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I know you get what you pay for and all that. But I really want to get a lathe and I'm willing to get a small one off cl for starts and upgrade later. My question is where do I begin with lathe tools what do I start with can I get away with one or two and work my way up. I mostly want to turn tool handles to start and move up from there. Any advice would be appreciated. Also metals are most lathe tool metals the same?

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I'll be honest, it's very rare that I actually touch the lathe and I've never used these tools myself, but I've heard decent things about them from a buddy of mine. They were also recommended by Chris Schwarz on his Popular Woodworking blog either this year or last year during his holiday gift guide.. I forget which year, though.

 

http://www.easywoodtools.com/products/easy-rougher2/

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Start with a 3/8 spindle gouge. I would recommend getting a nice one. Mine is a Henry Taylor kyro and I like it.

And... That's it.

You can turn tool handles, make Christmas ornaments, turn spindles for furniture, do rough work, turn a pen, all with that one tool. Sets of tools are for suckers. Once you master the spindle gouge and run into its limitations you will know what tools you need next.

You will also need a bench grinder and grinding stone for sharpening. I recommend looking up shop made sharpening jigs for grinders. Super easy to make and they work great.

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I am no pro on the lathe but I can find my way around it, I bought a lathe in  http://www.harborfreight.com/12-inch-x-33-3-8-eighth-inch-wood-lathe-with-reversible-head-34706.htmllast  August and their cheapest set of tools http://www.harborfreight.com/8-piece-wood-lathe-turning-tool-kit-60663-9915.html the lathe is a very good deal and works well, not a professional grade but a very good hobby machine, I have turned several projects on it. the tools leave a lot to be desired the require very frequent sharpening. my answer to this problem was to order several carbide cutters and start making my own tools, I just got the cutter yesterday and I have not made handles yet so the verdict is still out, I have hit a piece of wood with them and I can say they are stupid sharp and make an awesome cut and I have less than 40 bucks and an hour of time in these 4 cutters, less handles.

 

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All I use for making tool handles are a roughing gouge and a skew chisel.  Both are must-haves for even a minimal set of conventional (as opposed to carbide-scraper) tools.

 

I also would not invest in a premium version of either, unless you have an established aptitude for sharpening.   Learn how to sharpen on inexpensive steel.

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  • 1 year later...

I see you buy them from your local supplier which buy the carbide insert cutter produced in our factory .

You buy them 40 bucks , I just sell them 4 pieces in 15 bucks , you know the carbide insert cutter for wood turning need the special material to maintain its performance .

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I started turning last year, and for tool handles and the like, I would go with easy wood tools.  You don't have to mess with sharpening, which saves money, you get good results, and if you want you can move on later to traditional tools. You might be able to get by with just a 3/8 spindle gouge, but more likely you will need a parting tool of some sort.  With traditional tools, you will need a slow speed grinder and probably jigs for sharpening.  The cost of sharpening tools quickly equals the cost of easy wood tools.  What ever way you go, be careful-it's addictive.

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