Tool Tips

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Background

More than a few woodturners will insist that their tools of choice (or the one's they are selling) are the finest available. Perhaps. Tools are necessary of course, but I place more emphasis on turning skills like sharpening, properly holding a tool, body position and movement, form and design. For a master of those skills, the actual tool used to achieve the end result is of secondary importance. My advice to any new or inexperienced turner is to master fundamental skills before investing a lot of money in every tool and accessory available. Admittedly, when I began turning in earnest, I bought a lot of tools that I never used again after taking David Ellsworth's class. His philosophy, coupled with a lot of practice, greatly improved my turning skills. The process also changed my views about tools, specifically that expensive doesn't mean better. David of course, was selling his bowl gouge, a tool I love and use extensively. But what really intrigued me were his hollowing tips and bars. When the economic recession hit in 2007/8, and I began turning smaller, I began experimenting with making tools myself.

Hollowing Tools

A good place to start is learning to make your own tools. Experiment with different tools and tool accessories before buying to see what works best for you. After sufficient practice and experience, buy the best quality tools you can afford. As the old adage goes "you can buy it once, or you can buy it again.:

Bowl Gouges

Fingernail Gouges

Sharpening