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Thread: What tools???

  1. #1
    Richard Smith Guest

    What tools???

    I met a man from the Amana Colony in Iowa. He is a production turner and makes upscale spinningwheels. He has hand turned upwards of 3000 SWs.
    What I'm getting at is he only uses a 1 3/4" roughing gouge and a large skew chisel ground straight across.
    I'd like to hear what others consider necessary for their turning.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Northville, MI
    I can tell you that with the tools pictured I still can't make anything decent.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    I've got more than you and probably don't do as good as you.
    Is that a Grizzly I see peeking up at the bottom?
    But, we aren't helping Richard. Experts will chime in, I'm sure. But, my take on what turning tools you need is a pretty basic approach. What works for you. That's no help either. I suggest you buy a mid-range priced set of tools. You will probably end up using a 1/2" spindle gouge and 1" skew more than anything else. With the help of yard sales, I acquired other very useful tools like a 2" roughing gouge. Not used very often but is great when I have the need for fast removal. And a 1 1/2" skew, probably my favorite all-around lathe tool.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Northville, MI
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    Is that a Grizzly I see peeking up at the bottom?
    Ya, got rid of it though since it was noisy and vibrated alot.

  5. #5
    Steve Clardy Guest
    I have a couple sets of the basic tools that come with 8-10 tools.
    Then I have a set of tenon tools.

    A couple of finger nail grind gouges, 3/16 and 1/4, for detail work. Beads and coves.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Goodland, Kansas
    My granddad always told me a man without tools is like a kid without candy.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    HI Richard!

    Your production spindle turner does a very specific job, thus his selection of tools is only what he needs and I'm sure he is very good at turning spindles with them.

    That said, what do you want to do?

    If you are doing a lot of spindle work, the selection of tools will be very different than if you do mainly bowls, and this follows for other things like Hollow Forms (HF) etc.

    I had the very great experience of meeting Eli Avisera, from Israel, he advocates the right tool for the job, and less use of sandpaper. He doe some amazing work.

    I think for spindle work, the skew is the tool one should try to master, it is a hard task master, but the results are unequaled, IMHO.

    Get the video from Alan Lacer, about skews, the first one, and watch it, you will be amazed at what he can turn with just the mighty skew

    The Harbor Freight or Grizzly mid range set of tools is a good start, I understand a lot of guys go that route and have good results. One thing you have to do with any tool is learn how to sharpen it, and there is a learning curve, so why not learn on cheaper tools.

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
    At last count I think I have over 40 turning chisels that I have amassed over the years from sales and finds as well as gifts and "Must Haves". True that there are only a few that I use exclusively, and a couple of bowl gouges I haven't learned too well to use or to sharpen. The big advantage of having so many tools is that you can spend a day sharpening all of them and then when the time comes to use them you don't have to stop and sharpen, just switch out and keep on turning.

    The "Basic Starter Set" has all you will ever NEED. But as you progress and develop techniques and try odd applications you can either modify or obtain additional tools that you can add to your collection. Some of the cheaper tools I have picked up are used to grind a particular odd shape for a specific cut, those are seldom used but they are tucked away for that special need.

  9. #9
    Richard Smith Guest
    True the gentle man in question is mostly a spindle turner. The rational for his tool choices is speed. Having only two tools, your not laying down and picking up tools all the time. He was never limited by his large gouge. He would turn these little bell Christmas ornaments. He would go from the smallest to the largest coves.As for the skew ground straight across, this gave him two heels.
    I'm not looking to buy something different-just interested in what others use.

  10. #10
    Richard....the only disagreement I'd have with Bill Simpson's comment is that most of the starter sets don't have a bowl gouge....but if all you are doing is spindle work, you really don't need a lot of tools. I was gifted with a cheap set of HF tools and some good Robert Larson tools. I purchased a couple more Robert Larson tools and a couple Sorby tools. I have 4 "GO TO" tools....a 3/4" Robert Larson skew, a 3/8" Robert Larson spindle gouge, a Sorby 3/4" roughing gouge and Robert Larson 3/8" bowl gouge. 98% of my turning is done with those 4 tools. The only reason I don't use the HF tools more....I'm 6'2" 260 lbs......Big hands.....the other tool handles fit my hands better. But those HF sure worked well when I initially started last year!

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