Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 35

Thread: Looking For Tool Input

  1. #1

    Looking For Tool Input

    So I haven’t turned since wood shop in junior high, but I bought my first lathe today. I mainly want to get in to bowl turning, so I purchased a Laguna 18-36 as I believe in “buy once, cry once.”

    I am wondering if the Sorby 8-tool kit at Woodcraft is worth the money, or is there a better way to go? What else do I need besides face shield/respirator?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    8,893
    Hi Mike. The Sorby tools are good and that set looks good but it has some tools you might not use IF you want to stick to bowl turning. (To be candid, I'm a strong believer in learning to spindle turn first, then go to bowls/platters/hollow forms and such. This is not my idea but a strong suggestion from a number of expert and professional turners and authors: spindle turning will teach you the fine tool control that will let you turn anything.)

    One way to start is slowly. (Another way is to buy one of everything!) Something often recommended is to find and attend some meetings at a local turning club. There are usually generous people you might meet who would be willing to mentor, discuss alternatives, and even possibly loan some basic tools to help you get started. (I keep a box of old tools just for that) Taking a class is also a good way to get started. You also might put your approximate location in your profile - someone here may even live close.

    There is a nearly unlimited number of tool options. Besides the health/safety protection, a few basic things that will help to the point of being almost necessary:

    A good scroll chuck
    Oneway wolverine with varigrind jig for sharpening gouges and such

    As a woodworker you may already have calipers and such and a bench grinder for sharpening. A CBN wheel is the cat's meow for sharpening lathe tools.

    Hey, it sounds like you nicely avoided something many of us did, that is buy a cheap junky lathe then replace it a short time later!

    JKJ
    Last edited by John K Jordan; 01-17-2020 at 11:53 PM.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the tips John. I am signed up to take a turning class at my local Woodcraft so I can learn as much as I can.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Haubstadt (Evansville), Indiana
    Posts
    1,175
    I bought the HF (Windsor Design) red handle set of tools to learn on. The red handle set is suppose to be better than the whit handle set. All I know is they cost $10 more than the white handle set. There are those that will advise against a set and say buy quality individual tools. Each has its merits. I learned to turn spindles and how to sharpen with that set. Sorby is no doubt a better class of tools, but like John said there will be those in the set you will not use. Once I got comfortable with sharpening and turning I started buying premium individual tools. The HF set does not have a bowl gouge. I make my own tool handles and buy Thompson and Dway tools.
    When working I had more money than time. In retirement I have more time than money. Love the time, miss the money.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    8,893
    Quote Originally Posted by William C Rogers View Post
    I bought the HF (Windsor Design) red handle set of tools to learn on. The red handle set is suppose to be better than the whit handle set. All I know is they cost $10 more than the white handle set. There are those that will advise against a set and say buy quality individual tools. Each has its merits. I learned to turn spindles and how to sharpen with that set. Sorby is no doubt a better class of tools, but like John said there will be those in the set you will not use. Once I got comfortable with sharpening and turning I started buying premium individual tools. The HF set does not have a bowl gouge. I make my own tool handles and buy Thompson and Dway tools.
    I forgot to mention that I also started with a cheap set of HSS tools from Sears, also without a bowl gouge. As I learned to sharpen I shortened these tools instead of expensive, high quality tools. From then on I did as you mentioned and bought individual high quality tools.

    I haven't tried Dway but I hear they are good. I mostly use Thompson - they have better steel than the Sorby tools bought years ago. I buy them without handles and make handles with inserts so one handle fits many tools.

    One think to watch out for with very cheap tools - sometimes the steel is not hardened properly or only hardened for an inch or so at the tip. Once you grind through that the tool is not very useful. I test the hardness using the file method of all cheap and old used tools I accumulate.

    JKJ
    Last edited by John K Jordan; 01-18-2020 at 12:09 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Greeley, CO
    Posts
    175
    Clearly OP has means, in his position I'd buy that nice Sorby set. I started with a lower cost Freud set back in the eighties and all of the chisel styles remain relevant three decades later.

    Next it's time for OP to start thinking about how he's going to sharpen.....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    1,417
    I'm no fan of tool sets. You'll end up using about 3 of the 8. Call Thompson Tools and talk to them about what you want to do. They'll send you some to get started and you'll have a far superior tool.

  8. #8
    Thanks for all the input folks, I really appreciate it. What do you all recommend for a grinder? Not looking to spend the money for a Tormek, as much as I’d like to.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    sykesville, maryland
    Posts
    429
    Sorby tools are good, and a good place to start. Thompson and Carter and Son are better.

  10. #10
    So after doing a bunch of reading, I ended up ordering the following from D-Way:

    1/2” bowl gouge
    1/2 x 3/4 roughing gouge
    3/8” spindle gouge
    3/4” skew

    And a 1” bowl scraper from Carter & Son.

    That should be a decent start, anything else I should get?
    Last edited by Mike Hollis; 01-18-2020 at 7:11 PM.

  11. #11
    You are going to need at least one handle....

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Thorpe Allen View Post
    You are going to need at least one handle....
    I ordered a couple handles.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Greeley, CO
    Posts
    175
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Hollis View Post
    That should be a decent start, anything else I should get?
    Parting tool.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Greeley, CO
    Posts
    175
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Hollis View Post
    Thanks for all the input folks, I really appreciate it. What do you all recommend for a grinder? Not looking to spend the money for a Tormek, as much as I’d like to.
    I went with the Rikon 8" slow speed grinder on a Harbor Freight cast iron stand. Added Veritas guides. After I wear down the Rikon grinding wheels I'll upgrade to CBN wheels. Tired of throwing away perfectly good stuff for esoteric upgrades.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    162
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Hollis View Post
    So after doing a bunch of reading, I ended up ordering the following from D-Way:

    1/2” bowl gouge
    1/2 x 3/4 roughing gouge
    3/8” spindle gouge
    3/4” skew

    And a 1” bowl scraper from Carter & Son.

    That should be a decent start, anything else I should get?
    That should be plenty - I started with a 1/2 bowl gouge and a thin parting tool, then a few months later added 1/2 and 1 1/4 skews then a year later added a 1/2 spindle gouge and a scraper. You can use the skews in place of spindle roughing gouge, though I recently added one and love it.
    Sounds like you are set for now. Good luck and congrats!

    Tom

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •