.

I have no idea if that same stuff would be the right thing to use to make (for example) a skew.

Good luck in your hunt for information -- and please come back and share whatever you find out.
 

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Alan Sweet
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Your answer leads me to the following.

Your club says you should be able to use steel 10% cobalt HSS.

Assuming that is correct, can we just cut, drill and grind the steel and get on the lathe (with a handle etc...)?

Since I can order a commercial tool and when it gets dull, just grind it and get back on the lathe, then I should be able to order the steel alone cut it, drill it, grind it and get on the lathe.

But I read a lot about annealing and tempering. My experience at that is not too good. What I have accomplished is not worth mentioning.

So Hopefully you have found the answer to my question.

I will wait (for a little while anyway) and hopefully you can lead the way.

I have ordered a book from Amazon "Make your own woodworking tools" by Mike Burton. From what I am told it should provide some guidance.
 

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Alan Sweet
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Btw...

I can provide information on carbide and Oland like tools.

I have made them in different sizes and measures.

If you would like I could relate some of those experiences. and material sources.

Alan
 

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Your club says you should be able to use steel 10% cobalt HSS.

Assuming that is correct, can we just cut, drill and grind the steel and get on the lathe (with a handle etc...)?
That was my interpretation ... but I could be very wrong.

But I read a lot about annealing and tempering.
Well now you've got me wondering too ... maybe I was oversimplifying the whole thing.

I have ordered a book from Amazon "Make your own woodworking tools" by Mike Burton. From what I am told it should provide some guidance.
Sounds a lot more reliable than taking my word for anything!

I can provide information on carbide and Oland like tools.

I have made them in different sizes and measures.

If you would like I could relate some of those experiences. and material sources.
My current project (for which I ordered the 10% cobalt HSS bits) is an Oland-like tool. I'm planning to make a few with different amounts of bend in the neck.

I'd welcome any advice on making these, sources, etc. Thanks!
 

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I have made some tools with HSS from blanks but the longest I have ever found was 8”.

Where can you order 3 foot segments?

Even the ½ square 8” long from WT Tools or Enco runs $16-$20. Of course smaller stock like the ¼” is much less $$$ and varies between standard HSS, w 5% cobalt, or w 10% cobalt. Smaller sizes that I found were still 8” length max with some sizes only 4” or 6”.

It can be ground just like a store-bought tool but I don’t know about drilling or other forming. It may take a carbide bit for that.
 

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Alan Sweet
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Well I think you have kind of hit on some of my confusion.

HSS Bits. These are readily available. Fairly inexpensive. Drills and Bits (http://drillsandcutters.com), Grizzly, http://hsstoolbits.com, Ebay. They can be used to make Oland Tools. The rods to hold them can be purchased at most big box stores. Usually 3 feet. Cut to desired length. Grind bevels. Need to be drilled and tapped for set screws. Can use round or square stock. I prefer round. Not expensive.

Carbide Bits. In bulk they are not very expensive. Global Tooling, Mannys, Captn Eddies, Carbide Depot, ... Each prices range from $1.50 to $4. These can be used to make carbide turning tools. Should use square stock; The Metal Store, (http://www.themetalstore.com/), OnLine Metal Store (http://www.onlinemetals.com/), The Metals Depot (http://www.metalsdepot.com/index.php). Machine a land and bevels. Drill and tap holding screws.

Now steel stock. What I want to do is buy round stock I can just machine like commercial tools. I can buy drill rod, stainless steel, etc,...a lot of options which appear endless to me. I have taken 3/8"stainless steel, drilled a hole off center through the interior about 4". Then I ground and filed the thin side down to form a 4" flute. Then I ground the open end to form a cutting bevel similar to spindle gouge. It works ok but edge does not last long. So something is incorrect about my model herre. I think I have the incorrect steel.
Thompson uses something called CPM 10V Steel, a number of Tool vendors just say HSS, ....

So my question is what steel stock do I use and where can I get it?

Oh,.. in all these cases you have to make your own handles and ferrules.
 

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I thought you were looking for HHS in 3' lengths, I know of none.

I go to Speedy Metals. http://www.speedymetals.com/

They carry lots of different steels (not HSS) and told me A2 or D2 was best. On the "more info" for each type it gives you data about machinablity, welding, heating treating, etc.

If you phone them they may be able to guide you to what will work best for you. In just the Tool Steel, Round, they carry six different steels.
 
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