Turning Archive 2006

What bowl turning tools do I need? - Long

Joe Pack
>Craft show season 2006 is over. After a thousand or so pens, keychains, bottle stoppers, etc, with retirement looming at the end of February, and with Mr. Grumbine's two DVD's having inspired me, I am looking forward to moving on to bowls, but need advice on tooling. I am trying to sort out the tooling I genuinely need for bowl turning. I spent an hour looking at the 25% off Sorby tools at Rockler last weekend, but didn't really know what I was doing, so I kept my money in my pocket. Plus, every catalog or web sales page sells the "best," and, of course, the new bowl turner should have one of everything! Somehow, I trust my WC friends more than the marketing folks.

I have two lathes - a Jet mini that I do all my craft stuff on - and a Jet 1442 that I bought a year or so ago, but have not used much except for buffing. (I bought it early for three reasons...I planned to get a full-size lathe eventually when I retired, I had the cash from a good craft show season and, the main reason, I got it for a "below market" price that I couldn't turn down.

I have a good assortment of spindle turning tools - gouges, skews, scrapers, parting tools, "specialty" tools, plus a Wolvering grinding jig (including skew and vari-grind attachments). My only specific bowl tool is a 16" long, 1/2" diameter shaft Crown bowl gouge that Bill G. put a side-grind on. (That one feels too short and too light, but what do I know?) I also have an "original" two-wrench Nova chuck.

I would appreciate input from folks I respect as to what tools I should be looking at. I don't want to throw money away, but I don't mind buying quality the first time. I also am not interested in "getting by," only to wish six months later that I would have bought the "right" tool the first time....You get the idea.

I am looking for input re: gouges (size, weight, etc.), drives (4 prong, 2 prong, Steb...), chucks (do I want a different one?), tool rests, and anything else I have not thought of.

Thanks to all. Enjoy helping me spend my money! :-)

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