Best Lathe chisels Review
Since understanding how to choose the right tools for the job and how to use them properly are key to any successful project,we will discuss a few of the best lathe chisels and touch on some specific skew chisel techniques.
Woodworking has long been a valuable skill, and is becoming even more so in this era of commercialization and mass production.
Creating something beautiful with your hands is satisfying and rewarding whether you are a seasoned professional or an enthusiastic beginner.
Woodturning in particular gives the craftsman an opportunity to combine functionality with beauty.
How to Use Wood Lathe Turning Tools
If you are new to woodturning, there are a few fundamentals that you need to know before you get started. First, never take shortcuts with your safety.
Study and follow all safety recommendations without fail. Second, woodturning tools typically are not sharp when you buy them and will need sharpening prior to their first use.
Always keep your tools sharp, as dull tools are frustrating and dangerous.
Finally, if you are inexperienced, focus on the type of woodturning that you expect to do the most.
The two main styles of woodturning are spindle turning used for making table legs, stair rails and the like, and faceplate turning for creating bowls, platters and similar items.
While the skills and tools necessary for both types of woodturning are sometimes interchangeable, becoming proficient in one style to start with means more rapid success in the beginning and an easier transition to other styles after you have mastered the basics.
Regardless of the style of woodturning, the fundamental principles are the same:
Keep the tool in contact with the tool rest.
The tool rest on the lathe enables you to control the blade and ensure that it is touching the turning wood at the correct angle and with the proper amount of pressure.
If the blade touches the turning wood without being in contact with the stabilizing tool rest, you could lose control of the blade, damaging your project and creating a potentially dangerous situation if the blade is ripped from your hands.
Keep your hands in a safe position.
While one hands holds the handle of the tool, the other will carefully guide the blade against the wood surface.
Keep your guiding hand behind the tool rest and away from the moving action of the wood and lathe.
Use the blade bevel properly. Each woodturning tool has a beveled edge on one side of the cutting blade.
Keeping the bevel in contact with the wood allows you to carefully guide the blade to get the correct angle for the desired depth of your cut.
Go with the grain. Work with the wood and not against it.
The flow of your cuts will be much easier to shape and control if you move your cut down from the larger diameter to the smaller diameter rather than attempting the cut from the other direction.
Wood Lathe Tool Names
There are many different styles, shapes and sizes of woodturning tools, enough to make a beginner’s head spin.
There are also variations of wood lathe tool names that describe different shapes and sizes of the same type of tool.
For example, the spindle gouge can be referred to as dovetail gouge, fingernail gouge, flute edged gouge and several others depending on the size and shape of the tool.
You will learn the various names for the different types of tools as you become familiar with their uses.
Bear in mind also that you do not need a store’s worth of tools to get started in the craft.
Six to eight primary tools are likely all you will need in the beginning. As you master the basics, you can always add to your collection.
Many quality beginner’s tool kits are available on the market, and most will contain some variation of the following essentials.
- Roughing gouge for roughing out the shape of your wood blank
- Spindle gouge to cut the details of your project
- Parting tool for separating, or parting, the different aspects of the project
- Skew chisel to smooth and finish the project
- Bowl gouge for shaping bowls and platters
- Bowl scraper to smooth surfaces and remove tool marks
When first learning to use the various tools, many woodturning beginners express particular difficulty with mastering the subtlety of skew chisel techniques.
While this tool may require a bit more practice to become proficient, success will come more quickly if you keep a few key points in mind:
Never use a dull skew chisel. Even slightly dull blades will begin to catch at the wood. Keep all of your blades sharp.
Use a light touch. Take your time with a skew chisel or you risk gouging your project. A softer touch allows you to better control the depth and angle of your cut.
Spin the wood fast enough. If the wood is spinning too slowly, the blade can snag. Practice running the lathe a little faster and notice how much more smoothly your project takes shape.
Woodturning Tools for Beginners
With the vast array of tools available, choosing the best woodturning tools for beginners can be confusing.
Toolkits take some of the guesswork out of buying woodturning tools, with the best kits containing just the essentials.
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Following are a few of the better toolkits available:
This affordable kit comes with eight blades crafted from high speed steel said to last as much as six times longer than carbon steel.
It contains two types of scrapers, two sizes of wood chisels, a roughing gouge, a bowl gouge, a spindle gouge and a parting tool, all nestled in a wooden display box.
Great for beginners.
Another nice kit offering exceptional value, this set also has tools made form high speed steel.
Their hardwood handles feature brass ferrules to prevent the handles from splitting under pressure.
The kit includes three spindle gouges, two skew chisels, two parting tools and a round-nosed scraper housed in a wooden storage case.
The blades in this set are high carbon steel that is tempered for durability.
The pre-sharpened blades are accurately ground with proper bevels.
It contains three spindle gouges, two scrapers, two skew chisels and one parting tool.
While carbon steel blades are not typically as durable as those made of high speed steel, the quality design and affordable price make this a nice set.
The exceptional quality and surprisingly reasonable price of this set make it one of the best kits of woodturning tools for beginners on the market.
The high speed steel blades are easily sharpened to an impressive edge, the lathe-turned handles are nicely balanced and the brass ferrules provide extra durability.
The set contains just the basics of one each spindle gouge, roughing gouge, bowl gouge, skew chisel, parting tool and round-nose scraper in a wooden display box.
Truly a quality set for the money.
Although this set is not in the same price category as the others, the Crown brand bears mentioning because of its exceptional quality and durability.
Manufactured in Sheffield, England, the blades are made of powder metallurgy hardened steel, meaning the cutting edge can last up to five times longer than high speed steel.
The ergonomic handles are turned from attractive black ash and tipped with brass ferrules.
This set contains a roughing gouge, spindle gouge, short bowl gouge, parting tool and skew chisel.
This product is an investment designed to last for decades.
Best Lathe Chisels-Conclusion
Whether you are just learning how to use wood lathe turning tools or you are an experienced craftsman, the best lathe chisels for the job depend on how you plan to use them.
Better tools give you the best chance of a pleasurable and successful project. The Crown 280PM 5 Pieces Pro-PM Powder Metallurgy Woodturning Set offers the best quality and durability, providing a set of chisels you know you can totally rely on. These are the most expensive set by far but you get one of the best lathe chisels sets on the market.
The PSI Woodworking LCSIXW High Speed Steel Wood Lathe Chisel Turning Set is also a high quality set but at a much lower price point and may suit your budget.