Turning Archive 2004

A new toolmaker

Russ Fairfield
>For those who pefer to Buy American, and at a reasonable price, we have a new toolmaker available to us -

Bob Sweazey
Sumner, WA
(253) 862-9643

His first offering is a 1/2" (actual diameter) bowl gouge made from an M-42 Cobalt allooy HSS that has been heat-treated in a vacuum and quenched in Nitrogen.

The shape of the flute is similar to that of the Taypor Superflute bowl gouge, with a finish on the tool is similar to that of a Glaser gouge. The tool handle is wood with a nice shape (for me), and it is drilled and filled with lead shot for weight and balance.

It comes pre-ground with a couple options. One is a conventional profile with a moderate sweep that isn't much different from what a lot of the folks here are already using. It is also available with a "convex" bevel profile. The thing that amazed me was that it was razor sharp and ready to use out of the box.

My first impression was that it looked like a Glaser gouge with a wood handle. It has a similar balance a feel to it. But, I like the flute profile better that the Glaser, and the larger diameter wood handle is more comfortable to hold than the metal Glaser handle for any length of time.

I have been using this tool for about 10 days. The good news is that the Cobalt HSS alloy grinds to as sharp and edge as an M4, sharper than V11, or 2030 (my opinion), and it appears that that sharper edge is retained as long as the best of them.

No, I didn't get a free tool, and I don't expect any. Mine cost the same $84, including postage, as anyone else has to pay. I like this initial offering, and I want to see Dave prosper as a maker of turning tools so there will be more and different tools coming.

I hope there is a larger 5/8" bowl; gouge not far behind this one.

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