Turning

Subject:
Re: Because I am cheap!
Response To:
Because I am cheap! ()

Dave Belser
I routinely make my own scrapers.

Buy 01 tool steel from any of the common suppliers (MSC, Granger, Enco - there are many). I don't really understand the comments about dificulty cutting a tang or shaping. It's really pretty easy with a proper vertical metal cutting bandsaw. Additional shaping of the tool can be done on your coarse grinder wheel. Do all the shaping before hardening.

I will use a 3/4 X 1/4" blank and not bother with cutting a tang.

Oil quench and you are good to go - no need for annealing, turning tools really don't (shouldn't) take the kind of abuse where brittleness is an issue. Only harden the cutting end and the tang will be fine.

Mind you the largest I've worked with is 1" by 1/4" (or maybe 3/8") and 1/2" X 1/2"

The biggest issue is that you will need a good torch for the oil quench. You can get by with a couple of MAP cans for smaller tools, but it takes a while. Last time I did it I used Acetylene and it was quick and easy. Use a magnet to determine when it's hot enough - the magnet won't stick when it's time to quench.

I do this for scrapers because I can then make them any shape I want.

With all that said, I do agree that for more complicated tool profiles (pretty much anything with a flute) - It's not really worth the effort. Buy un-handled and make your own handles.

A skew is kinda borderline - you can easily make something as good as the cheaper commodity tools that sell for ~ $40 or so. But if you are going big - buy the ready to go steal from someone like Doug Thompson and you will likely be happier in the long run.

There is not a huge amount of savings making your own but there is the satisfaction of doing it and the ability to make exactly the shape or profile you want.

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