Turning Archive 2007

Gouge hardening question

John Lucas
>I have a Henry Taylor spindle gouge that is my favorite. I've had it about 5 years. It's HSS, probably M2 but I don't know for sure. Anyway all of the sudden it seems like it just won't hold an edge for very long. I don't remember it acting like this before, or maybe I'm just getting pickier on my edge sharpness.

I assume that most gouges would be hardened over thier full length by simply placing them in an oven. Possibly the tang might be annealed a little but I would think the entire flute area would be the same hardness. Anyone else have this problem with a tool.

I have seen this problem in older carbon steel tools. An old time turner told me this happened a lot on older tools as you ground them down. He thought they only hardened the first 2 or 3 inches. When this happened he would just reharden the next few inches and continue on. We can't do that with HSS at home.

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