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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Melbourne
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    Default Gold Standard In Turning Tools?

    Over the last few years I've enjoyed, no, loved every second on the lathe and recently I've taken my turning to a different level by investing in some serious sharpening equipment in the form of a Tormek thanks to a great deal from Carrolls.

    Now my attention has turned to the type of tools I'm using and I'm interested in what you think is the 'Gold Standard' in turning tools (Gouges, skews etc). Not that I'm sick of my Sorby's, it's just that I think there maybe some better steel out there.

    What do you think?
    -Scott

  2. #2
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    Jun 2008
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    Default

    well I use sorby and love them to bits
    I have sorby,P&N,thompson, and the new vicmarc bowl gouge

    but at then end out the day its what you like and what $ you have to spend
    and how much you use them

    I find the tools I use most I buy the best there is on the market as I use them all the time i,e bowl gouges as 95% of my turning is bowles

    its one of them things ask one wood turner what he thinks is the best brand to buy it may not be the same as what the 2nd wood turner will say
    DANGER!!!!
    I'm Dyslexic Spelling may offend!!!!!

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nz_carver View Post
    its one of them things ask one wood turner what he thinks is the best brand to buy it may not be the same as what the 2nd wood turner will say
    Agreed however is there anything that makes your Sorby's, P&N, Thompson or Vicmarcs stand out from one another? Does one hold an edge better than the other?
    -Scott

  4. #4
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    Default

    Vicmarc holds the edge better then any bowl gouge so far
    I'm using Sorby bowl gouges as well and looking at a p&n in the next week

    Saying that I myself like the p&n Skews more then anyone's
    My parting tool is a sorby

    Detail gouges are a Thomson Sorby and p&n
    I like the Sorby and p&n = saying that thay have 2 different grinds

    Scrap is a mc jings monster

    I like crown as well but there hard to get
    DANGER!!!!
    I'm Dyslexic Spelling may offend!!!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    belgrave
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    I think its more about the profiles and shapes of the gouges. Some round bar spindle gouges are a bit weird. Especially cheaper sets. I like "v" shaped thompson bowls gouges. But that is really just for a particular cut I do across the end grain of the solid stools we turn. Parabolic bowl gouges are better for bowls. I like the "traditional" shaped spindle gouges cos I use them at work. Others seem not right now. Although where you get 1 inch round bar spindle gouges from I don't know.
    anne-maria.
    T
    ea Lady

    (White with none)
    Follow my little workshop/gallery on facebook. things of clay and wood.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Buderim qld
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    Default

    I am a big fan of my P & N tools especially the 25mm skew and the 32mm roughing gouge. I have turned a lot of old grey ironbark without any difficulty, which proves their suitability for hard Australian timbers.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tea lady View Post
    Although where you get 1 inch round bar spindle gouges from I don't know.
    Buy a 1 inch high speed steel drill blank from an engineers supply, make a handle and grind to suit.

    sjt,

    Not too long ago there was a thread here that went into great detail about the various turning tools.

    There was also a long discussion about sharpening, Tormek VS everything else.

    Do a search. Someone may find them and post.

    I have one 5/8" Crown, one 5/8" Thompson, and one 1/2" Chinese Bodger bowl gouge. All HSS. The Crown and Thompson are about equal, Bodger not far behind.

    I have bunches of Sears Craftsman high speed steel scrapers, skews, and spindle gouges. I have a few sets of cheap Chinese that do as well as the craftsman, but the tools and handles are smaller. Set of 8, barely used, marked HSS for $25 - I'll take a chance.

    I do mostly bowls. The big tools in a big handle are what is most important to me. My favorite scraper for the final skimming of a bowl is an unhandled slab of 3/8 X 2 X 12 inch high speed steel that was a planer blade. I have a slightly smaller Bodger half round scraper that works fine. The Bodger scraper and 1/2" bowl gouge above were $35, barely used, for the pair.

    For the harder more abrasive AU timbers, the powder metal tools will probably give you longer time before sharpening. For equal size tools in appropriate handles, the price is probably more indicative of quality than the brand name.

    You will pay more for a "famous turner" brand. I don't think the premium for "famous turner" grind is worth the $. One can always buy the equivalent tool and put the grind on yourself, a little at a time as you resharpen.
    So much timber, so little time.

    Paul

  8. #8
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    Minbun, FNQ, Australia
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    I love both of my Henry Taylor 5/8" Superflute bowl gouges, I have 2.
    Cliff.
    If you find a post of mine that is missing a pic that you'd like to see, let me know & I'll see if I can find a copy.

  9. #9
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    Nov 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul39 View Post
    Buy a 1 inch high speed steel drill blank from an engineers supply, make a handle and grind to suit.
    was kind of a rhetorical question. I like the traditional spindle gouges for bigger widths.
    anne-maria.
    T
    ea Lady

    (White with none)
    Follow my little workshop/gallery on facebook. things of clay and wood.

  10. #10
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    Jun 2010
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    shoalhaven n.s.w
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    I have P&N spindle bowl and roughing gouge, henery Taylor skews and roughing gouge. But my favorite skew is Boliher S600 its 12mm by 12mm. And the cheapie no names I ground into parting tools

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Prestons Sydney
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    Default it maybe horses for courses

    The gold standard, hmmm, this is a very subjective value. There are those who swear by this and that make and model and yet when you have ago with them you dont find it the same.

    One thing I do know is that the hardwoods we here will and do give, all wood turning tools a run for their money and most will come off second best.

    For example, I have a 1/2" Thompson bowl gouge U shaped. I know something about the process and appreciate what it will do to the tool steel and that is the reason I have several Thompson gouges.

    But just recently I turned a piece of Deadfinish that came from Cliff , it came from around Longreach. It gave the Thompson gouge a hard time, a real hard time. I made mulitple trips to the grinder, far more than I would have imagined. The vase was small less than 6" in height and about 3.5" in diameter.

    Absolutely nothing wrong with the Thompson gouge or the grind, we just have some very hard timber and often with some silica thrown in for good measure. As was the case with this piece. In contrast to this I turned another piece of Deadfinish from different part of Queensland and my Thompson gouge performed superbly, a real joy to use.


    My collection has Hamlet 2060's, P&N, Thompson, McJings, Sorby and a few DIY from Silver Steel. This is no reflection on other brands or makes, I just havent got around aquiring them yet

    I find at the end of the day the best tool steel for the real hard Aussie timbers is Tungsten Carbide for roughing anything down and mass removal. Then to my favourite what ever it is to do the finishing. Some times with the absolute mongrel timber its sandpaper

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Adelaide Hills, South Australia
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    Quote Originally Posted by hughie View Post
    The gold standard, hmmm, this is a very subjective value. There are those who swear by this and that make and model and yet when you have ago with them you dont find it the same.
    +1

    I attempt to carry out objective tests on edge cutting durability, etc., but in the end it comes down to working style and personal preference.

    My current personal preferences are Thompson and D-way bowl gouges. The Thompsons are real work horses and the latter gives a very nice finishing cut.

    Also quite fond of my Pro-PM Ellsworth sig bowl gouge for finishing cuts, but not so fond of the steel in another Crown Pro-PM gouge that I have.

    Have used lots of P&Ns in the past and still have and use many of them. They are good value. Their large roughing gouge is bliss.

    One of these days I'll splurge on a Glaser Hitec 15V Bowl Gouge. An indulgence as I doubt that I am ever going to wear out all of my current gouges, so why do I need another gouge that might have even more durability? Maybe it is the gold standard or maybe just another good gouge that is twice as expensive as its close rivals. I guess I won't know until I try one.

    Looking forward to trying out a Vicmarc vanadium A11 steel with V gouge profile, if and when they bringing one out in that profile.

    I'm also yet to try out a Henry Taylor Superflute bowl gouge. I have no doubt it would be as good as my other HTs.
    Stay sharp!

    Neil



  13. #13
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    Jun 2005
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    Townsville. Tropical Nth Qld.
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NeilS View Post
    +1


    One of these days I'll splurge on a Glaser Hitec 15V Bowl Gouge. An indulgence as I doubt that I am ever going to wear out all of my current gouges, so why do I need another gouge that might have even more durability? Maybe it is the gold standard or maybe just another good gouge that is twice as expensive as its close rivals. I guess I won't know until I try one.

    Looking forward to trying out a Vicmarc vanadium A11 steel with V gouge profile, if and when they bringing one out in that profile.
    Scott, Neil and all others,
    I use a mix of all brands, and have an early model Glaser Hitec Bowl Gouge which is the best on abrasive timbers. Would love to try the Vicmarc vanadium A11 steel and the new Glasser "Crucible 305" now available on these timbers. The Glasser website is impressive, but as a weekend amateur, I cant justify the cost,
    My $00.20 worth,
    rgds,
    Crocy.

  14. #14
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    Apr 2007
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    Adelaide Hills, South Australia
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    Default

    Yeah, it will take a lot of $0.02 to buy one of those Cauldron 305 gouges!

    I have read that they claim their new steel hardens to 68 Rockwell, compared to 'only' 62 Rockwell for their CPM 15V steel. That sounds like a big difference, however, I have found in practice that tools in use don't always reflect their theoretical advantage. For example, I find in practice I can hardly notice a difference between 10V and 15V CPM steel, which is surprising given Crucibles Steel's claimed comparative wear resistance for these two steels.

    I'm still waiting for someone whose opinions/experience I trust to report on their everyday use of the Cauldron 305 steel and any noticeable increase in durability. Rockwell 68 is way up there on the hardness scale but that could be at the expense of its toughness... it may be just too brittle, especially on our v. hard Australian woods. Maybe Glaser-Hitec would like to send me one for a test run on some buloke (Allocasuarina luehmannii with a Janka rating of 5060)...
    Stay sharp!

    Neil



  15. #15
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    Thank you for your input gents, my query was more about what you guys use and what works for you. Seems as though the Thompson's are used by many of you and worth some further investigation. I notice Thompson doesn't stock any oval skews. Anyone hazard a guess?
    -Scott

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