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Minilathe Tooling Set

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SillyOldDuffer19/06/2018 15:21:41
5901 forum posts
1280 photos
Posted by Andrew Johnston on 19/06/2018 14:56:13:
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 19/06/2018 12:40:46:

I believe that everyone is good at 30 things, but they are 30 different things. Talent isn't shared equally between individuals, and not everyone is good at grinding HSS.

Not me, sometimes I think it would be nice to be good at something. crying 2



Me too. As Jon spotted I can't even be trusted to tell the difference between right and left!



Jon Gibbs19/06/2018 15:24:19
739 forum posts


Ok, thanks for the clarification...and yes, I did read your posts - more than once.


Paul Kemp19/06/2018 15:36:15
503 forum posts
18 photos


Good advise and it was a similar post by yourself that put some of the misconceptions to bed in the previous thread I have in mind.

Maybe just to reinforce what you say though, I think it is the perception of brazed tip tools that is the root of many of the adverse comments. That being that the expectation is all brazed tip tools are akin to ready to use inserts where in reality dependant on supplier and price they are no different to an HSS blank. Maybe people associate the word carbide with pre ground ready to plug and play inserts and expect a brazed tip to be the same? You wouldn't put an HSS blank in the tool post and expect to turn with it without grinding it first. In my experience most brazed tips are nothing more than a carbide blank to be treated to same as an HSS blank. Granted some do come pre ground but as you rightly point out and your picture is a great example of, not all. It certainly doesn't mean the tool itself is 'no good', just not ready for use without grinding!

Only other comment is the 'groove' on the pre ground HSS tool is only a chip breaker which makes life a bit simpler perhaps in managing the swarf but it's not essential to the cutting action.

I'll get my hat now!


Ian S C19/06/2018 16:02:39
7468 forum posts
230 photos

Get a book, to get the idea of the shape of tools, " The Amateur's Lathe", by Lawrence Sparey is a good one although getting a bit long in the tooth, or "Introducing the Lathe", by Stan Bray.

1/4" square HSS is ample big enough, and before you attack the HSS, get a bit of scrap steel (anything will do), and have a practice on that, you can even make the shape with a file so that you can picture the shape. The angles are not too important, I'v seen some very odd looking tools that actually work. When you get grinding, take your time, rough out on the front of the wheel, touch up the edge on the side of the wheel, then either use an oilstone, or a diamond lap to polish the cutting edge, and radius the tip.

Ian S C

Edited By Ian S C on 19/06/2018 16:04:11

Howard Lewis19/06/2018 18:10:10
3361 forum posts
2 photos

Coming in late, AS USUAL!

A RIGHT HAND tools points tom the left when you view it from the operator's position, (i e points towards the Headstock on YOUR left. Vice Versa for a LEFT HAND tool, pointing towards the Tailstock, on YOUR RIGHT.

The tool edges do need to be ground. The point of the tool must be on the centreline of the lathe.

Too high causes the tool to rub.

Too low means that the tool does not contact the work at the correect angle, and apparently has excessive clearance.

The sharp edge exerts high pressure on the workpiece, (large force acting on small area) and so cuts the metal. The relief angles prevent the tool from rubbing, and help swarf to escape.

Tangential tools cut extremely well, and produce a good finish with a fine feed, even without a small radius on the nose. They are easy to set to centre height. Most people with Tangential tools seem to use almost nothing else for facing and external turning, whether taking a deep or a shallow cut.

Being HSS toolbits, they can be ground using an ordinary grey carborundum wheel. Green or diamond wheels are needed to grind Carbide tools.

Carbide tools benefit from high speeds, which produce the heat to soften the workpiece and cut it in a very localised and minute area. (Replaceable tips are, often, relatively blunt; a sharp edge would very soon break,and the rubbing produces the heat need to cut the metal.)

There are lots of folk on here who can explain all this far better than I can.


Ron Laden19/06/2018 18:12:02
1968 forum posts
390 photos

Thanks for all the advice guys.

I have ordered a HSS set from ArcEuro as per the picture Jon posted at the start of the thread. I,m hoping I will pick up the tool grinding ok, I am ok at sharpening drill bits free hand. I was taught by an old engineer many moons ago and it stuck with me.

Having looked at them again I dont think the carbide set have been sharpened, ground to shape yes, but sharpened no. I dont have a green wheel so they will have to wait before I give them a try.

Thanks again guys


Alan Vos19/06/2018 19:08:28
153 forum posts
7 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 19/06/2018 14:55:35:

A significant proportion of cheap brazed tooling isn't finish ground.

This is the bit I don't understand. Some years ago I bough a mini lathe with the customary 'free' set of brazed tooling. I knew enough to know they were not working very well. Both my own (beginner) hand ground HSS and insert tooling worked much better. It never occured to me that anybody would ship unfinshed tools in a 'beginners' package. Why do they do that? A set of finished HSS would make more sense.

Ron Laden19/06/2018 19:48:05
1968 forum posts
390 photos

I also dont know why Alan but I,m guessing cost. When I ordered the lathe I was considering the full package deal where you get the lathe and a host of accessories. However I decided against it and phoned asking for the best price for the lathe a set of cutting tools and a tailstock chuck and I got a really good deal.

I didnt think about the type of tools I would receive but obviously assumed it would be a working set ready to go. The supplier does a HSS set for about £45 and the brazed set I was sent is just over £20 so you can see how that came about as part of the deal.

Your right though Alan whats the point of sending out tooling that needs finishing when many of the mini lathes will be going out to beginners.



Edited By Ron Laden on 19/06/2018 19:49:45

Ron Laden20/06/2018 10:18:03
1968 forum posts
390 photos

Well one bit of good news re the carbide set, my engineering manager friend said he will take them to his work and get one of the turners to put an edge on them all for me. I have the HSS set on the way but it will be good to compare the two types once I have them.


Ian S C20/06/2018 10:33:59
7468 forum posts
230 photos

It is a good idea to get a diamond lap these in one form are a plastic strip about 20 mm wide x 100 mm long, and 4 mm thick with a pad about 20 mm x 40 mm containing the diamond lapping area, they can be got in 3 grades, fine, med, coarse. You can even get them in garden shops.

Ian S C

Ron Laden20/06/2018 10:40:16
1968 forum posts
390 photos

Thanks Ian, do you need all 3, the coarse, medium and fine..?  



Edited By Ron Laden on 20/06/2018 11:10:52

Jon Gibbs20/06/2018 11:50:22
739 forum posts

I would just buy medium and fine unless they come as a set of 3.

My experience is that they all eventually become "very fine" after a while but that might be the repeated use and "tongue-oil" lubrication I use wink



SillyOldDuffer20/06/2018 16:28:06
5901 forum posts
1280 photos
Posted by Ron Laden on 20/06/2018 10:18:03:

Well one bit of good news re the carbide set, my engineering manager friend said he will take them to his work and get one of the turners to put an edge on them all for me. I have the HSS set on the way but it will be good to compare the two types once I have them.


When offering advice I'll try to remember that you can already sharpen twist drills by hand and have access to some professional support! That's a really good start in this hobby. Many newbies launch on their own and learn by making lots of mistakes. Not difficult to guess how I know that...


Ron Laden20/06/2018 16:56:50
1968 forum posts
390 photos

Thanks Jon, I will organise getting them.

Dave, I have quite a few friends who can offer support but to be honest I try to use them as little as possible, not that I,m ungrateful its just wanting to do as much myself as possible. I dont have a green wheel for the grinder so the offer of a skilled turner to sharpen the carbide set was too good to turn down. Mistakes....well I make plenty of those, lucky is the man that doesnt make any, though in reality I doubt that there are many of them about.

Edited By Ron Laden on 20/06/2018 16:58:34

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