Here are a couple new additions to the shop that were delivered Friday.
These are carbide turning chisels from a guy named Joe Rollings at Unique Tool in Rodeo, NM. Here's a link.
The carbide is an extremely hard 86 Rockwell hardness, which should hold an edge quite a while. Joe also recommends turning at a higher speed than usual when using the carbide tips.
He offers tools with several sizes of round and square carbide scraper bits, plus a triangle shape. I got the 5/8" size in both square and round versions. He makes 5/8" steel bars for each specific size. His standard bar is 16 1/2" long, but he also sells the Boss Hogger, which has a 36" long bar. The 16 1/2" was a little shorter than I wanted, but I also didn't want the full 3-footer, either. I got the shorter ones with another plan in mind.
The 5/8" bar on the carbide tools fits into my Monster Tools "Indexer", so all I had to do was remove the grips that came on the carbide tools (yes, they're golf club grips). Here's a shot that shows the original size (middle) and the new longer size with the Indexer (bottom). At the top of the pic is the double-ended square bit tool that came with the Indexer.
If I want it short, it'll go short, too...
The end result is very solid and substantial, with a nice scraper edge. The round bit also does a nice job turned nearly vertical and used in a shear scraping cut. Here's a sample of some of the results that I picked up off the lathe bed.
I think I'll be getting a lot of use out of these guys, and I think Joe's prices are pretty reasonable. And considering how much I use my 1" square scraper refining the outside of bowls and hollow forms, I may be looking at getting the 3/4" square version from Joe in the future.