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I am a relatively new turner - I took a beginners class and then found a small Jet lathe on craigslist. It came with some carbide replacement head tools, so I decided to start with those. I have been trying a couple of small bowls and am seeing a whole lot of grain tearing. I never experienced this in my class (which was taught on the same lathe), so I wonder if it is the carbide tools? The lathe is completely level and weighted down with the stand plus a couple large bags of sand. Should I switch to traditional tools? 

Any advice would be super appreciated. 

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Welcome Pete! I have some turning experience but we have a couple folks that are awesome turners so hopefully they will chime in. I will say I personally can get better shavings off traditional tools but before going that route have you tried rotating the cutting edge on the carbide tool? I also use a leather a strop sometimes on my Easywood carbide tools 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am a turner that started out on carbide and then switched to traditional. My advice is to make a piece with carbide. That way you get the satisfaction of a completed job. In the meantime buy a bowl gouge from Thompson wood tools. Invest in a good grinder and Wolverine sharpening jig. Learn to sharpen because if you don’t, traditional tools will only make you mad. Once I got traditional tools down, I have never picked up the carbide tools since. You get a much better finish from a sharp tool. 

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