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Carbide Tools (Read 836 times)
 
robo_hippy
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Re: Carbide Tools
Reply #15 - Jun 22nd, 2018 at 8:43pm
 
It is sold by the troy ounce, and is around $1 per inch for 1 inch wide stock. You want the 56% silver content, and not the real thin stuff.

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Wil Russell
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Re: Carbide Tools
Reply #16 - Jul 12th, 2018 at 4:18am
 
I’ve made a number of Carbide tools and I really like them for some jobs. Over here in the U.K. the inserts are quite cheap and you can easily resharpen the flat ones by just rubbing them over a diamond plate. My favourite is probably the 9mm round.
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Wil Russell
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Re: Carbide Tools
Reply #17 - Oct 7th, 2018 at 1:19pm
 
Just a quick update on the topic. I recently turned a bowl from an old tenpin bowling ball of mine that had cracked. I used my copy of a “carbide bowl gouge” to turn it and it worked really well. The inner core of the ball was quite abrasive but the 10mm carbide cutter went through it easily. Looking forward to taking the bowl to the wood turning club to see what folks think!  Grin
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Gavin Botha
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Re: Carbide Tools
Reply #18 - Oct 11th, 2018 at 3:09pm
 
Fairly simple to sharpen carbide cutters.

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robo_hippy
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Re: Carbide Tools
Reply #19 - Oct 12th, 2018 at 10:59am
 
This is a topic that comes up a lot about resharpening the carbide cutters. I don't have any though... The consensus seems to be that you can touch them up, but you can't get them back to good as new. This is also for the flat cutters, and not for the cupped ones like from Hunter tools. John Lucas (east coast guy, really good to watch) did some magnified photos of the cupped cutters, and they chip rather than sharpen.

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Ed Weber
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Re: Carbide Tools
Reply #20 - Oct 12th, 2018 at 1:43pm
 
robo_hippy wrote on Oct 12th, 2018 at 10:59am:
The consensus seems to be that you can touch them up, but you can't get them back to good as new.


Using a diamond plate, you can dress one face, (I wouldn't call it sharpening)
IMO
Smoothing one face only is not sharpening, it may help a little but a cutting edge is the convergence of two planes at an angle. If you don't address both planes (lapping only one) you're not fixing the whole problem.
I know many turning tools are sharpened on one side only but it's the grind side, not the reference or flat side.
Chisels, bits and blades don't get dull on one side, they get dull at the point. If you try the "sharpen" by concentrating on one side only (usually the flat or easiest side) you typically have to remove too much material from that side to regain the cutting edge you're looking for. This can weaken or change the original characteristics of the tool, rather than simply making it shorter.
When I have a dull chisel, I flatten or smooth out the back and then grind or home the front. If I were to only concentrate on the back, all I would be doing is making the chisel thinner.
Replaceable carbide inserts are by design, disposable.
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« Last Edit: Oct 12th, 2018 at 1:47pm by Ed Weber »  
 
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Wil Russell
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Re: Carbide Tools
Reply #21 - Oct 14th, 2018 at 5:24am
 
I have to disagree, at least with the 9mm and 12mm round carbide I’ve been using. I have one of those four sided diamond sharpening blocks and the 600 grit side does a brilliant job of sharpening them. In fact they feel sharper after sharpening than when you first get them. Due to the geometry of cupped inserts I wouldn’t attempt to sharpen them. One of my favourites is the 6mm insert (for hollowing) so this is a bit too small to sharpen anyway IMO.



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Don Stephan
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Re: Carbide Tools
Reply #22 - Oct 14th, 2018 at 6:33pm
 
No opinion one way or the other, but a tool sharpening service once told me it's not possible to distinguish by feel how sharp a carbide edge is, the way we can with carving chisels and high carbon and HSS turning tools.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Carbide Tools
Reply #23 - Oct 14th, 2018 at 8:04pm
 
Don Stephan wrote on Oct 14th, 2018 at 6:33pm:
a tool sharpening service once told me it's not possible to distinguish by feel how sharp a carbide edge is


I agree
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Wil Russell
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Re: Carbide Tools
Reply #24 - Oct 15th, 2018 at 4:03am
 
Don Stephan wrote on Oct 14th, 2018 at 6:33pm:
No opinion one way or the other, but a tool sharpening service once told me it's not possible to distinguish by feel how sharp a carbide edge is, the way we can with carving chisels and high carbon and HSS turning tools.


I won’t guess why they told you that but I can tell the difference between a dulled carbide cutter and a freshly sharpened one and I suspect most other carbide users can as well.  Wink
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John Grace
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Re: Carbide Tools
Reply #25 - Oct 15th, 2018 at 7:15am
 
Perhaps the difference is the adjectives used.  The human finger is only so sensitive and at some point can no longer discern a difference in how something 'feels'.  Under a microscope or other magnification, however, those differences are readily seen.  Like many others, I started turning with carbides and enjoyed them as it got me turning right away while I learned to sharpen.  Also, like others before me, I was frustrated by the expense of replacing them and tried my hand at sharpening them with a diamond hone.  In the end, I believed I could 'freshen' the edges enough to prolong their usage but could never quite get them back to 'factory fresh'.  Now, perhaps that was just me and others have had better success.  Not to belabor the point or to be too finicky with the words used, but I do believe there is an albeit small but quantifiable difference between what one person can actually 'feel' versus what's produced from the factory.  In the end, however, if one produces a sharp edge satisfactory to the user at hand then goal achieved.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Carbide Tools
Reply #26 - Oct 15th, 2018 at 9:16am
 
Well said John

In my experience, there is a place for both carbide and HSS in a woodworking shop.
I am, however, not much of a fan of carbide insert turning tools. Here's why.
Carbide has many benefits over HSS but it also has it's drawbacks or shortcomings. While you may not be able to get carbide as sharp as HSS, the edge you do get will last much longer. Carbide is much harder than HSS (something like a Rockwell 85) but as a result is more brittle.

IMO carbide works better in machine settings, meaning it lasts longer without dulling or defect. Tools like table saws, routers, shapers, jointers etc us carbide tipped tools where the cutting edge is presented to the wood the same way every time, at the proper angle by using the table or fence as a reference surface or guide. This leads to prolonged life of the cutting tip.
In a turning situation, most carbide turning tools are meant to be used level on the centerline, as if you were a machine. Most people simply are not machines and can not maintain the same angle all the time. Presenting the tip at any angle other than what it's designed for can shorten the life of the cutting tip.
In summary, for machines, yes, for hand held, no.
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robo_hippy
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Re: Carbide Tools
Reply #27 - Oct 15th, 2018 at 11:47am
 
Well, not sure about the 'not being able to feel the difference' part. Easy on most of my turning tools. I have a friend who is a spoon carver, all of his work is 'finish off the tool' and is exceptional. I was chatting with him about sharpening and he commented about how there was still a burr on one of his knives. I ran my thumb over the edge and couldn't feel any burr..... He does have a strop with 4 different honing compounds. Perhaps the average person couldn't tell the difference, but I can feel differences.

The micro and nano grained carbides are worlds apart on how sharp they can get. Much finer than what any carbide was capable of 10 years ago.

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Wil Russell
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Re: Carbide Tools
Reply #28 - Oct 15th, 2018 at 12:33pm
 
John Grace, If you were sharpening a square carbide insert then I should imagine it’s hard work. The 9mm round carbide insert has probably less than 10% of the surface area of a square insert and is a breeze to sharpen. The 12mm (flat) round don’t present problems either. For some reason carbide inserts for wood turners seem to be much more expensive in America than they are over here, not sure why?

As a point of interest my tool is similar to this one so the insert is not presented flat to the workpiece. Provided you keep the handle flat you do get a consistent cut.

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Ed Weber
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Re: Carbide Tools
Reply #29 - Oct 15th, 2018 at 2:40pm
 
Wil Russell wrote on Oct 15th, 2018 at 12:33pm:
As a point of interest my tool is similar to this one so the insert is not presented flat to the workpiece. Provided you keep the handle flat you do get a consistent cut.


I suppose that was aimed at my comment.
The point is that many, if not all, of these tools are designed to have an optimum presentation toward the wood, regardless of what the tip angle is. They all "seem' to be designed to be used with the shaft perfectly flat/level, as if mounted in a machine.

Also, the tool linked to is designed as more of a cutting tool (ring tool) where as the flat carbide tool inserts are scrapers.
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