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Thread: Wood Turning chisels

  1. #1
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    Default Wood Turning chisels

    I'm after some chisels to complete just a few small projects for the yacht. Can anyone recommend a particular brand to purchase and which chisels I might purchase?
    Whilst I've done some rudimentary turning, I'm by no means anything other than a beginner, so any advice is greatly appreciated. I'd also be happy to buy second hand chisels if anyone has some they no longer use.

    Thanks form Bernie

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Wood Turning chisels

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernadette View Post
    I'm after some chisels to complete just a few small projects for the yacht. Can anyone recommend a particular brand to purchase and which chisels I might purchase?
    Whilst I've done some rudimentary turning, I'm by no means anything other than a beginner, so any advice is greatly appreciated. I'd also be happy to buy second hand chisels if anyone has some they no longer use.

    Thanks form Bernie
    Grind down some old files. Grind off the teeth and the hard edges, then grind one to make the skew chisel, and round the end of the other to make an equivalent of the gouge. Use an angle grinder to create a shallow hollow in the round gouge, but it is nor really necessary.
    I borrowed a lathe to turn these pillars.
    pillar.jpg
    The tools that came with the lathe were too small, so I made two new gouges out of files to do the turning and as a gift to the owner.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Wood Turning chisels

    PM me Bernie, I have some cheap Craftsman tools from decades ago and a couple not-so-cheap ‘long & strong’ from (maybe) Marples.

    Might not be worth the shipping though, seeing as how you’re in AU.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Wood Turning chisels

    If you're only doing a few projects you only really need inexpensive carbon steel chisels. They will cut just as well as more expensive HSS or carbide chisels if they are properly sharpened. The main difference is the need for more frequent sharpening. I'm not sure what's available in Australia. In the US CS second hand chisels are commonly found at flea markets, garage sales, etc. and can be had for a song.

    I'll assume that projects for a yacht will entail spindle turning and not bowl turning. I would get a 1/2"- 3/4" roughing gouge, a 3/8"-1/2" spindle gouge, a 3/16" parting chisel, a 1"skew and maybe a 1/2" skew. You can do all sorts of cuts with these. Hope this helps.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Wood Turning chisels

    Bernadette, the first thing you must determine is which turning technique you want to use: cutting or scraping. The tools for each are different. Others here have recommended skews and gouges. They're all well and good, but they are cutting tools. You'll get better/cleaner surfaces when cutting, but for the inexperienced operator, scraping is more accurate, safer, easier all around. And scraping is not all that much slower. So first get yourself a good beginners book. (I'm assuming you are a beginner.) I learned just about everything one needs to know by reading Creative Woodturning, by Dale Nish.

    An inexpensive set of carbon steel scraping tools is all you'll need. Be sure to add a parting tool if the set doesn't have one already. Most of my turning these days involves the same old tools my dad gave me many years ago. He'd retired from his patternmaking career then, so I got his old set of Buck Bros. tools. Patternmakers mostly use (used actually... there are few real patternmakers anymore) the scraping technique because it's more accurate. I've gone back to using these tools so much now because I'm way out of practice in using my cutters. A big skew chisel is a beautiful thing, but it can take a nasty slice out of your work in a heartbeat if you lose control.

    Jeff

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Wood Turning chisels

    I have a nice set of older Sorbys that are great but 98% of the time I use these,

    https://www.rockler.com/full-size-sq...e-turning-tool

    I have them in round, diamond and square. Cut fast and clean, not prone to catching and stay sharp a long while, They make turning easy.

    I do a lot of odd ball stuff like make 16” diameter speaker stands out of Baltic birch. The carbide excels at tough jobs like this.

    38D8438E-956E-40E1-A46F-1F54D2784A5B.jpg AC60DD84-73CD-44CC-B2AF-723286780BB5.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Wood Turning chisels

    I can vouch for the comments about skew chisels rapidly causing trouble.Its worth looking on ebay and similar sites for old Marples and Sorby tools and sharpness is everything.Then you get to spend a chunk of time sanding.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Wood Turning chisels

    Hss sets are good.. all I used for over 20 years. I had tried a carbide to tunnel out a end grain vase. I'm not a fan of carbide. HSS tools.. it'a ALL about sharpening pretty much every couple of hours ..

    Note; carbide tools scrape

    H tools cut.

    Denise, Bristol PA, retired from HVAC business, & boat restoration and building

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Wood Turning chisels

    I do not know how it is in OZ, if they are available, but the ubiquitous Craftsman hss turning chisels are perfectly adequate.
    Steve Martinsen

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Wood Turning chisels

    The marples and sorby chisels & gouges I have came with far more usable metal, even bought used, than the craftsman or buck bros from garage sales I have.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Wood Turning chisels

    thanks for all the very interesting comments. Yes I would class myself as a novice. Ive done some sample/test pieces when I bought the lathe (second hand) but need to get serious. I really only plan on turning deadeyes [about 12], stanchion pattern [1] and belaying pins [haven't figured out how many I want to make...usually best to make extras in any case!]. Probably wont be doing much other than that.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Wood Turning chisels

    Quote Originally Posted by sp_clark View Post
    PM me Bernie, I have some cheap Craftsman tools from decades ago and a couple not-so-cheap ‘long & strong’ from (maybe) Marples.

    Might not be worth the shipping though, seeing as how you’re in AU.
    thanks so much for that. I'll do a search for Australian suppliers first, simply because it would be somewhat cheaper in freight I'm guessing.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Wood Turning chisels

    Bernie, in my shed I have a tool box full of Kangaroo Brand (Sorbys) and Record Power Ltd. pattern makers tools…..

    and I am not a wood turner……...

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Wood Turning chisels

    Hello Jeff

    please see my PM.
    also Im wondering just out of curiosity, what are the pattern makers tools you have?

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Wood Turning chisels

    Re pattern making, I know squat but my stepdad was working as a builder of concept cars and original moulds for production models. Trained as a civil engineer, built big chimneys, bridges, houses, then airframe engineer and designer for the RAAF. I guess pattern making came from there.

    Hope you are both well, we are doing fine, I'm still sailing my dinghy at the club but I gave away 4 boats last year. Took up all the space. Still have there sailing canoe, nothing better for shallow Western Port Bay,.

    PM me your phone number Bernie and I'll send you pics of the tools so you can see what I've got.
    Last edited by skuthorp; 03-17-2021 at 06:47 AM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Wood Turning chisels

    None of my pictures posted they copied and pasted it quite well but not showing to anybody but me try this again20190126_161924.jpg
    20190126_215115.jpg
    20190127_220159.jpg
    Denise, Bristol PA, retired from HVAC business, & boat restoration and building

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Wood Turning chisels

    Upside down again when I turn them upside down they still post upside down
    20190212_195043.jpg
    Denise, Bristol PA, retired from HVAC business, & boat restoration and building

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