Wood turning tools are becoming more expensive all the time and wood turners are tool junkies. It seems that an increasing number of tools are wanted all the time, even though most turners use only a handful. There is a proliferation of tools that all promise to make you a better turner or to transform you into Joe Fantastic Turner if only you use that tool. No one seems to refer to the practice needed for any new tool. .
There are likewise many different types lathe and parts of lathes. Usually the lathe will be composed of a spindle on which the object will turn, a tool rest for standing the tool (sometimes a tail stock, a clamp), and a lock nob. The lock nob is used, with a view to alter and then set the height of the tool rest to ensure that the tool that is used to shape the object is held steady and at the same height. Otherwise you would be liable to find that you ended up drawing strange shaky lines on the object rather than keeping them still and so creating a straight line. As the object rotates the tool will alter the shape, but because it will not move it will not dig into the object no matter how many times it is rotated. Thus the line will be completely even all around and then you can then alter the attitude of the tool before making new alterations.
The handle was easy to take care of. Woodturners after all, turn wood. Making a handle is easy. Just turn wood round to a comfortable fit in your hand and drill a hole at the end of the day to take the shaft.
Shafts aren’t hard either. Cut a steel rod to the right length and place it in the handle. The ip made the difference. .
Until this time, most turning tools were made by first the local smith and later the tool companies, by forging the shaft and tip as one out of carbon steel. Carbon steel is far easier to forge than is high speed steel but does hold an edge as long and loses temper easier. That is, the shop user can ruin a carbon steel tool much easier than high speed steel, especially sharpening on the grinder. Since turners use a grinder for sharpening, this was a real problem.