Make tools and jigs for wood turningMake tools and jigs for wood turning
Wood turners are tool "junkies." There is the dream that given the perfect tool we will make the prefect cut. If we only the tool of Gee Whiz the wood turner we too could be just as good. Of course that implies that we also need 20 years of practice with that perfect tool, just like Gee Whiz has, but that will not stop us from getting the tool. Price on the other hand, can stop us cold.
Yet most lathe tools are not hard to make for someone who works in a typical home shop. Take a look at your turning tools. They have a handle, a shaft and a cutting or scraping tip. Sometimes the tip is an integral part of the shaft, sometimes it is added on. To make most tools you need to be able to turn a handle, drill a hole, cut a piece of steel, tap the hole in the steel, and put it all together. Since tapping is no harder than driving a screw, you have probably done all this. We just have to put it all together and make a tool.
A three point tool is used like a skew but without some of the dig in dangers. Bill Jones, the third generation English turner, is a strong advocate of the tool especially in small spindle turnings.
The desire to brighten up a bowl encouraged me to make a detailing or texturing tool which is also good for banding spindles.
Some time ago the lack of cash and need for a bowl gouge reminded me of an article I had read in American Woodturner Magazine about Knud Oland. This excellent turner had designed a tool for general faceplate turning that could be easily made in the home shop and encouraged others to do so. The Oland tool has since become my tool of choice for faceplate work, although I have bowl gouges from 1/4" to 5/8".