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Thread: Making a tool??

  1. #1

    Making a tool??

    Though you metal fellows here would have some good advice!! I meant to make a few wood turning tools. I was watching a series of videos and the fellow,a knife maker, was taking you through different processes using different steel. He mentioned using 1095 as it was easy to shape and harden for a novice. But I cannot seem to find a source. So I was wondering if you might have a suggestion for another steel for me? I stopped at the local welding shop yesterday but all they have is 1018. Thanks in advance for your help!!

  2. #2
    great guys, excellent steel
    1084 is pretty easy to heattreat

  3. #3
    O1 is my favorite carbon steel, easy to work with and easy to heat treat. It is a little more rust resistant than 1095. Readily available at McMaster Carr in a variety of sizes.
    When failure is not an option
    Mediocre is assured.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Marietta GA
    I think McMaster Carr has 1095.

    They are reasonably priced IMO.

    Enjoy! Happy Holidazzz!

  5. #5
    Terry, they do but it appears to be sheet stock not bar stock.

  6. #6
    1095 is actually pretty tricky for beginners. It really needs special equipment go get the full potential out of it....

    Go with O1 or 1084 of one sort or another.

    O1 is a class of steels - and there are different carbon contents... If you can get one in the range of 0.8% to 0.9% - you are golden for a super easy steel to heat treat very nicely that is well behaved on quenching and makes a tough, durable, sharp tool..

    An oil hardening 1084 is also a perfect choice - as it is a "Eutectic" steel.. All the carbon dissolves into solution readily. You don't have to muck around with long hold times, tons of normalizing cycles, and the like...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    New Hill, NC
    I've made some turning tools that take carbide inserts by using 1/2" square 1018 stock and milling a recess on the end for the insert. Works well, stays sharp a long time, and you simply turn the insert when it gets dull.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Maybe "tool steel". Or buy big HSS metal lathe cutting bits on the bay and grind to suit. Bolt them to long handle somehow like a boring bar.
    Look on Ebay and buy a big big drill or reamer and grind the tip to suit. Since you do not care if the cutting end is messed up you should be able to get a deal. If it has a taper shank it will be easy to mount a handle.
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 01-02-2018 at 1:09 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    West Coast of WI
    I'll echo 1080/1084 as the best choice if you haven't done heat treatment at home before. 5160 would also be a solid choice and it can be found easily in old leaf springs. Quenching in warm (120F) canola oil works well, smells good (think fried food!), and is non-toxic compared to used motor oil. Also you can temper steel quenched in canola oil in the home oven without angering SWMBO.

    As far as sourcing steel you can find 1080/1084/5160 at the following knife supply sites:
    Last edited by Smitty Searles; 01-10-2018 at 2:45 PM.

  10. Heya ... I just wanted to mention that with the high carbon contents of the steels you are talking about using for a turning tool handle, that if you heat treat it to harden and don't temper it to reduce the hardness a little in order to increase it's toughness, you'll end up with a tool handle that will break or shatter with a heavy impact.

    I've made my carbide tipped lathe tools by just hitting the hardware store and buying 5/16" or 1/2" cold rolled steel in 3' sections. I use a 2x8 inch wood blank for the handle, turned to my comfort, and I embed 6 inches of the steel into that handle, leaving 12 inches exposed. If I end up wanting my tool shorter later, to be able to get into tighter spaces, I could use just 12 inches of the bar stock and go 6 and 6, or 4 and 8, or some other combination. This steel is already hardened and tempered so that it will bend rather than snap, which is far safer than having sharp bits of metal flying around my shop space.

    I would say, temper in a toaster oven ... set it to 450 degrees and "cook" it for 30 minutes at a time, over 2 hours total .... you want that bright metal (shine it up before tempering) to turn a darkish tan to light bronze at minimum. You dont want it to go grey, which is basically spring steel, unless you're wanting to make a chattering tool.

  11. #11
    Old files make great wood turning tools. It's 1095 steel.
    Last edited by Kevin Beitz; 08-19-2018 at 8:08 AM.

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