Turning Archive 2007

Subject:
Best wood tools

john lucas
>I visited Vic and Sharon of bestwoodtools today. Had a good time. You really have to want to go there they are way (I mean way) out in the boonies. I'd buy property there in a heartbeat if I could afford it. It's great country.

Anyway I learned a few interesting things while talking metal with Vic. The first was that his tool rest are made from a special steel designed for NASA to reduce vibration. He said he tried stainless which vibrated horribly and several other steels until settling on this one. You'll still get some vibration of course when you get out to the ends but I've always found his tool rests to be excellent. I use the 9" offset one constantly. This is also why he uses brass inbetween the post and tool rests. It is the best material he cold find to reduce vibration.

We talked about hardening tool rests. He said he doesn't do that because he feels a tool rest should be softer than the tools. He said your tools cost 40 to $100 or it would be better to file or sand dings out of the tool rest than the tool.

My one complaint with my tool rest is that when I slide my hand down the tool rest in hits the tool post and causes a little bump. This is common with all the round tool rests. My tool rest is 3/4" in diameter. Vic suggested I get a 1" tool rest. I think I'll that when I get some spare cash.

I went to pick up one of the Baxter threading machines that I ordered a while back. It is incredibly smooth. I can't wait to try it tomorrow. He's redisigned it slightly. He found out that there would be problems in some parts of the country due to the different movement of the metals. This only happened on a few machines and he's sold over 500. He did some research and found some brass that matches the same expansion as his aluminum. This eliminates all slop in the screw thread parts. I really appreciate fine machinery and this is certainly one.

It's always fun visiting them and I usually learn a bunch.

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