Instruction books

Ted Calver

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CJ, Welcome...glad you found us. I can't really recommend a book on turning with carbide tools, but if you look on youtube you will find lots of videos on carbide techniques. IMHO seeing a demonstration of a technique is much better than trying to extract a technique from still pictures and written descriptions.
 

Ryan Mooney

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Hey CJ, I'm more of a traditional tool guy myself. The little bit I've used carbide though I used it more like a shear scraper. The problem I see most folks have is they just push the tool into the work, and it looks like a herd of angry beavers had a bad night on the town then went to work on it. Drop the handle a little (or perhaps oddly conversely raise the handle a little depending on the cut..) above midpoint and tip the tool about 30-50 degrees on its side then try to cut with the center of the cutting area on the tool. Getting this all "right" with the lathe on can be a lot of moving parts, so when I'm learning a new lathe tool I'll often spend 20 or 30 minutes with the lathe OFF just rotating some round scrap into the tool to see how I can get it to cut. If it's scrubbing wood off you're not going to get a nice piece of work, it has to cut. Different tools like slightly different approaches (and different approaches for different cuts) so imho it pays good dividends to spend some time figuring out where the tool likes to cut. Once I've done that I'll turn the lathe on and take some practice cuts, then turn it off and see what the result looks like. If it's not good.. back to more slow by hand practice approaches. Repeat until there's some form of success. The "turn by hand" is also a really good way to figure out what would be catches. You can easily see how a point would dig in, without having to do the exciting bits.

As for books vs videos.. I would have generally agreed with you until I saw a few folks who REALLY knew their stuff running a lathe. You can get so far reading about results, but seeing them is sometimes a real kick in the pants. One thing I found there was definitely pay attention to what they're doing.. but then watch the video again and see what the wood chips are doing. You can learn a LOT by looking at shavings. If you're not getting shavings, but sawdust... back to the drawing board again.

The only book I'm aware of that specifically discusses carbide tools for wood is the John English book. Like I said I'm more of a traditional tool guy so I don't have it but it gets reasonably decent reviews.

 

Chuck Ellis

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Tellico Plains, Tennessee
I don't know of any instruction books, but like Ryan, more of a traditional tool guy... to me the carbides are essentially scrapers. I only have one that I use for the inside of some of my more shallow hollow forms. As stated above, I would recommend going to You-Tube and see what you find there... I still spend a lot of time watch other turners on You-Tube... lots of information there (Lots of mis-information too - so use your discretion).
 

Dave Hoskins

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Parker County, Texas
I too am a traditional bowl gouge guy. Earlier this year I did buy a from Easy Wood Tools a small and large roughing gouge carbide tool. They have their purpose, but I still mostly use regular gouges. I think You Tube would be the place to go for hints on using them. Dunno about books.
 

Mike Stafford

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Coastal plain of North Carolina
I use Hunter carbide tools and have for many years; almost since their inception. I demonstrated for Hunter Tools on 2011 Woodturning Cruise.

Hunter Tools are not scrapers unless you want them to be. They are very sharp round carbide cup cutters that actually have a bevel. The bevel is small and it takes most people a while to learn how to find and then cut off the bevel. Properly used Hunter Tools will turn almost any shape on the lathe.

The Osprey acts much like a traditional gouge but the results from these tools is so smooth you may not need to sand. Of course the Osprey is size limited and would not be my first choice to hollow a bowl. But it would be and is my choice for finish cuts in and outside the bowl because of how smooth it leaves the surface.

The Hercules is both a roughing tool and is also capable of finish cuts. The gnarliest, most stone filled root ball is the perfect tool for the heavy shafted Hercules which will dampen almost any cut with its mass. But by lowering the handle and riding the bevel you can peel off frog's hair shavings and leave an incredibly smooth surface.

The #5 Badger tools are very useful for hand hollowing of smaller hollow forms effortlessly. Both tools, the straight and the swan neck allow almost effortless hollowing in any wood but are particularly useful for dense hardwoods. It eats "pecan-crete" for breakfast. I use both to hollow my boxes to minimize sanding on the inside. Both can be used for bowls of course but the straight tool is really the tool of choice for finish cuts inside almost anything.

The Viceroy line is the easiest of the Hunter tools to learn. It is designed to be a beginner's tool. The carbide cutter is positioned so that it cuts on the bevel with the with the wide shaft level on the tool rest. You can quickly and effortlessly remove waste from bowls, semi-enclosed forms and spindles with this tool. This has become my tool of choice for end grain bowls. I recently did an entire series of Japanese inspired bowls using this tool and found it excellent in the hardest of hard woods and also in soft punky spalted woods. The only caveat with this tool is that because of the positioning of the cutter it must always be used left to right; otherwise massive catches can occur because it can self feed when going in the other direction.

And for those doing box work or ornaments the Hunter Taper tools are just the ticket. I frequently use the Taper tools to start hollowing because of how quickly the little #1 cutter removes wood.

Hunter Tools are not scrapers unless you want them to be but why anyone would use this fine cutting tool as a scraper when they excel as cutting tool.
 

Mike Stafford

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Coastal plain of North Carolina
I would tend to class most of the Hunter kit more with ring or hook tools than most of the other carbide tools?
Yes, that is a good way to look at them. The exception being the Osprey which really works like a gouge and is presented to the wood just like a gouge. The Phoenix and the Osprey tools both have the carbide cup cutter mounted at an angle that allows for the bevel on the shaft of the tool to come into play and help the user to "ride the bevel".

The Phoenix has a longer shaft than the shaft on the Osprey tools and allows the user to extend the cutting edge farther over the tool rest..
 

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