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Thread: Carbide Tipped Lathe Chisels

  1. #1

    Question Carbide Tipped Lathe Chisels

    Hello,
    I was looking through a Penn State Industries catalog and saw a three piece carbide tipped, pen turning lathe chisel set. The caption said the chisels were 11 inches overall in length with 8 inch handles. When I looked them up on the internet the description said that you may never need to sharpen these chisels. The price was $44.95 for the set of three. A 1/8 inch parting tool, a 1/2 inch oval skew chisel, and a 3/8 inch spindle gouge. The description also said this set was perfect for the "sharpening challenged." It's as if they knew all about me. I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts about this set.
    I'm a complete novice when it comes to the lathe, so everything is a learning experience. It seems that the people on this forum have a wealth of knowledge and experience.
    Thanks in advance.
    Gene

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ware Shoals , S.C.
    Posts
    196

    Smile Carbide tipped lathe tools

    I have 2 sets of Craftsman carbide lathe tools --they are my best but they do need to be sharpened on occasion--not as much as HSS or Carbon tools .
    You can get an edge on them to shave with if ya wanta -Craftsman made most of theres in late 50 -60s is what I'm told--
    Have seen Bens-Best advertised but havent tried theirs yet -I wouldn't trade mine their that good --watch the e---- occasionall some one sells a set - Happy Turning

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    DuBois,Pa
    Posts
    1,557
    Gene,
    I don't know what to think about them. I would of said they were a gimick had CW not just spoke highly of them. That being said I think you would be much better off buying a grinder and a wolverine system and learn to sharpen. It is very easy with the wolverine and only takes about 5 minutes to figure out. as you can't buy most the tools you want in carbide.

    Bob

  4. #4
    Carbide technology for tooling has come a long ways since the 60's, ( some of the ceramics are just as good at turning cast iron ). With the advances comes less sharpening , increased wear, and grindability, less chiping, thinner yet stronger metal. If sharpening is not your thing or even if it was , with a green stone on your grinder you can sharpen carbide no problem. It will allow you to turn much more stuff before you have to touch up the edge. Take a look at some of the tool and die mfgrs ( carbide ) in google and you will get the idea. I say they are worth it, I am experimenting with carbide tooling now to see if off the shelf items would be practicle for finish work, ... so far ... so good.
    John 3:16

    Altho "one may not have enough tools ... one can never have too many"
    some wise guy quote ... 'least thats what I told my wife

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    1,638
    Paul,
    Carbide will chew up a green wheel in no time if you are shaping rather than sharpening since they are of roughly equal hardness (DAMHIKT) .

  6. Maybe I'm confused. But aren't these tools just carbide TIPPED? Does that mean if you sharpen them you will grind all the carbide away?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    1,281
    The ones i saw have about 3/4" of carbide brazed to onto the end of steel round bar ... the purported longevity is supposed to outweigh the shortness of the actual cutter. I'm still skeptical myself, plus i'm not the least bit unhappy with any of my HSS tooling.
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  8. #8
    Dick,
    I was figuring that the tool bits already had been cast in the rough shape and then an edge put on them, assuming they ( the carbide tips ) are brazed to the holder.Most carbide comes shaped except for some boring stock so shaping is different for sure but there are wheels out there for that. rather spendy but were talking a lot of money made using carbide on cast iron etc and ht'd 55> <60 rc steel . machining wise , on wood ..well they'd last a Lonnnggggg time between sharpenings.One can get 4 to 5 inch cup grinding wheels ( silicon carbide black ) used for shaping, for carbide tooling for less that 12$ dollars ( 10.95 actually ) and up to 220 grt, and they will cut hs also. sharpening wheels : 8 x 1 for 60$ , 10 x 1 in about 85$ in green . 6 x 3/4 wheels will run about 35$ for a good quality wheel, in green , with black ( common ) in 6 x 1/4 " about 38$ ( not cup) .
    so the world of stones is not so bad ,the plus side is the tool bit stays sharp longer , when the tip is gone , buy new tip have weld shop braze it on. tips are CHEAP.... compared to having to buy a whole new gouge at 50$ to 100$ a wack.Hope this helps .Remember sharpening carbide is just a " kiss" guys not a thrash job , it is a sweet embrace of a fine small vortex of the purrettest sparks ya ever saw.
    John 3:16

    Altho "one may not have enough tools ... one can never have too many"
    some wise guy quote ... 'least thats what I told my wife

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ware Shoals , S.C.
    Posts
    196

    Wink Carbide tipped lathe tools

    Fellers ya don't grind them tips you only dress em -just a kiss
    I use Wood crafts 1750 grinder with the white stones --does ok -just a kiss
    Not trying to be a S--A- but think about this --I can take the carbide tool cut a carbon steel tool and a HSS tool with it and then cut the wood in the same hour probably without sharpening it --if a guy on metal lathe uses it also to cut those metals to --the only difference in the grind is that wood wookers use a sharper cut on the bottom side of tool --
    My Great Grand Pa drove a mule and wagon but I drive a car
    Metalurgy has come a long way --If you'll notice most hollowing tools have a carbide shaft or cutters --Industry sells thing that wear -job insurance --Craftsman made the carbide lathe tools I have for working with alumnium -copper and brass spinning --Then were expensive $$
    TRY ONE FELLERS AND YA WON"t GO BACK -I THINK THANKS FELLERS

  10. #10

    Carbide Tipped Lathe Tools

    Thank you to all who replied. I think that I will try the carbide, at least once anyway. At approximately $53.00 including shipping, I can't go too wrong.
    Gene

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Mendota, IL
    Posts
    760
    CW

    I picked up about a set and a half of the Craftsman Carbide tipped tools at an auction last year but haven't tried them. The box (only about $20)included a couple gouges that had real value to me and I figured I would keep the carbide ones for discussions of the weerd with others in the Abyss. Now you got me thinking about trying them.

    Frank
    'Sawdust is better than Prozac'

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    New Boston,Texas
    Posts
    35
    I to am new to turning and have been shopping for a lathe and turning tools.I am considering the same set as I have no sharpening experience.I have found the same PSI set on amazon.com for $39.60 with free shipping.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    DuBois,Pa
    Posts
    1,557
    I still think you all would be better off buying the cheap HF set, a grinder and wolverine jig and learn to sharpen. as no tool will last forever and will need sharpen so you might as well learn.

    Bob

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Little Rock, AR.
    Posts
    642
    Look at it this way. If you've ever turned fiberglas you know that HSS will not make even one pass with out losing the tip, or the entire cutting edge. Carbide will last the entire job and several more. There are tools that take the many different shapes of pre-made inserts, round, triangular, parting, you name it there is probably an insert made in that shape.
    The opinion of 10,000 men is of no value if none of them know anything about the subject.
    - Marcus Aurelius ---------------------------------------- -------------

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Crystal Beach,Texas
    Posts
    224
    Just a heads up on the ones from Amazon

    Shipping estimate for these items: November 18, 2007 - December 2, 2007
    Delivery estimate: November 24, 2007 - December 10, 2007
    1 "PSI Woodworking LCPM3CAR 3 Piece Carbide Tipped Pen Turning Lathe Chisel Set"
    Tools & Hardware; $39.60

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