Just so you know I have done a 180 in my thinking
when it comes to carbide tools. It turns out that
carbide tools are playing a significant part in
bringing folks into the craft of turning wood.
Creating something on a wood lathe requires far less
skill with a carbide tipped scraping tool than with
HSS (High Speed Steel) tools. I was around when
carbide tools were introduced by Craig Jackson of
Easy Wood Tools and I had very strong reservations
in the beginning.
There are 4 pillars of turning wood: 1) the lathe
itself, 2) work holding devices, i.e. chucks, etc.,
3) lathe tools, 4) sharpening systems for lathe
Here is what I have discovered over the last 5+
years. Using just carbide tipped tools eliminates
the need to own a grinder and a sharpening jig which
can easily be 1/4th of the cost of
getting into wood turning. Using carbide tools
further eliminates the need to learn the skills to
create a truly sharp cutting edge consistently in
order to enjoy the craft of turning wood. The use of
carbide tipped tools has allowed brand new turners
to create acceptable turned items right out of the
gate with very little learning required. In other
words, it made turning easy. That has been a
tremendous benefit to the craft of turning wood in
general. That is why I encourage new turners
to begin with carbide tipped tools. We can take a
brand new turner, young or old, give them a carbide
pen turning set and watch them create beautiful pens
immediately. That goes a long way toward developing
an enduring interest in turning wood later on.
Carbide tipped tools scrape wood away rather than
cut wood away. Although that puts the wood under
tremendous stress and requires extra sanding to
achieve a smooth finish, it works well enough for
many types of projects. I would rather see someone
become excited about turning because it isn’t that
hard to do rather than turn them off to our craft
because they perceive it to be difficult and they
become frustrated and quit.
In most cases, high speed steel tools are ultimately
the better choice, because it is better to cut wood
than scrape wood. The vast majority of turners who
stick with wood turning as a craft will eventually
figure that out and add HSS tools and the
appropriate sharpening systems to their repertoire
as their skills increase. But meanwhile, the carbide
tipped route is much easier for most people just
I use carbide tipped tools myself but only where I
would have used a scraper anyway. That is for
hollowing boxes, hollow forms such as small vases
and Christmas Ornament globes, goblets, etc.
Contrary to popular belief, a skilled turner can use
a carbide tipped tool to shear scrape effectively to
achieve a smooth finish.
I write to you this week from Chantilly, Virginia
preparing for another woodworking show. We have not
visited Chantilly for 5 years because we lost the
venue to Walmart and there was no other facility
large enough to host the Woodworking Shows. If you
are nearby, I hope you will come see us as we have
added several hundred new items. More show info at
www.thewoodworkingshows.com because wherever you
go, there you are.
Here is my inspiration for this week’s newsletter:
Hebrews 5:13 Milk is for beginners, inexperienced
in God's ways; 14 solid food is for the mature, who
have some practice in telling right from wrong.
January Show Sweepstakes Winners:
$250 Gift Certificate Winner:
$100 Gift Certificate Winner:
$50 Gift Certificate Winner:
We will notify the winners via email
shortly. There will be a drawing each month of the
show season. Stay tuned.
This Week's Sale
10% off entire web site.
Must use coupon
If you are able to visit us
at the Woodworking Show, we have added
approximately 100 new turning items in our booth
this year. I have finished samples of the Laser
Cut Kits, etc. I have samples of Edge Lit Signs
I will be adding to the line in May 2016
I would like to
announce that this year for the first time, Ron
Brown’s Best, LLC will have a monthly sweepstakes
drawing specifically for visitors at the various
shows. You will have to enter at the show in our
booth. Ask Sweet Janice for an entry form. First
Prize is a $250 Gift Certificate for anything on our
web site (we will have over 50 new items by the end
of the show season). Second Prize is a $100 Gift
Certificate for anything on our web site. Third
Prize is a $50 Gift Certificate for anything on our
web site. You need not be present to win. We will
have different drawings for January, February, March
and April. We will announce the winners on the web
site and in one of the following newsletters.
As always there are
tons of free stuff in the FreeDownloads section.
Wishing you a Happy, Prosperous and Blessed New
Ron, Janice & Chris
We will be leaving our Internet business in capable
hands as we hit the road for 13 weeks beginning
January 8th in Baltimore Maryland.
Here is a link to The Woodworking Shows schedule
The Detroit, MI show
has been replaced with Chantilly, VA.
have noticed that some items have disappeared from
www.ronbrownsbest.com, in the last week or so. I
hate to admit it, but we cannot keep up with the
demand for certain items and since it is the show
season, we had to remove them temporarily. We will
re-list those items and many more when we can fill
your orders in a timely manner.