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Thread: HSS tools T1 or M1 or M2

  1. #1
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    HSS tools T1 or M1 or M2

    Hello, all,

    I'm a fairly new turner and considering getting a good roughing gouge. I considered powdered metal but decided to go with HSS instead.

    I see some gouges made by PSI that are made from M2 high-speed steel, and I was wondering:

    1. Does the higher tungsten content in T1 HSS (18.25% versus 6.25% tungsten in M2 HSS) make the edge stay sharp longer in T1 than in M2 tools?

    2. Are turning gouges even available in T1 HSS, or is there some reason it's not used for that application?

    Thank you in advance for any information.

    Jacob.

  2. #2
    Jacob, I think you will find that in the "lower priced tools", M2 HSS is the industry standard. I do not recall seeing T1 HSS advertised in any turning tools, but then again, I am not really familiar with that type of steel. There are a bunch of M2 HSS tools out there, in a variety of price points. Other than profile and handle configuration, I doubt there is much difference in them. Going to CPM or one of the Vanadium steels is a big jump in quality, and most think it is worth the difference - at least for the most used tools, such as gouges. I still use M2 scrapers, etc. that get little use (in my work) and do not need to be sharpened often.

  3. #3
    I am not aware of any "T1" gouges.
    A lot of manufactors have "M2" gouges available; there are a wide range of prices and a wide range of quality. How well the heat treatment is done is at least as important as what type of steel is used.
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  4. #4
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    Dennis Ford make a good point, the proper heat treatment is very important. As an example, if you look at a tool from D-Way you will see a hole drilled in the stock, this is so the tool can be hung, individually from a rack. This allows each tool to have complete air circulation, which allows for a more even heat treat. Cheap tools (like say Benjamen's Best) are piled in a large basket. Thus the tools in the center do not get "hot" until the tools around then do. If the heat-treat cycle is too short, the tools at the center do not get the same treatment as the tools on the edges.
    Making sawdust mostly, sometimes I get something else, but that is more by accident then design.

  5. #5
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    Thank you for the replies guys.

    John, your comment about the vanadium steel CPM gouges got me Googling and I found a Thompson 1-1/4" roughing gouge that looked good ... for $175.

    Now I'm not sure which way to go for a roughing gouge ... M2 HSS or powdered metal.

    What are the cons of powdered metal, besides price?

  6. #6
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    PM vs HSS

    If you are into turning for the long haul you can't go wrong with Doug Thompson Tools
    I have five looking to buy more.
    And Doug is s great guy.
    Peter

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Reverb View Post
    ...John, your comment about the vanadium steel CPM gouges got me Googling and I found a Thompson 1-1/4" roughing gouge that looked good ... for $175.

    Now I'm not sure which way to go for a roughing gouge ... M2 HSS or powdered metal.

    What are the cons of powdered metal, besides price?
    Jacob, I have several Thompson Tools, as well as some D-Way Tools. The Thompsons I have are the 10V Vanadium steel, and work very well. The D-Way are M42 Cobalt, and I like them equally well. Both Doug and Dave are nice fellows. I do not have any Glaser tools, though they have a good following, as well. These are the three from which I would pick were I buying something that got used a lot - and, that is the question. I use a SRG very little, so for me, a cheap Benjamin Best (I actually am still using my Harbor Freight 3/4" roughing gouge!) is fine. It will take me several years to use it up. But, I use my spindle gouges and bowl gouges a lot. It is worth the money for me to buy the better tools. Even more importantly, I now own a CBN wheel for my grinder, and that has made a huge difference in the edge I get on all my tools.

  8. #8
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    As John said, the 3 tool makers he mentioned are really on top of their game. I'd suggest going to their websites and read up on their technology, features and value. Then you can determine where the best value for the use you will get out of it. I'm a Glaser guy but I have some Crown and other tools. I now find myself pretty much using just the Glaser tools though.
    What you listen to is your business....what you hear is ours.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Reverb View Post
    Thank you for the replies guys.

    John, your comment about the vanadium steel CPM gouges got me Googling and I found a Thompson 1-1/4" roughing gouge that looked good ... for $175.

    Now I'm not sure which way to go for a roughing gouge ... M2 HSS or powdered metal.

    What are the cons of powdered metal, besides price?
    Maybe you should consider what type of turning you are going to do. For example, I do not do any spindle type of work, except for pens and bottle stoppers, so a $175 roughing gouge would never even cross my mind. But for a bowl gouge...maybe.
    "a noble spirit embiggins the smallest man"

  10. #10
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    Thanks again, everyone.

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