• Important Executive Director Announcement from the NAWCC

    The NAWCC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Mr. Rory McEvoy has been named Executive Director of the NAWCC. Rory is an internationally renowned horological scholar and comes to the NAWCC with strong credentials that solidly align with our education, fundraising, and membership growth objectives. He has a postgraduate degree in the conservation and restoration of antique clocks from West Dean College, and throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to handle some of the world’s most important horological artifacts, including longitude timekeepers by Harrison, Kendall, and Mudge.

    Rory formerly worked as Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where his role included day-to-day management of research and digitization projects, writing, public speaking, conservation, convening conferences, exhibition work, and development of acquisition/disposal and collection care policies. In addition, he has worked as a horological specialist at Bonhams in London, where he cataloged and handled many rare timepieces and built important relationships with collectors, buyers, and sellers. Most recently, Rory has used his talents to share his love of horology at the university level by teaching horological theory, history, and the practical repair and making of clocks and watches at Birmingham City University.

    Rory is a British citizen and currently resides in the UK. Pre-COVID-19, Rory and his wife, Kaai, visited HQ in Columbia, Pennsylvania, where they met with staff, spent time in the Museum and Library & Research Center, and toured the area. Rory and Kaai will be relocating to the area as soon as the immigration challenges and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 permit.

    Some of you may already be familiar with Rory as he is also a well-known author and lecturer. His recent publications include the book Harrison Decoded: Towards a Perfect Pendulum Clock, which he edited with Jonathan Betts, and the article “George Graham and the Orrery” in the journal Nuncius.

    Until Rory’s relocation to the United States is complete, he will be working closely with an on-boarding team assembled by the NAWCC Board of Directors to introduce him to the opportunities and challenges before us and to ensure a smooth transition. Rory will be participating in strategic and financial planning immediately, which will allow him to hit the ground running when he arrives in Columbia

    You can read more about Rory McEvoy and this exciting announcement in the upcoming March/April issue of the Watch & Clock Bulletin.

    Please join the entire Board and staff in welcoming Rory to the NAWCC community.

Lathe cutting tools/accessories

UncleDoc

NAWCC Member
Apr 4, 2020
183
26
28
56
Colonie, NY
Country
Region
Having had a few days to play with my lathe, I am wondering about sources (other than Sherline in CA) of cutting tools and the like. The post triggering this question was one by Jerry Keiffer regarding his strategy of not sharpening HSS tools, but using carbide tools and just replacing when needed. He characterized Chinese and Indian products as inferior, so what are some sources of high quality cutting tools?

Boy, making chips a whole lot of fun.

Thanks in advance.

Duane
 

FDelGreco

NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Diamond Member
Aug 28, 2000
2,225
165
63
Novelty, OH
Country
Region
McMaster Carr has individual and complete sets of carbide-tipped cutting tools. Also boring tools.

Frank
 

Wayne A

NAWCC Member
Sep 24, 2019
564
89
28
Country
Region
Saw Jerry's post as well. Made sense to me to eliminate cutting tool sharpness as variable from the learning process. I picked up some micrograin carbide tools from Mcmaster Carr. Should last a very long time and seem to work great for this lathe noob.
As much as I have to sharpen drill bits I'd just soon avoid that practice for lathe tools.
 

wefalck

Registered User
Mar 29, 2011
602
51
28
Paris
Country
I gather the jury is still out on that. Depends on what you are working on and how deep your pockets are resp. if you can charge a customer for expensive carbide tools.

Personally, after a venture into carbide, I tend to use home-ground HSS tools for most of the turning operations. For boring, however, I prefer single-lip spiral carbide engraving cutters. Very sharp and seem to last forever.

Carbide is not very forgiving when loads suddenly change, e.g. the lathe stalls or with interrupted cuts.

Don't know about the US, but most (tool) steels on the European market, at least the more common ones, seem to be manufactured either in India or in China, regardless, who sells them.
 

etmb61

NAWCC Member
Oct 25, 2010
2,743
253
83
Mascoutah, IL
Country
Region
Cutting tools are not one size fits all. Different metals cut differently. Making your own cutting tools is a basic skill for lathe metal work. Eventually you will need a tool shape you cannot get in carbide. You should try to learn to do it.

Carbide tools are expensive compared to HSS and easy to break. I have a good stock of HSS tool blanks for a lot less than what I've spent on my pile of broken carbides.

Eric
 

Wayne A

NAWCC Member
Sep 24, 2019
564
89
28
Country
Region
Justification is a funny thing when its a hobby. Have a number of hobbies and the only one that pays back is my vegetable garden and its by far the least expensive hobby I have ever had.
An example, I fly model aircraft, helicopters and airplanes and in that hobby I've watched guys crash rather expensive hardware every weekend only to repair and be back the next week. Now some flyers -like- the rebuilding work and just don't care if they crash.

Reading about carbide grades the newer micrograin carbides are tougher with higher impact resistance to be less prone to failure. The micrograin tools are what I'm trying. Tool was about $11, not to bad if it lives up to the hype. Don't mind having to make a HSS tool for purpose though.
 

Jerry Kieffer

NAWCC Member
May 31, 2005
2,886
522
113
wisconsin
Country
The post triggering this question was one by Jerry Keiffer regarding his strategy of not sharpening HSS tools, but using carbide tools and just replacing when needed. He characterized Chinese and Indian products as inferior, so what are some sources of high quality cutting tools?

Boy, making chips a whole lot of fun.

Thanks in advance.

Duane
Duane
Clarification if you do not mind.

My statement on this is often as follows.

When starting out on a lathe, you have enough on your plate to learn without tool grinding.

Once up to speed with brazed carbide, one can then take the time to explore tool grinding that I typically use for form tooling and often grind tools for rough work.
One advantage with brazed carbide when starting out is that they will cut what can be machined unlike HSS. Another is that with the same brand tools, cutting characteristics remain the same from tool to tool unlike sharpening HSS. This greatly increases skill development.

Its well worth purchasing some cheap tools and compare them to quality tools to have a full understanding of the difference.
Any of the major tool suppliers that market to industry can counsel you on available products. In the US anything USA made, or names such as Carboloy and Micro 100 for Lathe tools will be of quality.

Jerry Kieffer
 

karlmansson

Registered User
Apr 20, 2013
2,668
137
63
Linköping, Sweden
Country
I use both Carbide (in two forms) and HSS on my lathe. I have brazed/solid Carbide Tools that I hone and use where I need stiffness in the tool (boring and such) and for hard materials. I also use insert tooling for ease of use and all carbine eliminates the use of cutting oils, which in my rather poorly ventilated shop saves me from a bunch of smoke inhalation. For small diameter work I don't use the inserts though due to their edge radius. They need a lot more cutting pressure to cut as intended that a Sharp HSS tool.

I understand Jerrys perspective of reducing variables. My first run in with brazed Carbide though was instant chipping of the tool. Entirely my own fault of course! But now I'm faced with either shelling out for a new tool or grinding Carbide. Which is a whole different can of Worms than grinding HSS.

HSS Tools can also be bought pre-ground as sets. They will need a Little maintenance and an initial honing to cut well but the geometry is alright as I understand it. Should you need to modify a tool bit, the entire bar is a potential cutting Surface. As opposed to the brazed Tools, where you can of course braze on a new piece of Carbide if that sort of thing is your cup of tea. But an HSS tool will stay an HSS tool no matter how you mistreat it. And it will also create a very good Surface finish on softer materials as it will hold an edge. Carbide certaily CAN be ground to be just as Sharp as HSS but it will have an edge that needs to be treated with obsessive care. It won't dull but it will chip. And then you need to grind the tool back again.

The Carbide inserts can also be ground to create a sharper edge and be re-used even after "end of Life" as they were manufactured. You need a Diamond hone or grinding Wheel.

All Tools have their Place, or they wouldn't be around! In my experience HSS is a whole lot more forgiving, although for most larger work now I use CCMT insert tooling. For Watch work I use mostly hand held gravers, HSS and Carbide. All I know is that I still haven't gotten around to re-dressing that chipped brazed Carbide tool Three paragraphs ago...

Regards
Karl
 
Last edited:
Know Your NAWCC Forums Rules!
RULES & GUIDELINES

Find member

Forum statistics

Threads
163,536
Messages
1,421,046
Members
84,938
Latest member
Naama
Encyclopedia Pages
1,101
Total wiki contributions
2,857
Last edit
Aurora's 15 Ruby Jewel Movements by Greg Frauenhoff

514 Poplar Street
Columbia, PA 17512

Phone: 717-684-8261

Contact the Webmaster for perceived copyright infringement (DMCA Registration Number 1010287).

Copyright © National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors Inc (A 501c3 non-profit corporation). All Rights Reserved.

The NAWCC is dedicated to providing association services, promoting interest in and encouraging the collecting of clocks and watches including disseminating knowledge of the same.